Tweed Becker

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Status: Finished  |  Genre: Romance  |  House: Booksie Classic

Love lost refuses to die in a past he can't forget, while new love offers the promise of happiness in the caring arms of a woman he can't live without.

The only other person besides Helen that Tweed Becker had ever romantically cared for was a Catholic schoolgirl whose ill fate it was to fall under the grim shadow of teenage pregnancy.  Even though it wasn’t his, had the pregnancy carried to term, Tweed would have been a loving father to the child and would have certainly been faithful to the baby’s mother, who was his best friend and closest academic companion in high-school.  

The girl’s features were homely and plain, yet charming and lovely in Tweed’s watery gray eyes.  Her name was Amalie, which is a variant of Emily.  She confided in Tweed about the one who had put her in the family way, the only one with whom she had been physically intimate.  He was a senior and star football player.  The popular varsity letterman had laughed at Amalie when she revealed the alarming secret that she had missed her period for long enough to know the distressing truth.  For nearly three grueling months she waited hoping he would stand by her side to face a reality that both had brought upon themselves together.  The macho athlete shouted hatefully at Amalie when, behind the stadium one night after a victorious home game, she attempted to press the issue.  He told her he would say it wasn’t his, and that he would tell everyone she was a liar and a whore.

At such a tender young age of innocence, Amalie felt the rancid sorrow of betrayal.  She was humiliated and scared.  In tears of fearful anguish, she had sought help from Tweed, who, at the time, lived two houses down the street from where Amalie’s family resided.  She implored him to take her to a clinic for an abortion.  He pleaded with her not to do it, but she broke down into torso-wracking sobs, wailing that she didn’t want something growing inside her that had the flesh of that godawful hateful jock.

Against his better judgement, Tweed agreed to take Amalie to the clinic.  When the deed was done, she began sinking into a deep dark depression from which Tweed feared the sensitive girl would never recover.  Amalie’s traumatic emotional torment was rooted in the fact that she was from a family of devout practising Catholics.  To a Catholic, abortion is an anathema - an unforgivable cardinal sin.  

The tortured girl’s worst fears were realized when an elderly neighbor who happened to witness Amalie exiting the abortion clinic whispered this lurid gossip to the girl’s mother, who, of course, told Amalie’s father the minute he got home from work.

That evening boded ill for poor Amalie.  Her burden rapidly escalated, growing far heavier than her youthful constitution could bear.  There was a pitiful scene of violent domestic quarreling during which Amalie was mercilessly grilled until, battered by hurtful guilt of the disturbing act, the berated girl confessed the truth.  

The shock and the shame were too much for one so inexperienced and so emotionally ostracized from her own immediate blood relations.  She could no longer hold up under the suffocating pressure of the overpowering psychological strain.  She felt dirty and unworthy.  Late that night while the rest of her family were sleeping, Amalie quietly made her way down into the basement where her father kept his guns locked away in a pine bureau fronted by glass doors.  The mentally fractured adolescent wept bitterly as she slowly descended the creaking wooden steps one by one.

The heartbroken maiden knew, as she forced open her father’s gun cabinet, that it was highly unlikely anyone would hear the shattering glass from the cellar all the way upstairs in their second story bedrooms.  

Amalie Fantana carefully inserted a double-aught buck shotgun shell into her daddy’s twelve gauge, then shoved the muzzle of the firearm into her trembling mouth.  The family was awakened from their slumber when the weapon discharged.

Tweed was crushed, utterly devastated, when news of the horrid tragedy reached his ears.  He swore he would never love again, yet that was before (nearly two decades of self-imposed isolation later) he met hauntingly beautiful and intellectually vibrant Helen Devereaux.

He was profoundly impressed by Helen’s gifted mind.  The distant flame in her emerald eyes was a stronger pull on his lonely soul than the deep need in his far from dead manhood could deny.

Tweed Becker has become deeply enamoured of Helen.  Her compassionate understanding has healed the old wound.  The painful memory of sad Amalie has, by Helen’s sympathetic grace, been nearly entirely swept from his weary desperate mind.  He writes his thoughts to Helen in his own awkward scrawl on scraps of paper such as the back of a boarding pass or receipt from a country market.  In his own neurotic way, these little notes to Helen are Tweed’s anodyne for the remorse of the love he lost so long ago in the dying past.  One of his confused messages, secreted by an unknown observer assigned to spy on Tweed’s investigation of the mysterious disappearances of a growing number of ill-fated locals in the backwater seafood village where the disturbing crimes are being committed, runs thus….

The revered Enlightenment writer, François-Marie Arouet, a/k/a Voltaire, do you know where his corporeal remains are interred?  The Crypt of the Panthéon!  They aren’t even called his corporeal remains, they are referred to as his relics, and what they are interred in is not called a casket, it’s an entirely different species of sarcophagus known as a reliquary châsse.

Voltaire wrote that “a person or group of persons who can sway you to believe an absurdity can induce you to commit atrocities.”  

So then, media hype, that is to say, propaganda, is no new phenomenon - it has been insidiously attacking the human mind for centuries.  We must be ever on guard against our subconscious being subliminally infiltrated by conspiratorial lies mass disseminated by cloaked Spin Doctors.

Originally constructed as a church dedicated to Saint Genevieve, the Panthéon is a vintage trophy of Neoclassicism, architecturally inspired by the mysterious aura of the Gothic Cathedral, the orderly solemnity of the Pantheon in Rome, all crowned by a glorious dome infused with the High Renaissance spirit of Donato Bramante’s Tempietto (Little Temple).  The copula, the lantern, the tambour, the capitals of the colonnade - few are those who aren’t supernally enchanted by the monumental charm of Soufflot’s exalted magnum opus.

The inspiring Panthéon can be found in the Latin Quarter of the City of Love.  According to his own words, Ernest Hemingway was fond of relaxing in the outdoor seating areas of bistros in this famous Parisian neighborhood where he would compose paragraphs for novels such as A Farewell to Arms while watching the light change as the sun dipped low on the western horizon.  

That’s lovely, I’m sure, yet I prefer the privacy of my own backyard overlooking the sparkling salty water of East Bay, especially at sunset or during the rise of the full moon.  The romantic gravitational dance between Earth and her silvery celestial companion is perfectly choreographed so that when the moon is full, the ghostly orb always rises in its mystical blood-red splendor immediately after sunset.  I am passionately in love with the ethereal beauty of natural wonders.  I adore you, Helen.  You are the Queen of my Heart.  My labors are to serve you.  My quest is to win your favor.

Submitted: February 14, 2018

© Copyright 2021 Sean Terrence Best. All rights reserved.

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I enjoyed this story of love lost and possibly found again.

Wed, February 14th, 2018 7:00am


Happy Valentine's Day, Theresa! If I lived on your street, I'd be knocking on your door this morning with a heart-shaped box of chocolates and a dozen roses! (if you're married, please tell your husband I meant no transgression as I didn't know you were espoused) A thousand and one thank yous, divine Theresa, for your eloquent encouragement, so inspiring as always! I think I'm beginning to develop a charming psychological dependency on your fabulous bolstering support which goes to show what a wonderful endearing companion in the literary arts you are! I've said it before and I'll say it again, you know how to say exactly what I want to hear! Thank you so very, very much, Theresa. My gratitude to you is forever. May you have all you want and plenty of time to thrill in your heart's delight!

Wed, February 14th, 2018 5:13am

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