Venus' Footstool

Venus' Footstool

A Story by Wayne Peake

The three sisters of fate weave a curious tapestry about this middle aged man as he sits alone at his computer, drinking coffee and thinking back upon his life. Sadness overtakes him, as he accidentally stumbles over thoughts of his first love.

He still sees her--but now only in his memories. That moment when she drew a little flower for him has haunted him all his life. He still has it, the flower--he keeps it in a little plastic case. It sits in a secret drawer inside his night table. He doesn’t open the case anymore and hold it--like he used to. Now he is afraid the fading flower will crumble away to dust beneath his fingers.

He often wonders if she is happy; if he could have made her happy. He thinks of the long nights spent staring at the silent moon and asking why. He relives the agonizing tightening of his chest, the burning in his throat and the watering of his green eyes.

He blames Venus--you might even say he holds a grudge against her for all those endless lonely nights. But in his heart of hearts he knows she did her best for him, hadn't she sent her son, the winged cherub to shoot him full of love-poisoned arrows. He thinks of long looks, of smiles, of tender touches.

He over-romanticized women, lifting them up onto that proverbial pedestal so high, he could never quite reach them. He never believed he was wanted and because of this; his courage always faded at that crucial moment. The moment where if one hesitates love slips past beyond hope of recall, when a man turns from potential lover to friend in the eyes of a woman. If the truth were known, in the face of the fairer sex he was a coward. Never married and with a list of lovers he could count on one hand, he was the ultimate confirmed bachelor. He told himself he was all right; he told himself that it was okay. But sometimes he feels the passing shadow of the man he used to be and that’s when he allows himself to feel pain.


The new strand the sisters of fate wove about him was an entangling strand--the kind he secretly feared. With this strand, a tidal wave of joy and pain came flooding into his empty life, nearly drowning him in emotion.

Her presence, like electroshock had jolted his heart into beating. She made him feel again. He holds tightly to the handlebars as he rides the emotional roller coaster. His mind reaches for her, he is doomed. He can't sleep. He can't concentrate. He doesn't dare allow himself to want. He recoils from his dreams, for dreams become nightmares. For only what you long for and what you treasure can cause the deepest suffering.

She was that kind of treasure. She was loveable: wonderful and witty, full of spirit, and heart. He asks himself could those long hours of instant messaging and e-mailing back and forth be only innocent play for her. How could he know, it really didn’t matter he had fallen hard and after all he was Venus’ footstool.

© 2008 Wayne Peake

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Added on February 19, 2008


Wayne Peake
Wayne Peake

pontiac, MI

Wayne Peake spent his early childhood in the small town of Trout Lake on the edge of the Hiawatha National Park. It was and is -- a beautiful place, surrounded by cedar swamp and dense forest. Moss gr.. more..