Copyright 2017 Mario V. Farina
Shakespir Edition, License Notes
All Rights Reserved
No part of this book may be reproduced or transmitted in any form or by any means,
Electronic or mechanical, including photocopying, recording or by any information
Storage and retrieval system, without prior written permission of the author.
Correspondence may be directed to:
Mario V. Farina
Email: [email protected]
This is a true story, but I hesitate in stating this because you won’t believe it. Therefore, for the record, I’ll declare it to be fiction. Nevertheless, it’s true!
At birth, my name was Lorraine Smith. When I married my husband in 1885, one hundred fifty years ago, I became Mrs. Howard Franklin. I was eighteen at the time; Howard was twenty-two.
I had met Howard Franklin at a square dance in Hermanville. (His nickname was Howie.) He and I were often partners at these dances, and it wasn’t long before I discovered, by the special way he gazed at me as we weaved around each other to the beat of the caller, that he wanted me to become an important part of his life. At the time this story begins, I lived in the small village mentioned above. My father was a country doctor; my mother managed the home and helped bring up my two sisters and me. I was the oldest girl and aspired to be a nurse. Howie lived with his parents on a small farm nearby. He was tall and thin with a shock of red hair. Many would have termed him a country hick. Yes, I suppose that term could well have described him, but he had an inward charm that appealed to me. I think it was karma that brought us together. We were married within eighteen months of our meeting. We made our home in a small apartment in Hermanville. He was employed as a clerk at Gordon’s Hardware Shop. I tended to the household chores.
In 1888, a son, Robert James, was born to us. My father, Dr. Alfred Smith, had come to assist. Howie and I loved our child very much. Our lives revolved around him. Life in Hermanville was, otherwise, routine. That is, until one day in 1897, when a letter came. It was addressed to me. This is how it read:
Mrs. Howard Franklin:
I have been directed by the District 3 Attorney of this state to inform you that, for a sum of money, your mother Mrs. Harriet Smith registered you at age 6 to receive an experimental vaccine designed to interact with a substance (genes) in your body identified as having the property to retard aging. She also gave unlimited permission for this hospital to examine your health records as you aged. The vaccine failed for most persons; however, it permanently succeeded in certain people known to be empaths. You are one of those individuals. The main fact of importance to you, at this time, is that you can expect your life expectancy to be as long as to age 150. We apologize if receipt of this information causes you any inconvenience.
Yours truly, Jasper T. Higgenbothom, Director, Central Hospital
Suddenly and unexpectedly I was faced with a problem that had many ramifications. I had no idea what genes were. I was barely thirty but, barring accidents or bizarre diseases, I learned I could expect to live to somewhere near age 150. I felt that my husband might die sometime near eighty. This would leave me with over seventy years of life without him. At first blush, this prospect did not strike me as being a favorable outlook for the rest of my life. How could I avoid such a bleak future?
I had noticed my husband aging slightly since we had been married. However, I had not seen any change in my appearance. This had not concerned me, but now it loomed important. When my husband had aged and was in the winter of his life, I might still be young-looking and appealing to men. How could I handle this. A thought of a second marriage at an advance age was not pleasing, nor acceptable, to me. Suicide was not within my capability. Continuing to live without the companionship of Howie was equally unpalatable. I lay on the bed and fell into a deep sleep within seconds.
Slowly, I became aware of a woman standing at the foot of the bed. She was fully dressed wearing clothing that was identical to mine, a white blouse, red skirt. Her face was easily recognizable. The woman was in my image. She was staring at me.
I lifted my body from the bed leaning on my elbow. Overwhelmed with astonishment and fear, words froze in my throat. The woman spoke first. “Lorraine,” she uttered softly, “do not fear. I have come to you in your sleep. Your life lies before you. You must make it meaningful.”
Her words instantly put me at ease. My fear dissipated. “Who are you,” I gasped?
“I’m you, yourself, Lorraine,” she replied! “I am your thought process, made visible so that it will be strongly impressive to you for the long term.”
“You look so real,” I said!
“You’re sound asleep,” she said. “When you awaken, you will instantly know that you are an empath. You have powers unknown in most other women. You will need to use those powers to live the rest of your life. I will help you understand them to you.”
“If I’m asleep, how do I know everything you’ll be helping me with,” I asked?
“Your brain has knowledge in it that is gathered subconsciously from many sources, what you see and hear, what you assume, and what you deduce. You know much that is not in your conscious mind. You as an empath have powers of healing, of transferring energy, of making predictions. Do not reveal these abilities. Others may associate them with witchcraft which may cause you difficulties. Use your powers, to have your husband live his life. What may seem as unsolvable problems at present will cease to exist! Know and believe this!”
She disappeared. I closed my eyes. I slept and awoke when I heard Howie calling, “Honey, I’m home!” He was entering through the kitchen door. I had left the hospital’s letter on the cutting block and hoped he wouldn’t see it.
I rose from the bed and groggily hastened to greet my husband. “You look sleepy,” he smiled. “Taking a nap?”
“Uh-huh,” I agreed. “Guess my age is catching up with me!”
“You don’t age!” he commented. “You look exactly the same as you did when we were married. Look at me! I’m getting gray already!”
“Oh, darling,” I gushed. “Let me see! I’ll fix it.” He leaned his head toward me. I spotted a strand that was definitely changing color. I touched it with the thought that it should be darker. The wisp immediately began glowing with a ruddy hue. I had not expected the sudden change but did my best not to reveal this. “There,” I exclaimed! “All better!”
This action inaugurated my career of acting as an empath. Whenever Howie would show some sign of age I would find some pretext for erasing it. Sometimes I’d pretend to notice some sort of debris on a spot and touch it as if to remove it. Sometimes, I’d simply caress an area as an act of loving attention. All of my actions would instantly remove evidence of aging. In the same way that I showed no signs of aging, he did the same. From time to time, I’d spy Howie examining his face in the bathroom mirror. He’d never bring this seeming agelessness into our conversations.
The years passed into history, one, two, three, then several. One day, after he and I had engaged in a passionate occasion of love-making, he stared at me for several seconds, then said, “Honey, you’ve become a mystery woman to me. There are times when you and I are so interconnected that I feel we are one unit. At other times, I hardly know you. It seems that you belong to another world, to another moment. Tonight was one of those times. Are you the person I married or a stand-in for her while the real Lorraine tends to other matters.”
“Darling,” I responded. “I’m your real Lorraine. If I seem distant at times, it’s because I have a special responsibility to you. You are not merely my husband; you are my charge. To lose you would be to lose myself. I’m sorry for having seemed mystifying. Now that you know why I’ve seemed puzzling, I can stop keeping it so hidden in my mind.”
“Why are you so concerned about me,” he asked. “I can take care of myself!”
I couldn’t lie, but I needed to think of a plausible reason. “You and I are getting older,” I said. “We have long lives ahead of us. I want you to outlive me. In living our lives, I want to be, not only your love mate but also your health care taker. Yes, you can take care of yourself, but I want to do more than that. Trying to take care of you without proper training is foolhardy. What I want to do is train to be a nurse. And I won’t care whether I get a job as a nurse or not. My prime patient will be you. Since I can’t envision a life without you, my life-long objective will be to ensure that you outlive me!”
Howie’s reaction was inscrutable. I wanted to clarify further, but decided that any attempt would only make a murky explanation even worse. From his demeanor, I knew he accepted what I said.
We had entered the twentieth century. Howie became a manager at his company. I became a nurse and engaged in irregular employment with various hospitals, but my primary thoughts centered squarely on Howie.
With the passage of time, our son married and began having children of his own. He served in France during World War I. Howie never seemed to age and I didn’t either. I knew why this was true for me, but Howie never seemed to wonder.
I became a grandmother in 1920. Robert and his wife, Marie, gave me present of a beautiful granddaughter on the day before my birthday. I was 53. I had estimated that at about age 80, Howie would leave this earth, but, at his current of 57, he looked thirty years younger. Our family grew. I became a great grandmother, then a great-great grandmother. At birthday parties, at first, we needed to plan on twenty guests, then, eventually fifty and more.
We prospered. Howie was able to purchase the company in which he had been employed for so many years. This gave us a great deal of time to travel to every state in the continental United States. When Hawaii and Alaska became states, we visited them too.
Life was good to us. Together, we voyaged through the years that brought World War II, Americans stepping on the moon, TV, computers, the internet, and so much more. Life has been interesting and we have enjoyed so many years of it! Health problems were minor and few in number.
Today, when I came home from a routine doctor’s appointment, Howie revealed a secret he had kept from me for a great many years. He said he had seen the letter I had received from Central Hospital in 1997 and had know from that time that I was an empath. At first, he had not known what an empath was and needed to do some difficult research before he fully realized what this fact would mean for him and for me.
Howie wasn’t the only one with a surprise. I had one too. During the visit with the doctor, I had discovered that, at age 150, I was pregnant again.
Lorraine Smith's mother had enrolled her in an experiment intended to lengthen life. She received a letter telling her that, since she had been born an empath, she could expect to live to 150. Lorraine was married to Howard Franklin at the time and she resolved to help him live beyond her own age. This story tells the story of how all this came about and what was the success of Lorraine's resolve.