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.

longing (by someonesaid
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


Friday 2 January 2015

The Flower Of My Heart

See the mountains kiss high heaven
And the waves clasp one another;
No sister-flower would be forgiven
If it disdained its brother;
And the sunlight clasps the earth,
And the moonbeams kiss the sea;
What are all these kissings worth, 
If thou kiss not me

Love's Philosophy by Percy Bysshe Shelley

I sat down under his shadow with great delight, and his fruit was sweet to my taste. He brought me to the banqueting house, and his banner over me was love. Stay me with flagons, comfort me with apples: for I am sick of love. His left is under my head and his right hand doth embrace me.

~ Song of Solomon 2 4-6 (King James)

One rose by( biljana1313

The Last Dance

Bucklebury, West Berkshire

Nina Sander must have been walking for hours.

But she had lost track of time.

It was dusk now.

She leaned against a tree.

Nina Sander closed her eyes to shut out the pain.

Memories were tumbling over themselves in her mind.

Bitter sweet memories.

Nina was twenty-three again.

Petite and exotic looking in a little black Betty Jackson shift dress.

Her dark hair tumbling about her shoulders. 

And she was sitting alone at the bar in a club in Birmingham.

The Summarrow; the ultimate luxury clubbing destination. 

Nina had left her lively girlfriends at their table.

Unable to hide her sadness any longer.

Now Nina was copiously wiping away her tears and trying hard to forget the man who had rejected her.

And she was losing the battle.

"Can I buy you a drink?" A sweetly accented voice asked her.

Those were the first words he ever spoken to her.

Nina turned to see a tall man.

6 ft. 

Lean and athletic.

Scandinavian looking with white-blond hair.

He was boyishly handsome with an open face and the clearest blue eyes she had ever seen.

Then he smiled at her.

And Nina knew with all certainty that she wanted to spend the rest of her life with him.

It was simple. 

"I don't drink ..." Nina said quickly looking bashfully away "my girlfriends thought they could coax me out for the night ... "

"This is the worst place to be alone" the man said as he grabbed a stool and sat beside her.

His warm voice was reassuring.

Suddenly Nina felt completely safe.

She was glad he was there. 

"Sorry to pry but you look like you've been crying" the man added gently.

There was a sincere note of concern in his voice.

Nina looked up at him with big tragic eyes.

There was an earnest expression on his handsome face.

"It's a man ... what else could it be?" Nina answered trying to soften the edge in her voice.

She was trying desperately hard to the stem the flow of tears that were filling her eyes.

But the tears kept falling anyway.

"Sorry" he said simply.

And she knew that he meant it.

The couple fell silent for several moments.

There was a note of expectancy between them.

The young man noticed how warm Nina's hazel eyes were.

And how vibrant her olive complexion was and how lustrous her dark hair was.

Her pouting rose-bud lips were full.

She was as fragile and innocent as a May flower.

As exotic as a jasmine flower.

And she looked like a little lost girl.

The young man's heart skipped a beat.

Suddenly he wanted to be her knight in shining armour.

He wanted to protect her.

To kill dragons for her.

And take her to live in his big castle.

Suddenly this alluring creature was the woman he had been waiting for all his life.

This tragic beauty was the woman he was going to marry.

Nina could feel the man looking intently at her.

And she liked it very much.

His gaze was suddenly very precious to her.

"My name is Nina" she said "Nina Toscano ... I'm half Spanish"

papaveri  (by absinth88
She tentatively held out her hand and he took it gently.

His big hand was was firm and warm.

When he looked at her, it was as if he was looking right into her soul.

Nina's heart was racing.

He held her hand for the longest time.

"Great!" He answered jovially "My name is Mark  ... and I'm half Swedish!"

They both giggled together.

Suddenly it all seemed absurd.

And Nina's tears were already a memory.

They were destined to meet.

It was written in the stars. 

"You see ... you can laugh!" Mark pointed out cheerfully.

By the end of the evening Nina Toscano had forgotten about her treacherous lost love.

And that was how it all began.

"Do you know who he is?" Sara Romero asked Nina one evening. 

Romero was half Spanish like her friend and she was an engaging brunette with large green eyes and an infectious laugh. 

Sara had known Nina since they were toddlers.

They were curled up on the sofa in her smart Maida Vale flat. 

"Take a look at this" Sara said opening a glossy magazine and handing it to her friend.

Essentials Magazine.

Nina's eyes widened.

The article was about him.

Mark Sander the handsome Formula One champion is winning hearts in Sand Diego as he enjoys a brief holiday before preparing for the San Moreno Grand Prix. There was no shortage of admirers as Sander sunbathed beside the pool at The Grand Del Mar hotel. "He's a gentlemen" a star struck holidaymaker informed Glitter magazine "He's so cute and polite" The 6ft sportsman is one of the most eligible bachelors today and has already entered the hall of fame.

Nina was smiling now.

There was a picture of Mark Sander.

Black Gucci sunglasses.

Black Speedo swimming trunks

Tanned and muscled.

Sipping a cocktail beside the pool.

Nina was lost for words.

She could barely contain her excitement.

"I think you've found your Prince" Sara Romero declared.

Nina had no idea that Mark Sander was a famous racing car driver.

The realisation had taken her totally by surprise.

He was so unaffected.

Mark was just the most handsome man she had ever seen.

The kindest man she had ever met.

And shortly after he called her.

And a new world opened up for them.

They spent hours talking to each other.

It felt as if they had always known each other.

Everything fit together.

Mark Sander treated Nina Toscano with the utmost circumspection and respect.

He was a gentleman. 

And he was ushering her into a privileged world that she had never known before.

A world she only ever dreamed about.

Saw in the movies. 

On the TV.

In magazines.

Suddenly it was her world too.

And it took her by surprise.

Before she knew it, Nina Toscano was caught up in a whirlwind.

They were the couple of the time.

They were mobbed. 

Photographed everywhere.

They waited for her at her London beauty salon.


Her old life was gone.

Nina Toscano began to see her picture in magazines and newspapers.

She could hardly believe it.

It was like a dream. 

The media interest was intense.


There were endless TV appearances and interviews.

And soon Nina was attending glittering parties and movie premier's on Mark's arm.

People wanted to speak to her.

They admired and envied her.

Nina's life had been turned upside down.

Every girl dreamed about marrying a Prince.

And it seemed that Nina really had.

Mark Sander was the most selfless man she had ever met.

He bought her parents a house in Highgate Wood..

And he helped her sister Marianna set up her own travel business.

He showered her with presents.

Delighting in her joy. 

There was nothing he would not do.

"I've never been so happy" Nina told him one night.

They were on the balcony of his luxury Chelsea flat.

The whole of London glittered before them down below.

There was a full moon that night.

"People love me for who they think I am" he replied "they love Mark Sander the racing car driver. But you love me for who I really am"

They were soul mates. 

They made love for the first time in a hotel in Paris. 

Mark had been holding off.

Until it felt right.

The perfect timing.

They made love in a huge bed. 

In an opulent hotel room.

The Champs Elysees Plaza Hotel.

A Parisian palace.

They sealed their love.

And barely left the hotel room for three days. 

Mark Sander was the perfect lover.

Nina Toscano wept with joy as she nuzzled her face into his taut and muscled chest.

She had never tasted ecstasy like this before.

The couple dreamed about their future together.

The kids they would have.

Life could not be sweeter. 

Fame cocked a snoop at Mark and Nina's private life together.

And she took it all in her stride.

Because with Mark at her side, Nina felt completely invincible.

She clung to him.

She clung to him as they ran through the streets of Paris to their limousine as camera's flashed away and reporters vied for their attention.

She clung to him as they walked down the red carpet at the Oscars ceremony. 

And she clung to him at the funeral of his beloved father in Sweden.

She shared his grief like no other. 

And now Nina Sander clung to her better-sweet memories.

Each precious to memory.

Not even the beauty of her surroundings could shake Nina  from her reverie tonight.

She was trying to assuage the growing ache deep down in the pit of her heart.

But she was losing the battle.

Everything hurt like a physical wound.

It smote her.

The whole of time began the moment Nina Toscano met Mark Sander at The Summerrow. 

And the whole of time ended when ...

It was getting colder now.

Nina hugged herself against the rising winds.

She ached for him.


Nina was lying in Mark's arms beneath the old oak tree.

"I think I'd die if I lost you" she said.

The dying light had cast his handsome face with a golden glow.

"Then why don't you marry me?" Mark replied with a smile.

"Really?" Nina said excitedly.

"Will you be my wife?" He asked her.

"I will!" She answered him.

Then they kissed.

"We were meant to be together"

Everything was beautiful. 

Nina stared at the spot where they had lain that night.

Sweet memories.

Mark bent down and picked a daisy.

The symbol of purity and innocence. 

Then Mark gently placed the flower in her hair.

"You are utterly beautiful" he whispered in her ear.

Mark took her hand and they walked hand-in-hand to the waiting limousine.

Nina smiled when she saw daisies growing beneath the tree.

Tears filled her eyes.

"How can they still keep growing?" She whispered.

Didn't they know?

She closed her eyes.

Mark was making love to her in his big bed.

Nina was transported.

Every erotic love play drew her deeper into him.

And even now Nina could still taste Mark in her mouth.

She could still smell Mark.

On every inch of her body.

He was under her skin.

He was a part of her.

She could still feel his warm touch.

Kiss (by Teddy-bear1
The big firm grip of his hands.

His muscled chest.
The white-blond hair as it fell across his brow. 

She could still see his beautiful smile.

And hear his heart beating.

Nina lay on the ground beneath the tree.

Where they had once lain together.

The ground was sodden and damp.

Nina Sander opened up her arms.

Like Jesus on the cross.

She surrendered. 

Sweet memories.

Mark and Nina.

Running barefoot through the lapping waves on the day of their wedding in Maui.

Laughing together. 

They were both dressed in immaculate white.

Nina was a vision of loveliness in an elegant silk Chloe wedding dress.

She was holding a bouquet of pure white rose and her dark tresses were piled high upon her head with white oleanders in her hair.

Mark was a picture of dashing elegance in his pristine white Prada suit.

They were like a couple of angels.

And it was a brave new world. 

Everything was brand new.

Pure and white.

Like the sand.

The sand the couple tumbled into as hundreds of cameras flashed around them and wedding guests and admirers cheered them on.

"We love you!" They cried. 

The whole world was sharing in Mark and Nina's joy.

And they wanted to share their happiness with everyone.

The beach was crowded with hundreds of people clapping and cheering.

But Mark and Nina were lost in each other.

They only had eyes for each other.

Nina had said a little prayer.

In Sacred Hearts Mission Church.

She was counting every blessing.

Because her life was so beautiful now.

One moment she was running a little beauty salon in Notting Hill and the next she was a media darling with the most eligible bachelor in sport.  

A man with a huge following. 

A role model to countless people. 

The whole world seemed to be at Nina's feet.

"Thank you" She whispered in the quiet church.  

She had stepped off the roller-coaster.

All was still. 

Nina Sander could still feel the peace she felt that day.
The fountains mingle with the river
And the rivers with the ocean, 
The winds of heaven mix for ever 
With a sweet emotion
Now she saw herself racing through the lapping waves with Mark.

They were laughing.

And everyone was laughing with them.

The entire world was on the beach that day.

That night they stood on the balcony of their luxury hotel suite and Mark Sander looked deeply into the eyes of his new bride.

"You look absolutely beautiful" He said.

 Then he kissed her tenderly.

The sun was setting.

Mark led Nina over to the big silken bed.

"I want this moment to last forever" she said.

It was perfect.

Now Nina's eyes filled with tears at the sweet memory.

A large crow suddenly squawked loudly as it flew overhead.

And she was taken back in time.

Nina was watching the race at the Formula One World Championship

She had already seen Mark give the thumbs up.

Nina was sitting with the other wives in the stalls.

She was wearing a purple cotton Christian Dior dress. 

And Nina could barely speak because she was so tense. 

The other woman seemed to be taking everything in their stride as they talked animatedly among themselves and looked out for their loved ones. 

But Nina Sander was not like them.

She could never relax until she knew Mark was okay.

Until he was in full view.

Until she saw his handsome smiling face before he put on his helmet.

Until he gave her the sign that everything was okay.

Only then could she settle.

The loud vibrating noise of the racing cars that sounded like thunder in the streets.

The smell of diesel.

The mounting sense of high expectations.

It was the breath of life to Mark Sander.

But it frightened Nina.

She sat
restlessly in the stalls with the other wives.

Her almond-shaped eyes feverishly searching for her husband.

And a red and white Ferrari. 

Then she saw him.

Mark Sander grinned broadly.

He gave Nina the thumbs up. 

"I love you!" Mark mouthed. 

Nina blew him a kiss.

Today she was particularly anxious.

Her hands were protectively cupping her swollen belly. 

She was heavily pregnant.

Carrying their child.

The fruit of their love.

The baby had been stirring and discomfort had been steadily mounting all day.

Before the end of the race Nina was already in a private hospital in London.

The Portland Hospital.

They had taken good care of her. 

Smiling faces.

The nurses encircled Nina as she groaned and writhed on the hospital bed.

The agony and the ecstasy. 

"You're doing great, Mrs Sander!" Nurse Judy Gray informed her "Just a little push!"

The scream came from somewhere deep within her.

Fading into the sound of a new born baby's cry. 

And the squawk of a black bird. 

Nina stared up at the noisy bird as it let out another shrill cry.

Perched on a spindly branch.

It stared down at her with its nonchalant eye. 

The bird of ill omen.

Portent of doom. 

Then she remembered.

Mark being interviewed after the race.

Questions were being fired by enthusiastic journalists and camera's were flashing from all directions.

It was half an hour into the press conference.

Ryan Lewis, Mark's capable PA, promptly entered the room and whispered into his ear. 

It was news of great portent and the champion racing car driver gave a yelp of victory.

"I'm sorry to cut the party short, ladies and gentlemen!" Mark unexpectedly announced "But now I am going to go home to my wife and our new baby boy!" 

A cheer arose from the press.

Mark Sander was beside himself with joy.

That evening he held baby Oliver in his arms for the first time.

The couple were back in their Berkshire mansion. 

And life was sweet.

"He's the most beautiful thing I've ever seen" Nina declared as she lay curled up on the white leather sofa.

Still exhausted from the exertion of childbirth.  

"Beautiful like his mother" Mark Sander replied.

Then he handed the child to Lucia, the maid. 

Nina looked so drawn and fragile.

Mark took his wife in his arms.

"Our family is complete" he said. 

Nina closed her eyes again.

The sky had darkened and the ominous black bird had flown away with a piercing screech.

Bitter memories.

"Let him go" Mark urged her gently.

But Nina Sander refused to give up her child.

He had only lived for three months. 

Little Oliver. 

He would never be forgotten. 

Nina was sitting on the edge of the bed and gently rocking herself and the dead baby in her arms.

But her eyes were fixed straight ahead.

As if in a trance.

Their beloved son could not have wanted for more.

But they had still found him dead in his cot.

Little Oliver looked as if he were sleeping.

Only sleeping. 

Nina was overwrought.

Not even gentle Lucia the maid could soothe her. 

Only Mark could reach her. 

Nina had not stopped tormenting herself over little Oliver's tragic end.

She blamed herself.

"I should never have left him alone!" Nina kept repeating 

"It's all my fault"

Mark gently removed the child from Nina's grasp.

And the waiting medic quietly took away her baby.


Then Mark gathered his distraught wife up in his big arms.

Nina watched over his shoulder as they took her son away.

Little Oliver. 

She clung to her husband.

"Promise me that you'll never leave me!" Nina urged him.

"I will never leave you my love" Mark Sander assured her.

Gradually the nursery had become full of family members and friends.

Mark's mother Lottie had flown over from Stockholm in Sweden.

Nina's parents, Charity and Santiago Toscano had flown over from Álora in Spain. 

Mariana was standing beside Sara Romero and her partner Mickey Carter. 

And there were countless other family members and friends crowding into the bright yellow nursery room with its little rocking horses and mountain of teddy bears. 

All grieving for little Oliver.

Nina Sander would never forget the face of her son.

It was burned into her soul.

The memory of his smile.

The bright blue eyes of his father. 

As they lowered his tiny white coffin into the ground.

As Nina clung to her husband.

On that sad day. 

Nina Sander was inconsolable. 

Little Oliver had gone.

But he hadn't really left them. 

The pain of his loss engulfed Nina like a tidal wave.

She rose from the ground and for several moments she stood looking up at the starless sky.

The moon had risen in a starless sky.

How lonely she looked.  

Like Nina Sander.

An isolated figure against a tragic sky.

The sad face of the moon. 

She must know how it felt.

The ancient graveyard looked so peaceful illuminated by the moonlight.

Audi Heineken Formula One (by motionmedia
It beckoned to her.

Called to her. 

And Nina Sander obeyed.

She walked towards the graveyard as the day she walked towards Mark Sander in the beautiful church.

She could see him now.

Standing beside his best man, Jake Aaker.

Mark was like the Prince in a fairy tale.

Handsome and brave.

Then Nina saw herself dancing with Mark to Louis Armstrong.

We Have All The Time in The World.

Eternity stretched out before them.

Mark was holding Nina close and looking deeply into her eyes.

Their souls were dancing too as they glided gracefully across the floor.

He spun her around and around.

And their audience erupted into cheers and terms of endearment.

The wedding party was carrying them along on a great tidal wave of love.

But Mark and Nina only had eyes for each other.

How she longed to dance with him again.

To be held in his arms.

To look once again into his beautiful eyes.

Such as the night of their last dance.

Alone in their beautiful Berkshire palace three days before ...

Just three days ...

It was the last dance.

Roberta Flack.

The First Time Ever I Saw Your Face. 

Time had stopped.

It had become obsolete. 

Love was all that mattered.

Now Nina Sander walked through the graveyard.

She walked past endless gravestones and memorials stretching through time.

People of the past.

The fragrance of countless flowers filled the night air.

Flowers placed upon the graves.

The aroma of love. 

All was peaceful.

All was still.

Somehow Nina Sander had anticipated it.

Perhaps it was because Mark had insisted on racing this time.

That Nina had begged him not to do it.

But he was daring and courageous.

Mark Sander had wanted to ride the Grand Prix one more time. 

Before retiring. 

The smile on his handsome face.

The look in his shining blue eyes.

They had kissed so passionately on the steps.

And she would not let him go. 

"I will never leave you my love" Mark Sander whispered to her.

And then he was away.

Pausing at the limousine.

As if something were pulling him back.

Mark turned and bounded back to Nina on the steps of their beautiful palace.

Nina was crying with joy.

As Mark spun her around and around.

And they kissed each other over and over again.

Their golden world.

Mark had paused before getting into the limousine,  as if something were pulling him back.

Then he gave her one last look.

His eyes calling out to her.

No words.

Just heart speak.

Then Mark Sander disappeared into the limousine.

And he was gone.

And a part of Nina went with him. 

The birds had stopped singing.

Bucklebury Cemetery

Nina Sander.

Surrounded by a sea of sleepers.

There beneath a sheltering oak tree was the small grave where a little one was buried.

Oliver Sander.
1 year 
Our Little Angel.

Beside it slumbered the one who needed no fanfare.

A heartfelt inscription upon the marble headstone.

Mark Sander
Died 35 years.
"One short sleep past, we wake eternally 
And death shall be no more; Death, thou shalt die.

Nina's journey was finally over.

And at last she gave full vent to her grief.

Harsh sobs racked her body as she knelt at the grave of her husband. 

The moon looked mournfully upon her. 

Silently grieving with her

"I miss you so much" Nina Sander cried.

Tears streamed down her face.

Now she hugged herself against the rising winds.

Golden leaves swirled around her.

Mark had been killed on impact when his racing car veered off the track and crashed. 

"He knew nothing" Jake Aaker assured Nina gently.

But she was too overcome to take it all in.

It was too much. 

"You were his world" Aaker added.

And he was hers. 

It had begun to rain now.

Then Nina remembered.

And her hands instinctively cupped her belly.

There was another life growing within her again.

A candle had been lit.

It was the child of their love.

Nina Sander remembered.

She discovered she was pregnant three days after his death. 

There was a part of Mark living on through her.

And she could see him now. 

"I will never leave you my love"


Nina Sander gave birth to a boy.

And she named him Mark.

Now Nina lay the bouquet upon her husband's grave.

White oleanders.

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

Her mother held the newborn in her arms as she watched her daughter spend precious moments at the grave of her husband.

Mark had gone.

But he had never left her.

"I will never leave you my love" Nina Sander whispered.

Love had conquered death.

Nina Sander never remarried.

No one could ever replace Mark.

And  she would lay a bouquet of white oleanders upon his grave for the rest of her days.

Sadness (by biljana1313