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Published by: lenovo_5253 on Mar 28, 2010
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Steve Merrifield
Manybooks EditionCopyright 2010 Steve MerrifieldDiscover other titles by Steve Merrifield atwww.wix.com/virale/books
and find out how YOU can help promote them!Manybooks Edition, License NotesThank you for downloading this free ebook. You are welcome to share it with your friends. This book may bereproduced, copied and distributed for non-commercial purposes, provided the book remains in its completeoriginal form. If you enjoyed this book, please return to manybooks.net to discover other works by this author.Thank you for your support.for Granddadmy first readerIVORYSteve MerrifieldAwakeningProloguePhillip Mayhew surveyed London's buildings as they stretched out from beneath the crane cab into the greyhaze of smog on the horizon. The site was at the heart of Camden where three high-rise blocks of flats hadbeen demolished. The neglected and dated buildings had been cleared to make way for a smaller affordablehousing development. He thought it a shame they would be low-rise and lose the arresting view that NorthLondon had to offer over the basin of the city and its landmarks; the skinny finger of the post office tower, theglittering glass gherkin and the group of skyscrapers around the obelisk of the Canada One building at CanaryWharf.The crane's cab creaked in protest against a gust of wind that leaned heavily against it. The sway became alurch as the winds strength built and it was several minutes before he felt the crane shift back into its centre asthe current of air weakened. The floating-like motion didn't concern him since he had spent fifteen yearsworking with cranes in his time in the building trade. As a labouring lad if there had been a crane on-site hewould ask to go up it and if a foreman actually refused him he would sneak up anyway. That kind of mischief had got him suspended from sites for a few days, but he had taken his punishment of lost earnings like a man,and would then commit the same crime again if he had wanted to.The days of being a labourer were far behind him now, but he still couldn't shake his love of being in the cabof a crane. As an architect he had even less reason to be up there than his crane stowaway days, but it waswell known by those around him in his office that whenever he visited a site where one of his company'sdesigns were being built, he had the quirk of giving a foreman a laugh or a coronary by asking to go up acrane. No one had any reason to suspect that today his motive for his visit was different.Although his body lacked the energy of his youth and the climb had exhausted him, the experience had lostnone of its appeal. It was a combination of things that drew him to the crane cabs, the view obviously -- itdidn't matter what area the site was in, the height always made for an awe inspiring panorama. The constantlisting drift of the crane was how he imagined it would be as a bird suspended in a thermal updraft. There wasalso the sense of power through being in control of a giant arm that would reach down and lift heavy thingsfrom the ground and move them effortlessly around the site, like Zeus in the Clash of the Titans film movingpeople around like pawns. He laughed as he remembered fantasies he had as a lad of plucking miserableforemen up from the ground and depositing them high up on builds on exposed girders.
Steve Merrifield2
However, what had drawn him to the crane today was the solitude the cab gave him and the much neededsense of escaping the mess that he had made of his life. At that moment in that place -- his cherished place --he experienced a comfort and a peace that he imagined faith would give to those that had it. He reached intothe inside pocket of his jacket and produced a dog-eared photograph of his wife Brenda and their three boys.He rubbed the corners, trying to smooth it out, but the creases were too deep. He couldn't fix it. Like thefamily in the picture -- he couldn't fix what he had done.The love he felt for the family in his hands sharpened his guilt into wicked barbs in his chest. He and his wifehad planned their life well. In the early years they hadn't allowed their love for each other to distract themfrom their university courses, and they had made it through four years of living in different parts of thecountry while they studied. They then threw themselves into their respective jobs and getting themselvesnoticed by their employers. Once the money had been good enough they got married and bought a house andallowed themselves the luxury of a family, with the knowledge that they could give their children the goodstart in life they had both lacked themselves.Over the thirty-five years they had known each other, Brenda had gained some weight to her face and her skinhad lined in the delicate areas around her eyes and mouth, but she was still attractive and was all he hadneeded to fulfil his fantasies. He had the love of his wife, and his fantastic boys and he was a success in his job. That was supposed to be enough.It had been enough. Until he had seen the girl.He had never considered straying before -- it was against his moral code. Yet he had. She was unusual inappearance but strangely attractive. Considering the probable thirty year age gap she would never have lookedat him twice if she hadn't been a prostitute. Going to a prostitute was something else that he would never haveconsidered, yet he had been to her many times now.He had felt shame every time. It was an awful feeling. A feeling that he had wanted to cut out of him if hecould, along with his sin, but his shame hadn't been potent enough to stop him paying for her again and again.The cancer of guilt had grown with every visit. He had no idea of the going rate for such services, but knewshe was expensive. Even if she had cost less he had seen her every other day for months on end and he wouldstill be facing the same financial crisis.He had tried to stop himself, but she was beautiful. Even after the first month had destroyed his personalsavings, he hadn't been able to stop himself squandering the family savings, money that had been reserved forhis boy's education, their deposits on property and cars, and the nest egg for Brenda and himself in retirement.All gone on sex with a prostitute. Brenda was due an annual statement any time and his betrayal would beuncovered.He stifled a sob. He hated himself. Yet that wasn't enough to stop him meeting the girl. He would make up forit. He would replace all the blood money he had wasted and his family would never know what he had usedthe savings for. He might even retain the love and respect of his wife and boys. He looked at the cityscape of north London. It was a powerful panorama that imbued him with inner strength. He felt more than the weak man he had become. He felt free. Like a bird. Like a Giant. Like a God. Like the young man that had cravedthis view throughout his dreams and achievement of love, family and success.Clutching the photograph of his family he stepped out of the cab and plummeted. The air rushed over hisbody, pulling at his clothes like a thousand snatching hands. After this industrial accident the insurancepay-out would cover all his debts. He did it for Brenda, the girl who had lived next door to him as a child. Thegirl he had courted, the woman he had married. Did it for the babies he had cradled, the young men he hadraised. He did it for his family. He crammed his mind with their faces and scenes from their life together likehis own imagined heaven. They would be the last thing in his mind as he died. It would secure his link to
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