Saturday Sampler: Whispers from Heaven by D. G. Torrens
October 3, 2015
In our mission to connect readers, writers, and books, Caleb and Linda Pirtle has launched a new series featuring writing samples from some of the best authors in the marketplace today. Saturday’s Sampler is an excerpt from Whispers from Heaven by D. G. Torrens.
As one reviewer said: This story is fraught with joy, sadness as well as every emotion you have. The book is a brilliant bit of writing.
Can love find a way?
Arianna and Tristan are both struggling to come to terms with a great loss. One that is having a detrimental effect on their future. With all the emotions that come with being a new mother followed by feelings of immense grief and mourning, Arianna is struggling each and every day.
Lost in her world of grieving, she is struggling with moving forward. Tristan, her baby’s uncle, is by her side, giving her his unwavering support, as promised to his brother before he passed away. His only brother, his only family; now gone forever.
Tristan has fallen irrevocably and undeniably in love with Arianna, unbeknown to her. Through loyalty to his dead brother, he struggles daily to suppress his feelings, not wanting to scare Arianna away. Baby Ben is all the family he has left now and if being friends with Arianna is all there ever will be then he will suffer-in-silence.
How does a person measure grief? It’s not just a state of mind, it’s a mourning of the soul. A mind and heart that have become severely fractured need the help of time to heal the cracks as well as the love and support of loved ones. They have nothing left of the person they are grieving for, but the memories they retain. All those feelings of love they have running through every inch of their body are still there, they don’t suddenly disappear. What does a person do with all those feelings they are left with? Grief cannot be measured and there is no time limit to how long a person will grieve their loss.
Arianna glanced down to look at baby Ben, who was smiling up at her while gripping her little finger tightly. A tear slowly escaped down her cheek. “Hey Ben, that’s one strong hold you have there,” she said as she watched him in awe. There was a sadness seeping through her veins that had held her hostage ever since Ben’s passing. The knowledge that her son would never meet his father tore her apart on a daily basis.
Baby Ben was now three months old, with beautiful brown eyes and exceptionally long eyelashes, which he’d inherited from his father. Arianna loved him with all her being and had taken to motherhood with natural ease. She took Ben everywhere with her, including the gallery. She had taken to going for long walks at the back of the church in Coleshill with Ben strapped to her front. She would sit down on the bridge by the river Cole and tell Ben stories while he looked up at his mother with wonder in his eyes.
Tristan was true to his word and remained by her side every step of the way. She had grown to rely on him emotionally and couldn’t imagine having come this far without him. Every once in a while, she was plagued by guilt for the way her mind tormented her. She would not believe her ever-growing feelings for Tristan were real; she was confused, they must be rebound feelings of some sort or another, a need to be loved by someone when she was feeling at her most vulnerable. She hated the way her mind tormented her and she fought her thoughts and feelings with all her being on a daily basis.
Arianna packed a small suitcase for herself and Ben for their upcoming trip to Brighton. The timing was perfect now to scatter Ben’s ashes. Tristan had organised everything, right down to booking the same house they’d all stayed in together on their last trip to Brighton with his brother Ben before he died. Arianna took a picture of Ben from her purse and glanced at it with a sad smile. “I will always love you, Ben,” she said, crying to herself.
Picking up baby Ben, Arianna walked into the kitchen and looked out of the window while she was waiting for Tristan to arrive. She patted Ben’s back gently as he started to drift off to sleep once again. Five minutes later, she saw Tristan pull up outside and smiled an affectionate smile as she watched him climb out of the car. She felt so lucky to have him by her side and yet she felt guilty for having taken up so much of his time over the last six months. He had his own life to be getting on with, she thought as she made her way downstairs to greet him.
“Hey, are you all set then?”
“Yes, all packed. Ben doesn’t travel light I’m afraid. I remember Casey teasing me a long time ago about mummy bags and I laughed at the time! Now here I am with a giant one of my own.”
“Look, let me take your bag and the suitcase and I will go and pop them in the car. I already have a car seat fitted for Ben so we won’t be needing yours. I figured we were always switching the car seat from yours to mine and vice versa so I thought I would invest in one. It makes things far easier,” Tristan said.
“That was a genius idea, Tristan, and yes, it makes complete sense.” Arianna carried Ben out to the car and handed him over so Tristan could strap him in the car seat while she nipped back and locked up the house.
“Okay, I’m ready when you are. Let’s go,” said Arianna eagerly.
Tristan glanced in the rear view mirror and watched as Arianna attended to Ben in the back seat. His longing for her was ever stronger and most days he felt like he’d been subjected to the worst kind of torture. There was no end in sight and moving on was simply not an option for him. He could never look at another woman the way he looked at Arianna and he simply didn’t want to entertain the idea of settling for someone else. He loved her with all his being and for now, just being in her life and close to her would have to be enough, however hard it was to endure. He promised himself he would never cross that all-important invisible line between the two of them unless he was assured somehow his feelings were reciprocated, and that didn’t seem likely in his opinion. Arianna needed him sure, she relied on him. He knew this but he’d convinced himself this did not equate to any type of feelings other than that of friendship. There were occasions when he’d caught her staring at him and there was a moment between them, but he gave himself a pretty swift reality check and assured himself it was down to all the time they were spending together and her appreciation of him for all he was doing for her, and nothing more.
He turned up the volume on his car stereo, sang along to Kings of Leon, and turned his thoughts to Ben. This was such an important trip and one he wanted to make memorable for Arianna as well as for himself. He missed his brother deeply. Ben’s passing had left a huge gaping hole in his life, one that would never be filled. He thought back to all the fishing trips he took to Brighton with Ben over the years and the fun they’d had when they were younger. He felt a sense of longing deep within himself, a yearning for love in his life, someone he could share the rest of his life with and be there for.
He remembered his mother’s words. We are the three musketeers, it’s us against the world, she’d said often to both himself and Ben. Now it was just one musketeer and he was feeling pretty lonely of late. Ben had said to Tristan in one of their last heart-to-hearts before he died, “Life places many obstacles in our path as we journey through life, it’s how we deal with those obstacles that shapes the person we become.”
It was just like Ben to impart words of wisdom to Tristan when he felt he needed them. Ben had become emotionally strong towards the end in the face of death and Tristan admired him greatly for that. He would always remember those words; every time he’d felt emotionally weakened over the months, those very words helped him draw inner strength.
Tristan remained strong for Arianna and baby Ben but when he was alone and behind closed doors, he shed many tears, freeing his emotions held captive deep inside of him.