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From Thralldom to Salvation

“Are you an anxious person?”, the therapist said.

Our man then recalled the thoughts and emotions that preceded his blackout at the wheel on that wintry night not so long ago.  He had awakened, after what seemed only a few seconds, with his car in the ditch, a fat lip, and a bloody nose.  Otherwise, physically undamaged.  It had been the scare of his life, and he was still jittery and shaking.  Presently, he called for a tow truck, and was glad of the delay that allowed him to collect his thoughts.

“I wouldn’t say so.  At least, not until a few months ago”, he responded.

He then had to relate the unnatural attraction he had developed for a girl he had not even met, and how it had mushroomed to bring him to this state.

“Your tests, scans, etcetera, have all come back normal, and now here you are with me.  Are you aware of what stress, even the emotional type, can do to a person?  I believe your blackout was a “shutdown” reaction to the conflicts within your mind.  You have been close to losing control.  There is something called Situational Depression, and your symptoms are very close to this.  I will prescribe you some medication which should help, but you need to see if you can get some closure on this.  If you’re willing to risk seeing this girl just to tell her your feelings, then talk to family and friends, discreetly, if they are involved, and find out what to do.”

After some hard thought, and hearing that his nephew’s band had an upcoming date at another tavern, he contrived to be there that night, while his wife was otherwise occupied.  Knowing his guilt, but acting as casually as possible, he asked if they had any memory of “that odd looking dancer” from where they had played before.  His nephew grinned, and said “Oh, that’s just Sydney.  She’s there almost every Saturday night.  Just a fun loving kid, and doesn’t hang out with anyone in particular, I think.  Dances by herself most of the time.”

In the end, when he learns that the band will be back at their old bar for an encore, he makes it a night out, knowing that family and friends will once again be there.  It’s the same loud crowd, the band competing with them, and, after an hour or two, Sydney is there.  His wife says “Isn’t that the same girl that was here last winter?  I remember her dancing all alone.  You kept watching her.”  “I enjoyed her dance”, he says.  “I must go and give her my compliments.”

When the song is over, he walks up to the girl.  It’s the first time he has seen her eyes.  He holds back the rush of emotion, says nothing about the months he has gone through.  Only touches her hand, smiles, and says “how lovely you dance”.  She brings her eyes to his for just a second, tilting her head strangely to the side, gives a radiant smile, and a small squeeze to his hand in return.

The next morning, he wakes up with the cure.

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Lee Dunn View All

Lee Dunn has been writing since the age of 18, but found that work got in the way for the ensuing 48 years. In his home town of Toronto, Ontario, Canada, he reveled in his independence at an early age, and spent as much time as he could exploring the city’s Arts scene. He was introduced to poetry and prose by the works of two literary giants, namely J.R.R. Tolkien and J.W. Lennon and thence fell in love with the written word. His work includes poetry, short fiction, and personal essays, and ranges in theme from the surreal to the horrific, nostalgic, and themes on the human condition. He has been published on, The Dark Poets Club, Journal of Undiscovered Poets, Crepe & Penn Literary magazine, and the Shelburne Free Press.

9 thoughts on “From Thralldom to Salvation Leave a comment

  1. Aah! What a fitting end to this beautiful story. You brought the subtlest of emotions so well. I loved, loved, loved how this ended, how he got his closure with just one touch and a smile. Thank you for this wonderful story, Lee.

    Liked by 1 person

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