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Thursday, June 26, 2008

A Savored Moment by Arvid Saunaitis

An hour before sunset, Julie and Doug arrived at the dock carrying a beach bag with a bottle of wine, two wine glasses and cheese and crackers. The boat’s crew was getting ready for departure and they sat down on the bench to wait. Without a word, Julie stood up, walked over to the dock’s railing and with her head raised high and eyes closed, stood there enjoying the ocean breeze. Doug remained on the bench and admired the way the wind made her dress press up against her nicely shaped figure. As her long silky hair flew in all directions, Doug’s eyes scanned every inch of her storing the images in his long term memory.

After a while, Doug lay back on the bench, closed his eyes and recalled the first time he saw her. He remembered the first time they made love and how quickly the intense delight was ripped away by the awful banging on the door and her horrifying words, “It’s my ex! Quick! Put your clothes on and leave!”

“Call the cops!” he remembered whispering.

“My ex is a hit man for the mob.”

“We’re on the 22nd floor; how am I supposed to get out?”

“My friend lives right below. I have long extension cords that you can use to climb down to her balcony. She’s not home and I have a set of keys.” When the loud banging on the front door changed to an attempt to break it down, Doug could hear his heart pounding in his ears and feel adrenaline flowing in his veins. He took a deep breath and was startled by Julie’s gentle touch that snapped him back to reality.

“Doug, are you all right?” she asked and kissed the nape of his neck. Doug immediately got up from the bench, pulled her to him and she slipped into his arms. After he noticed that everyone was beginning to board the boat he said, “Why don’t we go?”

The sailboat was forty feet in length and plenty big enough to provide choice seating for the small group of passengers aboard. The two-hour cruise brought them within a few feet of dolphins that were cresting in the wake near the bow of the boat and since there was no sound from the motor, they could hear their high-pitched sounds. As they watched the spectacular sunset, every worry they previously had seemed trivial. Then Julie looked into Doug’s eyes and said, “Can we go sit on the deck in front of the boat? We need to talk.”

"Sure," Doug answered, knowing exactly what this was all about. After they made themselves comfortable, she looked into his eyes and said, "Remember the conversation we had following the ugly incident at my condo? I told you that I care too much about you to let anything happen to you. I realized we can't see each other any more, but I didn't want to end our relationship with such an ugly image of what happened that night. Tonight, after we replace the ugly images with a new memory we can keep in our hearts, as soon as we step off this boat, it’s farewell, Doug. I wish there was someplace we could go to start new lives, but the truth of the matter is, he’ll find us no matter were we go.” With eyes full of tears, she placed her fingers over his lips when he tried to reply and gave him a big hug.

Doug sat quietly for a moment and than with a sad look spoke, “There has to be something we can do to change things.”

“I don’t think so, Doug. You see, I sold my soul to the devil a long time ago and now there is no way out.”

Doug stared at the fading light glowing in her hair for a moment, kissed her bare shoulder and said, “The harsh reality can wait until we’re ready to face it. Let’s just saver this precious moment for as long as it lasts.” Then he gently kissed her lips and continued, “Sunsets are so precious and beautiful, aren’t they? No two are exactly the same. We need to saver this one because it’s so perfect. We really only have a few moments to enjoy its beauty before it slips away forever, you know?”

Julie gave him a hug and with tears in her eyes said, “I wish we could die together just to come back to meet again under different circumstances.”

“Do you believe in happy endings Julie?”

“Endings are never happy. It’s only the happy moments along the way that we can truly enjoy. After we get off this boat, we have no choice but to walk away in opposite directions.”

“I know, but there’s no reason we can’t stay optimistic. As all good things come to an end, so do the bad things,” Doug countered and gazed into the distance.

By the time they got back to shore, the sun had already disappeared into the ocean and the moon had taken over the night. After they stepped off the boat and passed the bench they were sitting on earlier, Doug spotted a newspaper. The front page caught his eye. He immediately stopped, snatched the paper up and with urgency started reading:

“Armed with a search warrant, Federal agents swarmed a warehouse belonging to an organized crime group and using blowtorches took down metal doors. Inside the warehouse facility, a shootout between law enforcement officials and suspected mob figures took place resulting in the deaths of several gunmen. One of the mob figures killed in the shootout was the notorious hit man, Tony Rossi, who’s believed to be responsible for at least nine contract killings.”

Immediately, Doug became overwhelmed with joy and glanced up expecting Julie to still be there. Not seeing her, with the newspaper clutched in a death grip, he started looking for her in the crowd and then decided to run to the street where the cab dropped them off.

Out of breath, he made it to the street and spotted her hailing a cab. Before he could shout out her name, she opened the cabs door and climbed in. Without a moment to lose, he dashed toward the cab, threw himself in front of it, banged on the hood and stepped back holding the newspaper high in the air. He slowly walked by her door, opened it and showed her the front page. Then with a big smile on his face said, "Like I said before, as all good things come to an end, so do the bad things."

About the Author: About the Author: Arvid Saunaitis is the inventor of the Snap on Teeth appliance that was televised in US and abroad. He also has written and had articles published in dental journals and his letters to the editor were published in two Chicago’s top newspapers. He recently completed a 121,000 word crime fiction story that provides a literary feast of suspense, mystery and drama. Deadly Coincidence also has a twist of humor and the characters with concise and witty remarks draw the reader into the underworld of a contemporary mafia. He is looking to have the novel published.

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