Tuesday, October 25, 2011

Guest Story: Secret Sanctuary by Amber Thompson

Our secret garden, our secret place. A place in the middle of the forest that has been forgotten. Our nights together had come to a close. It had been months since an escape to our hidden sanctuary had taken place.

We would not run away together again. Our time had come to an end. We had lost our secrets, our love. Now, our nights were all but forgotten, they were gone.

I stepped out of our flat and started for the woods. It was mid-afternoon, a different time for me to be going there, and I was going alone. We had always gone in the evening to watch the sunset and the bright stars, and we had always gone together. Our secret trysts were long gone.

I stopped short just before the clearing. Music was coming from our spot. I ducked under the bushes and snuck a peek. Speakers were sitting on the little end table that he had brought the last time we had visited.
I saw her first. I froze. He had brought another woman with him. They were speaking in whispers. As they stood to leave, he spoke in a clear voice.

"We can come back as often as we would like, this is our spot."

I did not know what to think. He had cast me aside so easily, and now he had forgotten me. I created the secret hideaway with him, and now he was willing to share our spot with another.

They left. I stepped into the clearing. The clean white bed was untouched, still made. The canopy I had hung from an overhead branch had been pulled aside, but that was how I left it. They must have spent their time on the bench that he had built.

The past had been lost, and now we had to live in the present. I loved him. I never stopped loving him. Although now he loved her. The blonde with the perfect beauty.

I was alone now.

I sat on the bed and laid back on the pillows. I remembered the past. I thought about the first time we had needed an escape from the world.

We were hand-in-hand, walking. Just walking. I was telling him about my crappy dead-end job and he was complaining about how his boss had fired twenty people, but only kept him on because she liked how he looked in his suit.

We had been together for almost five years at that point. We had only been married for two. We walked along the trail in the woods and came to a halt when the trail ended. Trees surrounded us, but we needed to push further. We stepped off the trail and into the woods. Another five minutes of wlaking later, we came across a clearing. It was almost the size of an olympic sized pool. We stepped into the clearing and sat down.
I leaned against him as he wrapped his arm around me. I had a secret to tell him. I was expecting a child, our first child.

Before I could tell him, he suggested that we make the clearing ours. I gave the hint that we should place a bed and a bench in the grass. He agreed, and a week later he surprised me by bringing a queen-sized matress through the woods and when he brought me back later, he sat me down on the bed.

"I love you," he said in a whisper.

"I love you, too," I said. I told him I had a secret that I had been hiding for a few weeks. When he asked me continue, I obliged.

"I'm pregnant," I said. He hugged me and we had a few moments of complete bliss. This was our first good memory at our secret garden. The first moment of many that were to take place over the course of a year.
A few months later, I ended up losing the baby, but we still went to our place, to remember the good times, to be able to escape reality. After our three year anniversary of our marriage, he told me he wanted a divorce. I was shocked, of course, but I understood. We were not the same people. We loved each other, but I could tell that he was not in love with me.

Now, it was not our spot. It was his spot. It was her spot. It was not my place anymore. I stood up and walked toward the trees. I did not look back. I could not look back. I walked away from the past, and into the future.

about the author, Amber Thompson:

I currently live in Chester, New Hampshire, where I attend the local private college for Creative Writing. I have been writing since I was in first grade, when my teacher read us Harry Potter for the first time, and I find my inspiration to be J.K. Rowling. You can always find me writing some story or another and I am currently working on my first novel, a young adult romance tentatively entitled, Love Schooled. 

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