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A Time To Love (A short story)

Updated on January 8, 2012

This is a story composed with the word ‘time’.


Since I left Carlo everything seemed to have happened once upon a time. At seasonable and unseasonable times, in my time, I could cope with unexpected guests. But times change.

And so did Jane.

She arrived in time for lunch - she has not done that for a long time.

“To be honest to each other has been our custom for a very long time,” she said after we've exchanged the polite clichés. “And you know time after time honesty strengthens our friendship. For a long time we ignored each other, haven't we? So this morning I woke up with a clear thought about us in my mind: It is high time for me to pay you a visit.”

“To discuss what, Jane?” Since the time we met she employed too much of her time to my personal affairs.

“Carlo, of course.”

“I really don’t have time to dig up dead cows,” I told her. “You know I’ve raced against time since the day I’ve entered adulthood. I’m telling you this all the time. I’m busy… I spend my time…”

She interrupted me: “Making money like Carlo. You are birds of a feather. Don’t tell me you’ve forgotten all about him?”

“Of course not, at no time. But, please, I don’t want to talk about him,” I stressed for the umpteenth time.

“At different times, even ungodly times, I’ve told you how wrong you are, Liz, about Carlo. Many a time I begged you to reconsider your attitude towards him. At one time I even cried.”

“Half the time you did not know your brother, Jane. For him time was money and…. women.”

“But in the meantime he loved you, only you,” she almost convinced me with tears in her eyes. “And now… I want you to be abreast of times… Carlo needs your forgiveness. His time is running out. It is time for him to go. Please take some time off for him, will you?”

I always believed that there is a time and a place for everything, and I realised it was time to see Carlo again. I always knew it was only a matter of time before Life will force me to see him again. Still I tried to gain time. I spent some time in the mountains. It was a good time to do that, a fine time. Since time immemorial I could find peace in those cool shades of the pines.

For the first time in my life I realised that I’ve actually cherished the difficult times with Carlo. I had to serve time in prison, my subconscious mind convinced me, because I was not with my mother at the time of her death, but in the mountains with friends. I regarded Carlo as my well-deserved punishment. He gave me the hard time I needed to outgrown my guilt. I did not register the good times we had.

Time sure heals; Time is a component of God, the great healer.

As time went on I prepared myself for my date with Carlo, pondering over times gone by. I knew if I had the time over again, I would wanted Carlo to be my husband.

It was a rainy day when I left for the airport. In the nick of time I’ve decided to wear white and red, Carlo’s favourite colours. The time for departure was at seven, and the plane was dead on time. I was nervous, like always at odd times. All the time, even while walking, I dug in my handbag, looking for something I couldn’t find. Memories of the first time I fly overwhelmed me. At the time I was thirty-five, on my way to a conference, uprooted, because my father died a few days before. He was the reason why I didn’t leave Carlo. To him I wanted to prove myself and my ability to be successful, particularly as Carlo's wife. After his funeral I had no reason to be married. It was the most difficult time in my life, in mourning for everything I’ve buried. Since then, in certain aspects, I was not able to make fast time.

“Have you got the time?” the man next to me in the plane asked with alcohol on his breath.

It was not my time of day for idle talk, so I gestured ‘no’, and for the umpteenth time I realised that it was rude and intolerant of me for not having time for people smelling like wineries in the early hours of a day. Why not take time by the forelock and do some research, I tried to motivate myself to be nice while he was taking his time to get comfortable. I had to create an alcoholic character in a play to be presented by the drama department. But like many times I did not listen to myself; I killed the time in the air by writing a poem.

Time out of mind

You were not mine

Only in misty dreams

You came to me.


We’ve met in due time

Had a whale of a time

Yes that was the time when

I thought happiness never end.


Too romantic was our space

of time snuggled in lace

Groom and bride we shine

Products of the time.


Seven times seven

We spent in heaven

Ever so many times

You were just mine.


It was time well-spent

When we needn’t to repent

Then the ravages of time

Brought us to the steep incline


Nine times out of ten

I shared you with them

Most of the time

You were not mine.


We haven’t stood the test

of time, we were not the best

You gave me a rough time

You made me whine.


I tried to keep time

Pretended I’m fine

Proper time to run

Was yet to come.


Stubborn in denial

I played for time

All the time, however

I hated you forever.


Then came the troubled times

Lonely, unhappy, unquiet times

Time was ripe for smoking

The pipe of rueful regretting.


Without doubt

Time ran out

Cold I am with fear

Our time is drawing near.


At the appointed time and place

We will once again embrace

We'll retrace our love

Ourselves in time above.


Maybe it's a sign of the times

To forgive each other in time

At last in the fullness

Of time we might share our wholeness.


Normally I arrive on time for appointments, but for Carlo I was way ahead of time. I decided to beguile some time in the garden. I remembered our golden rule: “Expect to be surprised at all times.”

Time was dragging, but I had all the time in the world. Perhaps I was too willing to bide my time, for I had no idea what the opportunity would be. A minute before time I felt an anxiety attack creeping up, squeezing the life out of my heart. This is not an opportune time to fall, flee or fight, I realised while forcing myself to walk as fast as I could towards the front door, down the corridor, up the stairs, down another corridor, all the way to Carlo.

He was on the balcony, looking down on the garden I came from. I considered asking for time, for I needed more time, but by the time he noticed me, I was my collected self.

He: Hallo, Liz! Long time no see.

Me: Yes, it has been a long time. But the time flied. I saw in the papers you did not waste any time, you’ve made the big time.

He: It took me a long time, and it was a rough time, while you seemed to have a royal time? But, as you said, time marched.

Me: I did not really keep track of the time. I got, sort of, mentally stuck in the good old times… when we had the time of our life. Remember… those smashing times?

He: Yes, it did last for some time. I’ve called you times without number, Liz, leaving messages you ignored. The last two times I’ve even threatened you. I thought the third time I might be lucky. And if not, I planned to take time off to go and see you. At the same time I knew you might slam the door in my face.

Me: I wanted to call you lots of times. To be honest, from time to time I did call you, but you were unfortunately… or perhaps fortunately, not available. I really had a lively time, Carlo. You know me, I always have too many irons in the fire. Today as well… I can’t stay too long, my time is limited. You know... my life… always a race against time.

He: So why now, all of a sudden, you have time for me?

Me: I guess this is the time for me to be here. Don’t you think I’m well in time for your birthday tomorrow?

He: Oh, I did not mean to be sarcastic. I just happened to fall on bad times. I’m having a difficult time, a thin time, a tough time, a hard time…. rough! For quite some time now I realise the time to change has come. I’ve tried a few times… But time and time again... You know me, I am nothing but a punk. Perhaps tomorrow, while spending some time with you, I might... Liz, will you find some time to organise snacks and drinks? I would like to spend some quality time with you... like those times in the mountains.

Me: Do you have a specific time in mind?

He: Any time. I’ve got stacks of time.

Me: Okay, I have to go, time is getting on.

He: Wait! Liz! We've got to make up for lost time. Let’s lose no time. Please, in less than no time, I’ll have to go west. I haven’t all that much time. Time and tide wait for no man. Though there is still time for us. Perhaps only a short time. But any time with you will feel like an eternity for me.

Me: Carlo, I need time…

He: Take your time. For the time being I will thank God for you.

I knew it was only a matter of time, and in the course of time I will once again know that the most precious time will always be the present.

© Martie Coetser

Get free time here! (Time Management Tips)


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    • MartieCoetser profile image

      Martie Coetser 5 years ago from South Africa

      Hi Josh, so nice of you to visit my corner. I was truly impressed with you in Marcoujor's interview. Your positive spirit - enthusiasm - is contagious :) Looking forward to read you :)

    • josh3418 profile image

      Joshua Zerbini 5 years ago from Pennsylvania


      I just recently met you over at my interview hub by Maria!

      So I decided I would come over to your profile page and visit you! I am glad I picked this short story of yours to read. Very enjoyable read, time is a coveted thing these days for sure.

      I marvelled at how many times you used the word time in this story.

      Awesome job Martie, I hope to see you around and that we can become loyal supporters of each other's works!

    • MartieCoetser profile image

      Martie Coetser 5 years ago from South Africa

      So nice to see you in here, Rosemary. For sure the one selling time will become a multi-billionaire in a couple of weeks.

      I guess it is high time for me to review this hub. My capability of writing in English has surely improved during the past year - I know I will find a few errors - or space for improvement - in here.

      Enjoy your weekend!

    • Rosemay50 profile image

      Rosemary Sadler 5 years ago from Hawkes Bay - NewZealand

      Well you published this almost a year before I joined HP. Time has moved on but this is here for all time and here I am in the present time amazed at just how many times you can fit time into a story. And who knows maybe in another years time someone else new will come along and read this and every time this happens you will be reminded of the time you spent writing this.

      We live our lives by time and never seem to have enough of it.

      As Jim Croce says 'If I could save time in a bottle'. I think I could sell it and make a bloody fortune... :-)

      Good one Martie Have a great time this weekend

    • MartieCoetser profile image

      Martie Coetser 7 years ago from South Africa

      tonymac04 – I never thought I can write an entire short story with all the different meanings and concepts of ‘time’ without repeating one sentence. However, I should shape this story a bit. Here and there it is a bit forced... ostentatious. On the other hand, I always find room for improvement in all my hubs – need a lot of time to do the improvements! Before I’ve read your comment, I was sighing, because I’ve discovered in the depths of my inbox a few unread hubs of my favorite hubbers, including two of yours. I just don’t have enough time on my hands to read (and write) all that I would like to. Perhaps I should just come to terms with this, because, as you said, there are only so many hours, minutes and seconds in each day. Thanks for reading and commenting, Tony. I appreciate your support tremendously. Only my best wishes to you and your loved-ones :)

    • tonymac04 profile image

      Tony McGregor 7 years ago from South Africa

      Martie - ek het dit baie geniet! Baie cankie. You certainly are a good story teller! The concpet of time is both elusive and very real.

      Time is the one resource that we all have equally. There are only so many hours, minutes and seconds in each day - no-one has any more and no-one has any less. Some are just a little more skillful in using the available time than are others.

      Thanks for the great story.

      Love and peace


    • MartieCoetser profile image

      Martie Coetser 7 years ago from South Africa

      rishworld – Welcome at HubPages! I feel honored to be your first and I’m looking forward to read your hubs.

    • rishworld profile image

      rishworld 7 years ago from Dreammie Kreatiw World..

      Nice picturisation through words.....gr88... Well u r the first one I'm Following...... keep writing..

    • MartieCoetser profile image

      Martie Coetser 7 years ago from South Africa

      Forgetmenot18 – How nice to meet you! Thanks for leaving such a kind comment. I’m on my way to follow you.

    • profile image

      Forgetmenot18 7 years ago

      'the most precious time will always be the present' - Yes I agree with you. I too have been racing with time as long as I can remember. A moment in time is so precious I treasure each moment as we could never buy time back.

      Thank you for your great hub, I am so glad that I found you here.

    • MartieCoetser profile image

      Martie Coetser 7 years ago from South Africa

      triosol - Welcome in my corner. I'm glad you loved this one.

    • triosol profile image

      triosol 7 years ago

      Lovely Story. I am loving it.

    • MartieCoetser profile image

      Martie Coetser 7 years ago from South Africa

      Fresno Movers – Thanks for the surprise visit and kind comment.

      Micky Dee – Your visit and comment is greatly appreciated.

    • Micky Dee profile image

      Micky Dee 7 years ago

      Beautiful story and poem Martie! God bless!

    • profile image

      Fresno Movers 7 years ago

      Very beautiful and touching. You are very gifted.

    • MartieCoetser profile image

      Martie Coetser 7 years ago from South Africa

      Website Examiner – Take five for an amazing metaphor! I would scribble on those walls with stones, sticks, shelves, fishbones, the chopped-off claws of disobedient monkeys, as well as with the nails of all my fingers and toes. When you eventually find me, I will be a skeleton stuck to those walls, and you will entitle your next novel: “The Scrabbling Queen of 300 Apes” :)))) I feel honored to be of value for you, sir. Thanks!

    • profile image

      Website Examiner 7 years ago

      Ask yourself this question: If you were alone on a distant planet inhabited only by yourself and 300 monkeys, would you write? If no pen and paper was available, would you be scribbling on the walls inside the cold caves? If your response is in the affirmative, then your condition is incurable, which would make you a writer not by choice but by default. As such, you are more valuable to me than if you were cured. Enjoy!

    • MartieCoetser profile image

      Martie Coetser 7 years ago from South Africa

      Website Examiner – LOL! Gosh, you’ve just given me a great, wonderful laugh! Do I write? I thought I had a bug in my brain, forcing me to vomit myself completely empty. By now some of my guts are also on the screen. Guess it is time to take some meds. Can you suggest something that will kill this bug totally dead?

    • profile image

      Website Examiner 7 years ago

      Hello Martie, did someone utter the word "fiction"? How is the writing coming along? Have a pleasant day.

    • MartieCoetser profile image

      Martie Coetser 7 years ago from South Africa

      Storytellersrus – This is fiction coined with the word ‘time’ – perhaps one or two sentences may land in my biography. But yes, indeed, life twists and turns. My biography has many episodes. Many. Each one a life on its own. I guess I am a cat with seven lives. Hugs for you, my friend, and peace as well. At this moment in time I have a lot of peace to share.

    • Storytellersrus profile image

      Barbara 7 years ago from Stepping past clutter

      Difficult to read this one after the abuse revelation. Life twists and turns, doesn't it? Hugs always.

    • izettl profile image

      Lizett 7 years ago from The Great Northwest

      oh good one. you are gifted!

    • MartieCoetser profile image

      Martie Coetser 7 years ago from South Africa

      izettl – There is a time to quest and a time to conquest, then a time to ponder over times gone by.... Thanks for the time you’ve spent in my corner :))))

    • izettl profile image

      Lizett 7 years ago from The Great Northwest

      Great story. Time is really a perfect word in relation to love. I can't count how many times "time" has ruined my romantic quests and conquests.

    • MartieCoetser profile image

      Martie Coetser 7 years ago from South Africa

      Website Examiner – Thank you, sir! Your opinion really means a lot to me. You’ve actually urged me to read the piece again through your eyes, so while being more objective, I realized that it is a bit too staccato... a bit forced here and there. So, thanks to you, I will soon give some more attention to this one. Once again, thank you for your comment, greatly appreciated.

    • profile image

      Website Examiner 7 years ago

      This story is a rather intelligent attempt at what we could perhaps call "concept fiction," namely it is not only inspired by a certain idea; no, said idea basically sets the rules for your presentation. Others would be busy covering their tracks by finding synonyms and such, but you've taken it all the way. Nice job!

    • MartieCoetser profile image

      Martie Coetser 7 years ago from South Africa

      Wayne Brown – Sometimes people who loved each other at a time never take the time to come to terms with reality. They rather spend their time proving to each other how long they will live without each other. Thank you, sir, for taking the time to leave such a smile-provoking comment on this time-heels-wounds story of mine, which fortunately did not take too much time to write. Until next time, have a good time :))

    • Wayne Brown profile image

      Wayne Brown 7 years ago from Texas

      Hey Martie...if I didn't know better I would say there is some obsessive-compulsive stuff going on between these two that revolves around time. Personally, I think their time has long since past and it is high time they had a good time making time at some other time with another person in another place, in another time. Thanks for a good write! WB

    • MartieCoetser profile image

      Martie Coetser 7 years ago from South Africa

      Deni Edwards – What a surprise – Your visit as well as your comment. Thank you for giving me a heartwarming smile.

    • Deni Edwards profile image

      Deni Edwards 7 years ago from california

      Is it possible for you to be more original or creative? How do you do it?

      Loved it!

    • MartieCoetser profile image

      Martie Coetser 7 years ago from South Africa

      Nell Rose – Thanks for popping in! Strange, right in the beginning – when I was still a teenager – I loved to write stories like this with the titles of songs. But now I’m hooked on the English language and all its grammatical constructions. I’m glad you enjoyed this.

    • Nell Rose profile image

      Nell Rose 7 years ago from England

      Hi, that was a great story, isn't it amazing how many usages of the word 'time' there is? really different, and I loved it, cheers nell

    • MartieCoetser profile image

      Martie Coetser 7 years ago from South Africa

      New Life - Nice to meet you! I'm looking forward to read your writings.

    • New Life profile image

      New Life 7 years ago from Chandler, Arizona

      Great story

    • MartieCoetser profile image

      Martie Coetser 7 years ago from South Africa

      masmasika – It was kind of a puzzle, putting all the sentences about time where they belong. Thanks for the visit.

    • profile image

      masmasika 7 years ago

      Great love story. Yes. time indeed is very crucial where love is concerned. I love your piece. It tickles the heart.

    • MartieCoetser profile image

      Martie Coetser 7 years ago from South Africa

      saddlerider1 – Thank you so much for taking the time to leave such a heart-touching comment on time. Time is indeed the container of all happenings; In time we all have bad times, difficult times, rough times, and sometimes, in between times, we also enjoy smashing times. As time goes on we move on, knowing that time heals all our wounds. Thanks for killing time with me on HubPages. May you soon make the big time with your awesome writings and may you always find time to read my hubs and to leave such amazing comments. Until next time, love and peace!

    • saddlerider1 profile image

      saddlerider1 7 years ago

      Wow what an amazing piece of writing on time. It is truly amazing how we can flash back to events and times gained or lost because of so many reasons under the sun. It seemed I never had enough time or gave of my time sufficient to please my last wife. Time came to a stand still in our marriage and we were sleeping in different rooms with different clocks.

      There was a time when there was not enough time in the day to embrace and take time for each other and enjoy our time together in lust and endless time. There were times that we said to each other we could never live without each other, yeah right, the divorce courts proved us wrong and over time and after many years of lost time, father time crept in and time healed all.

      Life is one BIG CLOCK it ticks away and wastes no time reminding us of how much little time we have left. So I say drink up and be merry and have the time of our lives without regrets and let time march on as we take our time and smell the roses.

      Thanks for the time it took for you to develop this lovely time piece. I thoroughly enjoyed it as each second on my watch ticked by and left me the time to leave you my comment:0)) Peace and hugs