Joel (Part II)

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Evidently, Veronica did return to me. She said she was about to come find me when her father asked her to join him for a warm chat. She talked with him until he fell asleep and then she picked up her things and came to the forest. It was about dawn and slightly foggy, therefore, Veronica got a tad lost. However, my love found her way back to me as I had hoped for. I hugged her and held on to her forever, never wanting to let her go. I told her how I had thought I almost lost her. My eyes started to water, I tear fell down my face. She turned up to me and gently whispered, “You could never lose me.” She kissed me, putting her hand on my heart and added, “We’re connected, forever…” “Star-crossed lovers,” I smiled.
We concluded are “reunion” with one another and started off. We walked towards the country, my arm wrapped around Veronica’s shoulder. We joked and laughed. Giggling and singing songs. We skipped along and told each other the fables we were always so fond of. It was the best time, so much joy and happiness. It was blissful. I never felt more at peace. I looked into her eyes and I knew; this would last forever.
“Veronica, do you ever wonder? You know about life? Or God? Or the future? Do ever wonder how everything came about? Do you ever wonder what are lives would be like if we never met,” I eagerly questioned. “Whoa, whoa! Calm down Joel. I philosophical question at a time,” she giggled. “I’m sorry. I’m just so… so excited. This is insane but amazing,” I exclaimed. She laughed at my enthusiasm but I didn’t mind. Her laugh was so amazing.
We continued walking towards the country. Towards our future. Towards a new life. It’s interesting. You know? Life I mean. You think you have it all figured out. From the time you’re born and as you grow up you start to develop some kind of plan, or dream for your future. And once you start to grow up you think you have it all figured out. I used to think me and Veronica were going to get married and find a nice cozy place by her parents. But instead were running away together. To start over completely. We’re leaving behind everything, everyone, and every plan we had in the past. Now were running straight towards our future. It’s hard to imagine. It’s overwhelming.
We finally made it into the country. I had a lot of money saved up so we were going to stay in a motel until we got on our feet. The country was pretty small. The people were warm and friendly. We found a nice little motel close by. It was a lot different from the ones I had seen before. The rooms were more like log cabins. They looked astonishing. So much craftsmanship. Even the furniture was wooden. Except the television though. The smell was intoxicating. It was spectacular. It was absolutely perfect all because I was with her.
So after awhile we started to settle in. We met a few people. Everyone was so happy, nice, and peaceful. Veronica had gotten a job at a nearby restaurant. I had started working at a hunting gear store.
I know this must have been different for Veronica because she had never worked a day in her life before. She stood home with her mother and learned how to cook and clean. Her father was a lawyer and a really good one at that. He made a tremendous amount of money so neither Veronica nor her mother had to work. Her father was also traditional, meaning he didn’t approve of his wife or daughter to be working. He would always say, “I work hard so that you never have to.” And he did. He worked so hard he looks like he’s ninety years old when in reality he’s barely in his mid-fifties. He came from a poor background; hence, he wanted something different for his family.
As for me, it was different. Not because I have never worked but because my job here was so simple. This was more of a break for me. My father had died when I was a mere babe. And my mother was extremely sick. We didn’t have much money and my mother was too sick to work. So I had begun working as a little lad. I started off in the summer chopping wood for the winter so people could have firewood. And in the winter I would shovel people’s snow. Once I grew older I started more vigorous work. I became a carpenter. Now I just stand around in a shop all day.
Running away was a whole lot easier for me than Veronica. I mean my father was dead and my mother had died a few years ago. I didn’t have any other family. In all reality, I ran away from nothing. Veronica, however, ran away from everything; her life, her family. This was so much easier for me because I was already used to working and being alone and away from my family. Veronica wasn’t. She never had to work. She never spent a day away from her parents. She wasn’t used to this life. Sometimes I feel guilty for running away with her. I think she would have been happier where she was. Before we came here I had never seen Veronica shed a tear. However, since we ran away, she cries every day. It becomes my heart to watch her cry, to see her so sad. Sometimes I wonder if this might have been a mistake. I told her how I felt once and she just held me and looked into my eyes. I looked into her eyes and I knew. We were together, we were happy, that’s all that mattered.
Living in the country with Veronica was paradise. Although, I did start getting paranoid. I always felt like someone was watching us. I would wonder what Veronica’s parents were doing. I knew they weren’t just going to let their little girl go so easily. I thought they might have sent out search party to find Veronica. So I was always on my feet looking out for people who might take Veronica away from me. Veronica kept telling me, “Don’t worry. We’re safe. Nobody’s going to take us away from each other.” My heart wanted to believe her but I had this feeling in the pit of my gut, like something bad was about to happen.
Months passed by and nothing bad had happened. Me and Veronica were still together. Everything was fine. I finally tuned down. I stopped being so paranoid and let my guard down. We were still staying in the motel but I had started building us a house for quite some time now. It was almost done. I finished the exterior; I just had to finish the rest of the interior design.
I enjoyed building the house. When I work hard like that I get caught up in my work and just escape reality. My mind goes blank and it’s just me and my work. Time flies by. I know that most people might think it silly but I find joy in my work. I love it. When I was younger I couldn’t wait to grow older so I could work hard like this but now that I am grown up I’m a tad bit scared to grow older and not be able to do these sort of things. I mean I love working hard and building and to lose that would be devastating.
The house was coming together beautifully. I wanted it to be perfect for Veronica. I wanted to build her, her ideal dream house. So I had her tell me what she wanted it to look like. I would sketch out what she told me and then I would give her the drawing so she could make her little critiques and then I would modify it. The outward design of the house was the easy part but the inside was difficult. But I had Veronica there to help me out. It was wonderful. I can’t even begin to describe the marvelous feeling of building the perfect house with your soul mate.
It was incredible living in the country with Veronica. At first I was unsure about us running away together. Now I know it was a great idea. Everything was so perfect. I couldn’t ask for anything better. I was happy. Veronica was happy. We were happy. That’s all I ever wanted. It was paradise.
But something still wasn’t right, I got that feeling again. That feeling like something bad was going to happen. I started getting paranoid and jumpy again. I don’t know why. Maybe it’s because everything was too perfect. And I was never used to being this happy or for things to be this perfect. This sort of thing was just too good for me to be true. I think I was scared to lose Veronica. I was scared to lose this feeling. I was just scared. I hate being scared. Losing the people I care about was my biggest fear. Other than that I was pretty fearless.
When I was a chap I would sit on my mother’s lap and tell her I never wanted to lose her. She would shush me and sing or hum my a lullaby. She would tell me, “Joel. People are always going to be coming and going out of your life. Whether they stay or not really has no meaning. But what you learn from them is what’s important. Now there is going to come a time when I leave you and even though it will be painful you must accept it. Me and your father are always right here in your heart (she points to my heart). Your father was great man; you will be a great man too. And if there’s one thing I leave you with I want you to know life is good. Be happy. Find happiness through the sorrow. Always look for the good. I know it’s easier to be sad and get lost in the bad but life is meant to teach you how to be happy, even through the pain. I mean, just look at me Joel. I’m happy, aren’t I? I still smile through the pain. When you’re happy the pain starts to fade and all you can do is smile. Being sad is easy but happy is what makes life worth. So you’ll never actually lose me because every time you or anyone else smiles I want you think of me and know I’m okay, everything is okay, and everything is going to be okay. No matter what happens just let it be and find the good in it.”
I miss her. I’ve always tried to live my life by those words but I have my moments. Sometimes I just forget and get lost in the bad. I guess I’m so used to the bad that it is easier to be sad and forget to just breathe and smile. But no matter what I always smile and when I think of my mother how happy she always was. I think about how happy she must be now that she made to heaven. I imagine her looking down at me, smiling, as always. It makes happy. But I still miss her. She was my best friend. I always felt warmth and protection when I was in her arms. I miss when she would hold me and sing me lullabies. It always made me feel better. She always knew what to say. She always made me feel better. I know if she was here right now she would just want me to smile. She would tell to just be calm and be happy. She would tell me to just let it be…





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