My name is Tristan Blake, and I can’t believe I’m writing this down. I may be a writer, but if you really want to know the intimate details of my sad life, I’m afraid you’ll have to look elsewhere. Why? That’s a long story. First, I’ll just say that I’m 35 years old, quite tall, have sandy hair (sometimes on the long side and with a beard), have striking blue eyes, and am told I’m muscular, although not overly-so. Physical details seem harmless enough, but I suppose you want to know more.
I grew up unwanted by my family, being born much later than the rest of my siblings. Being told you’re “a mistake,” especially by your alcoholic father, doesn’t exactly do much for a guy. I was out of that house as soon as I finished high school and began working in construction, just trying to get by. During all those dark years growing up, I always had my imagination. I wrote stories at a young age and had been working on a novel when I met my future wife, Julie. I couldn’t believe my turn of luck when I got an agent and a publishing deal. On top of that, when I proposed to Julie, she said yes!
You’d think this was the start of a happy life, but that happiness was short-lived. While we were doing well financially when others were broken (the Depression had just started), Julie and I suffered. I can’t say more. We were broken, and Julie gave up in every sense. I turned to drinking and to escaping with my writing instead of supporting my wife. This probably isn’t making any sense, but I told you I didn’t want to write my pathetic plight of a life down.
As if this weren’t bad enough, Julie…she died. I can’t even write it down; the pain is too great.
I would remain living in my self-induced cell for years. I couldn’t bear to change anything, but neither could I have her looking at me, so I blackened out her eyes in all her photographs. I also killed all the plants outside, wishing to live among dead things…rocks. Really, I was dead. I was delirious in my isolation. I did manage to write and publish one more novel.
Then she moved next door in late 1942…Lorna Ashford. A tornado threw us into the cellar of my house a few months later. For some crazy reason, maybe because I’d gone too long without human communication, I felt drawn to Lorna. But grief and guilt also consumed me. I began in earnest to clean up her yard after the tornado. I fixed her roof. I later offered to fix her car. I mowed her lawn. Despite everything in me telling me to stay away, that I would only hurt her, I couldn’t stop myself.
I grew to love her. We spent the whole summer together. She had come to confide in me too much, to believe that I was the source of her comfort and healing from her suffering from losing her parents.
I am not a source of comfort, but how can I tell her that? I love her, but I am not good for her. What happens in our story?
I may be a writer, but that’s one story I can’t write the end to. It’s not up to me.
Tristan is the second main character and love interest of protagonist Lorna Ashford in my unpublished novel, Lorna versus Laura.
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Also, check out my novel, Hannah’s Rainbow: Every Color Beautiful, now available for only $2.99 on Amazon: Hannah’s Rainbow: Every Color Beautiful