An Unending Story

[short story by Sha’Tara – translated from my original French story]

Listen carefully to what I have to say, I’m going to tell you an infinite story. It’s a love story, of course, but it is much more. It is a story of a life that does not end.

I saw her one night in a cabaret. She was dancing, utterly absorbed in her moves and apparently without any other concern. I sat as close as possible to the dance floor and like all the other men in the place, I allowed myself to be bewitched by her undulating body.

Beautiful she was, I assure you. When she passed her blue-green eyes over me I saw the green of a virgin forest; an open blue ocean that stretched to infinity. Just like the desire in my heart. She danced with a girl friend, then alone.

That’s when I gather up my courage and invite myself to dance with her.

She accepts and everything changes: we become lovers. After only a month, we move in together and we can no longer imagine living apart. Every weekend we go dancing, she loves it so much, the dancing. “I feel totally free when I dance.” Naturally she continues to attract many men and she freely dances with any of them who ask her permission.

Am I jealous? Certainly, that’s natural, but not necessary. After all, she loves me. She only needs to whisper it in my ear and I have no reason to doubt her feelings. She is so good for me, and when we walk together in the street at night, under the city lights, we are happy, utterly.

Then total disaster: cancer strikes her in the right knee. Her leg has to be amputated above the knee. For a while she cries. Then she accepts. “If I can’t dance, I will sing,” she says to me. So she begins to sing, first in our apartment, then even on the street, then she does karaoke in the pubs and cabarets. And we love each other perhaps even more than previously. I adore this incredible girl, this woman sharing her life with me.

But the cancer doesn’t stop. They take away her left breast. She is devastated for some time and there is no more singing. But one night she gives me one of her old smiles and asks that I push her in her wheelchair down the street to our favourite restaurant. As I push her along she talks freely of little things and comments on the colours, the sounds and the shaking of the wheelchair as it bumps over the cracks in the sidewalk. She laughs and I find the courage to laugh with her and for the moment the terror of the cancer leaves us be. Still she eats very little and loses more weight…

Finally, the death blow. The cancer manifests in her throat and she loses her voice. She has to stay in the hospital.

It’s the last day, of that I’m sure. She feebly raises her hand and I bring my ear to her mouth. She gives a sigh and whispers these words: listen to me well, my dear Paul. I am abandoning you and I regret it terribly. I am grieved to cause you so much pain, but it’s only for a short time. For us, this is not the end. Listen, you will not remain single (alone).

Promise me that you will return to our cabaret. There, wait once again for the dancer. Ask her if you may dance with her and when she smiles and says, ‘yes’ dance, dance with her like a fool! For you see, that will be me there, in her body and in her heart. I am returning, do not worry about that. I’m leaving you but for a moment.

Just like that, she was gone.

You want to know how it ends, this story? Well you see, I believed in her implicitly when she told me she would be coming back to me. I went back to our cabaret. I sat as close as possible to the dance floor. I had a beer or two and I waited, day after day. About two weeks of waiting and the dancer came.

It all began again.

29 thoughts on “An Unending Story

    1. Sha'Tara Post author

      Thanks for commenting. You have one great love, she is being taken from you but gives you instructions on how you can get her back… wouldn’t it be worth your while to try? 🙂


      1. rawgod

        No, because that would mean doing the losing thing all over again. And possibly again. That would take the heart out of any man. A loss that great can only be made once in a lifetime.


      2. Sha'Tara Post author

        Oh, I don’t know. I have read war stories, particularly during the Spanish civil war when men and women fell in love with each other even if only for a night, or a week. They knew they were going to die but the love was necessary. How many people lose and yet throw themselves in the game again? I’m a “veteran” of three divorces and there were other relationships. Most of us are not monogamous. How does that go again? Better to have loved and lost than never to have loved? I don’t do love anymore but I remember very well the times when being in love was all that mattered to me. If (at the time) my lover was dying and gave me “instructions” on how I could be together with him again, I know I would do it.


      3. rawgod

        You missed my drift, I think. In the story the man finds the love of his life, and loses her to disease. He must watch her waste away in front of him. Being the writer, you have to know the pain he goes through, the loss. For her to say he will find the dancer again would be tempting, yes, but his mind has to follow through. By meeting the dancer in the same place he originally met her is to lead him into fantasy, but he has already lived that fantasgy. He knows the story will end exactly the same way the next, and the next after that, with each time the dancer being the same age, while he ages despite her magic. And when he realizes she will get sick and die again, he must refuse. He is a living being, not a toy to be played with. He has loved once, and even if he never loves again, his life is complete.
        Otherwise it is just lust!


      4. Sha'Tara Post author

        Yes, I certainly missed that part – it wasn’t that way in my mind, or the way I ‘received’ it. Thanks for explaining your viewpoint on this theoretical event.


    1. Sha'Tara Post author

      Thank you Frank. It was “given” or inspired to me yesterday, in French. I haven’t written a French story or article (barring some poetry) in over fifty years. This felt somewhat alien, but very powerful and determined. It lost much “kapow!” in my translation. I’m having the French version reviewed and edited by a retired French teacher. When that is done I will post the French version – who knows but some people on here read French – well I know that my fellow countryman (Breton) Brieuc or Brian, does for sure. Thank you again for commenting.


  1. Hyperion

    This was the best kind of love story. I would believe my love and have no doubts she had returned to me.


      1. Hyperion

        You are most welcome, Sha’Tara. Your writing in English is captivating and inebriating at times. I have to watch myself carefully or I’ll fall into a mental hyperbole without knowing it.


      2. Hyperion

        LOL, indeed a Hyperion Hyperbole is Hype. I tell everyone it’s just me Snoopy dancing with Shroeder at piano and the Little red-haired girl singing a smoking rendition of Great Balls of Fire by Jerry Lee Lewis.


  2. sherazade

    Una ‘favola’ nera.
    la vita è una ruota e sale nella felicità poi scende agli inferi e difficilmente ci sarà un nuovo inizio felice…
    shera 🌷🌲

    il paragone che fai a rawgod non può valere Perché nel caso del tuo racconto non c’è la forza di l’amoredisperato di una l’ultima notte ma il dolore vissuto giorno dopo giorno che lascia ferite indelebili…


    1. Sha'Tara Post author

      Translation: (A black ‘fairy tale’. life is a wheel and goes up in happiness then goes down to the underworld and there is hardly a new happy start … shera 🌷🌲 the comparison you make to rawgod can not be valid Because in the case of your story there is not the strength of the amore disperato of one last night but the pain experienced day by day that leaves indelible wounds …)

      What is “valid” and what is not? If someone is stuck in traditional beliefs, validity comes from that. But if one is self-empowered and knows she can choose anything, anything at all, then validity is within what she chooses.
      The story is theoretical, but challenges popular beliefs of one life, one death, end of story. In my world, Shera, no personal story ever ends. In Paul’s story above, he chose to believe his lover rather than tradition, and whatever happens after, he accepts.
      There are no “indelible wounds” in the self empowered life. We self-heal, we overcome, we choose and experiment with different viewpoints in order to expand our understanding of life. The underworld is a place you visit, not a place where you go to permanently. This was always understood in ancient mythology.
      As to the “amore disperato” -I think it is a valid comparison. Look at the story of Isis. The same desperation of the one night can drive a lover though eternity, even. It’s just time, after all.
      My dear friend Shera, people are so quick at limiting themselves, their desires, their feelings. We do not know how to handle real power because we always delegate it to others: heroes, villains, charismatic leaders, tragic lovers. Why not me? Why can I not be my own heroine and live accordingly? Why can I not choose to suffer for a personal cause, just because I want to?
      [Translated: Cosa è “valido” e cosa no? Se qualcuno è bloccato nelle credenze tradizionali, la validità viene da quella. Ma se uno è auto-potenziato e sa di poter scegliere qualsiasi cosa, qualsiasi cosa, allora la validità è all’interno di ciò che sceglie.
      La trama è teorica, ma sfida le credenze popolari di una vita, una morte, una fine della storia. Nel mio mondo, Shera, nessuna storia personale finisce mai. Nella storia di Paolo sopra, ha scelto di credere al suo amante piuttosto che alla tradizione, e qualsiasi cosa accada dopo, accetta.
      Non ci sono “ferite indelebili” nella vita auto-autorizzata. Ci auto-guariamo, superiamo, scegliamo e sperimentiamo punti di vista diversi per ampliare la nostra comprensione della vita. Il mondo sotterraneo è un posto che visiti, non un posto dove vai in modo permanente. Questo è stato sempre compreso nella mitologia antica.
      Per quanto riguarda l’amore disperato, penso che sia un paragone valido. Guarda la storia di Iside. La stessa disperazione di una notte può guidare un amante anche se l’eternità, anche. È solo il tempo, dopo tutto.
      Mio caro amico Shera, le persone sono così veloci nel limitare se stessi, i loro desideri, i loro sentimenti. Non sappiamo come gestire il potere reale perché lo deleghiamo sempre agli altri: eroi, criminali, leader carismatici, amanti tragici. Perchè non io? Perché non posso essere la mia eroina e vivere di conseguenza? Perché non posso scegliere di soffrire per una causa personale, solo perché voglio?


      1. sherazade

        ho compreso il tuo pensiero. Non È del tutto il mio. Ci vuole molto coraggio a coltivare il proprio vissuto nel presente.
        Nella società di oggi Io credo invece che tutto venga consumato senza rispetto .
        Noi a Roma abbiamo una locuzione assai efficace per giustificare una fine:” chi ha avuto ha avuto chi ha dato ha dato scordiamoci del passato.”
        Non poniamo ci dei limiti ma rispettiamo quello che siamo stati nel bene e nell’amore che ci ha accompagnato.



      2. Sha'Tara Post author

        I did a French translation, as I had difficulty understanding your comment. The French was a much better translation, and I think I got it now:
        J’ai compris ta pensée. Ce n’est pas entièrement à moi. Il faut beaucoup de courage pour cultiver sa propre vie dans le présent.
        Dans la société d’aujourd’hui, je crois que tout est consommé sans respect.
        Nous, à Rome, avons une expression très efficace pour justifier une fin: “celui qui a eu qui l’a donné nous a fait oublier le passé”
        Nous ne nous fixons pas de limites, mais nous respectons ce que nous avons été dans le bien et l’amour qui nous ont accompagnés.

        My question would be, though, Shera, ‘Why would one want to forget the past?” We cannot live such narrow lives that have no “disturbing” past for how can there be a future then? If with no past and no future, what are we left with?
        [TRANS: La mia domanda sarebbe, tuttavia, Shera, “Perché dovremmo voler dimenticare il passato?” Non possiamo vivere una vita così ristretta che non ha un passato “inquietante” per come può esserci un futuro allora? Se senza passato e senza futuro, cosa restiamo?]


      3. sherazade

        nelli specifico il mio ragionamento riguardava l’amore di coppia così straziante da annullare la capacità di ricominciare. La vita poi continua ed è molto altro.
        Buonanotte 🌷


  3. selizabryangmailcom

    I feel bad sometimes reading this blog, since I only have my rusty Spanish as a second language. (It USED to be fluent, too, which is worse! But during day-to-day survival, the years going by….stopped practicing little by little & forgot a lot). Pero recuerdo bastante, si alguien habla muy, MUY despacio….. : )

    Just sayin’, not ALL Americans don’t give a rat’s behind about learning other people’s languages.
    Anyhoo, not the point!

    I love the back and forth between you and Rawgod. I love how your lady gives her lover an open option, which he accepts without question and without hesitation.

    But I also love how from Rawgod’s perspective that he, personally, wouldn’t be able to approach the events from the past and potentially relive them, inviting similar suffering. One big love for him is enough. And probably for lots of people. And to have even THAT, one true love, is actually not something a lot of people even achieve in one lifetime….is it?

    Your story questions that concept, introducing magic and possibility back into the thought process………….


    1. Sha'Tara Post author

      Thank you for commenting. Sí, siempre parece que las personas que hablan en otro idioma hablan demasiado rápido. I also knew survival Spanish when involved with the local “Central America Friendship Committee” – an activist group aimed at helping El Salvador and Nicaraguan refugees from the horrors inflicted on the campesinos by Reagan’s CIA contras in endless efforts to overthrow any attempt by those nations at political independence from USA control. Anyway, what is life without magic? Without imagination? Without dreams? May as well be a machine, and I wonder why people who denigrate such things are so worried about the rapid advancements of artificial intelligence! Even animals dream as I’m sure every sentient species lives within some kind of collective dream world.
      I “do love” only in fantasy, in dreams, which at times burst out into my writings. In this life I gave up on love long ago, choosing instead to live a life I would eventually like to honestly call compassionate… The problem with living love on a world such as this is, love equates attachment(s) and to be fully compassionate, it is not possible to have attachments, or at least I have not found the logic that would allow both.



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