The mystery of love: it can come, and go. Sometimes love
is lost because of misunderstanding, distance, time, religion, interference, but
it is never forgotten and the memory of that special love returns to haunt the
former lover for the rest of his or her days.
Where do the minutes, hours,
days, the years of our lives go? Are they just stolen from us, slipping
inexorably into the past, never to be regained, leaving only memories? Someone,
once very close, vanishes as though they had never existed; a haunting sense of
loss and longing remains. It is said that art imitates life.
does. What is the purpose of it all? Can those stolen hours and lost love be
FROM THE AUTHOR:
In case you thought I had disappeared without a
trace, it’s not true. Here I am again with another book…not crime fiction this
time but ROMANCE. Not the same or as good as Jane Austen of course, just
different. It’s the theme of thousands of popular
romance novels. Man meets girl, falls in love (she’s
the one) and then he goes of to war or somewhere as men do. Comes back,
girl’s gone. He can’t forget her, even though there are thousands of other
beautiful women in the world he could have had. He has become wealthy. She’s
special in his mind and spends years and a fortune trying to find her.
when he does, she’s married. That doesn’t deter him,
he still tries and his quest takes Him to such unlikely places as Kyrgyzstan
(where’s that) and Pago Pago. MeanwhileThere are other (secondary) romances
going on with others. Is he successful? It takes 100,404 words to find out.
Read a sample:
Jason Whitney had moved into 1/35 Crestwell Tower on
Fitzwilliam Street just before Christmas and because everybody was going about
their end-of-year business, nobody took much notice of him; indeed, they didn’t
seem to want to meet him or for that matter have anything at all to do with him.
This put him in rather a lonely quandary as his family, or most of them, lived
in the far outback, so as much as he would have liked to introduce himself, make
himself known, all nearby residents hurried past, eyes down, not wanting to make
eye contact; in fact no contact at all. He wondered about one of his neighbours,
a man who occupied the luxury penthouse on the top floor, complete with swimming
pool and garden, a young male like himself. The lucky dog seemed to have plenty
of callers, mostly attractive young women, dressed in diaphanous clothing or
brief shorts, who arrived chattering like parrots and usually clutching a bottle
of what looked like champagne. Faintly he could hear music, not too loud to be
annoying but loud enough to fill him full of longing and nostalgia, wishing he
was part of that scene. He could just imagine wrapping his arms around the
golden body of one of those young women and dancing to the lilt of the music.
Jason had come to the city after graduating with a
university degree in management and finance. After a year off he toured through
Europe and the United States as a backpacker, but that was all over. He had to
come to the city to make a living as the small town he came from had very few
jobs available in management, or finance for that matter. Most of the major
banks had pulled out of the small towns and even post offices had closed down in
some, government business, stamps purchase and the usual post office business
transferred to small shops which were found to be totally inadequate by most of
Jason’s new job did not start until after the New Year so
he had plenty of time to settle into his apartment for which had to pay a
totally outrageous rent, look about him and find his bearings. Nevertheless the
feeling of loneliness was hurtful. There had been girls in his life, of course,
and one he corresponded with now and again, but none had made a major impression
on him, or he on them for that matter.
Peeping out the window he saw her arrive, another girl
calling on his upstairs neighbour. She was tiny with a perfect figure, small
feet in high-heeled, cork-soled sandals, long dark hair; she looked foreign,
possibly Greek. If one could fall in love with a passing shadow, Jason felt he
could. Why did he see this perfect woman from a distance and fall in love with
her, knowing the agony that he might never meet her? Life wasn’t fair. She
walked confidently so as to give emphasis to her presence. She entered the door
and disappeared inside. Jason felt unreasonably jealous of his neighbour. He
came to a decision: he had to take his courage in both hands and meet him.
This was easier thought of than done as the neighbour
seemed to be mysterious, coming and going at odd hours. He was difficult to
catch as he got into his car (a $90,000 BMW) in the garage, shot out, came back,
closed the door behind him and disappeared into the building, often accompanied
by a young woman but not the tiny (possibly Greek) girl, Jason was pleased to
see. He would do some detective work and find out who the man was, and then
hopefully who she was. The simplest way was to ask the building supervisor who
had an office on the ground floor but he only told Jason the barest of details:
his name, which was Mark Saxon, and that he was the proprietor of several
businesses. However, fate intervened because the man himself emerged from the
lift to collect any mail left for him in the residents’ post boxes that lined
one wall. The supervisor introduced them.
‘So you’re the new arrival in No.1 are you, mate?’ asked Mr
Saxon companionably. ‘How about we go and have a drink down the road? There’s a
good pub, I just feel like a bit of a walk, blow the cobwebs away. I’ve spent
the better part of the day in bed recovering from last night so really need the
hair of the dog to recover. I really should exercise more, you know. Those
health shows on TV always say that most of us don’t get enough exercise.’
Mr Saxon prattled on not needing or expecting an answer.
Jason was pleased to hear himself referred to as ‘mate’ from time to time and
his neighbour didn’t look as though he needed to exercise much as he looked
healthy, slim and walked with coiled energy.
Seated at the pub with a cold beer within reach Mr Saxon
proceeded to find out about Jason’s history. ‘You’re a new arrival in town,
where are you from?’
‘I’m just a country boy and yes, new in town, come to work
for Fisher Partners, a bit of financial planning, that sort of thing.’
‘You’re in the money business and not monkey business –
that’s a relief, one never knows these days.’
Jason had a feeling that Mr Saxon had deliberately targeted
him to find out who he was, a sort of self-protection exercise in case he was a
plant of some kind from the taxation department, or maybe not; perhaps he was
just feeling dramatic.
‘What about you?’ asked Jason, turning the tables.
‘Oh, just a bit of this and a bit of that. One of the more
interesting things is a secretarial service I run. You may have seen my girls
coming and going recently. I’ve had most of them up for a Christmas party and I
hand out bonuses at the time, they all like that.’
‘A secretarial service, that’s an unusual business for a
man to run, isn’t it?
‘Yeah, you might say that, but it’s pleasant and the girls
are great to work with, no trouble, and it’s legitimate of course.’
This made Jason wonder what his new companion might be
doing illegitimately seeing he had mentioned it.
‘I have interests in a few other things, real estate
development, agriculture, mining – you know, ordinary odds and ends like that,
nothing really spectacular. Oh yes, I almost forgot, I may bankroll a movie
that’s planned to be made here soon. It’s about a war, a difficult romance and a
family who get here on a boat from somewhere. All my secretarial girls are
greatly excited and hope to get roles in crowd scenes. I’ll put pressure on the
casting agent to make sure they do. As it’s my money that brought it about I get
Executive Producer credit, how about that?’
Jason was suitably impressed. There was definitely
something about this man. He might appear mysterious but he certainly had a lot
going for him. It was time; he must ask about the Greek girl.
‘Ah, there’s something I wanted to ask you, mentioning the
girls that come and go from your place, there’s one I noticed – tiny, slim, long
dark hair, looked a bit Greek I thought?’
‘That would be Svetlana – yes, she’s Greek, or partly. If
you ever need a secretary I could send her to you. She’s very efficient, has
great shorthand and a very fast typist.’
What a capital idea, thought Jason. He couldn’t have
thought of a craftier scheme to meet a desired woman.
‘What about you?’ asked Jason, maybe daringly. ‘Married or
just playing the field?’
‘As you’ve probably noticed I’m knee deep in the field and
of course I’m not married. What wife would tolerate endless young women coming
‘Well, you’ve certainly got a lot to choose from. Do you
like any one in particular?’ The purpose of all this was to hopefully eliminate
the Greek girl from a possible list of bed candidates.
Mr Saxon sighed and looked a little troubled. ‘Really it’s
none of your business, but if you want to know I don’t mix business with
pleasure, and yes, I do employ them because of their looks and freshness, but as
to marriage, why would anyone tie themselves up like that? It’s not for me.’
‘OK, sorry I asked. As you say, it’s none of my business.’
‘You’ll always be wondering so you might as well hear the
whole story about women and how I see them. Here’s the thing. I left this bit
out. I used to be in the army, served three tours of duty in Afghanistan.
Started as a private and came out a lieutenant.’