Sunday, 18 January 2015

Where The Evergreens Grow

The fountains mingle with the river
And the rivers with the ocean, 
The winds of heaven mix for ever 
With a sweet emotion; 
Nothing in the world is single; 
All things by a law divine
In one spirit meet and mingle. 
Why not I with thine? -

~ Love's Philosophy by Percy Bysshe Shelley

Draw me, we will run after thee: the king hath brought me into his chambers: we will be glad and rejoice in thee, we will remember thy love more than wine: the upright love thee.

~ Song of Songs (King James)

Rose Wood (by nikkichicki

White Oleanders

Bucklebury, West Berkshire

One last look around the house.

The grand Berkshire mansion.

Photographed a million times over by the worlds media.

Home to an adored couple.

Mark and Nina Sander.

The palatal residence was no longer glorious.

It was a mausoleum now.

Full of memories that echoed through its walls.

Once upon a time a Prince had carried her over the threshold. 

And life was but a dream.

The media.

Vying for them.

But they no longer camped outside.

No longer watched or waited. 

Poised to capture them.

To note their every word.

Every gesture.

The handsome racing car champion.

Role model to millions

And his captivating wife.

The beautiful couple. 

Loved the world over.

The dream couple.

And their golden world.

But that was then.

Now there was a ghost in the house.

Nina Sander.


Stylish and elegant.


Lost without him.

Dressed in a simple black Betty Jackson shift dress. 

Her glossy raven hair tucked beneath a small black Philip Treacy cap.

Effortlessly beautiful.

But fragile.

With hazel large haunted eyes.

The house was too big for her now.

It was time to say goodbye.

She stopped in each room.

Rose V (by AgaSilva
One last time. 

Every room was filled with memories.

Bitter sweet memories.

The master bedroom.

It felt so empty now.

Without him.

And yet he seemed to be everywhere.

The big designer bed.

She could no longer sleep in it.

Without him.

Everything hurt.

It was the little things.

His smile.

The way he seemed to know what she was thinking.

His touch.

His kiss.

The way he held her.

Made her feel safe. 

The big designer bed.

Silent testament to their love.

In a large bare room.


Without him.

All the articles of their life together had been taken away..

Nina Sander could still hear his laugh as it rang through the house.

There was so much love for him.

She paused in the nursery.

Little Oliver.

It was where he had lived so briefly.

The most beautiful baby Nina had ever seen.

With the face of an angel.

Just like his father,

And now he was an angel.

The empty cot still stood beside the window.

A silent testimony to Oliver's short life.

Tears filled Nina's eyes.

She closed the door quietly behind her. 

And now she wept for the life that might have been.

She wept for her husband.

And the life she might have shared with him.

He had left her.

And yet he had never really gone.

Nina could feel Mark everywhere.

He was a part of her.

Somewhere she heard a baby cry.

"Oliver!" She cried.

Nina ran through the house.


She ran down the curling stairway. 

Her mother was standing at the large door to the house.

Holding the baby in her arms.

The golden haired baby.

Nina's sorrow turned to joy.

Baby Mark.

Mark Jr.

With his fathers stunning blue eyes.

Nina had conceived him just before her husband was killed in a racing car accident.

They said it was quick.

They said Mark had died instantly.

That he knew nothing.

They said that before he got in the car, he had vowed to give it all up and devote the rest of his life to her and the family they were going to have.

Then he died.

He left the room.

And Nina Sander discovered that she was expecting his child.

A part of him was growing inside her.

Living on through her.

The first time she ever held her son, she saw her husband's face.

Mark had gone.

But he had never truly left. 

She named the child after him.

And Mark Jr was so much like his father.

Kind and brave.

Now Nina ran to her baby.

He was crying.

And she had to be with him.

She took the child from her mother and grasped him for dear life.

"Hush now, hush now" Nina said softly.

And the baby quietened.

And she could hear Mark's voice.

"I will never leave you my love"

They were waiting for her.

The movers had taken everything.

Her new house was waiting for her.

A new Berkshire homestead.

Modest but grand.

Among the evergreens.


A home for her and the child.

As the sleek black limousine pulled away, Nina said one last goodbye to the magnificent abode that had once been her home.

She clutched her child as her mother held her hand.

A new chapter was beginning.

Nina had determined not to remarry.

Mark Sander had been her true love.

Her only love.

And she would do right by him.

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She would bring up the boy.

And one day as she believed, she would see Mark again.

But until then she would live her life.

And visit his grave.

Placing white oleanders.

Like the ones she wore in her hair the day they married.

"You look absolutely beautiful" Mark had told her that day.

And now she placed the flowers on his grave.

And she would continue to do so for the rest of her days.

No one would ever be able to compare to him.

Men came and went.

Each one wanted to make her his own.

But Nina belonged to Mark.

And when they asked her why she never wavered.

She informed them it was because Mark had gone.

But he had never truly left her.

He was everywhere.

He was in her son.

He was inside her.

He was in the flowers.

Mark Sander was still alive.

And he was the only man for her.

Nina would watch Mark Jr grow in a tall and handsome man like his father.

With the same white-blond hair and startling blue eyes.

He was a gentleman just like his father.

And Mark Jr wanted to make his daddy proud.

So he became an athlete.

An Olympic gold medalist.

Nobody could outrun him.

He was like a flash of lightening.

And when Mark Jr spoke with pride about his celebrated father.

His great inspiration.

His reason for being.

And they said he resembled him.

As Nina quietly observed and wiped away her silent tears.

Mark had gone.

But he hadn't really left her.

He was there in his son.

He was inside her.

And when Mark Jr married a beautiful Spanish model named Inés Sofia Aldana, they said that she was exactly like his mother.

Dark and lovely.

Elegant and graceful.

Just like Nina.

They said that Inés and Nina could be sisters.

Time could not wither Nina Sander.

As beautiful as ever.

With her sparkling hazel eyes.

Aristocratic looks.

Her raven hair piled high upon her head.

Nina Sander was a vision of loveliness. 

She watched at the lavish wedding reception in Hawaii, as Mark Jr danced with Ines.

They were both dressed in white.

Just like she and Mark had been when they married.

She watched as her son danced with his wife.

Watched by an adoring world.

And it was as if she were looking at herself and Mark again.

Time evaporated.

As they glided across the floor. 

Only love mattered. 

Then Mark Jr danced with his mother.

And as Nina looked up into the captivating blue eyes of her son, it was as if she were looking into the eyes of her husband.

"I will never leave you my love"

Tears ran down her face.

Mark had gone.

But he had never really left her.

Time had stopped.

It was obsolete.

Nina was dancing with Mark again.

Love had conquered everything.

It was a golden world.

Full of promise. 

Sometimes Mark Jr caught his mother looking out at the sky.

Watching the sunset.

rose (by AgaSilva
And he knew what she was thinking.

His father had gone.

But he never really left them. 

Now Nina retreated to her beautiful Berkshire home

Where the evergreens grew.

To walk bare foot.

And to write and paint.

They no longer camped outside.

The media no longer fought over her.

They admired her from afar now.

She lived quietly in her beautiful house.

Sometimes they came for her.

They remarked upon her beauty.

Her graciousness.

Time had frozen.

Mark Sander was still with them.


One day a reporter found Nina in Bucklebury cemetery. 

It was late afternoon.

Howie Stone.

Adept reporter. 

With his photographer - Matt Price.

Stone silently observed her from a short distance with his companion. 

Nina Sander,

Beautiful in white satin.

Christian Dior.

The beautiful widow. 

A raven haired vision of loveliness in the dying autumn light. 

She knelt beside his grave and lay a bouquet of white oleanders upon it. 

Mark Sander.

And there she lingered for long moments.

Affectionately touching the headstone.

Head bowed.

In silent communion.

And Howie Stone was momentarily lost for words.

The child of Mark and Nina Sander was buried just a few feet away.

He and his companion watched the scene from afar.

Time had stopped. 

Nina Sander.

So beautiful.

So tragic.

Finally Howie Stone composed himself.

And approached her.

She was gracious.

He asked her some carefully prepared questions.

And she responded.

And his companion photographed her.

She was so beautiful.

He was in awe.

Mark Sander had been the reporters idol.

Never missed a race as a kid. 

Howie Stone missed him.

Mark Sander had left a big hole in his life.

Never to be replaced.

And Nina Sander just knew.

He didn't need to say a word.

She just knew. 

The beautiful widow.

Had the grief become easier.

Had it become easier.

The grief.

What was life like.

Without him ...

Nina Sander listened.

Beautiful in white satin.

And she smiled.


"Mark has gone" Nina replied "but he has never really left me"

The reporter fought the tears that sprang to his eyes.

He understood. 

And all the while Nina Sander smiled.

A little blue bird had started singing above them on the branch of a tree.

Nina Sander was looking right into his soul. 

Beautiful in white satin

Mark had gone.

But he had never truly left.

Autumn Sunset


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