Monday, October 19, 2020

Manny And Dusky’s Impossible Dream

A story by Barry Chant

Manny was handsome, debonair, muscular and lithe. His golden hair shone in the sunlight and his eyes were like blue lakes in fields of russet marble. Dusky was attractive, companionable, shapely and bright. Her smile could shatter the most solemn frown and her voice ebbed and flowed like a melody. They were the ideal couple.

When they married they had a daring dream. As soon as they could, they would buy a small island, live there together and raise a family. With the passing of years, the family would grow and become a community, and then a city, and one day even a nation.

They were both healthy and saw no reason why they could not accomplish this. As long as they lived a sensible life style, watched their diet and remained positive, anything was possible.

They searched widely and soon found the island of their dreams. It boasted several large hills (or small mountains, as Manny preferred to describe them), a river that jumped and skipped its way down to the ocean, thousands of tropical palms and several shimmering inlets.

‘This is exactly what I imagined,’ Dusky exclaimed when she saw it. ‘It’s like a paradise.’

Soon they had saved enough money and they were able to purchase it—after all, there were not many people looking for such a lonely, isolated piece of real estate and the price was considerably less than it would have been for a similar area in or near a major city.

They assembled the supplies they thought they would need and were soon on their way.

‘I hope you’re happy here,’ said the ship’s captain, as they unloaded. ‘This is about as far as you can get from anywhere and still be on earth! Give us a call on your mobile if you need anything—if you can!’

They laughed and waved cheerfully as the ship departed. Within hours they had chosen a spot to set up house. They got to work and soon settled in.

At first it was idyllic. A warm year-round climate, plenty of time to swim and laze on the beach, long languid evenings and the comfort of each other’s arms when they finally lay down to sleep.

After two or three years, they began to think more about the future. ‘Manny,’ ventured Dusky one afternoon as they sat at the edge of the beach in the shade of a stand of soaring palms, ‘When are we going to have a baby?’

‘How would I know?’ Manny replied. ‘We’re doing what we can, aren’t we?’

But month after month went by and there were no signs of pregnancy. Painfully, an awful fear began to dawn on them that maybe a baby would never come. And if that were the case, what would happen to their dream? Could it be possible that one of them was not fertile? Was it Manny? Was it Dusky?

In reality, it didn’t matter. Either way, no child was forthcoming. Dusky felt it particularly, as the thought of holding a tiny, soft baby in her arms was one thing that had filled her every day with hope and joy.

To be fair, Manny was also looking forward to having a son of his own—someone he could teach and train to be a strong human being, and someone who would provide congenial male company as he grew to adulthood—although he did not feel the loss as deeply as Dusky.

‘Darling,’ he would say to her, ‘a child will come when the time is right. Don’t give up.’ And they would lie together most nights, not just for the delicious pleasure of it, and not just for the closeness, but also for the possibility of initiating new life.

Afterwards, Dusky would lie on her back, gazing outwards and upwards to the brilliant star-jewelled sky, wondering if maybe on this night conception had occurred. But finally, they had to face the reality that no matter what night it was, nothing was going to happen.

As they sat at the meal table one evening around dusk, Manny said gently, ‘Darling, I hate to admit it, but it seems as though no matter what we do, for some reason we are not going to have a child. Something must be physically wrong with one of us—probably me—and I think we just have to take a long-term view that we will never ourselves be parents.’

He paused.

Dusky nodded faintly. A tear crept from the bottom of her left eye, poised at the top of her cheek and caught the light, shining there like a newly-cut  diamond. Manny continued, ‘But somewhere in some future generation, someone will have properly functioning reproductive organs and children will be born.’

Dusky smiled at him half-heartedly. ‘Manny, I guess you are probably right. But I wish I could be the one to do it.’

‘And so do I,’ replied Manny quickly. ‘So do I but—‘

Dusky cut him off. ‘It’s all right, darling,’ she said, ‘I know you are only trying to be helpful and of course you are right. It’s just hard, that’s all.’

Manny got up, stood behind Dusky, reached down and put his arms around her neck. He kissed her on the top of her head. ‘Yes, I know,’ he murmured soothingly. Then, with eyebrows raised, he added, ‘But we’re not going to give up trying, are we, Dusky?’

She smacked his hands and pushed them away. ‘Hmph! We’ll see about that!’ she responded with apparent anger. But there was a smile in her voice and Manny smiled too.

Well, the years went by and generations came and went. Soon there was one young couple for whom everything functioned perfectly and a baby was born. A beautiful, silken-skinned, peachy little daughter. And then another and another. Gradually the numbers build up and the island did become a community and later a city and finally a small nation.

Manny and Dusky never lived to see the fulfilment of their dream. They didn’t need to. They had been confident that over numerous generations, nature would find a way. That given enough time, change would occur, even when it was impossible.

And they were right.

Weren’t they?

 

 

© Barry Chant, 2019.

 

 


Barry Chant

Written by


Barry Chant is a regular speaker at church services, seminars, conferences and conventions. Hundreds of thousands of his books have been sold around the world. He has degrees in arts, theology and ministry, a diploma in education and a PhD in history. He was the co-founder and former president of Tabor College, Australia.



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