Ten O’Clock


Delbert H. Rhodes

Years later, the memories hang on but why? Yesterday is gone and suffering is a benefit to no one; and yet no matter how she tries her ex’s memory haunts her, permits her little peace. An American woman whose Dutch parents emigrated Nederland to immigrate America, Story Vanderbloren was conceived in Amsterdam and born in Minnesota. Raised and cherished by a loving family, after high school she leaves to study Archeology; and it is soon after completing her P. H. D. that someone special enters her life.

At the age of twelve and while talking with Mommy, the girl asks about her first name and why she has it. “The tale of your conception, and delivery and love that you brought to us is a wonderfully, glorious story; and so, your Dad and I agreed that no other name could suit you.”

Tall, blond, blue, and curvy and intelligently beautiful, Story has traded French Fries for Fish and Chips. Her life, and new profession are better, much better and she prefers positive to negative distractions.

Time, and terms must meet the mind and hers struggles for clarity, to think clearly about things that matter most, that matter now.

London Towne is lovely and especially at night, the lights, the shoppes, Libraries, the Trem, the people and glory of the new world surrounding her. I digress: The “Trem” (silent e, long m: pronounced trm) is the local high-speed monorail, it is an excellent and wonderful ride.

Of the resources available in the city, its Libraries contain ancestral files, these halls of antiquity are some of the finest in the world, invaluable to her research.

Today Story walks the sidewalk in Belcher Street and then something wonderful meets her; rounding the corner to Tolstoy it occurs that the smells come from Le Patisserie, a shoppe two stores away. The woman is unfamiliar with the name, but thinks that the store must be a Bakery. Entering: “Oh, how lovely!” Guessing correctly, she sees not only beauty but something sweetly agonizing.

Unbelievably well organized, the cakes, pastries, cookies and other delicacies appear to await the photographer rather than customer. “I Love this place!” She visits no less than once weekly.

Oh, my, and Story simply adores her new life, except for one small thing…memories. If she could remove only a portion of them then everything would be happier. Although never easy she perseveres, surrender to the toils of yesterday is not optional.

“Sto-V,” the nickname given to her by her colleagues, is a Research Writer and she works diligently to uncover facts, truths to prove her premises. Sometimes she disproves them and this too is okay, a foot in the right direction. Disproof proves something, a person of critical thinking works either way, both are beneficial, worthy.

She loves it whenever waking to new questions. Life is strange, often placing answers before us that either incomprehensibly or, sensibly, we fail to recognize and may even refuse to acknowledge.

Yes, but since Story’s youth she has been a dreamer and the truth in dreams is less fuzzy than people make it; a superb analogy, she thinks, is the innocence of children which acts expansively, making anything, everything possible. As such, unlearning adult fears, permitting the mind to freely think, she believes, provides greater opportunities in life.

Opportunity: Story’s middle name.

As a researcher she is deeply busied by events of humankind, she has developed a premise that though not popular may one day prove man’s existence. No, not actually his place here but the reason he is here. Story believes that it has less to do with either the egg or the chicken and more to do with the bearer, the creator of them. She must somehow make sense of it. She will make sense of it.

This woman strongly feels reason to be both parent, and plan of humankind and whether Celestial, Natural, or, neither, she struggles to find the clues, the pathways leading to proof. Thirty four-years old and after five years of research, she uncovers only uncertainties; definitive evidence eludes her. Still, she persists and to the end would not falter. Either Story proves or disproves her theory, a dedicated Scientist, she tirelessly works long hours and so far, without rewards. “One day.”


The word flutters about her head like a lacy butterfly with little care. Tomorrow a business meeting about Policy and then Story attends the Theater, she sits front row center stage. “Les Miserable,” her favorite play is in town and she simply must see it; “Front Row Center Stage, Exciting!”

In many ways, her life resembles the theme and as the tale unfolds, like a looking-glass much of Story’s life unveils. She realizes that this too must be dealt, it has to one day (all) end. How the end plays out is the question and one the woman, right now, cares to ignore. Somehow, and even this moment, Darren speaks to her and as much as she should not, she listens…

“I told you, it wasn’t like that,” Darren stammers, staring out the window.

“You are lying!” Story stabs the air with her finger, trying to see his eyes. “And witnesses tell me that you and your girlfriend were there at ten o’clock. They are credible, I trust them, they saw you and I believe them!”

“Ten o’clock?” He says, looking directly at her. “I don’t know about witnesses but ten o’clock has always been ‘my’ witness. I was not there, I love ‘you!'”

He just kept repeating it over and over again but what exactly did he mean, what does “it” mean? “Ten O’Clock?” Of the many things said that last night the time frame lingers in her mind, she is oblivious to its meaning and is without useable clues to make sense of it. Surely, if truly she wanted to she could find the evidence: the missing pieces to the puzzle; but, is the responsibility hers?

“As far as I am concerned, those words, like time on a clock, have freed me of abuse; and true, he neither hit, pushed nor physically injured me but daily reduced me mentally and emotionally. The scars, though invisible, are more devastating and destructive than any black eye or, broken jaw. I am ‘free!'”

Story loves her new life and refuses to surrender it; and admittedly, Darren and she should have ended years ago but love strangely partners with reason.

Reason, the term strongly affects her and she knows that it plays, in large parts, a very important role in her life. Darren at one time was her life and without him she sometimes feels lonely. Loneliness has a way of prevailing truth and like a catapult propels Story forward. Now, here in wonderful London Towne Happiness and She stroll hand in hand; a ringless marriage to her work and life.

Once more and as usual dreaming offers more pieces to the puzzle; and waking, Story smiles. She stretches as the feelings in her dream embrace her with clarity. Lazily, she slumps into the bathroom for a Lady’s Moment and then to the Kitchen for some Chocolate Tea, “Chocotea,” she calls it. Blended with Cocoa, a smidgen of Honey, a pinch of Cinnamon, and any Tea of choice, she favors Green Tea, her concoction is refreshing, tasty and medicinally healthy. Cocoa is a good thing.

As her dream and the phrase “A Loving Plot” touch her, Story permits a childlike innocence to control her; for, “Puty,” her laptop, seems to ask that she pen the dream, now, before its memories leave her. “Ok, ‘Ok,’ I’m coming.” Careful not to spill her Chocotea, slowly, Story crosses to her desk. Moments later, done, she has written something new and powerful. A wonderful addition to her poem book.

Filled with feelings and honesty, the poem exemplifies the lady’s suffering; and understandably, truly, she admonishes and admires it. Actually: Why would Story not love it, for, from her heart, and inside every verse is her freedom and her life.


A Loving Plot

You think I love you
Please tell me why
Should I think of you
Better to cry

Challenge I must
The surging seas
The damning rock slides
Inside your knees

Scale I the towers
The tallest skies
Or smallest flowers
Your floral eyes

Want that I want you
Your tender kiss
A bee its honey
Want me you this

Sometimes I wonder
Why loved you, I
And then the thunder
Love’s alibi

Sweetly, you scorn
Oh, yes, I know
So dark your sunshine
A summer snow

Tarnished my teardrops
Torn is my soul
Autumn to Springtime
A Winter cold

Scripted, our tale
A loving plot
“To have to hold?”
I think, have not


…Outside, darkness smothers the sky; inside and deliciously, Chocotea creams her, the woman smiles…

“I Love You”: Would you like to Play?

Representing the famous balcony scene from rom...

By: Delbert H. Rhodes

This discussion represents simplistic momentary thinking about a complicated topic pondered by greater minds. 

Truly, why do we do it?

Saying the following three words possibly could be one of the most confusing and misunderstood and even misguided things we humans share. The words, “I love you,” do a lot of things to a lot of people. Most-times and seemingly, the tendency is more deception than truth. Correct, I love you ends more in “feel” good than “real” good. Is there a difference, in my opinion YES?

Possibly, I love you serves to satisfy the situation. Have you or someone you know ever said; I love you, for immediate personal gratification or for future gain? Sometimes individuals simply have a need to hear the words. I love you is a great equalizer a wonderful tool to level the playing field. Common ground between couples married or not (quickly) surrenders beneath a pleasurable umbrella of psycho-emotional trappings.

Young lovers together for the first time and immersed by emotions, tend to do whatever comes naturally. Here and usually, the guy is the lever behind the teetering rock. “Oh sweetheart, you “know” that I love you….” and then maybe she (willingly) slides over the edge. Sometimes the girl and this has happened to me, needs to hear I love you before surrendering to something she too desires. “Just tell me you love me.” “So lie to me.”

Few guys refuse this offer-I did. You ask why. The reason: I truly cared for and (possibly) loved her too much to take advantage of her, even if she failed to realize the fact. Given proper situation mixed with hope and many times inexperience the curtains fall.

Older and more experienced couples are adept at the game. The wife, asking hubby for something might heighten moments of pleasure to lower his defenses. Hubby running for cover says I love you, dear, to hide.

Young, or, old married, or, unmarried, emotionally and physically, the search, and regarding male female attraction in the animal kingdom, truly is about sex or procreation. The strongest suitor wins the prize.

I love you, is the quickest path through the woods, it lowers the drawbridge, and unlocks the floodgates. Yes, while coursing the wanton waters, all tall and small ships are welcome and most times without lowering the mast.

(Let us never forget the “Take”: The unscrupulous say I love you to separate money from fools, or is it the other way around. Money is a prime mover to a place not too pretty, a place filled by those ready to show (you) the way.)

Doubtless, in the human arena, “I Love You”-emotionally, financially-is the greatest, most fulfilling game we play. Those in the business of promoting and supplying the equipment acquire huge profits. Our modes of dress, girls learning to apply make-up, guys adorning the physique, the choice of automobiles, how we speak move, even intellectual abilities in many ways translate into The Game. Time trains and tests one’s abilities; though, this game has no rules, and is never (completely) understood.

Where does truth live in the foray of foreplay and deception?

Years ago and after a long night on the town, a buddy and I leaned on my couch discussing the antics of love. After hours, it seemed, of pros and cons, to do’s and not to do’s, we agreed that ‘The game is not ‘playing’ the game.’ In other words, the better method of getting what one wants is to refuse to become a part of endless foreplay.

Love and Chess share similarities: each hosting a bed of strategies and tactics, determining outcomes. On the Chess table, the King falls; in Love, the Queen gives way.

In Chess, by feigning to one side of the table, and then successfully rallying the forces to another and unexpected side, the opposing King topples. Ironically, Chess is one of the oldest games of strategic warfare by feudal Lords.

Love too is a form of war, a war of pleasure; and similar to Chess, one of its many feigns is pretension. The female (Queen) permits the male to know she sees him, but ‘allows’ him to pursue her. During this period, the male must prove he is worthy.

If the female is desirable and smart, she is able to hold his attention, staying (just) far enough away to encourage his approach. If all proceeds as she intends, soon the male would be hers, and on her terms.

Alternately, if the male is smarter and understanding of female behavior, he ignores her causing her confusion, she then and “gracefully” returns the gesture (she clearly states her feelings), and then somewhere along the merry way, the victor reaps the spoils.

Additionally, and either directly or indirectly, both individuals share important information, assuring that all is never lost. Deceptively, the trick is to appear as disinterested as possible without chasing away the other person; even using the mechanics of jealousy to help things along.

Variations to the game occur; but still, the results are (sometimes) the same. The two unite to become ‘happily argumentative.’

The Chess table though deceptive also renders a form of truth, for those understanding the deeper objectives of the game. Truth: Knowledgeable players understand and therefore enter the game with three stages in mind; one, the Opening; two, the Mid Game; and three, the End Game: each stage representative and determines whether one or the other player would eventually win or lose.

Love too has three stages, one, Foreplay, two, “I’m Hot for You,” and three, the “You’ve Changed” stage, or the “Work” stage. In stage three individuals finally (begin to) see each other. The view sometimes may not be worth the climb. After trials and tribulations, the couple decides either to remain united, or, separate, (only) to begin the process with someone new. Or Not.

As with Chess individuals enter into relationships with the belief that the outcomes are worthy of the venture. The ultimate end is marriage and with children; and along the way, the individual variations could be as imaginable as they are manageable. There is but one definite, and that is, if things fail to work out the relationship disconnects.

Okay, earlier we spoke of truth. Saying I Love You occurs whenever someone has deep feelings for another person. All too often it is customary to (have to) “prove” one’s feelings. Throughout the relationship, couples (are expected to) behave in such ways, which demonstrate “YES, I DO LOVE YOU….SEEEEE!”

In search of assistance with relationships and building trust and saving marriages, individuals seek the comfortable couches of favorite and/ or well known Psyho-Therapists or Certified Counselors, and at great expense; these professional thinkers tell them (oops!), help them to understand the issues.

Perhaps the better mode would be-to-actually BECOME the one thing each partner wants…TRUST. This is a huge hurdle and most humans fail in the jump. Something about the run down the lane before engaging the apparatus (hurdle) interferes with facilitation, with truth.

I love you is powerful and rests deep within the recesses of one’s heart, and soul and from the inception in its expression should be sensed/felt by BOTH individuals. (Good luck with that (?). This mechanism removes the unnecessary behaviors of “proof” restoring and solidifying an immovable foundation more immortal than the Herculean Pillars. True Love is about FEELINGS not proving them.

Therefore, the next time he says, “I Love You,” and the first time she says, “I Love You, too” do not simply believe but FEEL it.

Truth of the matter: In the game of love the queries have no answers; and all willing to play must be willing to risk. At times, risks are great.

Copyright (c) 2012 Delbert H. Rhodes