- N. N. Light
Seeing Gail Again by @LFarmerWrites is a Love and Romance Book Festival Pick #romance #giveaway
Title: Seeing Gail Again
Author: Larry Farmer
Genre: Adventure, Travel, Romance
Jericho is a Marine fresh from combat in Vietnam who must now fight the war at home during the anti-war Age of Aquarius. To get away he sets off for the most tranquil place on earth, the Lake District of England. There, as if waiting on him, is Gail, a mother-earth type, seemingly cosmically linked to him as her Prince Charming. They find peace and depth of love until the Yom Kippur War breaks out in the Middle East pushing Jericho to seek his Jewish identity in Israel's cause. They never forget one another. Years later they come to grips with destiny still calling them that was never fulfilled.
“You’re exactly the one I want to see now, Jericho,” she said as she broke away from our embrace. “To make up with you from what happened the last time we met. Some karma going on, I think. You were so silly, I have to say. You seemed so lost. I was happy to see you again, but to me it was just old times with an old friend. But to you it was as if I betrayed you by running off with another man, this mere fondness I showed you while you expected more of the Lakes about us. Four years was a long time, my love. I thought we had moved on. I was rooming with me best mate, that teacher that put you up when you hitched from the Lakes to Manchester to try to join the Israeli Army.”
She broke out in laughter at the memory. It was she that drove me from Bowness-on-Windermere where we worked in a hotel, to the highway to Preston to get me to Manchester.
I smiled at the thought.
“I still have the picture, you know,” I said.
“What picture is that?” she asked.
“Remember, I had that Polaroid camera and we got the guy that first picked me up to take a picture of us together. Here, me on my way to Manchester to the Israeli consulate about the war effort, and this goddess I was so in love with, sending me off. I just had to document it with a picture. I was wearing my Marine overcoat and combat boots. What a show. And you had this love-struck look about you, hugging me as if to not let me go. Off to war, will you ever see me again look, you know.”
“How would that be, when I knew you were coming back from Manchester?” she asked. “Irregardless of what happened at the Israeli consulate there. You hadn’t quit your job at the hotel. I called me mate from when I was a teacher in Manchester before I moved to Bowness, had her put you up, while you talked to the Israelis about saving the day for them. Marines are a hoot, my sweet.”
“I love your expressions, Gail,” I said ready to melt right in front of her. Her northern English accent was already more than I could take. I would have married her for that alone. So refined and crisp. But the terms of endearment she used on me now flowed right through me.
“I feel them again, Jericho,” she said with a sparkle in her eye and the depth back in her manner. “I’m sorry I didn’t six years ago. I thought we had left the Lakes far behind. I left the Lakes a year after you did and never looked back. I go back now and again, but I was ready to settle down. I got my teaching position back, moved back in with me best mate, and was quite content with my mundane middle-class life in a large British city.
Made to order, as they say. And then this bloke appears on my doorstep, meaning you four years later, with this long lost look about him that I forgot existed. You were just dying to pretend we never left the Lakes. Get out of here, I thought to myself. And you laid out the most beautifully bitter nervous breakdown I ever saw. James Dean would have taken notes, I thought. So did me mate. We had a giggle. At your expense.”
She shook her head in sharp, rigid jerks at the memory as she caressed the back of my neck with her fingertips. I looked back at her afraid to even breathe. Afraid all this might go away.
“I’m so sorry, my love,” she continued. “I never wanted to see you again after that. I was disgusted with you and your silliness. No one ever loved me like that and when I figured it out a year or so after you left me again, you were so long gone. Is that how you say it back in Texas? Long gone? Like a trail of dust on the Western Prairie. And I realized how precious that love with you was. Perhaps we’re not the romantics here in our United Kingdom as you are in Texas. Or is it just you cowboys in Texas? Or the Jewish in you? Or is this a Jewish cowboy trait from Texas just exploding from all its complexity. But suddenly you were gone. For good, I thought. In the French Foreign Legion for all I knew. And I felt emptiness. Love is so superior to emptiness. How did I not know it? How was I not aware of it every breathing minute we were together in the Lakes? It was just there. Our love, I mean. An experience to be taken for granted. I was young. Old enough, but young, and just thought this is part of life somehow and there will be others. But it isn’t normal life. Not what we experienced. It’s your part of life. You gave me something I’ve never known since nor seen again except in some movie fantasy, I suppose. Things like I never felt except from you and for you. Youth doesn’t explain it to me anymore. I feel stupid, for lack of a better word, to not know how special you were. That we were together.”
She reached down to pick up my backpack with a struggle and handed it to me.
“Let’s continue on, my dear,” she instructed. “We’ll talk in the car.”
I strapped on my backpack so that I could hold onto her as we walked. I was never so in love. Just like the last time I saw her.
The Wild Rose Press - https://www.thewildrosepress.com/books/seeing-gail-again
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What’s your favorite part about being a romance author?
I enjoy communication. Conveying. But in particular, writing is an art form. To get the message, including the settings and scenes across seductively and informatively.
Here’s my tip to add romance to your love life:
Love is sharing and caring. Needing and fulfillment.
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I was born and raised in Harlingen on the border with Mexico on the southern tip of Texas, near the Gulf of Mexico. I was raised with old school values on a cotton farm. After high school I went to Texas A&M and was in the Corps of Cadets there. I quit in the middle of my senior year to join the Marines in the hope of going to Vietnam. I also served in the Peace Corps in The Philippines. I travelled around the world between these two events in my life and saw enough to need to relate it.
I worked for eleven years in Switzerland. I married there and raised two of my three children there. I now work for Texas A&M. And finally have time to reflect on my life and its meaning. And write about it.
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