TRUE LOVE ... True happiness for a lifetime
(by: IVY BELL 21/1/05)
Eric was in the library doing his research, when he saw a woman standing at the corner reading a book. At first he didn't take any notice. He carried on with his research. As he turned back to where the woman had been standing, he noticed that she was no longer there. Unconsciously he started looking around, but she was nowhere to be found. Gradually he became aware of an overwhelming feeling, a strange feeling he had never felt before. He was longing for even a glimpse of her. He left the library, and went down to the quadrangle, where most of the students were to be found. She was there, with a group of other students. One of them was his physics classmate, John.
`Hey, Eric', called John. `Come over here'.
Eric joined the group. He was introduced to everyone. The woman he had seen in the library was Chantel. He felt thrilled to find out her name. The bell went, and Chantel said goodbye as she left for her next class. The rest of the group were still there.
`Eric, you like Chantel, don't you?', teased John. But Eric just ignored him. The day felt too fine to spoil. And Eric kept seeing Chantel's face. Everywhere he looked, he could see her.
The following day was the last day before the end of the semester. Their graduation day would be in a couple of weeks. Eric saw Chantel in the corridor leading to the College of Arts and Sciences. Taking a deep breath to overcome a sudden strange feeling of nerves, he greeted her.
`Good morning, Chantel.'
`How were your exams?'
`They were OK; a bit of a struggle.'
Eric took another deep breath. He felt slightly light headed, but dared not risk losing the moment.
`Then I have a reason to give you a treat. How about lunch?'
At first Chantel hesitated, but eventually accepted Eric's invitation. And that was the beginning of their friendship. The more Eric became close to her, the deeper his feelings towards her became. But he also felt confused, worried, and feared to tell her how he felt.
The two weeks passed by, and their graduation day arrived. Everyone was happy and excited to leave the university and face their new challenges, except Eric. He was dreading this day.
At long last he found Chantel, but could not find the words he wanted to say.
`Congratulations, Chantel!' was all he could manage.
`Thank you, and the same to you'. She kissed Eric on the cheek, said goodbye, and was gone.
Years passed by. Eric had become a successful architect. He had his own business, but was still unmarried and had no girlfriend. Chantel, on the other hand, was married to a famous lawyer, but they had no children.
One day, Chantel was faced with a storm in her life. She received a 'phone call from the police, telling her that her husband had a car accident and was in hospital, in a very critical condition. She collapsed. When she woke up, she found herself also in the hospital. She recovered and went to see her husband, who was in the ICU. A few days later her husband passed away. Chantel was devastated. Seven days later he was buried. Chantel felt unable to accept her loss.
One sunny day some time later, Chantel was strolling in her garden when suddenly she felt dizzy. She was helped to bed by one of her maids, where she lay waiting for the family physician. The doctor suggested that she needed to be confined in the hospital for further observation. After many tests, X-rays and measurements had been done, the result came through. She had breast cancer. She was immediately booked in for an operation while further tests were done, but these found that it was too late. The cancer had spread through her body. The doctors could do nothing.
Chantel decided to get out of the hospital and go back to her home town, where she had not been for thirty years. And this was where Eric was working. He heard the news of Chantel's homecoming with a feeling of tremendous excitement.
Eric went to visit Chantel. His heart jumped for joy to see her again. But Chantel told Eric about the cancer.
`I am dying, Eric', she said.
Eric hugged her very tightly.
`I'll look after you, my love'.
`Yes', replied Eric. `I loved you from the day I first saw you in the library'.
`But why didn't you tell me?'
`I was so stupid; scared of losing your friendship. Worried that you might hate or despise me`.
`Oh, Eric, I loved you too from the day John introduced us. I never forgot you; I was always thinking of you.'
From that day, Eric devoted himself to looking after Chantel. He retired from his business, trusting it to his nephew. They got married, and were very happy together. But their happiness was interrupted one morning when Eric awoke and kissed his wife, only to find her already very cold. But it was as if she was just in a deep sleep. The expression on her face was happy and contented. Eric was very sad, but also happy to think that Chantel's sufferings had come to an end.
Chantel died with contentment because she was with her true love. Two years later, Eric passed away and was buried with his beloved wife.