~~Chronicles of the
Children of Destiny
"Shards of a Broken Heart"
Daniel Thomas Andrew Daly
'If love lasts forever, Jonathon. If love, with all its great mystery, gentle heart, and tender kisses………. If love really does last forever Jonathon, do you love me? Do you really love me?' Jonathon looked at Kirstie, and waved the curls of her blonde hair, flowing in the gentle summer breeze, away from her simple yet elegant face. The wind blew in the poplars of Glebe Park, just near were they were laying on the green grass, in the heart of the nation's capital, Canberra, and Jonathon observed them for a moment, almost lost in thought. He did not respond instantly. No, that was not his way. And while, in truth, he did not view himself as the reserved type of individual many had often taken him for, he was honest enough to admit to himself a fair degree of caution guarded the heart of Jonathon Kolby.
He looked at her momentarily, and put up his hand to brush away the curls from her face. Jonathon Kolby could not speak honestly at this moment. At this moment, with such a sincere question - a question from a heart truly devoted to himself, in a way more than simple friendship spoke of - he could not honestly respond. But, looking at her, seeing the sincerity, the sheer intensity on the face of his closest friend, he knew he must answer. But what answer can a heart, a heart of broken shards, ever so closely guarded…….. What answer can such a heart really give?
He began, slowly, but sensitively. 'I, I. Oh, you know Kirstie. You know how I feel.'
'But that is just it Jon. I don't. You have never really said, you know. Never really let me know. It is why I asked.'
She looked at him, her earnest face demanding more of him than a simple 'You know.' It demanded more than such a response from a heart seemingly not yet willing to grant her the grace of honesty she truly desired.
Jonathon looked at her, made as if to wave the curls from her face, but she caught his hand suddenly, and looked right at him.
'I want to know, Jonathon. I want to know!' she demanded.
'But we are friends, aren't we. Close friends. Why do you want to mess with that? Why not let it be. In time, perhaps. Perhaps in time I can say the things you want to hear. But not yet, Kirst. Not now.'
She looked at him, and her face spoke a thousand words.
'So you don't love me.'
'I didn't say that. You're putting words into my mouth.'
'But you didn't say you did,' she retorted.
'No I didn't,' he replied softly, again brushing the curls from her face, this time her allowing him.'
She looked at him, the cute frown on her forehead ever a source of delight to him, and turned to look away. She was disappointed. He knew well she was disappointed. But that could not be avoided. In no real way, at this present time, could that dilemma be avoided.
Eventually she returned her gaze. 'Well are you fond of me? Can you at least tell me that much?'
'Of course I am Kirstie. Most fond. But to say more than that. To say more than that with the way may heart has been treated in the last few months. Well, not even I am that brave.'
'I understand,' she responded. But did she, really, thought Jonathon.
Silence descended and Jonathon took another bite of the apple he had started. It was their usual affair, now, eating lunch together. They worked in a public service department just near the park and for the past three weeks had started sharing their lunch times. Neither party, really, had suggested the idea, yet it had come about more out of a genuine friendship and desire to simply share some time together. They had both gone out to lunch, found each other in the park, and from there it had quickly become a tradition. And Jonathon had, with the state of his heart after his recent break-up, found himself healing in a therapeutic manner in his lunchtimes with Kirstie. But while in Kirstie he found an outlet of sympathy - the soft feminine touch - Kirstie it appeared had now started thinking something and expecting more of Jonathon than he had really at this stage desired. But could she really be blamed?
'Well, are we still on for the movies on Friday night?' Jonathon hoped mentioning this planned outing together would distract her.
She turned to him, smiled and nodded gently. 'Yes. Yes, we are still on. I suppose if movies are what you want out of our friendship I can oblige.'
He sensed the slight bitter tone in her statement, but thought better of responding. Perhaps better to not say something to cheer her up that he might regret later.
'Good. It is the latest Batman. It should be excellent. Unless you want to see something else, of course. I will understand if you do.'
'Perhaps something a bit softer, Jon. More human.'
'Oh, ok. So you don't like action.'
'It's not that. I just don't think I am in the mood for a Batman movie this week.'
'Ok. Well, we will choose when we get there. How about that?'
Yes, she was upset. It seemed what she had asked him had been on her mind for a little while, perhaps soon after their starting lunches together. And he had not given her the answer she wanted, or at least desired. But his heart, at this time, could not help that situation. She would just have to live with it.
After a while Kirstie seemed to brighten up a little, and they finished their lunch and returned to their offices. All that afternoon, though, Jonathon could tell there was a heart which needed attention, and while today was Wednesday and the movies still two days away, he would think of some way to brighten her up tomorrow. For, in fact, while he could not commit to the words she wanted to hear, she was really, in truth, the kind of person he felt, in time, he could do. And perhaps wanted to.
So he would tread carefully for now, and let the night heal a heart, and tomorrow treat her to something special.
Having managed to gain flex time for the afternoon, Jonathon persuaded Kirstie to also take the afternoon off, promising her something special. He brought her out to Glebe Park and they sat at a bench, he smiling at her.
'I know I disappointed you, Kirst, yesterday with what I had said. So I thought of something that might cheer you up. I know you love poodles and so this is a gift for you. Jack!'
Jack Kolby, Jonathon's younger brother, came out from the trees he was hiding in and presented Kirstie with a short-haired white poodle. Kirstie knelt down and patted it gently, saying hello to it, but after a while pulled away uninterested. Jonathon knelt down to pat it also, and looked at Kirstie. He got the point, though. She would not be bought off so cheaply. Not traded away from her heart's desire with a simple dog of all things.
'Look, if you don't like the dog I can get Jack to return it.'
She looked at him, straight into his eyes, and looked at the dog. And then she nodded. 'Yes, perhaps that would be for the best. I do like it, though. But best to return it. I don't think I could keep a dog at my flat anyway. The landlord probably wouldn't like it.'
'I guess I should have thought of that.' Jonathon turned to his younger brother. 'Jack, could you take the dog home with you? I will fetch her in the morning. The pet store said I could return it if things didn't work out.' Jack nodded and walked off with the dog, jumping along with it in a playful manner. Both Jonathon and Kirstie watched them go and Jonathon, sensing disapproval from Kirstie, turned to try and say the right thing.
'I guess trying to buy you off was not the right thing to do, huh?'
'Don't you think I deserve a bit more? If you can't say you love me, don't let a dog be a substitute, ok. I deserve better than that.'
'You're right. Of course, you're right. It was the easy way out, and I guess I am learning that now. There are not really any easy ways out in life. Play by the rules or learn the hard way, really.'
'I thought you would have known that by now.'
'I guess I am still learning. Hey, I am not God, you know. I don't know everything, and I admit that. I guess it is inevitable that I make mistakes. Only human, you see Kirst.'
She nodded. It was a true statement. 'That's alright Jon. I forgive you. But please, no more puppies. Just be true to me with what you say. Whatever else, as long as you are honest, I will be a true friend. You can count on that.'
'Thanks. Well, we have a whole afternoon to spend. Perhaps we go see that movie now instead of tomorrow night. There are a couple of chick flicks showing. You can choose whatever you want.'
'Well, okay. I suppose I really should return to work, but now that I have taken the time off a movie will do fine. But as long as it is a romantic one. I don't want to see yet another superhero movie. My brother watches them constantly and always tries to fill my head with what superhero has which powers and who is who and from what universe they are from. But he's a geek. I forgive him.'
Jonathon smiled, remembering his teenage years when such things were also a strong reality. He had been something of a comic geek himself, and still had a small collection of them.
They went to see a romantic movie that afternoon, and Kirstie ended up sobbing towards the emotional climax to the movie. Jonathon was a little teary eyed himself, and the movie spoke of things which brought back memories of his recent break-up. There had been two girls in his life in the last year. The first, the only girl he thought he would ever truly love, who had died in a car accident; and the second, one doomed from the start perhaps, but which had died the death he should have seen coming. Such had been the fate of dating a Goth-chick with a morbid sense of the afterlife, despite the stunning looks and raven black hair which had enticed him. But Sandra had been truly an 'Emo'. So intensely emotional and absolute in all she said and promised him, that he had literally bonded to her from the first time she started flirting with him. But in the end the ways of a child of darkness could not heal the hurt in his heart from the death of his girlfriend, and he and Sandra had separated, each going their own way. He still saw her in the city centre from time to time, as she worked not to far from him, but they were over with. Perhaps acquaintances at a party to chat about old times, but nothing more. Nothing more than that.
But now, now he was perhaps drifting towards Kirstie. Kirstie Smith who, in her own way, was incredibly normal. Yet in that normality an anchor on reality and straightforwardness that he needed. Jenny's death had cut him, in more ways than one. And then, just three months after that, his heart not even really begun in its healing, a firey romance with Sandra which had climaxed in a separation which only made his heart and head hurt even more. And at that stage his life seemed turned inside out and upside down.
But then Kirstie had drifted in. Innocent and beautiful Kirstie Smith, the most regular and down-to-earth types of girls, even more so than Jenny Taylor, who had been perfect to Jonathon.
The Glebe Park dates, or get togethers if not dates, had been the therapy which had begun healing the torn apart life of Jonathon Kolby. He knew that. And the source of that therapy was a girl who was starting to become dear to him. But could he love again? Could he trust again? Should he? And if not, could he allow Kirstie to be strung along the way he might in fact be doing. That really would not be fair for either of them.
When he dropped her back home that night to her shared flat, he knew he would have to straighten himself out. Somehow, someway, he would have to come to terms with the shards of his broken heart, and begin healing. He knew he owed Kirstie that much.
Jonathon opened the can of beer and started sipping. He didn't drink much at home, surprisingly, as he still liked the stuff. But the nights of getting drunk were something left to his late teenage years, and besides, his father had never really approved of drunkardness, always advocating the motto of drinking in moderation, something he had demonstrated soundly his whole life according to his mother.
He was at his parents today, Saturday. They lived in the Canberra suburb of Chifley where he had grown up. He usually drifted around to his parent's place once or twice a month, sometimes more, catching up or watching a 'Raiders' match on Pay TV with his dad. They were, in their own way, reliably consistent parents. They were average Australian's in many ways, perhaps in most ways, but with a good heart. They had taught him from his younger days positive values yet were not a religious family. However Jonathon had been baptized as a youth in the family tradition, but it had not been an issue after that.
Coming into the living room he picked up the remote control and switched on the television. Then desiring to see what was on Pay TV he picked up the other remote and started surfing. He was oblivious to his younger brother Jack who came into the room and after poking about at the bookcase came and sat down next to him.
'Hey Jon. When did you get here?'
Jon continued staring at the TV, flicking channels occasionally before replying. 'Oh, 10 minutes ago. Is dad and mum here?'
'Nope. Don't know were they are, actually. They left early this morning.'
'They've probably gone shopping and out to lunch. They might be back soon if that is the case.'
'Yeh, I guess.'
Jonathon settled on a cartoon channel with a superhero cartoon playing, which both he and his brother would like. He continued sipping his beer and, finding a little haven of escape in his parent's home, forgot all about his recent worries.
Half an hour later his parent's arrived home and Jack had disappeared back to his room. After a few minutes in the kitchen his dad wondered in, holding a can of soft drink, and looked at his son.
'Look what the cat dragged in,' he said, smiling at his son.
David Kolby sat down next to his son and, looking at the channel, made a play for the remote, which Jonathon was reluctant to give at first but eventually caved and handed it over. David flicked through the channels and settled on a replay of a cricket match, which Jonathon had no objections to.
Staring at the screen David eventually spoke up. 'So how is it going son? Work good?'
'Yeh, work's okay. Really, same as usual. I didn't get that promotion, but I did place second on their list out of the 7 interviewed. So better luck next time, I guess.'
'You'll get there. You're a Kolby, after all.'
Jonathon took another sip on his beer and then his dad spoke again.
'Have you dated that Kirstie girl you have been talking about yet?'
Jonathon scratched his head, slightly annoyed at the question, but answered anyway.
'Not yet dad.'
'Great shot!' said David, yelling at one of the cricket shots an Aussie batsmen had hit in the match. 'Well, you know son, you should. God knows me and Audrey loved Jenny, but she is gone now son. And I never thought Sandra was right for you. It is time to move on, son. Time to move on and start again.'
'I wish I could, but not yet. It doesn't feel right, yet.'
David took his eyes of the screen and turned to his son. 'You know, it may never feel right, Jon. It may never feel right again. But that is life, you know. That is what it is like being human. The important thing, though, is to move on with your life. To get over a problem which will only frustrate you eventually. To move on and start again.'
'I wish it were that simple dad.'
'And why isn't that simple.'
'Because love sucks, okay. You put your dreams into a girl and she dies on you. And then someone sucks you in for her little Goth-game and spits you out. Love sucks.'
'I don't think Sandra was using you. She was just being what she is. But Kirstie, from what you say of here, seems like someone to start again with.' He turned back to the screen, saying, 'Unless you want to be single your whole life.'
David turned to look at his father, considering those words, and turned back to the screen. He took another sip of beer before replying. 'No, I don't want to be a lifelong bachelor. Look, when I am ready, I will start again. But not now. Not for a while.'
'Whatever,' said David, and took a sip from his can of soft drink.
They sat there that afternoon, and as the cricket match approached its climax with an awesome one run victory to the Aussies, Jonathon had again forgotten the worries of his heart. But later on that night, driving home to his flat, he considered his father's words and knew that they made some sense. Perhaps that was the life wisdom of his father.
He knew he would have to move on and perhaps, to keep Kirstie available, soon. But something was needed. Some sort of release to give him the consolation of heart he desired. And wherever that was to come from he prayed it would be soon.
Jonathon sat typing away at his office PC. It was Monday morning and he was busy at his public service position working in his mid level basic administration position. It was pretty easy work now after the first few weeks of learning and adapting to the position, involving two databases and minor financial details. It was not exactly demanding, but he was very grateful for the position knowing that not everyone out there in the Australian workforce had it as good as him. Really, public service work in Australia was the good life if you followed the rules, bought your home at the right time and price, married the right person and put your kids through the right school. In some ways that was what Jonathon was also looking for - the regular, the mundane, the everyday. It had been the lifestyle he had been brought up with and it suited him well enough. He had never really dreamed of being a big rock star or famous movie actor - such were the fantasies of others. Grounding on reality, as his father might say, was the safest way to a successful life. Too many dreamers out there who didn't make the most of the basic opportunities given to them. He was sure he would never be one of them and would take the traditional way of success in life and follow the established patterns his family had long followed.
And in those patterns, a woman, a wife, was usually the standard practice. The Kolby's had never been given over to the many marriages mentality, quite common in this era, and Jonathon was in the Kolby mold. He wanted a wife, and one for life, which is were Jenny Taylor had seemed to fit the bill perfectly. But she was gone, not to return, and it was true. Soon he would have to move on.
And thinking on that he thought of Kirstie Smith. Kirstie was the everyday girl, very pretty and quite smart. She was only 21, 4 years younger than Jonathon, and was quite new to the service, having just finished her degree in finance. They had similar personalities in many ways, seemed to want the same general things out of life, and when they started going to the Park for their lunch dates, Jonathon sensed he was walking down a well established pathway. But he could not commit. Not just yet.
Thinking on Kirstie and looking at his work, which could wait a while, he decided to take a coffee break and walk over to her section to have a chat.
Kirstie worked on the level below Jonathon in the large public service department, working in the finance section for the department. She had started low, but was already working in a higher duties position which was in the process of becoming a full time appointment. She was already doing well, which didn't surprise Jonathon.
He climbed down the stairs, rather than taking the elevator, and came to her section. She was busy at work, occasionally chatting with Megan who sat near her and worked in her section. He came over to her were she was typing away, and patted her on her shoulder. She turned and when she saw his face, smiled beautifully. She gave him a gentle punch on his arm and said, 'Hey fella. What's up?'
'Oh, you know. Same as usual. No great demands on my time today so I thought we could grab a coffee break. Do you want to go to the cafeteria? Perhaps take half an hour flex?'
'I'll just clear that with the boss,' she said, and got up to go into the side office. She returned just moments later and smiled.
'It shouldn't be a problem. I can have an hour if I want. We are not too busy today.'
Sitting in the cafeteria Jonathon looked through the windows out at Glebe Park. Summer was ending and autumn was just about to begin. In fact he had spied yesterday the first few of the fallen leaves marking the change of seasons. Looking out at the houses beyond Glebe Park, those he could see, he was silently happy that he lived in such a beautiful city as Canberra. It was one of the cleaner cities in Australia, perhaps not perfect, but of a high standard. And as the nations capital it had a social culture attuned to a higher standard of behaviour than the average ocker Australian. This he believed so true from his rides on Canberra buses as compared to some of the time he had spent in Sydney and Melbourne, and even in Queanbeyan right next to Canberra. He assumed it was perhaps just the public servants who populated Canberra that made it that way, but of course it was the home of Parliament as well. Whatever the reason, Jonathon knew he desired to be in no other part of Australia and, really, no other part of the world. This was home to him. Home forever, perhaps.
Kirstie, two lattes in hand, with a muffin, sat down opposite him and broke the muffin into pieces. She took a bite and handed him a piece, which he ate happily.
'So what did you do for the weekend?' she asked him.
'Not much, really. Went to mum and dads. Dad had some advice, which I considered.'
'Really? What advice?'
'About my love life. What else. I think he wants grandchildren.'
'Is that such a bad thing?'
'No. Of course not. Everyone should want that. It is just that it is not the right time for me to think about those things. Perhaps later. Later on. In time. But not now.'
'So what are we, Jon? Are we anything?'
'We're friends aren't we?'
'And is that all? Just friends?'
'And what is wrong with that?' he asked.
She looked away, took a sip from her latte, and turned to look into his eyes.
'I need commitment, Jonathon Kolby. Every woman wants that. Every woman needs that. Okay. So while we are friends and everything, if you can't eventually make up your mind wether you like me in a more personal way, I will have to. Well. You know.'
'No, I don't know. But I can guess. Look elsewhere, you were going to say.'
She looked at him, softened her expression, and then nodded.
'I want family, Jon. I want a man who can commit to me, and not a dead girlfriend.' But as soon as she said that, seeing the look on his face, she said, 'Sorry. Sorry about that. But really, that is the way it is. Okay. That is the way it really is.'
'I know, Kirst. I know. Just give me some time, okay. Just give me some time.'
They sat for twenty minutes, sipping their lattes, eating their muffins, and after a while chatted small-talk. Eventually they returned to their offices, and when Jonathon got back to his desk, sitting in front of his PC, he sensed that he would now have to do something seriously about the issues of himself and Kirstie Smith. It needed to be resolved, and soon.
It was windy today. But that was not unusual in Canberra thought Jonathon, long used to the varying weather in the nation's capital. Kirstie was out on the grass of Glebe park, playing with the poodle. Jonathon had not returned it yet, and Jack, who was sitting next to him, had brought it along to the late lunch at his brother's request. He felt another go might now work as she would now no longer hold it against him and perhaps appreciate it. And seemingly it had.
He looked at Kirstie, silently admiring her beautiful figure and exuberant joy which she so readily displayed when happy. Watching her playing with the poodle it was as if all his fears and worries had been put aside, for the moment anyway, and he could just bask in the glow of a lovely late afternoon frolic in Glebe Park, enjoying the pleasure of seeing his close female friend in a playful and happy mood.
He watched her, absorbed in what he was looking at, and silently thinking to himself that Kirstie, perhaps, was the one destined for himself. Jenny had been perfect - he knew that. But God had taken her from him, never to come back. Perhaps she was in heaven, now, with a new lover. Perhaps an angel of God had silently been admiring and desiring her, and God had snatched her away, finding her someone else rather than the love-forsaken Jonathon Kolby. But how could God be that cruel to himself? But they were foolish thoughts anyway. Could God ever snatch a soul for such a selfish reason?
Kirstie had sandy blonde hair, with a tint of red in it at the moment due to dying a few months back, which had almost completely faded. He had silently wondered why she would ever change her hair colour as he found her natural colours so beautiful anyway. But, as men everywhere could testify, the ways of a woman are often beyond fathoming, especially in relation to how they dress and show themselves off.
She had greeny-blue eyes, which Kirstie said were hazel, and Jonathon did not question, having not known anyone with hazel coloured eyes prior. And her face was, while astonishingly simple in many ways, perhaps its purity belying this, also astonishingly beautiful and welcoming. As pretty as a model, he often felt.
Her figure, now that she was perhaps fully developed, or getting there, was quite voluptuous, with curves suited to his desires. Really, she was quite a woman to behold, and when dressed to kill was quite a head-turner.
In truth, Jonathon knew he could not really ask for another. That Kirstie had come into his life, perhaps too soon, but perhaps right at the very perfect moment. It was now, simply, a matter of healing from his past hurts, and letting the affections of Kirstie Smith come upon his heart.
Kirstie gave the dog one last cuddle, handed the leash back to Jack and sat down next to Jonathon. And, after a moment, she placed her hand in his hand, and leaned next to him. Momentarily she spoke up.
'Jonathon. I have a suggestion. And you can say no if you want to, but, really, I think it might help. I think it might help a lot.'
Curious, Jonathon answered. 'Yes, what is it?'
'Well, my mother had quite a challenging childhood. She was an orphan and was molested by her stepfather.'
'God, how horrible. I'm so sorry.'
'Thanks. Well, she had counselling a few years back. With a professional psychiatrist. And she told me it did wonders for her. Really helped her to let go of her past fears and worries and even led her to forgive her stepfather and find closure.'
Jonathon sensed were she was leading him, and spoke. 'So I take it you are suggesting I could use this counselling as well. To deal with my heart.'
'Dr Stern is very professional, Jon. She has 2 PhD's and has practiced for nearly 3 decades. If anyone can help, she can.'
Jonathon stroked Kirstie's hair, almost absent-mindedly, not really thinking on how intimate his actions were, but soon answered. 'Look, I will think about it Kirstie. Ok. But I can't promise you anything. Counselling is a big step, you know. And it is scary in the back of my mind. There are skeletons in there that I don't think I really want to share with anyone.'
'I think Dr Stern has probably dealt with more skeletons than you have had hot dinners. I don't think you will surprise her with anything you have to say, Jon. Honestly.'
'Ok. I will think about it.'
'Do. Please do. And let me know, ok. It could make something happen for us. And I do want that, Jon. I do want that.'
He nodded, and continued stroking her hair. He would think this over, this counselling idea. Give it thought later on tonight, and perhaps over the next few days. He was naturally reluctant, not really wanting to divulge his most intimate heart to others. But, perhaps, that was what he really needed to do. To find the healing he knew he needed, perhaps this was exactly the right thing to do. Perhaps.
The week was finished and Jonathon Kolby sat in his apartment, thinking back over the last few years, sipping on a beer. Jenny came to mind and their first encounter. Even now he could still remember her first words.
'Hey, fella. What's a nice guy like you doing in a place like this?'
Jon smiled, a little awkwardly, because the girl was cute. 'Isn't the guy supposed to say that, from memory?'
'Hey, I'm a new age girl. We ARE liberated now, you know. Not like the old days.'
Jon laughed a little at the comment. She seemed funny, this one. 'Well, I usually come to the Tradies to relax after work, but meeting new people is a bonus as well.'
'Hey, it's the only reason I would come to the Tradies. But, honestly, I didn't expect to meet someone like you. I would have thought all the blue collars would congregate here.'
'Oh, you get a mixed bag.'
'What do you do, hon?'
'Public Servant. Pays the bills, you know. Nothing better to do.'
She smiled at him, picked up her wine glass, and came to sit next to him.
'You don't mind do you?' she asked, inquiring wether he had no objections to her sitting down.
'Feel free,' responded Jonathon.
She took a sip from her wineglass, and looked up at the Keno numbers. 'Damn,' she said. 'One more number and I would have won.'
'Always the way,' responded Jonathon.
'What is your name,' she asked him.
'Jonathon. Jonathon Kolby. But you can call me Jon if you like.'
'Ok. Jon it is. You can call me Jenny or even Jen if you want. Jenny Taylor. 21, single and looking.'
'I'm 23, single and, yeh, I guess I am looking too.'
'And you come to the Tradies to find a girl?'
'Not really. Just a place to unwind. Often the kind of women who come here are real sheilas, if you know what I mean.'
'I could imagine. What department are you in?'
'Aviation. Just over near the Casino in Civic.'
'Yeh, I know the place. I have a cousin who works there.'
'Really? What is his or her name?'
'Ralph Stewart. I am pretty sure it is Aviation and that is the place. But I have never met him at work, so I couldn't say for sure.'
'Sorry, I don't think I know him. But it is a big place. Most departments are.'
'Yeh, sure. You know, Jon. You are pretty cute. My kind of guy, I think.'
Jon smiled, but was a little embarrassed. Jenny really was a good looking lass herself. Brown hair, with a lovely smile. And she seemed to like him, which was a bonus.
'So, are you hungry? Why don't we have a meal together? That is if you are not meeting someone?'
'Thanks handsome,' she responded. 'That would be lovely.'
Jon looked at the clock. It read 10 to 6. 'The bistro opens in ten minutes. Do you want to play the pokies until then? I will shout you some dollar coins.'
She smiled again. 'You really are sweet, Jon. But I have enough money of my own. I am not a gold digger, you know. I work in my own job in a chemist, full time as well. I can take care of myself.'
'I am sure you can,' responded Jon. 'Take it as a gift from a new stranger.'
'Well, putting it that way.'
They got to their feet and walked over to the pokies section.
After about 5 minutes Jenny had made a profit of about $20 on one of the machines, and was chatting to Jon about how lucky she was being.
'I am never this lucky, you know Jon. I think you are perhaps really good luck for me.'
'Let's hope so. Now try for the jackpot.'
Jenny smiled and went back to the machine.
As he sat in his apartment thinking back over that encounter, a tear came to Jonathon's eye. He missed Jenny. Really, he did miss Jenny. She was a straightforward and honest girl, and always spoke her mind. And her beauty had haunted him ever since she had left him.
He came into his room, put on a Mozart CD, and laid on his bed. 'To you Jenny,' he said, raising his beer-can. A half an hour later he was snoring loudly, his mind full of dreams of poker machines and pretty women.
Jonathon looked up at the writing on the wall. 'Bon Jovi, coming to Canberra for the first time ever.' He couldn't believe it. He really couldn't believe it. He was a diehard Bon Jovi fan, and had been since he was young. There music, perhaps like no other, spoke to his heart. When Jon sang on 'Stick to your guns' from the New Jersey Album, 'Aim from the heart. Some will love and some will curse you baby. You can pull the trigger, but only if you had to. Yeh, only if you had to.' The man was pure passion, to Jonathon Kolby. Pure passion. And he had grown up with that music and, as he grew and concentrated on understanding the lyrical message behind Jon's intentions, he grew up as a person. In a funny way Bon Jovi were Jonathon Kolby's spiritual mentors. They were a normal hard rock band, but there was something different about them. Something deeper. And when you went into the lyrical content of any Bon Jovi album and analysed it deeply, you began to understand that they were sledged by many on the alternative scene because they were actually better musicians with a better quality of music, and others were simply jealous.
One song had long struck Jonathon. "Diamond Ring, were it on your hand, going to tell the world, I'm your only man. Diamond ring, Diamond ring. Darling you're my everything, Diamond Ring'.
Jon hoped he would find a diamond ring one day. One lady, pure, loving, affectionate. One lady he would not be ashamed to stand behind and show his purest heart. One lady who would be his everything. Instinctively he thought on Kirstie. Perhaps Kirstie was the one. Perhaps Kirstie Smith, blonde haired beauty with a heart full of soul, was the perfect one to come into his life. But had he already given that Diamond ring away? Had his heart already loved in a way it could never love again?
He thought on Kirstie's suggestion about the counselling. Perhaps that would be the next logical step in the healing process his heart so desperately needed. Perhaps that would be the right thing to do.
'Jon. What are you thinking about?' Kirstie had snuck up on him were he was standing at the bulletin board, lost in thought. He looked to be concentrating deeply and Kirstie wondered innocently what was on his mind.
'Uh, oh.' He looked at the poster. 'Oh yeh. Bon Jovi are coming to town. And they are incredible Kirstie. We have got to go see them live, ok.'
Kirstie looked at the poster. 'Well, ok. If you want to. You like them do you?'
'I know living on a prayer, but not much else, you know.'
'That is one of their classics. I love them to death, really.'
'Ok we'll go see them. If that makes you happy. What are doing now? Do you want to go get some lunch?'
Jon thought on that. 'Uh yeh, sure. Why not. I'll just go log off on my PC. Meet you at the cafeteria in 5, ok.'
'I'll be there.'
Jonathon waved at her and returned to his desk. Logging off he was happy at the Bon Jovi tour coming to Canberra. It had made his day. And thinking on how a good thing had happened in his life, he suddenly found it easy to consent to Kirstie's suggestion. Perhaps counselling was for him. He would find out soon enough.
Getting home that afternoon, Jonathon was inspired to put on the New Jersey album. As the intro drum beats of 'Lay your hands on me' began, he sat on his sofa, relaxing. The music was passionate - oh so passionate, and his mind turned to that girl of passion who had entered into his life just after the death of Jenny Taylor. Sandra. How could he ever forget Sandra?
'Hey, wassup?' Jonathon sitting in a Civic café looked at the Goth chick who had just said hello to him.
'Oh, you know. Same old shit.'
'Cool. Can I sit,' she asked.
Sandra sat down opposite him, and looked at the menu.
'Vegeburger. I'll have one of them.'
'You're a vegetarian, I take it?' asked Jonathon innocently.
'Hell no. I love my meat. But vegeburgers are yummy. Especially the Hungry Jack's ones. I am addicted to those ones.'
'Yeh, they're ok,' responded Jon.
The girl picked up her backpack and brought out a CD. It was Evanescence's 'Fallen' album. 'This is the fucking best album ever made ever, bro.' said the chick. 'You have heard it haven't you?'
Jonathon looked at the CD. 'The Daredevil song, right? I have seen the video.'
'Fucking A. Amy Lee - she is God, you know. If God were a chick.'
Jonathon smiled at the language. It was typical for a teen, but perhaps this tween girl had not really grown up that much yet. She was a Goth after all.
'So you're a Goth, I take it?'
'I am fucking Emo. There is a difference you know.'
'Sorry. I am sure there is.'
'That's ok,' she said softening. 'My name is Sandra. What's yours?'
'Jonathon. Jonathon Kolby.'
'Nice name. So what do you do?'
'Shit, you must be bored then. Office work is hell to me.'
'Do you work?'
'Yeh. For my dad. A receptionist. He doesn't hassle me to do much and pays me a lot. I find it fucking boring, but he gives me money so I don't complain.'
'And then you buy Evanescence CDs with the money?'
'Hey, don't knock them. They kick ass. I can lend you the album if you like. You'll love em. Trust me.'
'I'll think about it.'
Sandra looked at him, and noticed his looks. 'You're ok looking, you know. And you dress ok for a public servant. But the question is,' she said somewhat dramatically, 'do you have a dark side?'
Jonathon tried a joke. In a gravely voice he said, 'Emporer Palpatine enlisted me long ago. For I am,' he said pausing, 'Darth Insanus!'
Sandra burst out laughing at the joke.
'Darth Insanus, hey. Huh, you're funny. That is a good one.'
Jonathon smiled to himself, pleased at his little Star Wars joke.
'Yes, Darth Insanus. Legendary brother to Darth Maul. And he is vengeful, believe me. Obi wan must pay for his brother's death. Insanus will have his revenge.'
Sandra continued to chuckle. She had been raised a Star Wars geek as well.
'But what will Luke do? Will he confront,' she paused dramatically again, 'the DREADED INSANUS?'
Jonathon paused. 'Well, we all know Mr Lucas is secretly busy at work on Episodes 7 to 9. Despite his claims he can't fool us all.
She smiled. 'Let's hope so.'
They chatted casually, then, for an half hour and as time passed Jonathon's mind was taken away somewhat from the mourning of the death of his recent girlfriend, Jenny Taylor. This Sandra girl, whatever else, was definitely entertaining.
Sitting on the couch, reflecting back on that first encounter with Sandra, Jonathon smiled. They had ultimately separated after their 7 month romance. She said she needed someone more into the Emo scene. But they kept in touch and his heart was glad that life had not stolen this one to from him. But life moves on, and perhaps the next girl was the one. 'Third time is the charm,' he thought to himself.
Jonathon was excited. He had never gotten this far on Super Mario World before - ever. The final level and the last big boss. Soon he would rescue the princess.
Half an hour later, his brother Jack constantly boasting that he had finished the game years ago, Jonathon had an ego. The little DS game had been fun all day and he was glad he had finally finished it.
His father, sitting down in the lounge of their home, flicked on the TV and started watching some golf.
'Golf?' commented Jonathon. 'You have never been into that.'
'Well, I played a game recently, and have taken a bit of interest.'
'Yeh, ok. Not my type of sport, but each to his own.'
'Yep. How are you going with that Kirstie girl?' his father asked.
'She suggested counselling. Help me to deal with my past problems - you know with Jenny and Sandra.'
'Might be a good idea.'
'I have generally concluded the same myself. Sort of made up my mind the other day. The psychiatrist works in the city. A woman - Dr Stern. Apparently she has been practicing for years with great success. I suppose she might have something useful to say.'
'It couldn't hurt son. And I think Kirstie is worth the effort.'
'I am not doing this for Kirstie, dad,' said Jonathon, mildly annoyed. 'I am doing it for me.'
'Sure you are. But you need to move on as well, and that is why you are doing it for Kirst.'
Jonathon looked at him squarely, but acknowledged the point. Perhaps his father did know better.
'When are you going for the first session then?' his father asked.
'Well, I will get the contact details from Kirstie on Monday and find a time. But it will be soon.'
'And then you can get back to a normal life.'
'Let's hope so.'
* * * * *
At work on Monday Jonathon found himself to Kirstie's desk and shared with her his decision. She got up instantly and hugged him, telling him he had made the right decision.
'It will only help, Jon. Believe me. You will be a new man after a while. Over your past heartbreaks.'
'I hope so, Kirst. I hope so.'
She looked at him, and suggested something which had been on her mind for a little while.
'You know, Mr Kolby. If you go through with this counselling, you may find your heart opening up and healing in many ways. Dr Stern is a practicing Jew and teaches basic spirituality.'
'God know. Religion is not for me, Kirst.'
'But weren't you baptized.'
'Uh, yeh. But the family has never made a big deal of it.'
'Oh, ok. But it couldn't hurt, you know. And I bought you this.'
She reached down to her desk and picked up a King James Bible. She handed it to him and he looked it over.
'The bible, huh? I think dad has a copy in his bookshelf, if he ever reads it. What, are you religious or something?'
'I go to church every week. Didn't I mention it?'
'I must have not noticed.'
'Oh well. Still, you should read it. There is a lot of wise advice in it.'
'A lot of controversy as well. The churches fight each other constantly.'
'Not as much as they used to, ok. They are getting along better these days. Less bickering and infighting.'
'If you say so.' He looked at the large leather bound copy of the King James Bible he had given her. It was heavy, which made him think that the publishers wanted its spiritual value to be emphasized because of it. He would honour Kirstie's desires, though, and have a look at it over the next few weeks. Whatever else, it couldn't hurt.
They had lunch together that day, and Kirstie was constantly smiling at him, joyful as she possibly could be at Jonathon's decision to seek the counselling. He had made his best friend happy with this decision, as he could plainly see. And that, for now, was a good thing. If they were to be together, doing things for each other seemed a necessary step for a relationship to work properly.
Later on that night he sat down and started reading the first book of Genesis of the Bible. He got up to chapter nine, which talked of a covenant with mankind the sign being the Rainbow, and put the book down. The genealogies had been tedious, but the lessons seemed obvious enough to himself. Perhaps this book was still just the basic sense of morality society observed. He thought himself a moral enough person, and had not really bothered with religion because of it. He had always felt that those who went to church simply needed a fix more than other people. He was fine himself, so didn't bother. And having read through the early part of the bible he seemed content enough with his position. But he would continue with the study, more for Kirstie's sake than his own. Perhaps it had something useful to say. Perhaps.
Jonathon looked nervously at the glass exterior walls of the office. Kirstie was with him, holding his hand.
'Well,' she said, looking at him. 'Are you ready?'
'I guess,' he replied. She opened the door to Dr Stern's office and they both approached the receptionist.
'We are here to see Dr Stern,' began Kirstie. 'An 11 O'clock appointment for Mr Kolby.'
The receptionist nodded, pressed a buzzer, and after a few moments Dr Stern herself came through a door and motioned them to come inside.
'Jonathon. Good to meet you,' said Dr Stern, offering him her hand, which he took and shook.'
'Thanks. I hope this can help.'
'Whatever help it gives you often comes from your own sense of desire to be healed. There is an ancient saying - 'Physician, heal thyself. If you want to be healed Jonathon Kolby, much of it, most of it, will come down to your own desire.'
Jonathon nodded. That much seemed to make sense at least.
Kirstie touched his arm. 'Do you want me to sit in with you, or wait outside?'
Jonathon considered that for a moment but, knowing he trusted Kirstie implicitly and that it had been her own idea, assented to her staying.
The Dr motioned for Jonathon to lie down on a couch, and Kirstie sat on a seat against the wall.
Dr Stern began her approach, having gotten an immediate impression on the nature of this new client, and assessing the best approach, from her experience, to begin with.
'Jonathon. Now relax. There is nothing in here which will cause you any harm. There are no tales I will tell of what you tell me. It is confidential. This is a place of healing, Jonathon. A place were you can deal with your anxieties and release them. And then go forward a new man. Now tell me, what is the main reason for your visit. And speak freely.'
Jonathon began. 'A little while back I met a girl. And I loved her. Straight away I loved her, and was thinking of marriage. But she,' he paused. He found this difficult, bringing this part up. But he knew he needed to. 'But she died. And I lost the love of my life.'
Dr Stern nodded. It was something not unfamiliar to herself.
'And your heart has been hurting, hasn't it Jonathon.'
'Constantly,' he replied.
'Tell me, did you feel guilty when she died. As if it were your fault.'
Jonathon looked at the doctor and sensed she perhaps already knew what he had done. 'Guilty. I don't believe in guilt. But I felt remorse. Certainly I felt remorse.'
The doctor nodded, and continued her questions.
'How did she die?'
Jonathon froze up then. He did not think he could speak so soon of that. 'Look, doctor. Maybe later I can speak about that. But not now, ok. Please don't ask.'
'Very well. So tell me, what has it been like since her death. How have you managed to cope.'
'Oh, life goes on. My heart has been broken in shards, especially after Sandra left as well, but life goes on. Hey, I'm a Kolby. We're made of the right stuff.'
'Everyone hurts sometime, Jonathon. Even the toughest of us. People with Iron wills are often the most sensitive of souls behind that tough exterior. So you are not fooling me.'
Jon decided to be a little more honest. 'It has been hard. When a girl who you were going to marry is snatched from you, well…… It just sucks.'
'You have had the blues, then.'
'In a nutshell.'
The Doctor nodded. This was, really, not a difficult case to fathom out. He had lost someone and his heart was hurting. He needed time to deal with the grief and move on. Now, her role as she saw it, was to mentor him back to a place were he had dealt with his sorrow and regained his strength of soul to go on and risk love again.
'Jonathon, your story is a tragedy. But let me say something. For thousands of years such tales have been told. It is not new. Of course, when it happens to you, it feels as if you are all alone and the world is against you. But you are not alone, Jonathon. Kirstie your friend is with you and she will be there to share your heart. If I have any advice in this first session to give you it is this. Realize that your experiences, while unique to yourself, are part of a long history in mankind of life, death and the struggle for existence. So many tragedies have gone before us, but I will quote your own words. Life goes on, doesn't it Jonathon. You got back to work, returned to your routine, and moved on with your life. Your heart hurt, and will probably never heal completely, but life simply goes on. We can't change the past, Jon. We can never do that. But the future is our gift. And for the healing you need for your heart, think on the gift of the future and what you can make out of it. Perhaps think of loving again, and the joy that will give you. If you can find that sort of peace, the hurts of the past will gradually heal and you will become a new man.'
Jonathon listened carefully to all this counsellor had to say. The words, in a way, seemed like timeless advice. As if they had echoed down the centuries from a soul who truly understood.
'Thanks doc, I'll try.'
They continued the half an hour session for a while longer, him briefly sharing his first encounters with Jenny and Sandra. And, after leaving the office and walking to the car with Kirstie, Jonathon reflected on something the doctor had said. The future is a gift. And with that gift, so he felt, he could shape his dreams and let go of the sorrows of the past.
'That is a big one,' commented Jack at Jonathon's catch. They were at Lake Eucumbene fishing, and Jonathon had just caught a large trout, the biggest of his life.
'Are we going to eat it,' Jack asked.
'Why not,' responded Jonathon.
Later on, as they munched on the fried fish and chips which they had also brought along, Jonathon reflected on the counselling session. It seemed, so far, to have done him some good. He had let go of some grief having got it off his chest and the healing process had begun. He was now glad of Kirstie's suggestion, and happy with Dr Stern who seemed to care.
Jack spoke. 'It is getting bloody cold, Jon. And I don't like the looks of those clouds. Perhaps we should head home instead of camping the night.'
Jonathon looked at grey clouds to the south as they rolled towards them. They were grim and bitter, and he spied lightning occasionally. Could be a storm.
'Yeh, ok Jack. Probably for the best.'
As they drove along in the storm, the car shaking violently in the extreme wind and rain, Jonathon gave thought to how life sprang things at you, sometimes quite suddenly. And that was how it was with his second encounter with the Emo Sandra.
'For fuck's sake. It's jonny boy.'
Jonathon looked up at the Emo chick he had met the other day. Here she was again. She sat down opposite him, smiled, and said boldly, 'I am going to have another fucking Vegeburger. What do you say to that?'
'Your anything if not predictable.'
'Oh har har har,' but she was grinning.
She looked at the menu, and then looked at him as he made his way through his burger. Suddenly she stood, and grabbed his arm. 'Come with me soldier.'
'Well, ok. But can I finish my burger first?'
'No. Finish what you are chewing.'
He dutifully did so. She grabbed his arm and dragged him outside the café down the street a little to come against a wall.
'What now,' he asked.
'This,' she responded, and continued to put her lips to his and pash him furiously. After a while he felt her hand at his crotch, but moved it away, and pulled away from the kiss.
'Your not exactly shy in coming forward, are you.'
'When a girl sees what she likes…'
Jon smiled. She was a force of nature, this one, it seemed. Totally unstoppable.
She gave him a wicked grin. 'Do you want to come back to my place and we can, you know.'
Jonathon was not sure about that. He and Jenny had never actually done the deed, as Jenny wanted to wait until marriage. He was not completely a virgin, having had safe sex a few times, but was still a little nervous.
'Well, yeh, I guess.'
'Come on. Forget your burger, I will give you something much nicer to eat,' she said, placing his hand at her womanhood.
'Mmm,' said Jon.
They were furiously passionate in their lovemaking that afternoon and Jon was overcome with her physical lust for him. She was all over his body, caressing and kissing and doing the things he liked. She was something else of a lover.
'Jon, what are you thinking about?'
Jon woke from his reflections. 'Uh, sorry Jack. My mind was elsewhere.'
'Sure. Well, do you think the Raiders will win on the weekend.'
The conversation carried on, but Jon, while he was listening to Jack, was silently reflecting on Sandra. She was a force of nature, alright. As passionate as the storm he was currently in, and life with her had been anything but stable. Perhaps it was for the best it was over, but whatever else Sandra had been a most exciting experience. One to never forget.
'No. Look, no. I just don't want to. Not today.' Dr Stern backed off somewhat, taking the hint that he didn't want to speak of Jenny's death.
'Well, perhaps you could speak of Sandra some more. What lead to the break-up?'
Jonathon considered that. He considered that and decided he could share that information.
'Sandra and I couldn't have worked in the end. It was passion: pure and simple as that. But it was passion in which neither of us, ultimately, saw long term commitment. It was never meant to be.'
'And why was that?'
'Too different in the end. Two different species which were never meant to interbreed. I don't really know if I am of the light, but she is of the dark, and that is the way it was always going to be.'
Dr Stern nodded. She had an inkling of Sandra's Emo nature from what Jonathon had shared with her, and now the picture was becoming clearer.
'How did that passion
~~Chronicles of the