All The Men Stayed

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Everybody has a dream. Without question, a little girls dream involves a Prince Charming; her knight in shining armor. Fast forward, a moment if you will. There have been years of dating and dreaming and searching and finding. Finally the painstaking meeting occurs in which a young man asks a father for his daughters hand in marriage. A blessing is given and forever is promised…. until death do us part. And although love brought this couple together, family approved and God blessed it, it is real life that tore them apart. 

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So there was once a young man. As most young men do, he dreamed of many young women. Yet over time, the various young women that occupied a place in his heart’s imagination became just one celestial creature. She populated his dreams and provided him everything he desired. 

Those were innocent days. 

All the love he ever needed spawned from daydreams about night things. It always satisfied the bent yearnings of a young man starved for physical love; it had to. As much as he wanted a living breathing heroine to play to his heroic stance, he was terribly introverted and not nearly as consciously bold as he was when unconsciousness embolden him. Like all men, he stumbled when trying to translate fantasy into reality. 

Those were bewildering days. 

Sentient women – real women – would come eventually. But they dealt in only immaculate heartbreak and codependent pageantry; it was nothing like the illusory productions of his youth. The young man found that he was not well equipped to deal in one-way love, regardless of the direction. 

Those were arduous days. 

In the end, building the foundation of a union on friendship seemed preferable to lust or drama. Rather than an endlessly searching for a soul mate, it seemed prudent to settle for a first mate. But sensibility rarely yields fulfillment. Discontent inevitably afflicted a home rife with friends, family and frenzy – how is that possible? And although love brought this couple together, family approved and God blessed it, it is real life that tore them apart. 

Excerpt from All the Men Stayed, the forthcoming novel—a collaboration between Blake Donley & Cyndi Nickey

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