“Deep into that darkness peering, long I stood there wondering, fearing
Doubting, dreaming dreams no mortals ever dared to dream before”
Sometimes Emptiness is needed to see the current situation from another angle. It doesn’t matter if that shape is good or bad because the experience is always precious. As per today’s confession, I follow my creative side of writing short stories but it’s a fact that ”The Raven” gave me a boost of inspiration. One of my favorite authors is Edgar Allan Poe. The writer seems dark but that never was a problem for me since I am a gothic lover.
“’Tis some visitor,” I muttered, “tapping at my chamber door— Only this, and nothing more.”
Valery Black had read the stanza once again. Knock on the door. It was weirder than usual noises. It sounded like beak tapping. Valery lit the candle and opened the door. A Raven smiled with his eyes. Until the woman was in shock, the bird went in and landed on her shoulder.
“Good evening, Love,” spoke the Raven, “I am here by the name of late Lenore you have read about in the book.”
“Maybe I am dreaming,” thought Valery, “The situation is quite real.”
The dream was reality, and it took a few minutes until Valery understood the strange situation. The Raven looked into her eyes and she saw emptiness in his. Valery has never seen or thought the void may look so scary.
However, the woman continued to stay calm even if she feared. Valery was courageous and found the strength to smile remembering another good stanza of Edgar Allan Poe’s poem.
“Eagerly I wished the morrow;—vainly I had sought to borrow From my books Surcease of Sorrow—sorrow for the lost Lenore— For the rare and radiant maiden whom the angels name Lenore— Nameless here for evermore.”
“How come the dead Lenore wants to talk with me?” asked Valery
“She is not dead. Her soul is roaming in the Emptiness,” replied the Raven, “But Lenore was amazed at your ability to make yourself fall in love with illusions and wanted to speak with you to save your soul.”
“Saving my soul?”, Valery laughed creepily, and The Raven became curious, “There is nothing left to save or say anymore, but since you’re my guest, be my companion of a glass of wine. I live a lonely life and rarely have visitors.”
Valery went inside the big room where she had read before her guest’s coming and put a second wine glass alongside the candle in her hand on the table. The woman sat with the Raven on her shoulder on the wooden chair.
Then this ebony bird beguiling my sad fancy into smiling, By the grave and stern decorum of the countenance it wore. “Though thy crest be shorn and shaven, thou,” I said, “art sure no craven, Ghastly grim and ancient raven wandering from the Nightly shore— Tell me what thy lordly name is on the Night’s Plutonian shore!” Quoth the Raven, “Nevermore.”
While sitting together at the table, Raven’s eyes pointed at Valery’s. The emptiness in them became more visible and the woman laughed.
“You remind me of myself at the moment,” told Valery.
“That’s why I am here,” the bird told with a silent voice, “I am a messenger.”
“From Lenore, I started to understand that madness,” smiled Valery and drank a sip from her wine, “The difference between me and her is that she’s dead physically and I – emotionally.”
“Not only that, Lenore became part of Emptiness,” told The Raven and closed his eyes while from his body a tiny spirit began to shape itself.
Until Valery continued drinking, keeping her collected outlook despite her, a female shadow showed before the woman’s eyes.
The dark shadow looked like a small galaxy with little stars inside her body. The Raven disappeared like a mist, holding the spiritual form close.
”Are those stars the souls that are part of you, Madame?” laughed madly Valery with mixed feelings of horror, curiosity, and under wine’s effect.
“Yes, they are. By choice. You will be one of them soon,” grinned the Female shadow.
“I have no soul pieces to give you anymore, my dear,” spoke without hesitation, Valery.
“That’s why I will hold you close in my arms and take away your grief, brokenness, sadness, disappointment, and unrequited love’s illusions with me. They will feed me well, and that’s the treasure I seek from you. My role is to be darkness keeper’, and you have so much of it in yourself”.
The shadow came closer to Valery and held her until she dissolved into small stars pieces, forming a spiritual being of herself. The Raven showed again while the Emptiness went inside Valery’s spirit. The two wine glasses stood half-empty. A bird and a spiritual being stood on the table, watching each other glowing irises. The Raven’s irises were crystal blue with deep darkness behind the primary color. The woman already had sparkling red eyes, with pure emptiness inside them.
“And who are you, for real?”, asked Valery’s spirit the bird.
“They call me many names: demon, fallen angel, worst fear, killer, womanizer, but the truth is I am a reflection of human’s purest emotions – anger, ambition, loneliness, sadness, pain, lust, and disappointment. How will you name?” grinned the bird.
“Hollow’s lover,” Valery’s hugged him close and unexpectedly, “My lover.”
“No,” the bird freed himself, “I have to be a messenger and a reflection. Love is somewhere else for you,” and he flew through herself, inside the emptiness of her spiritual being.
But the Raven, sitting lonely on the placid bust, spoke only That one word, as if his soul in that one word he did outpour. Nothing further then he uttered—not a feather then he fluttered— Till I scarcely more than muttered, “Other friends have flown before— On the morrow, he will leave me, as my hopes have flown before.” Then the bird said, “Nevermore.”
“Who is Emptiness?” tried to ask Valery the Raven but he was long gone inside her celestial body.
It seems the void is created mostly by broken people who believed there’s still hope for them to live, love and smile. Unfortunately, these wishes were broken and that’s where the Emptiness received her power. It will be stronger each day. Maybe The Raven is a kind of her lover. What eternal love!
But there is nothing Emptiness hasn’t seen or heard in mortals’ lives. That’s Wisdom!
With these thoughts, Valery’s mind went blank.
And the Raven, never flitting, still is sitting, still is sitting On the pallid bust of Pallas just above my chamber door; And his eyes have all the seeming of a demon’s that is dreaming, And the lamplight o’er him streaming throws his shadow on the floor; And my soul from out that shadow that lies floating on the floor Shall be lifted—nevermore!
“What a weird dream!” woke up Valery, sweating, with Edgar Allan Poe book into her bed, “As far as my remembrance goes, I was in the dining room, drinking wine with someone, but do not remember who and how I am here now. Maybe my wine sips were too many and I forgot some things. What a headache!”
I love to interpret my favorite stanzas. To me, their meaning is different, but probably everyone is like that. “The Raven” is one of the best tragic love stories ever. It shows how deep, unconditional and eternal love can be. Of course, today’s era is not like that, and romance like Edgar Allan Poe’s can’t happen. People are not humans anymore and treat others of their kind the same way most of the time.
However, maybe someday a light of hope after the meant-not-to-be romances will light the night skies of emptiness for everyone. Let’s pray for that. Until then, Emptiness will rule everything.
A Dedication to all these love stories that didn’t happen.
It’s a fact that running away into the written, creative and imaginary world is better than going out into addictions. Once again, I return to my “Imaginary Romance Online at 9 PM” unhappened love stories.
Today I listened to another good song, called “Goodbye my Love” by the LaRoxx project, which has a lot of similarities with my current romantic life because I will end once and for all an unhealthy relationship. I won’t play the role of a holy-love martyr, but I believe when things don’t seem to happen, they will probably will not.
Everyone deserves a true, passionate, committed, and stable relationship. When only one partner dances the tango of two, he should let go and move on, through heartache and tears.
Let’s tell a common but often hidden or deeply buried in people’s hearts story. A true love that didn’t happen and was unlived.
It was the beginning of May. Too rainy. Vivian Lee sat in the car. It was her hobby to drive when her mind was foggy. Vivian’s concentration became good when she drove. Her thoughts were faster than the lightning bolts in her head. The woman has been to the place she drove to once. This will be the last time she visits that small town. Her independent attitude seemed like an eternal fight for freedom.
Peon is a good man. He loved the comfort of his home and rarely tried something new in his well-organized and hard-working life. It was challenging to say if he was unmarried or divorced. The only certain fact was he was single and probably mingling with various women. His charming smile, macho-type, and frivolous attitude made him look like a great man to be with.
Vivian and Peon knew each other since teenagers. Their bond didn’t fade away over the years. It was broken for a few years but they never stopped talking.
Their souls were close and similar in many aspects. If someone knew each other the best, it was them both. Many people thought these two were made for each other and were complementing halves of one heart. Once upon a time, Vivian and Peon thought that too, but it was long ago.
“I miss Being a teenager,” thought Vivan one Sunday morning when she woke up later than usual.
Vivian was an outsider in her teenage. She had only one best friend, and many unrequited loves. The girl never waited for a boy to make the first steps toward her. Vivan’s thought was: “I want to know if we will be together or not,” and that was a huge turn-off for the eventual love prospects.
Males don’t like to be chased by females, but, at the same time, men do nothing to win the girl of their interest which is a bit funny. However, a woman should possess feminine energy above all. Vivian as a teenager wasn’t like that.
After she was disappointed many times by the boys, Vivian found a newspaper with ads. Some people looked for friends. Vivan loved writing letters by hand which today is found funny by many humans. Back then, she found Peon’s postal address.
“I miss old times when there was military service. People were loyal and disciplined,” thought Peon on one Sunday he woke up around noon.
As a teenager, he was living in an invalid family. He had not much money and had to work to go out. His parent’s salaries went to his sister’s medical treatment. The boy was smart and loved mechanics. Before starting working, he had posted a friendship ad, because he had not had many friends.
Girls didn’t interest him much because he thought he had no right to love and be happy because of his family’s situation, but one day, a handwritten letter came. The name on it was Vivian.
For the first time in his life, Peon was curious about his new friend. He and Vivian exchanged handwritten letters two times per week and were equally impatient to read what the other wrote. That was the start of a beautiful and true friendship. Their bond started to become the forever one.
First Parting ways. People go blind when they date and sometimes forget their true friends.
Vivian and Peon became Best friends forever for the few months they wrote. After that, the computers started to overpower hand-written letters. Peon and Vivian started to chat every week on MIRC /Internet Relay Chat/ – one of the first online chat programs. They exchanged their phone numbers – the old phones that rang, not the mobile ones that made people distant.
Vivian and Peon finished school and continued to chat. Meanwhile, Valery found a boyfriend. He was her first love which the girl found at 11 years. When Vivian was eighteen she had never had a physical boyfriend. The girl loved deeply and platonically Peon. She found out that later in the years.
However, she started going out with her lover, Peon called her from time to time and then stopped to not bug her happiness. There were 2 years when Peon and Vivian didn’t talk. She broke up with her boyfriend and started to see another man. Peon continued to call her from time to time and their talks were as they never were apart – long and meaningful. The both of them haven’t seen each other.
Meeting for the first time in physical reality.
Vivian went between lovers because she wanted to be loved, but somehow her heart felt empty. She didn’t think about that much and went with the flow of life. What could be wrong? Sex was great, holding hands felt good, and she had a job she liked.
There came a time Vivian wanted to move in with her new lover from the Seatown because their passion was enormous and she fell in love with him deeply. The woman thought he was the man of her forever together in this life. She mobilized and moved from her hometown to the Seatown of her boyfriend. Vivian started a new job and place, sacrificing every comfort and wealthy future built by her parents in her hometown. The reasons were many but the main was her pure love for her man. He even proposed to her, giving her a ring she lost.
However, starting the new job, Vivian had training in the city where Peon lived. She was anxious to meet him. When Vivian called his number, she didn’t expect him to reply. He did and his calming voice made her happy. Every time they spoke on the phone, she felt relaxed and his voice calmed her chaotic mind.
The place the hotel she stayed for the training course. When she saw him, Vivian immediately fell for his individualistic and charismatic aura. He was tall and his smile made her happy. On his forehead was written he is a stable and serious man, who plays only on his rules. Peon’s clothes showed independence and success. No, he wasn’t the most handsome man in the world, but Vivian immediately felt an attraction to him on many levels.
Maybe it was love at first sight?
She couldn’t accept that because Vivan was in a relationship back then. Once committed, the woman never looked at someone else like a romantic prospect even if she fell hard for him. On the other side, Peon looked carefree and somehow distant, living in his world. They held, and Vivan’s heart started to beat faster and then she moved away from his closeness. Both friends went to drink and talked for a long time. Peon called a friend, which was a bit disappointing and saving at the same time because Vivian hardly controlled her rising passion for him. They both were at 25 years back then and wore similar hats. Peon’s friend thought they were a couple at first because the chemistry between them was enormous.
Time flew away and she should go back to her hotel. They met no more until she was in that town. Going back to her daily routine, Vivian repressed her emotions toward Peon. After all, She was in a relationship with another man.
When Peon and Vivian were 30, they met again in the Seatown the woman lived in. She had a crisis in her love life, but Peon calmed her with his voice and presence. He came to her town, called her, and had a long talk. When Vivian met him, her heart started to beat faster again and she even thought to try seducing him, because it was no random feeling. Her body felt it and in that moment she was ready to call it quits with her lover. Things between them were strained and broken over from few years.
Peon didn’t feel the same way, he called his friend and as usual, treated Vivian as an old friend he like to talk with. It has always been about the nonreciprocal feelings on Vivian’s side. She wanted Peon as a man, but he saw her only as a friend. That was the sad part of their story back then. Even so, Vivian and Peon talked a lot. They hugged and Vivian went back to her home. The glances she stole with Peon were intense and passionate, but he seemed as distant as before.
Childbirth made a change.
Between years Peon and Vivian talked a lot on the phone. They wrote online rarely, but their bond never faded. When Vivian gave birth to his daughter at 32, she had a sweet talk with Peon. He congratulated her and was happy, calling her “mom” with his smile and calming voice. It was a beautiful and shared moment between them, but somehow sad, lonely, and distant. Peon sounded happy, but under his voice tone sadness was present. Vivian was happy for the child, but alone in her life which couldn’t be hidden anymore. However, they stopped talking then. They didn’t speak a word to each other for 7 years.
When Vivian choose to become a single mom, she was lost. Living alone with her daughter was challenging. She had no time to speak with nobody, her schedule was tight and money was never enough. However, she managed to calm herself and made a somehow fortunate to-do list. Vivian contacted Peon first. She didn’t know the exact reasons for that, but maybe her body memory made her call him to hear his calming voice, or unconsciously, she wanted to be close to a true friend. Vivan had no friends in her current town. Some of them left her because of her new status as a single mother. People are cruel toward those who dare to make bold steps for change.
At first, Peon was skeptical of that renewed contact. He made clear on the first call he has no intentions of something serious because he told both Vivian and him have different lifestyles. He was compassionate as a friend to her. The woman asked: “Well, should I stop calling you then?” and the reply was a resounding “No”.
However, they started to call each other once per month first two months, then every week. Vivian gave courage to Peon to move on with his life, always building him up and he told she made him feel inspired. That was happiness. Thanks to Vivian, Peon grew wings and that was the biggest prize the woman had. For the past 22 years, she missed contact with Peon and now, as a true friend, she felt like finally doing something good for him. Vivian owned him so much.
Things started to complicate because romantic feelings started to pop up.
Peon’s jealousy showed once and Vivian started to become obsessed with him. They called almost daily and nobody went to the other. Once, Peon was in Vivian’s town but he didn’t call her to meet personally. He said he had a lot of work, and Vivian was highly disappointed. It was around 10 years since they haven’t met. Because of her empathy, she forgave that and they continue to talk. The breaking point came when she decided to visit his town after flirty conversations.
Vivian thought maybe they can be together as a couple and that created delusions in her mind. He once told her: “You’re a special girl who I always love in my way, but you’re not looking for me.” Even so, Vivian wanted to see him, believing she may change his mind because it seemed normal and possible in her eyes. She told him: “I want to see you wherever you are” and drove her car to his hometown.
However, they met again, hugged and her heart beat fast once again. Peon was the same. They spent all day together. While Vivian sat at Peon’s home, talking with his mother over a cup of wine, he told her: “I give you a topic to think about. Move here.”
At night, they went to a pub with Peon’s friends.
It was uncomfortable for Vivian but she was the one who made the meeting happen with that meeting. Peon told her: “These are my people and they will be. I told you not to come but you are here.” Vivian thought he was drunk, but felt out of her place. She observed Peon and his attitude toward his friends. He hugged the girls and somehow flirted with them.
His eyes were on Vivian all the time and he stood next to her. But that was too much for the woman. She exited the restaurant, staying outside to read a book, thinking to leave immediately or not. Surely, it was not her place here. Vivian wondered why she came and saw herself blinded by love and stupidity.
Later in the evening, Peon asked: “Do you want to stay, or do you want to go?” Vivian wanted to go because she felt out of place. They went out, he was happy about the meeting. When she got back to his home, they sat on the sofa. Peon was drunk and shared his past. He had a bad experience. Vivian hugged him because she couldn’t think what to say, but her heart started to beat fast and uncontrollably with desire. Peon heard it. He started to kiss her and then both of them lost in passion. It was too late to stop.
However, between the act, Peon told that should not happen and seemed disappointed their 20-years friendship ended in bed. He fell asleep, and Vivian couldn’t sleep. She understood that will be “forever together” for one night. In the lovemaking Peon never saw her as a romantic partner, but most likely as a friend in need of sex. She thought that way and usually her opinion was right. Pitiful.
Even so, she enjoyed the moments. Sleeping in the arms of a loved man all night long was a dream Vivian always had. With her ex-boyfriends that never happened. They or she went away from the bedroom after sex. The father of her daughter was the same. Every time they made love, he went out of bed and never cuddle her until the morning. Peon was different, but also distant.
On the next day, Vivian tried to flirt with Peon, thinking somehow things will change. Unfortunately, he kept her at a distance as always. Peon didn’t want to look into Vivian’s eyes. They didn’t talk much. Peon and Vivian went to drink a coffee outside. He was nervous and didn’t know what to say. She understood he felt ashamed and saw their night as a mistake.
Even so, Vivian stood friendly saying she enjoyed every moment with Peon, and that time will heal the stress between them. The woman also assured the man she will be there for him always as a friend because of their strong bond, but she knew he doesn’t see her as a woman. Vivian was a courageous woman, never leaving an important person in her life despite the challenging situations.
To Meet One Last Time.
After the questionable situation between Peon and Vivian, things changed and their relationship became one to the point of no return. A week after Vivian came back to her home, overthinking the one-night stand situation, she found the courage to call Peon and excuse herself. Why should she be excused, Vivian didn’t know, but she thought that will change the dynamics between her and the man. They had a conversation of excuses and somehow made up.
That became the start of a painful spiral between expectations and unclear feelings. Peon acted as a man, asking Vivian to move in with him immediately, but she told that can be done only when her daughter finishes school and also, there are details about the process. Peon got angry and nervous when told Vivian he doesn’t want expectations on him. It was clear he doesn’t want to commit to her. “I should have shut you off earlier because now we both are in pain,” told Peon on the phone.
“Why you didn’t?” asked Vivian after a few drinks because she knew what will come.
“I don’t know”, replied Peon.
“Think about it as long as you wish,” explained Vivian with tears, but a calm attitude.
“Look, we now can not be together. But that will not be forever,” told Peon.
“Look, I want to close that topic for now,” Vivian hung up the phone. She started to cry, hearing these lies.
Both of them continued to call each other.
At first, Peon started to look for a business partner in Vivian, thinking things are alright. The man moved on from her fast, but the woman didn’t let go. Vivian continued loving Peon and helping him with everything she got. She gave him a lot, without wanting something in return. He decided they were friends again, but the truth was different. Vivian just couldn’t let go and cut ties with him.
Their conversations were weird sometimes. Peon spoke about them like they were a couple, another time Vivian made her business talk. It wasn’t clear what their relationship is. Maybe it was a situationship between a friendship, wanting to have sex and business.
Vivian met for coffee with a few men but rejected them. Peon was out many times and it was unclear if he had sex with other women, but he called Vivian sometimes. The signs were clear he doesn’t want more than friendship.
Before Christmas, Peon and Vivian met again. It was more like a business meeting. Nobody told anything about their one night because that would make them break up their bond forever. Vivian started to flirt with Peon and he shut her off at first.
When he accompanied her home, Peon hugged her, wanting a bit more of that. Vivian was torn inside and didn’t want to have more intimacy with him. Her heart was humiliated and she became a breeze to Peon when left him wondering. That maybe was their last meeting.
Until today they call sometimes. Vivian gave Peon gifts, support, and her words. He stays loyal to her as a friend, saying he always stays. But something was off in their connection. It was to a point of no return.
Vivian cried a lot because of Peon’s coldness and often hides away in her world of writing and painting while taking care of her child. Every time she stops calling Peon, he does it. It was like a limbo between ghosting each other and trying to stay friends. Vivian felt mostly hurt than happy when she had a conversation with Peon, but she never left his side.
But on that May day, she decided to call it quits with him. She wanted to make it personal by going once again to his hometown, but their meeting was postponed for an unknown time when it will be the last one. It will happen when the time is proper because the break up between them is inevitable.
In her heart and mind, that is pretty clear. The past 23 years taught Vivian that when a man doesn’t want a woman, it’s better to say goodbye to him even if she loves him truly, loyally, faithfully, passionately, obsessively, and madly.
A love like that kills people’s hearts. They start to walk on shattered soul pieces to rebuild and never fall in love with another person anymore. Nevermore as stated in Edgar Allan Po’s “The Raven” poem.
When the feelings are not mutual, it’s better to walk away and find a better day. When there were love and passion, friendship has no place.
Through painful and good memories, Vivian understood better her heart and built self-respect. She will love forever Peon and maybe have no other man. It’s like an unconscious oath on herself. Some romances will never be lived at that their fullest.
True love is met once, but the saddest thing is when people should say: “Goodbye, My Love! This is the last night with you. Tomorrow I’m going home.”
My home would be where a man I love, lives, and he wraps his arms around me passionately.
My hope has always been to find mutual and reciprocal love that becomes eternal.
Unfortunately, to some people that doesn’t happen in a lifetime. But there is always the next life.