When I lifted my eyes to you, suddenly your heart showed me my way

Paul Neruda
Image Source: Victor Bauer

The Sad Cafe III

A love story by Holly Hunter and Hyperion Sturm

The Letter
By Holly Hunter

I left a message for you in a book.
It is like me to mark provocative phrases,
to shake them out in ponderous verses.
Do not read too much in the fallout,
the notes in the border are for nostalgia’s sake.
I dreamt of you again last night,
my adversary,
whose aura I barely recall.
My suffering is not in knowing what was real
but what was not.
Ten Years Earlier

The Library at the University of Paris, the Sorbonne, amplifies loneliness in ancient manuscripts along high walls. It’s islands of tables, worn sofa’s, and plush chairs remind Renate of her isolation in a place brimming with students. Her studies in Health Science away from her beloved beaches left an ache that felt like hunger, an emptiness David once filled.

She could see herself once again walking along the Rue de Seine to the Pont des Arts Bridge, called lover’s lock by those who pledged their love and sealed it with a clasp attached to the railing; just like she and David had done. 

Basking in the warm sun, Renate waited for David. She would hear his silly teal Vespa clatter across the cobblestones and pretend not to see him. Renate preferred her red Ducati Pangale and black leathers she left at home in the States. She saw herself leaning over the railing gazing into the green water at her reflection.

As stealthy as a horse on gravel, David’s face appeared in the reflection. Piercing feral eyes, a mirage in the rippled surface, devoured her and sent a warm tide across her skin. The memory replayed her plan to test his heart. She turned to him, showing no surprise, and lifted her face in a subtle recognition. He kissed her deeply like he thought he could conjure up her soul from her heart’s depth.

Only a moment of his passion was allowed to whet his appetite, and she would give him a gentle push to force him away. Renate smiled to herself. She loved that boyish look of confusion on his face. “I’m not that kind of girl; you know that,” she would say. And then, before he could think his way out of his reckless move, “Come on, let’s go for a ride and see if we can find a place to watch the sunset from the shadows.”

David reached into his coat pocket and presented Renate with a gold-colored lock and two silver bracelets, each with half a heart attached. “Will you help me secure this to the rail?” He asked, apprehension easing into the edge of his confident tone.

“Where is the key?” Renate asked, feeling herself fall into a dream, the opium den of lovers struck down by a misty fog of emotion inhaled too long and too often.

“In my shirt pocket,” came a reply; soft, deep, and far away.

Renate’s slender fingers with nails manicured to give her delicate hands a raptor-like precision, descended into the pocket well and froze on the key in that millisecond where the dream warms to a glow with the rising fire of desire.

His hands slid over her shoulders and down to clasp the small of her back. Renate felt his body through her clothes as he hugged her to him. The Dream became a distant call of wild thoughts. It was subtle and she understood the message his hands intended. The sub rosa of love is a secret code that requires few words, exact words. There can be no misunderstanding or turning back.

“I love you, Renate. I want you to be my girl.”

“You are such a silly boy. You know you have to kiss me again and mean it this time before you ask such things of me.” Renate breathed the words with the last syllable muffled between their lips.


Never let a man get too comfortable with his expectations, or he’ll leave you as fast as he found you. 

Tears fell onto the pages of her open book. Fresh ink gave witness to heartache in a smear of liquid words as the thought trailed away, leaving Renate to sort through the emotional wreckage left behind.

62 thoughts on “Sad Cafe III

    1. Renate does have excellent taste and you should see her in her leathers with high heeled boots, matching gloves, and helmet. David is such a goose for letting her ride away. Thank you, Lauren. It’s always my favorite day when you drop by.

      Liked by 1 person

        1. David has aged a little and turned out not so bad. Renate has a noir side and I hope it rubs off on David. They would look cool as aristocratic goths in the Paris café scene. Don’t stop with the cool stuff. Impressionable people are watching. 😎

          Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you Chris. It’s that left-right punch that love risks each day. I call it the teaching of pain but life cannot be complete without the risk and reward of searching and finding the person you share your life with.

      Liked by 1 person

    1. My dear Friend, this story is a manifestation of how your poetry builds entire worlds in my mind. It was your kindness and guidance into your world created with this magnificent tapestry of poems that gave the story its life and created Renate and David as two young lovers that conquered the devastation of time, distance, and the searing pains of life to find their true selves and realize they still loved each other. I think this is a story that we can all look to and ask ourselves, could I love like that. And why not? 🧜🏻‍♀️🧞‍♂️

      Liked by 2 people

      1. To not love like this would be very sad. Those gentle souls who wear there hearts on their sleeve fall very hard and suffer more than most when love is unrequited. For Them the passion must be there. It’s been lovely sharing this story.

        Liked by 1 person

            1. I’d still go just to keep my sister company and maybe for the fun of screaming in two part harmony. Dammit Dan and Dammit Jan, the best screamers in Screamer’s Park. Nobody can have more fun than we do when we get together. 😱😱

              Liked by 1 person

                1. I’m two years older but up until about age 30, we were often mistaken as twins and we were very close. We were always at the beach together and people would refer to us as Dan-n-Jan as if we were one person. We share a lot of personality traits to include an affinity for outdoor adventure and mischief. Any time my mother hollered Dammit, we both responded. 😁😁.

                  Liked by 1 person

      2. It’s a wonderful thing here, Dan, how you pick up into Holly’s poems/prose and weave distant sensory messages into this story. It’s wonderful, fascinating and I look forward to the next instalment. Thanks guys!

        Liked by 2 people

        1. Thank you Resa! You really led the way in collaboration of mixed art into a story that is so much more than a skilled and artful presentation. You engage all the senses and the imagination. It’s a beautiful thing to weave a story that is passionate and poignant, but with a message ultimately of hope and reconciliation. I think in our shared world today, we need that message to hold onto.

          Liked by 1 person

                1. You gave me the Sad Café grail poem and I will OCD the story to complete perfection. Every eraser on every pencil will be chewed off until it’s right. Saint Francis de Sales will be proud of us.


          1. Well…My ascendant is Libra and my planet is Mercury and my element is Air and…my Moon and I love each other infinitely and share many secrets. So you are following your planets’ instructions most dutifully, H.
            This has pleased my inner Goddess very much 😘✨

            Liked by 1 person

            1. And there you have it, the rest of the story. The planets are are never wrong, we do often have the mistaken idea we can argue with the universe and Mother Nature. It’s a naughty thing to do and sometimes spankings are necessary to realign our thoughts with the stars. 🤫⚡️

              Liked by 1 person

              1. Hmmm….
                You are very wise, H
                Also a little naughty
                Your words as always are most resonant and spank me…I mean touch me deeply!
                I am good with that.

                Dutifully Listening to the universe and Mother Nature…sounds like my fave song

                Liked by 1 person

                1. Here is your thought for the day M. In order to live we must have a few atoms of selenium in our bodies for every 7 trillion cells. If we have too little we become a dying animal. If we have too much we become a dead animal. It is the body’s job to select only those few atoms of selenium needed to reach the right balance and then the body fights a constant battle to maintain that balance, to maintain life. Ask your self, how does your body count atoms and know it has enough? And, if we can count a single atom, can we not count larger and more powerful things that balance our lives. If it were a choice of the mind to make, we would perish from self neglect. So there is a physiological mind far greater than the one we use on top of our shoulders. Listen to that larger, wiser, and more goddess like being inside that is more knowledgeable than anything we conceptualize with our fantasy generator we call a consciousness. This is your cortex spanking for the day. You’ve been good, now reward yourself. 😉☕️🍪 (lesson two is, don’t listen to anything I tell you. It causes headaches.)

                  Liked by 1 person

                  1. Ah… I love this because somewhere somehow I KNOW this.

                    So what you’re saying is…I am an infinite spiritual being of pure consciousness and I hold all the power within to make my temporary human existence as beautiful and blissful and love-ful as I wish ?
                    I thought so.💜
                    My Goddess Self and I are working on it, H.
                    I will keep you Divine- Creative -Consciousness updated

                    Liked by 1 person

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