Carl Scharwath

Carl Scharwath, has appeared globally with 150+ journals selecting his poetry, short stories, interviews, essays, plays or art photography (His photography was featured on the cover of 6 literary journals.) Two poetry books ‘Journey To Become Forgotten’ (Kind of a Hurricane Press).and ‘Abandoned’ (ScarsTv) have been published. His first photography book was recently published by Praxis. Carl is the art editor for Minute Magazine, poetry editor for TL Publishing Group, a competitive runner and 2nd degree black- belt in Taekwondo. 

BYWAY

The road between the two lovers held anticipation and unknown

 dangers.  Erik and  Rebecca were the silhouettes on standby in a

landscape of romance.

            Erik- married with two young daughters and a beautiful wife

celebrated 14 years of marriage. The marriage although perfect in the

 beginning began to  visibly change like a snowy winter scene fearful of

revealing what lies beneath. Everything was exciting and held potentials

as they shared the same interests, joys and fears. Slowly an erosion had

occurred. Life overtook romance and a crevice between them had

 opened wide and exposed repetitiveness and boredom. They no longer

held the same interests and sadly Eric looked forward to his career and

the time away from home. His job as a publisher also proved an 

excellent way to have an affair. His  mistress worked in the same office

and lived only one mile up the road. Erik’s gain in weight and cigarette

smoking had begun a few years ago and this needed to change. He

began to run, bike and stopped smoking. His wife Ellen had no interest

in either and although she was proud of her husband’s healthy

transformation, she did not join him in any physical activity and

discovered the hobby of painting as her new interest.

            “I will be over tonight after work and I cannot wait to see you. I

love you Rebecca.”

            Rebecca- a single, hardworking, and beautiful woman was always searching for someone

special to complete her. She had two previous relationships that were not consummated due to

Rebecca’s high standards for a future husband. Her family and friends did not understand how

such an amazing woman could not find love. Rebecca’s career as a book editor was her number

one passion and gave her satisfaction while life passed her by. Her slow accumulation of wealth

and the enjoyment of the finer things in life made her fearful of someone taking advantage of her

and this also contributed to her being single and selective.

            “Thank you, Erik, I love you too and lets just relax for a couple of hours and I will make

 you a special dinner. I hope you can stay longer as our weeknight visits are getting shorter and

shorter”

            Working in the same office at a book publisher afforded them the perfect opportunity to

begin a relationship as friends.  They would meet for lunch, discuss their lives and share some

laughs and sometimes more intimate thoughts of their future dreams.

            To their amazement they lived one mile apart on the same country road where they

occupied beautiful homes on an opulent space of 2 acres or so each.  On a lunch break this

epiphany was revealed.

“ Your kidding, what is your address again?” said Eric with a face that held future

possibilities.

“ Yes, it is 208 Rune Lane.”

A smile erupted in happiness warmed his face as he said, “ Wow we live only 1 mile or

so apart, I cannot believe we had not run into each other before.”

            “Well I only moved here about 4 months ago.” Said Rebecca.

            The work relationship between them had eventually blossomed into love. Rebecca

unknown to her at the time, was an innocent mistress, Eric wanted to fulfill the emptiness of his

failing marriage, have some fun and keep this lie from her as long as possible. Living less than a

mile apart on  the same country road was perfect for their meetings. Eric, a runner would tell his

wife he was going for a long run after dinner and would return in about 2 hours or so. Rebecca

thought this was so adorable that her boyfriend would run to her house spend some time together

and then run home again.

            After 3 months into the relationship Rebecca noticed the time with her lover

seemed to get shorter and she wanted to confront him on this very fact. “You always seem in a

rush to get back home; you have never invited me over to your house and we can never talk on

the phone except by text at night. Please tell me- are you married?”

Eric with eyes trying to tell something you can’t  know began to finally expose the truth.

“ I love you Rebecca and you do not deserve what I am about to say, Yes I am married, I

never planned on doing this to my wife or family. I just needed a friend, I just needed to

find happiness as my marriage and the love of my wife had changed. I never thought I

would fall in love with you this deeply.”

Rebecca began to cry, and her words seemed distant and reached out through the noise in

 her own head. “ I fell in love with you the first day I saw you at work. How could you do

this to me? I gave you my life, my body and my future.”

“I am so sorry to do this to you. I love you so much and feel so alive every time I am with

you. When we have more time let’s sit down and have a talk about our future.”

“Our future? Rebecca answered while thinking that no relationship will now exist just a

joint claim on the past.

“Yes, our future- I want to be with you and want to discuss how together we can make

this happen.”

Rebecca although suspicious still believed in their love and happiness between them. She

would continue to meet and plan with her lover and knew in her heart that eventually they would

be together forever.

Months went by with no changes. They had their work lunches, their two-hour night

visits and an occasional day out on a weekend. The relationship became as  predictable as

spring weeds always forcing themselves out of odd places.

Eric was beginning to feel trapped. The constant questions from his wife about being

away from home, the pressures from Rebecca to commit his life to her and the thoughts of

committing adultery were changing his psyche.  The drama in his life was like an avant-garde

  black and white 1960’s movie shot on a Bolex  video camera baring his soul without speech.

He knew something had to be done. It was not fair to his lover or his wife to continue this

affair. Leaving the house for his run, telephone in hand, judgement day was here. His fingers

trembled as he dialed the number knowing he was searching somehow for a new beginning.

            “Hi baby, I just left the house for my run and wanted to know if you are leaving soon as I

have something important to tell you.”

            “Please tell me it is good news and that you are leaving  your wife?”

            This statement caught Eric off guard, and he hesitated before saying “ I wanted to tell you

in person, I still want to come over tonight. I love you Rebecca, but I just cannot do this

anymore. Leaving my wife and child would be devastating to them.”

            “What about me?” said Rebecca through an eruption of tears.

            “I am so sorry; I am sorry I did this to you  and was not honest from the beginning.”

            Rebecca hesitated and said “Perhaps the magic of our love was only created in my head,

a wish or a dream that  everyone has? No! Our time together does feel absolute. Your touch

awakened  my soul, your breath quickened my heart, your words filled me with life. I feel so sad.

            Eric was deeply touched by what she said and wanted to comfort her on their last

night together as lovers.

            “ I will wait for you sweetheart at your house and we can talk about everything there.”

            He decided instead of running to her house to take a bike ride instead and told his wife he

would be back in about two hours.

            Rebecca in tears left work at almost the same moment to meet her fate and she hoped not

the ending of their relationship. She decided she would do whatever was necessary to save what

they have.

            Her nerves had to calm just enough to put the key into the ignition and race home to see

Eric. She was anxious about what destiny awaited and how her life might change forever. The

country road home was just ahead, and Eric should be at her house by now. She started to speed

up and reached for her phone to text Eric that she should be there any minute.  The tears came

again, as she had trouble seeing the keyboard and looking up at the road where the first words

seem to follow her vision from the phone screen to the windshield. She looked down to type the

last few words and the car jolted in an impact along with a deathly loud medal twisting sound.

Hyperventilating, crying and in a panic state she looked around and saw a crumpled bicycle with

a body on the side of the road. In a dream state, frozen and unable to walk she dropped to her

knees and crawled. Her fate not in focus started to sharpen around the edges. Eric came into her

clouded vision and laid lifeless on his stomach. No words would emit from his lips only a trail of

blood staining their history.

            “Eric, Eric,” she screamed over and over. His comatose body offered no response. She

reached down to feel for a pulse on his wrist, his neck and listened for any breathing. Her only

true love in life was gone and it was her fault. She ruined his life, his family’s life and her own

life.

            She knew what to do next, somehow, she was able to dial 911 to notify them of the

accident without any other information and ran to her car. So many thoughts were flashing in her

mind- a kaleidoscope of intense images mixed with her life story flashing off and on. She pushed

the gas pedal to the floor and  knew what fate awaited ahead a few miles. The ledge and deep

gully right before the bridge would now accept her sins. Just a violent jerk of the wheel to the

right and the pain would be gone.

            In the hospital room Eric’s wife held his hand and had been there for him day and night.

He was in a coma for four straight days and she never gave up that her husband would come

back to her. She suddenly felt movement from his fragile fingers and saw those beautiful eyes

open taking in a new rebirth.

            He sat up quickly and spoke loudly and to his wife “Rebecca, I love you, I love you so

much and I am sorry.”

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