Spellbound, like a Moth to a Flame.
The moon shines as the night unfolds and infuses the darkness with life; this is my time, my moment of peace. Fluttering against the window screen, a Luna Moth struggles to get closer to a candle in the window. How could something so beautiful be fooled by a simple flame? It will flutter and struggle, and in the end die from its fascination with something it will never have. Such a shame…
I grew up as an army brat, which in turned led me into the life as a soldier. My upbringing was a nomadic one; I traveled to Asia and Europe as a child. Friendships were brief, but the feelings of loneliness lingered much longer. My initiation into adulthood occurred during my father’s second tour into Europe. Growing up in Germany, I consumed alternative music, good beer, and beautiful women. My confidence grew and I decided at that time that I will become an island. I will not allow anyone to dominate me. I came to this mind set after watching my friends get swept aside by falling in love. “I will not let that happen to me” I announced to myself. “Ezra E. Noyesi will not be a slave to love.”
After joining the military I settled into an opportunity working for a logistics company. A decent blue collar management job with a company that liked to award their managers. One of the perks was to travel to a posh resort in a tourist town to attend manager meetings. This years event would be in a Lake Tahoe. The event for this meeting was a nighttime boat ride on Emerald Bay, so I decided to attend. A full moon lit up the night sky and painted its presence on the surface of the lake. The boat glided on the lake, sending ripples through the surface. People began to segregate themselves among friends and cliques. Since I was one of two new managers within the company, I had no group to attach myself to. So I did what I’ve always done since I was a child; I grew roots and became a wallflower. I was the audience to the commotion, a witness to the social climbing antics of the rabble. After a while I decided to remove myself from the circus and enjoy the crisp cool breeze off the lake. While standing by the bow, a glint of red caught my eye.
“Hey you,” announced Helen Ogon, the executive coordinator from our home office. I had only spoken to her on the phone during my initial interview for the management opportunity. I remember thinking she had such a sexy voice, yet seemed down to earth. “People are going to think you’re stuck up if you don’t mingle.” “Too late for that,” I replied. “Everyone here already knows I’m better than they are.” She giggled. For some reason my confidence and wit was on full view this evening. Helen had a striking figure. She was in her mid 40’s, yet she looked much younger than that. She had fiery red hair, beautiful green eyes and a friendly disposition. “Shouldn’t you be ordering flowers for the executive teams girlfriends?” I asked . "Already did, and have vouchers for their cab fare" she replied. Damn, she’s good. We stood there and laughed at each other, trading smart ass remarks. After awhile we began to talk about ourselves. She shared with me how she had been with the company for over twenty years. She had lost her husband to cancer, but not before they had two kids and 3 grand kids. I remarked about how I would have never guessed she’s a grandmother. We continued to talk, and even as the boat settled dock side, we remained talking to each other until we both realized we were the last ones left. I wished her good evening and thanked her for salvaging the boat ride for me. “You’re welcome, and you owe me!” As she walked away, I was envisioning all the ways I would love to repay the favor.
I caught my flight back home and began to relive the moments from the boat ride. The one image that was seared in my mind was the sparkle in her eyes as we spoke. I relived the moments when she laughed and touched my arm. Why me? Out of all the successful men at the meeting, why did she come to speak to me? I could think of nothing else throughout the entire flight. I began to wonder if there was something more to the chance meeting, or was I creating a mountain out of a molehill? “I’m beginning to act like a schoolgirl” I thought. When I arrived home I took a long, hot shower. Then I checked my emails; there was one email sitting in my in box. It was from Helen. My heart began to race with excitement; my molehill is growing into a mountain. I opened it and my heart sank. It was the weekly communication letter commending all the business units on their performance in the 2nd quarter of this year. I’m such a dumb ass. A couple of weeks later I received another email from Helen. This time it was a flight itinerary; she would be conducting audits on our HR documentation. I replied to the email, asking if I would need to wear a paper gown for the examination, but no response. A short time later my cell phone rang; the caller ID indicates it’s from the home office. “This is Ezra from Oerlikon Industries, may I help you?” Helen responds “Mr. Noyesi, are you aware of the protocol for business communications within the company?” “If so then you know that the company frowns on off colored humor and remarks. But I think you’re very funny and would love to see you in a paper gown; it would be good for my own personal morale.” We laughed to minimize the awkwardness, but I felt a connection coming on. I hung up the phone and realized that I may have finally met my match. I awaited her arrival.
Helen arrives at the yard in a rental car; but in my mind it might as well have been a carriage pulled by horses. She stepped out in the sunlight and I was mesmerized by her beauty. She walked in and greeted me with that beautiful smile that had been on my mind since the boat ride. “I finally made it here after a 2 hour delay in Salt lake City!” She announced. “Well, I’ve been waiting for you with bated breath” I stated with my enthusiasm in check. “Why don’t we get started now so that we can have dinner on the company?” I proposed. “Let’s do it!” She said. Since my location was small compared to other sites the audit lasted only 4 hours. The company stipulates that the auditor will stay on site for 24 hours to ensure all details are in compliance. Helen and I went to dinner at the Nagoya steakhouse for dinner, conversation, and laughter. We nestle ourselves into a private part of the restaurant to continue where we left off. We begin talking as if we were long lost friends, people who have known each other forever. I finally ask her why; why did she decide to talk to me on the boat that night. “Well EZ, of all the managers I’ve met you’re the most honest and thoughtful.” “Thoughtful?” I replied. “Yes, thoughtful. You were the only manager who remembered administrative professional day by sending a thank you card to everyone in the home office.” She continued “And you’re the only manager who will give an honest assessment on a deal even when it’s not popular. But most of all, you're very passionate about everything you do. I can see it in your eyes and hear in your voice.”
“Well, I will say the first thing that comes into my mind,” I replied. “What are you thinking right now?” She asked me. “You’re beautiful, intelligent, and very confident.” I continued. “When I first saw you on the boat, I was mesmerized and couldn’t take my eyes off of you.” She paused for second before responding, as if to make sure that I meant what I said. “I find you attractive as well,” she said while taking a sip from her glass of Port. Our conversation grew intimate. I sat there, amazed at the speed in which our meeting on the boat blossomed into more. I suspected that she’s thought of me before we spoke, and for some reason she allowed me to get closer to her. I would have never guessed that someone with her stature would be interested in me, but she was. And I relished it. We moved closer to each other, and I saw an opportunity to take a kiss. I did it, and she returned my kiss while caressing my hand. We both rose to leave our table and walked to the rental car. We drove to her hotel, and without exchanging words or comments, we walked up to her suite. She unlocked the door and walked in, and I followed right behind her. I didn’t question the moment, nor did I ponder the consequences. In no time at all we were locked in a passionate embrace, kissing, caressing, and tasting each other. We were both consumed by the flame of sensuality, fueled by our lust and desire for each other. I was utterly spellbound, trapped by lust but fed by passion. I couldn’t get enough, and during consummation I held on as if my life depended on it. As the night passed we descended from our high, spent and content. We slept together as if we were tied into a Celtic knot, unbreakable.
We woke up greeted each other with a French kiss; it beats French toast on any given morning. We got dressed and she promised to stop by the yard before she flew out. We kissed once more, and with a spring in my step I drove to my operation. As the day rolled on I watched the clock and looked out the window like an anxious dog waiting for his master. Time passed and I grew more impatient, then the phone rang. It was Helen; “Sorry dear, I wanted to come by but an earlier flight became available for me to get home at a decent hour.” I stood there listening, hoping that this was a joke. “I wish you had to chance to come by, I would have loved to see you before you left.” I replied. “Me too Hun, but before I leave I wanted to let you know I had a good time and I’ll be seeing you soon. There’s my flight, gotta go!” And like that she was gone. I sat there, pondering, wondering what happened. My lead foreman knocks on the door, letting me know that they’re done and fixing to clock out. I nod, then walk to my desk and sit in my chair. Around 4 hours later the 3rd shift shows up and asks if I plan to stay. I tell them the yard is theirs and walk out the door; I go home.
I laid in bed thinking about the last conversation with Helen. Why hasn’t she called me this afternoon, this evening, or right now? Does she think I’m a tool that can used and placed on the shelf until next time? Wait, she flew done here to be with me, she stayed all night with me, she has to be thinking about me. Right? After a restless night I prepare to go into work, yet I’m possessed by my thoughts of her. I can’t for the life of me get her out of my mind. I arrive at work and rush to log in and check my emails. There’s one email from Helen; I open it only to have my hopes dashed. It’s a copy of the audit; we’ve passed with flying colors. I don’t understand. Where’s the email announcing her thoughts of me? Where’s the card with the obnoxious cartoon pet announcing that she misses me? I sit down and write her an email, careful not to sound needy for aching for affection. I’ll let her know that I miss her and wish she would give a call once she has the chance. There, I’m the one that contacted her first. That has to count for something. I decide to home and ruminate some more. I take out an Ambien and chase it down with Absolut. I slip into a semi lucid state, and then finally fall asle
The next day at work I log in to check my emails. A response from Helen is waiting for me to open it. “Loved your email. It was nice. Talk to you soon” she responded. That’s it? I wrote an email letting her know that I’m thinking of her and she said it was nice?! Where’s the passionate response, where’s the acknowledgment that she feels for me too? I know she felt something for me, I saw it in her eyes. I lift up the phone and call her cell. She answers, “Hey EZ, how are you doing?” “Well, I’ve been thinking about you since you left, can’t think of anything else.” I replied. “Well, your audit went well and it will help you with your bonus, gotta be happy with that.” “Yea, I get that,” I responded, “I’m kind of getting the impression that you don’t want to be bothered.” There was a slight pause, and as if she was calculating her response, then she answered. “Listen EZ, what happens there stays there. I enjoyed spending time with you, but now I’m home. You understand, you were a soldier, sometimes people need to get wild once in awhile.” I sat there, dumbstruck, trying to understand what happened. She continued “We had a good time, but that was it. I hope you don’t take it the wrong way. We were caught up in the moment and we let our emotions and passions get the best of us. I have to go, but you take care of yourself.” And with a click and the dead tone of the phone she never spoke to me again. From that point on all communications from her were in email form, and always generic. I had become no more than an outlook contact on her email list.
In the following weeks I would write to her in vain hoping for any sign that she thought of me. She never responded to me again, and I felt like a plume of smoke being blown away. In the military we were taught to treat wounds in combat to prolong life and give ourselves a chance for survival. How do you treat an emotional wound where you’re unable to stop the bleeding? What recourse do you have when the cut you receive causes your love for seep away? I could see the sparkle in my eyes dimming like a dying flame, until I began to take on the look of a doll. I wondered what my existence was about after she left, because in my mind I had none. Time crept on and my hope for recovering never came to fruition. Every time I heard a pleasing voice, heard a sultry laugh I always thought of Helen. All sensual thoughts I had were tainted by my memories of her. I looked young on the outside, but my soul and spirit aged beyond recognition. I no longer lived my life, I existed within it. There was time when I floated into parties and meetings and dazzled people with my wit and charm. Now I’ve become a shadow of my former self. With all that has happened to me, and all the pain and suffering wrought from my tryst with Helen, I still loved her. As time passed on I continued to relive the moments of our first meeting and how I felt when she smiled at me. I longed to feel her touch, and ached to breathe in her breath. If I saw a woman in a crowd or in the distance that resembled her, I would look and stare. Any moment that caused me to remember our time together would cause me to freeze as if I could stop time. Her image was burned into my psyche, and I never was able to shake my thoughts of her. And like the Luna Moth outside my window, I continued to wander after my light. Even though it faded out of my life, forever
© 2017 Augustine A Zavala