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The Lie Behind the Postcard - Encounters


“Ya’ ain’t real! Ya’ ain’t real! Ya’re dead, Jack! Ya’re dead!” Ennis yelled unexpectedly. He was shocked. Seeing Jack face to face woke his grieve and pain, though mingled with that old sense of joy. Jack seemed so real, but Ennis knew it was only an illusion. Tears were running down his cheeks. His lips were trembling; his hand was on his chest as he was trying to feel if his heart was steel beating. “I’m dead. That’s it – I died and he came for me”. For a second Ennis was happy. Then he noticed that the other man was silently crying, pain and fear radiating from him. What is going on? Ennis’ panic increased when he heard the “bumb, bumb, bumb, bumb” of his heart. “If I’m still alive, I’m crazy. I see the dead,” he yelled, pointing at Jack. Jack moved to seize Ennis’ hand, and the letters on the headstone suddenly became clearly visible: ‘ Ennis Del Mar’. Whether this Jack was real or not, Ennis was not going to stay in the graveyard in front of the man he believed was dead; neither wanted he to see his own tomb any longer.

He made a swift movement and lost his balance; in a moment he was on the ground, his shirt torn and his arm bleeding. He jumped up and rushed away from Jack.

Jack’s head was going round and round, he tried to say something but failed. He tried to move and grab the image he was seeing – but his body didn’t respond; his mind was active – but his body was not reacting. Jack was scared; he heard Ennis’ spirit saying “Ya’re dead!” and shuddered at these words. He had longed for it for so many days, he pleaded with the Death to pick him up… and now his wish might be about to come true? The Death took the form of Ennis to pick him up? For a second Jack thought it was his end, but when he heard “I see the dead”, he was shocked. “Me, a dead person?” his mind screamed; then he saw that the thing that looked like Ennis stepped back and fell down, ripping the shirt. When the figure rose to its feet, Jack noticed that its arm was bleeding. Jack couldn’t deny it now. It was Ennis in front of him.

Jack just watched the man running away. He realized that the other man was not acting; Ennis must have thought he saw a dead man and was trying to escape from him. Many thoughts crossed his mind at that moment, but nothing came clear. That was Ennis, his Ennis, and he was alive, breathing and walking, and Jack was not going to let Ennis out of his sights once more. Then Jack suddenly was able to speak again. “Ennis!” he yelled at the top of his lungs, but Ennis kept running. He fell on the ground once or twice, having stumbled over some headstones. Then Jack felt his body was obeying him – at once he was on his feet, chasing after Ennis.

Ennis was scared; he saw Jack in his family graveyard and there was a headstone with his own name. “This is a nightmare! This is a nightmare!” he thought, but his tears blinded him, made him unable to think properly and realize that it was the real Jack in front of him, not a ghost. “Why do I have to see him again? Why here? What does it mean?” he cried; he stopped at the gate, looked back and saw Jack approaching him; then he turned around and there was Jack behind the gate, Jack as he had met him on Brokeback Mountain, young and dark-haired, climbing out of the car Jack came in to their last fishing trip. Ennis was paralyzed for a few seconds. Then he jumped over the fence.

Jack watched the horror written on Ennis’ face when he looked at him and then looked at the gate, he realized it was because Bobby was the exact image of him; Ennis must have thought it was him also, and Bobby was in his former car, the one he gave him when he reached eighteen, since he was not driving it. “He thinks he’s seeing two Jacks!” thought Jack. He saw Ennis jumping over the fence and run even faster to his car; he needed to catch up with Ennis.

“Dad, what’s goin’ on? Why is that man runnin’ away from you?” Bobby asked. “Bobby! Don’t ask me how it happened! I don’t know. But it’s Ennis, my Ennis! He is alive!” Jack yelled while running to his car; he was not going to waste time now, he could explain later. “What’ya just said? Isn’t Ennis Del Mar dead?” Bobby sounded surprised, but followed his dad nevertheless. “Dad, what the fuck is goin’ on? Ya’ told me he was dead!” Bobby added, getting quickly into the car.

Jack was still shaking and had some trouble in putting the key on the car, he managed to put the reverse and step the feet on the clutch and then the accelerator. “Dad, ya’ scaring me, what are you trying to do?” Bobby said to his father, but Jack was not listening; he was at full speed, he was not going to let Ennis go, he was not going to loose him again.

“Two Jacks! One young and one old! I’m insane; that’s it, I’ve gone mad!” Ennis said, trying to wipe his tears while driving away from the graveyard. He didn’t notice that the sky had turned gray and it had started to rain. “Jack, what the fuck is goin’ on? Your spirit’s there, I saw a headstone with my name… I don’t know!” he yelled. It was raining harder and a hurricane caused a branch of a tree to block the street. Ennis noticed it only when it was too late; he just closed his eyes, turned the car to the left and slammed on the brakes. But due that hard action he hit his face against the shield and started bleeding, he was trying to wipe blood with his sleeve; when he saw Jack’s car, without thinking he left the car and rushed into the forest; he ran as fast as he could until he stumbled over a log and fell on the ground unconscious.

Jack was on his car when he saw Ennis with blood on his face; he stopped the car at once. Bobby closed his eyes and was yelling hard, but he was deaf to those yells. Jack stepped out the car and followed Ennis. He looked all over the place and soon he found Ennis on the ground, blood on his face. Jack fell on his knees next to the unconscious body. “Hang on, Ennis, don’t die again! I’ve just found ya’! I wouldn’t survive losin’ ya’ again!” he cried, wiping the blood from Ennis’ face. He was caressing Ennis when he felt Ennis’ big hand on his cheek. “Don’t cry, rodeo! I can’t live without ya’ that I’m seeing ya’ everywhere now!” Ennis whispered to Jack. He couldn’t resist his feelings any more, so he seized Ennis’ face and kissed him passionately. Now Jack was sure that it was not a dream.



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May 2007
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