Hilda Oakley

Australian author and poet

   Oct 27

Guitarist Extraordinaire

Lenore jumped out of bed.  Excitement ran through her veins.  Saturday, her special time, this was the day she went busking.

Dressing carefully in her cream cheese cloth top, a long colourful skirt, with brown leather sandals and a bright head scarf, she was ready for the day and eager to play.

Racing down the street she managed to catch the bus into town.  Arriving at her favourite spot she picked up her guitar and tuned it up.  Ready, she started to play.

A crowd gathered around her.  From the back of the throng a handsome God-like creature strode towards her.   He threw a $50 note into her biscuit tin.

Lenore stopped playing.  She looked up into his deep brown eyes.  She was smitten.

“What a handsome, muscular body – and well tanned,” she thought.  Then in a blink of an eye, he disappeared into the crowd.

Lenore didn’t understand why she suddenly felt so flat, after all, he hadn’t stopped to chat, and as far as she could tell, they had nothing in common.  Still, there was a stirring of her soul.

The next morning there was a knock on her door.  Lenore raced downstairs.  On throwing the door open, she was amazed to see a man standing there holding a bunch of red roses.  As she read the card, her eyes grew large as saucers.  The card read, To the Guitarist Extraordinaire!’  Kindest Regards, Forrest.

Guessing it had come from the handsome stranger who gave her the fifty dollars while busking, she felt a tingling sensation splay down her spine.

She noticed the time.  She must fly or she would be late for her job at the library.

Several weeks passed by.  Lenore hadn’t seen Forrest again, but arrangements of orchids and roses kept arriving at her front door.

One day, instead of the arrangement, Forrest arrived in person, holding a bunch of red roses.  Over the next few weeks they had lunch together.  He was the perfect gentleman.

After seeing each other for three months, Forrest asked Lenore to move in with him.

My! Oh My!  She was thrilled.  The past few months had been the most perfect time of her life.  Her dreams had come true; she had found her perfect match.  And his flat was fabulous!

After about six months, cracks started to appear.  At first it was just little things like, ‘his shirts weren’t ironed neat enough.’  Because of this he hid her mobile phone and computer tablet.  Lenore found that quite juvenile.  Then Forrest wanted a hot meal placed on the table every evening, even if he didn’t get home from his club until the wee hours.  If she was asleep in bed, he would pull her out and smack her across the face, forcing her to cook him something hot.  Although Lenore knew this behaviour wasn’t acceptable, she gave him many chances, because he always said he was sorry afterwards.

Forrest’s insistence about everything having to be neat and tidy became an obsession.  One day, on coming home for lunch, he noticed the dishwasher hadn’t been unpacked.  He snapped.  He threw Lenore across the room, slamming her head into the wall.

That did it.  She’d had enough.  She knew she had to get away.

Lenore’s friend Anna would help her.  She’d always been a support for her.

Packing a small bag, Lenore crawled out a back window.  Melding with the shadows she made her way to a phone box and dialled Anna’s number, then drifted back into the shadows until Anna arrived.

On picking her up, Anna took Lenore back to her home where she stayed the night.  The following morning, she made arrangements for Lenore to meet the director of the local Women’s Refuge.  Here Lenore had help and support and felt protected.  Peace enveloped her; she was safe again at last.

One day when Anna came to visit, she found Lenore weeping.  “What on Earth are you crying for? He’s not worth it!”

“It’s not about him; it’s about my guitar.  I miss playing it so much.” Lenore sniffled.

As the weeks passed by, it was time for Lenore to move on.  Anna found a place for her.  It was with a little old lady who was a pensioner, and lived in a two bedroom cottage on the edge of town.

Here she was asked to pay a meagre rent, as long as she helped around the house and looked after the lady’s gorgeous English country garden.  The roses bloomed in a beautiful array of colours. Lenore again felt safe and at ease.

Having been in an abusive relationship and having her heart torn apart had left Lenore enveloped in mental and physical pain.  She vowed she would never let a man get close to her again.

When she finally gathered the courage to ring Forrest and ask him for her guitar, he informed her nastily that he was proud that he had sold it to a pawn shop.  She felt it was really mean him pawning her precious guitar like that.

Daphne, her landlady, was a sweetie.  At first Lenore kept to herself, spending most of her time in the bedroom concentrating on healing her wounded heart.  However, eventually Lenore realized that she would have to try to locate her guitar, the one thing that would still bring her happiness.  After much searching, she managed to track down the guy who bought it from the pawn shop.  He was really sweet, and gave it back to her on the proviso that she accompanies him on his front porch for an hour, to play guitar with him.  He grabbed a second guitar and they ended up sitting there on his porch for the rest of the afternoon playing music, talking and smiling.

A large veranda surrounded Lenore’s cottage.  Lenore would sit on the steps playing her guitar, letting the music flow over her, soothing her soul.

While working in the garden, she would let the warm, soft earth trickle through her fingers.  She could feel healing of her heart taking place, as she bonded with Mother Earth.

Slowly her confidence came back and her self esteem improved.  She decided to alter her hippy appearance, to look more modern and chic.  As she knew many of the elite labels of clothing, and she had limited funds, she would select her clothes carefully from racks of clothing at the local Op Shops.  This would leave her extra money to splash out on a new hair style at the Ladies Hairdressers.

Customers entering the Library commented on her new fashion appearance.  With her hair being permed and dyed, wearing modern designer clothes and also by replacing her glasses, now using tinted contact lens, gave Lenore a new burst of life.  Still, nothing she had experienced could surpass the exhilaration she felt when busking.

She shared her love of guitar playing with Jay, the man that she had met through enquiring at the pawn shop.  Although they became good friends, Lenore would not let Jay take it further.

Two years passed by.  Lenore never once dated.  The pain was still too raw.

Gradually a chink began to show through the brick wall that Lenore had built around herself.

One day when visiting Jay, he passed her a cup of hot coffee.  Their hands touched briefly.  She felt goose-bumps all over.  She quivered and blushed.  Maybe that brick wall around her was weakening.

Her emotions rose to the surface.  All of a sudden, she felt alive once more.

Jay was an extremely handsome guy, in a rugged way.  He had thick blonde hair, piercing blue eyes and a calm and reassuring nature, always the gentleman.  With Jay, there were no fast cars or bragging about his wealth.  He lived the simple life.  With him, what you saw was what you got.

Lenore’s stomach filled with butterflies.  She was losing control.  She searched her heart for some kind of resistance, something, anything, but the walls had fallen down with Jay’s pure love towards her.

A fortnight later, Jay proposed to Lenore.  It was on his porch where they had their first meeting, playing guitars together.  Six months later they were married in the surrounds of a beautiful Botanical Garden.

Married life was all that Lenore had imagined.  They lived in a small cottage which Lenore had brightly decorated.  They were very happy.

They had been married for nine years when, in an elite restaurant, Lenore shared the news to Jay that she had at last become pregnant with their first child. He was so proud of her, he was over the moon.

Finally, Lenore had found her soul-mate.


Hilda Oakley

Copyright © 17.03.2014

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