Candle-maker Christopher Mattison is disillusioned with life after discovering his lover with another man. He buys an old church on the outskirts of Sutherland in the Karoo region of South Africa, where, he hopes, his life will return to normal, far away from the rat-race, from the hurt that always seems to follow him wherever he goes. In his endeavour to restore his sanity, he unwittingly sets off a sequence of events that will shape his future in this star-gazing town, host to the S.A.L.T telescope.
What he doesn't expect is to meet the handsome, wholesome, Jarred Bright, owner of the town’s general store. With Christmas just around the corner, will the tragic events that follow tear them apart and force Christopher to celebrate Christmas alone? Or will they be drawn to each other to face a life rich with love and respect?
“It’s okay, I’ll pay,” I said, reaching for my wallet. I opened it and took out some small change...
...and that’s when it happened.
The ring Daniel gave me fell out of the change pocket.
I picked it up as quickly as possible.
“Let me see that.” Jarred said, taking it out of my hands.
He stared at it, read the inside, then glared at me and held it up.
“Where did you get this?”
I gazed into his blue eyes without so much as a peep. My throat locked.
“Where did you get this ring, Christopher?”
I took his hand and led him into the church. Inside he whipped about and asked again.
“Where did you get this?”
“I need you to sit down, Jarred. Please sit down.”
“No. You sit down. How the fuck did you get it?”
“Jarred, I need you to calm down. Please. You might think I’m crazy after I tell you, but I swear it’s the truth.”
“I’m listening.”READ MORE
“Daniel gave it to me.”
He slammed his fist on the side table. “Daniel? Daniel is dead! He died on the 1st September six fucking years ago at ten fifteen in the morning and was buried in the grounds of the new church three days later and the whole town came to his funeral.”
His voice exploded and rendered me speechless.
“He is dead and I know because I buried him with that ring.” I approached him with consternation written across my face and tried to hug him, kiss his sweet mouth and hold onto him tightly but he pushed me away.
“Jarred, please. I didn’t know. Before I came to this town I didn’t know that you or Mary or Daniel even existed. He appeared out of nowhere and offered to help me with the renovations. He helped me with the skirting and the plumbing and redecorating. He told me you had been married, that your wife abandoned you and Mary. He told me she killed every little bit of love you had in your soul. Ever since Daniel appeared I’ve been having these dreams and Jesus, Jarred, I’m not crazy. It’s the gospel truth. Please, you have to believe me.”
“You expect me to believe that Daniel’s ghost is floating around?”
“How else would I get the ring?”
“Do you know how crazy you sound?”
I nodded. “I have no idea what it all means. I didn’t know he was your boyfriend. He never said. No one ever mentioned his name. I thought he was my neighbor and then yesterday at the cemetery I couldn’t believe what I was seeing. His name on that headstone, the man you once loved. I was scared then and I’m scared now. But it’s the truth, Jarred.”
“I have to get out of here. Away from this place, far away.”
“Please, Jarred. Please believe me.”
I watched helplessly as he headed for the back door of the church. “I need to process this. I don’t know who you are, Christopher. All I know is that since you’ve come to town, nothing has been the same.”
Too shocked to say anything, I watched him leave, and sank to the cold concrete floor and wept.COLLAPSE
AL on Amazon wrote:
WHAT A BEAUTIFUL JOURNEY
Starwarslover on Amazon wrote:
He does it Again!
This was really enjoyable.. different kind of storyline.. different type of characters.. i enjoy a good change of pace to read. it was well written and fun.. the author gave you a good narration of places to make you feel like you are there. It was wonderful.
Sutherland is a real town. It is the coldest place in South Africa and also hosts SALT, (the South African Large Telescope).