“Phoenix of the Greek Fire”


Picking up from the previous story “In Light of the Greek Fire”…

Next morning, David was about to leave his Clapham home for work when there was a knock on the door, which he opened to find a man holding a bunch of lilies.  “David Millington?” the man said.  Surprised, he thanked the man, took them inside and put them in a vase, the only vase he owned.  In separating the stems from the wrapping he discovered an envelope, which contained a handwritten note.  He knew the writing instantly.  It was Diantha’s.  And it read:

Oh David why did you come back into my life at this time?  It was so lovely seeing you again and I meant it when I said that you are still a beautiful man.  You said it was not just because of what you saw on the news about the wildfires in Greece, that you thought about me a lot. But if it was the fires that made you actually come and find me, then it’s one good thing of the many good things that will come of tragedy. You’re one phoenix from the flames. I have also thought about you such a lot through these years. You know I loved you once with all of my heart and I sensed you wanted me to be that woman again, but sadly I can’t, I cannot love you in that way now.  You see it would not be fair to fall in love again, on myself or on you.  We talked about so many things in the short time we had, almost like the years never happened, but I didn’t talk about one thing.  I am selling my business and going back to Athens with Daddy, where I will stay until I die.  The Doctors said it won’t be long, months or even weeks.  So that is the choice I have made.  If I can also help in some way the people I know who have suffered during the fires, people I know who have lost someone close, that will be another good thing to come from this. I will visit my mother in London next week and perhaps I will say goodbye to you, we will see, but please forgive me if that’s too much for me to take.  I remember you once asked me why men never receive flowers, so I send these with my fondest wishes and hope you like them and they don’t die too soon!  David there will always be a place in my heart for you, and I truly wish you continued success and future happiness.  Diantha x

David put the note down on his desk and sank to a chair in front of it. He was shaking. It was early yet he needed a drink. It was a lot to take in and he knew he’d have to read the note again and again but didn’t want to, so broken was his heart. He was due in court at ten, a murder case, but how could he focus today of all days? How could he stand for the defence of someone he knew was guilty of evil, when someone so good was being prematurely taken? Why do bad things happen to innocent and beautiful people undeserving of such pain?  Like the people in Athens, twenty-six of them huddled together to die, showing love and support for each other while at the mercy of the flames. Why these things could happen he had no idea, like he had no idea what to do about the letter. He decided he would let it sink in a while before deciding. He was all at sea. She’d written so much but said so little, so many unanswered questions – what was her illness?  How long had she actually got?  Was she in pain?  Was there really nothing anyone could do? But one thing was for certain; he couldn’t rely on Diantha coming to say goodbye when she came to London. In some way, he didn’t yet know how, he would have to make it happen. He just had to see her again.

To be continued…




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