A Story of Love     

Joe was Australian, and today more than ever he was carefree and living the dream. He had just been promoted to external sales executive and received his brand-new Mazda BT50. His salary had improved significantly, and he had finished for the day. 

He exited the car whistling, with feet light as a feather, and danced up his back stairs. He was so excited he half-closed the back door and raced into the bedroom. To his extreme surprise, Simone was stretched out on the bed. He threw off his uniform and jumped beside her. She was startled, and he felt a slight surge of pain on his neck. 

“Sorry,” he said as he lay down beside her. 

Dressed in nothing more than shorts and a singlet, sweat from the summer heat beaded on his brow. He slumped to his side and draped his leg across her lower body. His mind drifted, and his thoughts reverted to his childhood. 

He was just eight years old and clung to the limb of a eucalyptus tree, desperate to stay attached, for the drop was high, higher than he cared to remember. He snapped back to reality to see his hand caressing the silky-smooth skin of her back. 

“You are my one true love, Simone,” he whispered, a solitary finger ending its journey just shy of her tailbone. “I fear you have gone too far this time, my darling.” He drifted back to the tree, and his grip on the limb slipped ever so slightly, but ever so slightly was enough. 

The anticoagulant Simone had injected through the puncture wounds on his neck ensured life-giving blood, essential to sustain breath and mind, continued to flow freely. A tear formed in the corner of Joe’s eye and fell to the bed as he finally lost his grasp on the branch of that eucalyptus tree. 

“Goodbye, my lover, goodbye, my friend,” Joe murmured as Simone, his pet Taipan, slid silently from the bed, across the cool white tiles and out through the opening in the back door.