Resting Place

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Status: Finished  |  Genre: Romance  |  House: Booksie Classic
Visiting a lonely grave inspires a romantic tale of how the young man buried there may have met his final resting place.

Submitted: June 10, 2008

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Submitted: June 10, 2008

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The massive weather beaten stone read John A. Gomes. Who was he? I pondered. The archaic tombstone revealed he was born January 18th 1883 and had died March 2nd 1904, over a century ago! I ogled. That was when I began to imagine this stranger's history, who he had been and how fate had swallowed him up with no mercy at such a young age.

I had visions of a young man; tall,bold,strong and notably appealing to woman of all ages. His body was magnificently chiseled from hard labor along the railroad. His dark and mysterious eyes gave the impression he was dangerous; but only if he was threatened. Most days John would go about his business without giving anyone much acknowledgment,it wasn't that he was hasty or unkind, rather he was quite shy until he encountered Elizabeth and Eddie. Elizabeth was by far the most beautiful woman John had seen. His heart was captured by her first radiant smile she flashed in his direction. She and her brother Eddie,had just stepped off the train disembarking from Boston. He had to meet her! He fought with desperation,struggling with the correct way to approach this sensual young woman. Far from the introverted fascade that John had always relied upon to keep him out of trouble;without hesitation,he approached Elizabeth with a confidence he didn't know he was capable of. He boldly waltzed toward her direction,took Elizabeth by the hand and whispered feverishly in her ear, \"I knew you would come eventually, I've been waiting for so long!\" This statement took the young women by surprise,what was he implying? Her pale complexion and long golden hair framed her sparkling amber eyes. She appeared to be in her mid twenties,average height,the body of a goddess;he noted to himself. \"Excuse me sir?\" she replied. \"Forgive me for being so abrupt, I have waited so long to meet you in person\" John answered. \"I've dreamt of you for as long as I can remember, you are indeed the woman of my dreams, I have always loved you!\" This, of course, alarmed Elizabeth but with such an honest and heartfelt confession she was immediately smitten. Her brother Eddie just shook his head and gathered up his luggage from the platform. Eddie declared he was going to the nearest saloon for a stiff drink. Elizabeth waved him off and immediately transfixed her attention towards John.

As I sat in the serene setting of the cemetery imagining this life of John A. Gomes,I pondered even further.... If he was so desperately in love with this vixen,did his love for her cause his untimely death?\" \"Yes, I murmured to myself, \"I believe she was the cause. John and Elizabeth strolled the neighboring streets hand in hand enjoying one another's company at long last. Elizabeth found herself amazingly at ease with John,almost as if she had known him for years. It was so comforting yet surreal. Maybe they were destined to be together,an actual case of love at first site! She could find no other way to explain the fact that she had fallen in love with John immediately.

Hours had passed when Eddie, Elizabeth's brother,came running towards their direction. He seemed fairly intoxicated and frightened by something unseen to John and Elizabeth. It became evident to them he was being chased by another bar patron,an unruly man armed with a shot gun! Apparently, Eddie had had to much to drink and fired insult after insult at this crazed man now fast at his heels. If simple words were Eddie's weapon of destruction, he didn't have much chance against this man threatening him with a gun. Eddie whizzed past John and Elizabeth in pure terror hoping to outrun his assailant! The man was charging towards all three of them at full speed. It was then John reached for his holster and pulled out his revolver,not to harm anyone just to intimidate this tormented man. Elizabeth gasped and clutched tightly to John's side. She was scared and definitely didn't want anyone to get hurt. Noticing the revolver in John's hand, the man gave a menacing smirk and jeered,\"What do you plan to do with that boy?\" John held the gun firm and answered promptly,\"I love this woman here beside me, she is my happiness I have sought for so long.\" \"That is her brother you are quarreling with and I will do anything to protect her and her family.\" John proclaimed. \"Well, he offended me and no one does that without paying the consequences.\" exclaimed the man. \"Now move or I'll shoot you and get to her brother anyway!\" \"No chance\" attested John.

Without hesitation,as if the man had no conscience, he aimed his pistol and fired one fatal shot. John was struck in the chest and crumpled lifelessly upon the soiled ground. Elizabeth burst into tears and knelt down beside John to hold him in her arms. She couldn't deny it,she knew he had truly loved her! Fortunately, the town sheriff was already aware of the incident that took place in the bar. The sheriff appeared moments later and arrested the disgruntled man who had taken John's life.

The birds were swirling above my head and singing their eager spring song when my daydreaming ended. It was only my interpretation of this man's demise. It was so beautifully tragic, I wondered if my version was anywhere near the honest events of his death. I would never know unless I devoted myself to hours of research on John A. Gomes, but I liked it better this way. There was a kind of sweet and naive innocence about using m imagination to connect with this man I never knew. I vowed from that day forward to visit John every year on the anniversary of his death. I come to the cemetery poised with a single red rose to represent the bittersweet romance he and Elizabeth had shared.


© Copyright 2017 jillian ashford. All rights reserved.

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