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-1 Some Loves Are Eternal

Bradley Harrison was cursed with the looks of a young Adonis and

learned, early in life, that women were susceptible to the charms he carried

lightly. In high school, he learned to read signs of availability and to avoid

the frightened girls who were torn between moral repression and insecurity.

As quarterback on the football team, opportunities were abundant and

willing girls pursued him. College proved to be no exception.

Bradley was handsome and available as a member of the most

prestigious fraternity on campus, but serious football practice and pressure

from his parents to maintain excellent grades limited his time. He, also,

found himself more selective of his ‘opportunities’. Dating co-eds was

more complicated. Jumping from one flower to another quickly gave him a

reputation that limited the number of girls who would pursue him. The fact

that he was a jock on losing team didn’t help. For awhile, he limited his

affairs to one popular student, Vanessa Maguire, but discovered a vital

lesson in the pursuit of pleasure - women, eventually, demand attention to

small details that express true affection. Vanessa had initially made it

evident that she was willing have sex with him but, too soon, expected an

effort on his part to demonstrate, through gestures obvious only to her, that

he wanted her on her terms. When she left him for a computer programmer,
Bradley’s ego took a major growth spurt.
There were still available sex objects at fraternity parties, and some who

came to test his reputation. One night of sex, under the influence of

available alcoholic beverages became an enjoyable routine, but seldom led

to repeat performances. Bradley came to realize that he loved sex more than

he cared for women and the complications of relationships were best

avoided.
_________________________________________

Caroline Thompson was a stunningly beautiful woman of 21, energetic

and self-confident in her pursuits. Bradley shared a class with her in

Business Administration during his senior year. The thought of a career in

sports had drifted to the back of his plans for the future. He proved to be a

second rate quarterback and had been relegated to a back-up role. Early

enough in college he had come to grips with reality and concentrated on

what lay before him upon completion of college. His latent intellect came

to the fore as his dependence on physical charm faded.

Bradley made several attempts to attract Caroline which were rebuffed

with quiet confidence. She found him attractive but his reputation left her

cold in his presence. Still, she displayed no hostility and smiled back when

he smiled at her. That his physical charms were not sufficient to break past

her outer defenses, forced him to apply himself to a well established insight
into the vulnerability of women. He dedicated the remainder of his senior

year to pursuit of the lovely Caroline.

Patience is a virtue in life and in the pursuit of love. Bradley made an

effort to refine his reputation. He avoided frat parties and spent time in

volunteer activities on campus. On a rainy day in March, he saw her car

beside a road outside of campus, parked with the motor running. Twilight

was on the horizon. She sat in the driver’s seat, cell phone in hand, showing

visible distress. The reason was quickly obvious. Her rear left tire was flat.

He stopped behind her, left his car and tapped on her window.

“Do you need some help?” he asked, as she rolled her window down.

“I seem to have a flat tire. I was trying to call AAA but I can’t get an

answer. I’ll keep trying, though. They’re always reliable.”

“Do you have a spare?”

“You needn’t bother. I can wait.”

“No need. Open your trunk. I have nothing better to do at the moment.”

She hesitated, then flipped the trunk lid. There was a misting rain when

he took out the spare and the jack. By the time he had removed the flat and

was attempting to put on the spare, the rain increased. With severe mixed

feelings, she got out of the car with an umbrella and held it open, standing
close enough that it covered both of them. Completing the transfer, he put

the flat and tools back in the trunk.


“Thank you,” she said softly. He smiled, nodded and returned to his car.

Her initial impression of him took a serious hit.


________________________________

Near the end of March, confused by Bradley’s lack of effort to capitalize

on his good deed to make points with her, she found him on a Saturday

afternoon in a campus clean up crew. He actually seemed to be enjoying

what he was doing, in the company of other students who were making

raucous conversation. He looked embarrassed when he saw her and held his

index finger to his lips.

“I never did get to thank you.” she said.

“For?”, implying he wasn’t sure of what she meant.

“For changing my tire. You really didn’t have to do that, but I am

grateful.”

“As I remember, you did thank me, but if that wasn’t enough there is

something you can do to repay me.” Her expression soured, expecting a

line to follow. “I’m have problem in my Economics class with Keynesian

theories. Sometime, when you have the time, can we sit down somewhere

relatively quiet and bring me back down to earth on this one.”

“I guess I could. When you finish what you’re doing, we can drop by

the Student Union. I’ll even buy the coffee.”


“Consider it a date. But give me a chance to clean up first. I can meet

you there in an hour and I’ll bring my text book. You’re a life saver.”
____________________________

The Student Union building as almost empty at 4:30 p.m. on a Saturday

afternoon. Caroline sat waiting for him when he arrived. She had a pile of

spiral notebooks in front of her. He was carrying his text book, and she

wondered what else he in mind. She was fascinated and a bit tense.

He sat across from her, opened his text book. “I’m Bradley Harrison, by

the way. I know we’ve never really been introduced but it is usually nice to

be able to use names when conversing with someone.”

“I’m Caroline Thompson.”

“Good. Now that we have that out of the way, I want to say how nice

you are to help me with this. What I’m having the most problem with, other

than almost anything John Maynard Keynes had to say in general, is this

part of the ‘Multiplier effect’ and interest rates.”

He listened intently as she explored her understanding of Keynesian

theories, how and why it was relevant to her. Occasionally, he interrupted

with a question. What she saw in his face was an intent interest in what she

was saying. At times she hesitated, noticing a handsome face, but quickly
shifted back to the issue at hand.
When he closed his book there was a sign of relief on his face. “You
saved my life. How about that cup of coffee?”
They remained a bit longer, over coffee, and he encouraged her to talk
about her plans and what use she would make of all she was learning in
college. She felt herself completely at ease with him. She sought little
information on him, afraid that it would confirm what she thought of him
and spoil the moment. They agreed to meet again in the library to study
before exams.
__________________________

Caroline was a bit off guard relative to her fixed opinion of Bradley. She

knew, from what she had heard on the campus grapevine, that he was an

immature scoundrel who would jump into bed with any willing female. He

didn’t come across that way when he was with her, but she was always

waiting for the other shoe to fall when he was with her. He would run into

her at odd moments around campus, make a humorous remark, and leave

quickly for some other engagement. When they met in the study hall, he

was seriously into the subject matter being reviewed. Small compliments

came easily and he seemed genuinely interested in being her friend.

She received an envelope one afternoon, placed under her door, with a

concert ticket inside and a note: ‘If you can’t make it, don’t waste the ticket.

Give it to a friend.’ The concert was for that evening and, in spite of her

resolution to spend the evening in serious cramming for the next day’s

exam, gave into the impulse to go to the concert. Bradley had good taste in
music.

When she found the seat designated on the ticket, Bradley was sitting

next to her. He smiled, but said nothing, as the opening act had begun. She
arrived at the last possible minute, wrestling with herself about coming, and,

outside the theater, she turned to walk away, but curiosity got the best of her.

She would have enjoyed the music more, except for anticipating some move

on his part that never came.

As the crowd rose to leave, he held her hand briefly and thanked her for

coming. She felt a nervous rush from his first real physical contact with her.

“May I walk you home?” he asked.

“I drove here,” she replied nervously, “and I have a ton of studying to do.

I really shouldn’t have come. I may be up all night.”

“I’m glad you decided to come. I really didn’t think you would. It was a

last minute thing when I bought the tickets. I thought that it would be nice

to share the music with someone and you were the only one to come to

mind.”

“That’s sweet of you, but I have to go.”

Early on a Saturday afternoon, he knocked at her door, standing there

with a single rose and a restaurant menu. Looking through the peep hole in

the door, she hesitated, hoping he would go away. He didn’t knock again,
and turned to leave when curiosity got the better of her.

“Bradley.”

“The rose is for someone as lovely. You really are, you know.” She

accepted the rose, hesitantly.


“I’d say you’re welcome if I knew what you meant by that.”

“Only what I said.”

“Why did you come by?”

“Oh, here,” he handed her the menu. “I was looking at this and

wondered what kind of things might appeal to you. I took a guess and

highlighted the menu items I would choose for you if you let me. Look it

over, and if I’m right you can tell me when I call back in about an hour.”

She stood there in silence, not knowing how to respond. He smiled, like a

little boy caught with his hands in the cookie jar, turned and walked away,

whistling a familiar tune. She stood in the doorway until he was out of

sight, completely off balance now.

Being with Bradley was disconcerting. She was on guard against the

nature of his reputation, waiting for him to make the wrong move so that she

could push him out of her life, but every thing he did, when with her,

attracted her to him. This evening could bring things to a head, and, on that

basis alone, she agreed to have dinner with him when he called promptly an
hour from the moment he had said he would.
____________________________

Bradley was the perfect gentleman when he arrived at her apartment,

promptly at seven. He opened the car door for her on leaving and arriving

at the restaurant. He waited until she was seated before sitting down. In
spite of the gesture with menu earlier, he didn’t assume the right to order for

her and waited patiently as she studied the menu, not wanting to let him

know how close he had come to choices, she herself, would have made. This

made it much harder for her to decide. In the end, awkwardly, she ordered

what he had chosen for her. He ordered the same, and ordered wine with the

meal for himself. She agreed to have the same.

The meal turned out to be more pleasant than anticipated. He had a

pleasant sense of humor and laughed at how awkwardly he must have

seemed with the rose and menu, how much it took for him to get up the

nerve to ask her out, and how really fascinating she was. He seemed sincere

in his compliment and, in modesty, she felt free to be open with him about

her own awkward moments.

At one brief moment, when their eyes met, he reached for his glass and

sipped a portion of the wine, noticing, when he looked down, that it was her

glass. Apologetically, he offered to have the waiter bring another glass.

She declined with intent to drink no more wine with her meal. As their

conversation continued, without thinking, she raised her glass, drained the

little left in it. He refilled her glass.

Mellow from the wine and open conversations, he drove her home and

walked her to her door. “I would invite you in but….” Before she could
complete her sentence, he kissed her on the forehead.

“I couldn’t stay. It’s been a lovely evening, but I have to get up early for

church tomorrow. Some other time.”

Some other time? She felt as if he had challenged her. Caroline was

angry at herself because she was attracted to this man she intended to

despise. She knew what he was but he wouldn’t prove it to her. There was

now a crack in her armor and he widened it, gradually with soft touches of

charm and wit.

Without fully realizing how it happened, he was in her life, calling her

late at night to talk about small personal things they shared, spontaneously

inviting her to playful activities, sending small gifts, and meeting her, from

time to time, to engage in serious study of course work. He put his arms

around her in movies and held hands when they walked together. As her

attraction grew, so did her fear of him. She always known what he wanted

of her and was flattered by his efforts to achieve a seductive foothold in her
life. She was falling in love with him.

As graduation day drew near, Caroline was at a breaking point. She

couldn’t allow herself to hang as a swinging bridge, between two steep

cliffs of emotional extremes, for him to tiptoe across at will. Intimacy

between them increased slowly. On a night in May, in the light of the full
moon, they walked through an empty park, holding hands, she stumbled

slightly over a tree root. He caught her then pulled her close and kissed her.

There was hunger in his kiss and she funneled all her mixed emotions in

submitting to it.

After a long delay, she pulled away and protested, “I have to go. Please.”

Without another word, and without looking back, she moved away quickly.

Bradley knew, at that moment, that he wanted her and had played the game

too well. It was more than just a simple conquest he wanted. She wasn’t

another girl playing sex games out of insecure needs. She was, in every

sense of the word, a woman. This disturbed him. She was sucking the

essence of masculine superiority out of him. The game had to change. He

would have to bring it to an ending he could run away from.

Caroline returned to her room in tears. She knew, when Bradley kissed

her, that she was burning inside. Breaking away took all that was left of her

reserve. She wanted very much, at that moment, to hate him with all her
being.
____________________________

Caroline, knowing that Bradley would call, rehearsed her responses

carefully. But a weak passed and he didn’t call. Evenings passed with a

totally inability to concentrate on anything but his call, what she knew he

would say and how she would finally put an end to a maddening situation.
It took an extreme measure of self-control to avoid calling him.

Ten days later, she received a small package with a letter, from Bradley,

attached. She stared at it for almost an hour before opening the letter, not

wanting to know what the package contained. The letter exacerbated her

emotional turmoil.

“Dearest Caroline,
If I expressed my feelings face to face, your beauty would devour
my soul. When you walked away from me, I realized how much I love
you. I need you with all my being.
This present is a token of my feelings for you. If you find it
obscene, please forgive a fool who loves you. Wearing it is how I want
to see you on our wedding night, if you will have me, the total beauty of
the woman you are.

With all my heart,


Bradley.

She dropped his letter into her trash can and stared at the package. Both

angry and afraid. In tears, she retrieved the letter and read it again. He

proposed marriage! She could reject him and be free of him, but she also

knew that she loved him. If only she could rid herself of the image of

Bradley sleeping around with any girl who looked at him twice, she could

believe he loved her. She wanted, at that moment, nothing more than to

know he really loved her.

Opening the package carefully, she stared at the contents and blushed. In

it was a delicate flesh-colored lace Teddy. The feel of its silken texture sent
a warm feeling throughout her body.

As if by an irresistible force, she removed her clothing, put on the Teddy

and stared at herself in the mirror, seeing what Bradley would see. Without

changing back into other clothing, Caroline dialed Bradley’s number,

whispered “yes,” when he answered, and hung up quickly, shaking all over

“Who was that?” asked an intoxicated freshman co-ed in the middle of

her coital exercise.

“No one important,” replied Bradley as he relished the sounds she made

beneath him. Caroline was the least thing on his mind at that moment.
___________________________

Caroline became very possessive and insisted on being with Bradley

every evening until graduation. He was trapped in the web of her desires.

After shopping for an engagement ring together, she insisted that they spend

the next weekend with her family. Her father insisted on meeting him.

Bradley learned something about Caroline he hadn’t known before. Her

father was the CEO of Thompson Global Investments, a blue-chip firm that

rivaled most investment banks on Wall Street. He had no prior idea of

wealth in her family. Marriage made sense now. He had broken Caroline’s

resistance and found great pleasure in her bed. She wore the Teddy every

time to please him and truly loved feeling him inside her.

Bradley had planned for a quick departure after humoring her with a visit
to her family that week-end. He had a job offer in North Carolina and

intended to leave without a forwarding address. She had made his efforts

worthwhile as a lesson in how to breach the defenses of such a woman.


Caroline’s father sized Bradley up quickly. This man, idolized by his

daughter, was a class A scoundrel, but breaking her heart was not something

he could bear. He was a harsh, aggressive business man who would not

hesitate to ruin anyone who stood in the way of his objectives. Knowing

well what money could buy, Caroline’s father offered Bradley a position in

his firm to keep an eye on him and crush him if he hurt her.

The marriage was a social event of significance. The honeymoon, paid

for by Bradley Global funds was a glorious two week of marital bonding in

Tahiti. Caroline basked in the pleasures of sensuality in a tropical paradise.

Bradley found beauty in native woman and indulged himself in the pretense

that Caroline one of them he had wantonly ravaged with his eyes. That

made the ritual of love making with the object of his marriage a greater

pleasure.
______________________

Bradley’s pay was extravagant and he chose to live extravagantly, seeing

no need for a saving plan nor concern for the future. Marriage soon became

a pretense. Caroline held tightly, when she could, to the delusion that work

demands and frequent travel placed a barrier between her needs and her
husband. Bradley had a foothold in the organization that paid for his loyalty

and kept him making an effort to maintain the façade of a stable marriage.

To separate from Caroline would be economic suicide.

The elder Thompson insured a great deal of distance between Bradley

and his daughter, giving him frequent assignments requiring travel and as

much time apart as possible, hoping that Caroline would grow tired of the

man he, increasingly, despised. This suited Bradley immensely. There was

always a brief affair waiting for him, as a handsome executive visited

offices where infatuated, and gullible, secretaries hoped for a better future

through the generosity of their physical assets. There were, by design, video

tapes of Bradley’s indiscretions in a vault in corporate headquarters, ready

for use in a divorce proceeding whenever Caroline came to her senses and

sought to dump Bradley.


________________________

There were signs that Caroline had difficulty ignoring in holding on to

her illusions about the man she loved - certain odors on his clothing, credit

card receipts for unnecessary extravagances, unexplained telephone

numbers. She fought her doubts fiercely, but the length of absences began

to grow and she had excessive difficulties in reaching him by phone.

With devious intent, her father introduced her to a young executive who
would preside over the local office. When she asked why Bradley couldn’t

have that assignment so as to allow him more time at home, her father

assured her that Bradley was filling a more important role in the

corporation.

Michael Wellborn was a tall, pleasant looking, man who took pride in his

physical appearance. He was outgoing and confident. Caroline found it

easy to talk to him as she sipped a cocktail, not wanting to be a wallflower

at the party thrown my her father. He made her forget, for a moment, the

stress of being cut off from contact with her husband.

One evening, several weeks into her husband’s absence, she received a

phone call. Anxious to speak with Bradley, she picked the phone up

quickly.

“Mrs. Thompson. Sorry to bother you at this hour. Michael Wellborn

here. You met me when your father was in town. Have you heard from your

husband?”

“Why do you ask?”

“I have to reach him on a company matter and can’t seem to get hold of

him. The Cleveland office hasn’t seen him today. Do you have a number

where I can reach him. It is important.”

“His number is highly restricted. I can’t give it to you over the phone. If
you can drop by, I can give it to you, but what could be so important it can’t

wait for morning?”

“I’ll explain what I can. I’ll be there shortly. Thanks.”

It was close to 9 when Michael arrived.

“Come in” she insisted.

“Just for a moment. This is a lovely place you have. You have great

taste. Someday, if I’m lucky, I’ll have something like this.” She wrote the

number on the back of one of Bradley’s business cards and handed it to him.

“You can call from here, if you like. If it’s private, I’ll step out of the

room. May I offer you something to drink?”

“Coffee, perhaps, if it’s no bother.”

“No bother. Make your phone call. I’ll be back with your coffee.”
From the kitchen, Caroline could hear agitation in Michael’s voice. As

he hung up the phone, she handed him a cup of coffee. “Please sit with me

in the living room. I may have questions. Who knows?”

Conversation flowed easily. She found herself at ease with him and the

loneliness from the absence of her husband drifted from her mind.

As she woke in the morning, next to Michael in her bed, she had lost

track of how the evening had progressed. Physical contact was gradual and

intensified when he kissed her. She hadn’t invited that. It seemed to have

come about naturally from the latent hunger within her. She had felt the
closeness of Michael and, with eyes closed firmly, she relived the night

when she first surrendered to Bradley.


_______________________________

Caroline suffered strong guilt feelings until Bradley arrived from his

business junket. Thinking that making love to him would ease her

discomfort, she went through the necessary steps to be seductive and

desirable after they had eaten dinner. The meal was painfully prepared to

please him. As they sat in the living room, listening to music, she brought

him a snifter of brandy.

Tired, and wanting to get the evening over with, he suggested they go to

bed. As he began to undress, Caroline emerged from the bathroom wearing

a see-through negligee that she had bought for the occasion. He almost felt

a desire to reach for her when the phone rang.

“What is it?” he said, giving no indication as to whom he spoke. “Can’t

this wait? I’m busy at the moment. Okay. Okay. I’ll be there shortly.”

Without explaining, he dressed and left. One hour later, Caroline

checked the number from which the caller had reached their unlisted phone.

Wanting to know when her husband would return, she dialed the number. A

woman’s voice answered. There was a faint sound of music in the

background. Realizing that it hadn’t been a business call, she felt an


intense anger and a raging jealousy.

It was close to midnight when Bradley returned. The downstairs lights

were out. He tried to be as quiet as possible, but Caroline stood in the dark

at the top of the stairs. She surprised him as he reached the top step and

screamed “I want a divorce, you bastard!” Now off balance, she shoved him

in the chest. Bradley fell.

Caroline sat, crying, paying no attention to the dark figure of Bradley

lying lifelessly at the foot of the stairs.


______________________________

Bradley’s death was ruled an accident. There was no mention of an

intoxicated wife shoving her husband to his death nor was there any interest

in a serious investigation. With the political influence of the Thompson

empire on local governmental agencies, accidental death was a foregone

conclusion.

The funeral service was elaborate over a closed casket. Bradley lay

there, unmoving, but heard all the sweet lies spoken over him. He didn’t

understand why he couldn’t rise and tell everyone he was still alive. He

imagined how great their happiness would be if he were not bound to this

absolute darkness.

As the last scoup of dirt covered his casket, he found himself standing on

a cobble stone road, staring ahead at the glow of a large fire in the distance.
Moving toward it, he came to a large gray stone building. Out of the

darkness, a man in a gold suit opened a door and motioned for him to enter.

Inside the building, he saw gray walls and an absence of furnishings.

“Where am I?” he asked.

“Hell.” was the reply. Bradley felt a chill and thought he must still be

alive to feel so intense a fear.

“It’s not what I was told it would be. Where is the fire and brimstone?”

“Further down the road.”

“Am I going to burn forever?”

“When you request it. I have a room prepared for you.” The man in the
gold suit motioned toward a set of carved stone stairs. “Follow me.”

He was directed into a room with no windows. Nothing was therein but

a large bed with dingy bedding. The walls were bare. Sitting on the side of

the bed, he noticed that he no longer was dressed. All the clothing he had

worn in his casket was gone. The man in the gold suit left, closing the door

behind him. Bradley walked to the door and pushed on it. It wouldn’t open.

Returning to the bed, he stared as the door opened.

“This can’t be Hell,” he said. A young woman in a flesh colored Teddy

was walking toward him.


“Caroline?” There was no response. She pushed him back on the bed.

He was sexually aroused and she was a willing and passionate participant.

From the noises emerging from her throat, he knew she was having a

prolonged orgasm. He felt nothing. She kissed him as she rose and left the

room. A brief moment passed and another woman entered. He knew her.

He had had sex with her when she was a freshman in college. She attacked

him with passion and the sounds of her pleasures bounced off the wall. He

felt nothing.

Time no longer had meaning. There was no end to the procession of

willing females taking their pleasures from him. After what seemed a
decade, he screemed, as in great pain, and fought the next woman off of

him. She forced him backward and he was helpless. Continuing to scream,

he saw the man in the gold suit standing in the door way. When the current

woman left, sated, he cried out: “Is there no end to this?”

“There is no end to eternity. Would you prefer the fire?”

“Why this?”

“The endless sex? That was your life. Was not this your view of heaven

during your life?”

“But I feel nothing.”

“Did it matter to you what any of the woman felt after you drained their

souls?”
“Why must I feel nothing?”

In silence, the man in the gold suit walked out the door as another nude

woman entered. As the procession continued, the women were less and less

beautiful. His screams of horror continued indefinitely. Hell’s fire was no

longer an option.

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