Talk to Me: Thinking from the End

Talk to Me: Thinking from the End

by Sameer Zahr

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Overview

This is an amazing story of two young Wall Street executives who meet in a meditation retreat to sort out their life adversities. Awkward past relationships bring them closer together. Opportunities arise that oblige one ex-partner to put up big amounts of money.

The money is used to start a humanitarian organization dedicated to the treatment of addicts. Ironically, the two ex-partners hook up together, and the couple become close friends.

The two executives eventually quit their jobs and dedicate their time to the growth of the organization that became huge across the nation. Their innovative methods of treatment defy the traditional industry of rehab centers, and their success is known across the land. The original couple gives a good example to young generations, and they leave behind a unique legacy.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9781982230005
Publisher: Author Solutions Inc
Publication date: 06/26/2019
Pages: 278
Product dimensions: 6.00(w) x 9.00(h) x 0.63(d)

Read an Excerpt

CHAPTER 1

A DRASTIC CHANGE

Peter Donavan was desolate and itching to go away to regroup with his inner soul. Despite his successful career as a stockbroker on Wall Street and his sincere loyalty to his wife, Amy, she abruptly walked out on him. He thought he had a healthy marriage the past two years, until Amy told him that she was in love with another man who happened to be living in the same apartment building. She bluntly said she wanted to leave that same Friday afternoon. Peter was overwhelmed and shocked, yet she continued to say, "I'm sorry, Peter. I decided that you should hear this directly from me. You have not met him, though we saw him a couple of times in the elevator. He lives in an apartment two floors above. I — I later saw him a few more times when I was alone in the elevator, and that — that's when he introduced himself to me. After a brief conversation, he asked me if I had time to have a drink in his apartment. It was five in the afternoon, and since you never come home before seven, I agreed. That was, um, two months ago, and since then, we've been seeing each other regularly."

Peter was astounded by the news that clipped his wings with despair. He pretended to be calm by clasping his hands tightly together as if it was the last thing he had to hold on to. He was boiling feverishly in his guts and his mind. He reluctantly asked her, "What's his name, and what does he do?"

"His name is Sean, and he manages a real estate company founded by his father. He's thirty-two and has never been married."

"Do you love him?"

"I guess so! Why would I leave you if it was just a fling?" Amy said, restless and nervous.

"Any chance you may reconsider your decision?" Peter asked, hoping she might change her mind. He would forgive her.

"I doubt it. I am determined to pursue this relationship. I know things started out well between us, but we both have changed since then. You wanted to focus on your career and continued success. You continued to enjoy your fishing hobby, which I don't like and which kept us apart many weekends. I wanted you to be there for me with your affectionate love, physically and emotionally, but all you could do was provide financial support and comfortable living. Um ... we don't have fun together anymore. I told you many times I was not satisfied, but you ignored my remarks and kept on doing what you wanted to do, regardless of how bored I felt."

"I do not fully disagree with what you said, but this happens all the time in marriages. We can talk about it and give it another chance, don't you think?"

"I'm afraid it's too late. My mind and my heart are elsewhere already. I'm sorry."

"I see. What do you plan to do next?"

"It's best I leave you now. I can pack a few things to take with me, and if you don't mind, I can return early next week to pick up the rest of my personal belongings."

"Why not take everything now? I can give you a hand if you wish," Peter said facetiously.

"No, I can't do it all now. I have to go, as we have plans for the weekend. I — I can't stay here any longer; I'm late already."

"Uh-huh ... and so it is! In that case, I wish you all the best, and we'll see what happens next. I will notify my lawyers to write a separation agreement and let the chips fall where they may," Peter said angrily.

"Okay. Please keep it amicable. I want nothing from you, since it's my decision to leave. I hope we can stay friends, and again, I'm sorry!" Amy said before she went into the bedroom to pack her things in a small suitcase.

She walked out ten minutes later and found Peter still sitting in the same chair, staring at the ceiling with a capricious smile on his face. She asked if he'd give her a hug before she left, but Peter remained seated and said nothing. She left the apartment keys on the console and walked out the door.

Peter was dumbfounded and frozen in his seat for a solid thirty minutes. His mind played back a quick movie of his memories from the moment he first met Amy and how their relationship grew. He recalled how he initially appreciated her hunger for passionate lovemaking, an area that he had very limited experience with and that lured him to awaken his suppressed affections and timid feelings. He remembered how this initial passionate fire lost its glow after a while, and he understood how this extinguished flame of physical love prompted Amy to quit.

He got up and decided to go to the nearest bar for a drink. It would take the edge off his sad feelings and disturbing thoughts.

* * *

Peter had recently turned twenty-nine years old when this breakup happened. As a talented stockbroker, he worked hard and late, to the dissatisfaction of his wife. He was tall and handsome, with piercing green eyes, high cheekbones, and a masculine nose. His fair skin was crowned by light brown hair. He was also athletically shaped, which added to his attractive look. He had promised his wife he'd try to work fewer hours and spend more time with her, but he couldn't live up to that promise. Amy stopped believing him and slowly became more frustrated. He also did not appreciate her lack of interest in other meaningful aspects of life or cultural pursuits. Though he never contemplated a breakup, Amy was vulnerable to falling for an intimate relationship outside the home.

Amy loved attention and wanted someone to tell her how beautiful and sexy she looked. At twenty-five years of age, she was proud of her outer beauty and sexual appeal. She spent a lot of time in front of the mirror, checking her appearance as a brunette with brown eyes, a dainty nose, and short brown hair. Amy was of average height, and she demanded that Peter make love to her every night. Peter's affectionate attention faded less than a year after their marriage. She worked as a stylist in a beauty salon four days a week, and Peter took it for granted that she would always be loyal to him.

Peter sat at the bar and sipped his drink. The alcohol magnified his sorrow, and his mind started racing with more disturbing thoughts. He thought, I feel cheated and abused, mad, and deeply hurt. I've been loyal to her, and I loved her the best I could, and I honored our vows. Where did I fall short in satisfying her needs? I must not have been good enough for her in bed lately. I admit that I gave much more attention to my career, but what else should an ambitious young man do, and is sex the main binding force in marriage?

Evidently, the diminished passion in our relationship impacted our intimacy. This must have encouraged her to look elsewhere to satisfy her constant physical needs. She's now determined to go on a different life journey. I am angry that she was involved in a love affair behind my back. I am left all alone to lick my wounds now, while she explores a new love adventure. I feel embarrassed, and my dignity is severely damaged. I should try not to stress over this and try not to feel guilty about it. Perhaps it is best I take some time off from work and travel somewhere far.

Peter spent more than an hour sitting at the bar. After four drinks, he walked back to his apartment, feeling heavy. He tried hard to control his balance, and he finally made it. He went straight to the bedroom and crashed on his bed with his clothes on.

* * *

He woke up in the middle of the night with a headache. He took two pills to ease the pain, took his clothes off, and went back to sleep. When he woke up again, he made some coffee and sat at the kitchen dinette to reflect on his new life. It was nine in the morning when it dawned on him that he forgot to go fishing with his friends. He called them to apologize after explaining what happened.

His dire condition reminded him of his past and how he felt after the loss of his parents, who died in a car accident when he was thirteen. He realized that he was still grieving, emotionally lost, and gravely desolate. Luckily, he had an older sister, Anna, who took care of him after the tragedy they both endured. Anna was eighteen when the accident happened, and she was determined to remain strong around Peter, though she also grieved deeply when alone. They lived together in their parents' house. Their father left them a hefty insurance policy that provided them with a comfortable life. Anna made sure Peter finished his high school and college education. She instilled in him a good sense of responsibility and eased his despair with her sisterly love. What she could not do, however, was teach him how to treat a woman in a relationship.

He continued with his thoughts and was at a loss as to what he should do next. His wife, Amy, was a close friend too. He had not developed strong friendships with others, even with his fishing companions. He was basically a loner, still in grief. He could not control his feelings of sadness. Suddenly, tears came down his cheeks, and he started sobbing like a child. He had not expected to be abandoned again or feel rejected by a woman. He was tempted to call his sister, who was married and lived in Northern California. He figured he should resolve his issues on his own.

Peter took a deep breath and calmed down after a few minutes while drinking more coffee. He toasted some bread to eat; he had not eaten anything since Amy left him the day before. He decided to call his manager and ask him for some time off. His manager understood his situation and granted him a ten-day leave.

He wanted to express his sad feelings with words, so he opened his laptop to start a new journal. He wrote down a key question:

What do I do now?

• I can seek the help of a therapist, or

• I can go spend time with my sister in California, or

• I can go on a trip alone somewhere far from here.

The therapist option is a long-term process, and it can wait. How can my sister help me, and why should I bother her? She has her family and work to occupy her time. Perhaps I'll just give her a call later ... What I may need the most is to travel somewhere I've never been before. Perhaps I could rent a small boat and go fishing. I need to quietly regroup with my inner self, regain my self-esteem, and reignite my true wish to move on.

I mostly desire to go within and listen to my inner voice. I remember when I was in college, I had a conversation with one of my psychology classmates. He was a Buddhist monk on furlough from his monastery. He tried to encourage me to spend time alone and meditate.

His argument was having personal quiet time would help me to connect and interact with my silent inner voice, which represents the true self within me. Once connected with that source, I would be developing an inner conversation with my own soul. This meditation should be done daily, and a divine guidance would show me the way to live happily.

Evidently, I did not follow his advice then, as my ego stood in the way of even trying. I ask myself now, is this something I should consider without further delay? I am definitely in a confused state of mind at this moment.

Peter took a pause from writing and decided to go online to check out travel destinations to consider.

While surfing through various possibilities online, he also checked individual retreat centers and locations as alternatives to a fishing excursion. He came across several retreats in and outside the United States. He thought for a while and decided perhaps it would be best to explore this new realm of inner growth. He felt the need to get to know himself better. He had neglected these soul-searching endeavors, as he didn't think he needed it before. He had suppressed his personal grief and suffering since the loss of his parents and lived in denial instead of addressing his feelings inwardly a long time ago.

Among the retreat centers, he noticed the Spirit Rock Meditation Center, located thirty-five miles north of San Francisco. That was close to where his sister lived. He checked its details and found that it could be the perfect retreat for him. He liked the information he read and the images he saw. He decided that would be a better alternative than fishing. He could also visit with his loving sister for an overnight stay. It was about eight in the morning in California, and he figured it would be a good time to call Anna and check her schedule.

Peter dialed her number, and when she answered, he said, "Hello, Anna. It's been a while since we talked. How are you, John, and the kids doing?"

"Hi! Good to hear from you, stranger. What a surprise. What's going on?"

"Um ... Amy left me," Peter said abruptly.

"What? Are you serious? Why? ... What happened?"

"She told me last night that she's um ... in love with someone else who lives in the same building. She's been seeing him for more than two months, and she — she simply wanted out," Peter replied nervously.

"What do you mean out? To live without you?"

"Yeah, what else? She doesn't love me anymore."

"Has she gone crazy? How are you holding up?"

"Miserable ... awful ... and dismayed. I loved her in my own way, you know."

"Did you try to get her back?"

"I tried, but she said no."

"So, what are you going to do now, Peter?"

"I decided to go to a retreat near you for a week, and perhaps I can stop by and see you for an overnight stay beforehand."

"That's a great idea. When?"

"I may find tickets to fly out tonight or tomorrow. I — I want to get out of here for a while."

"Great! Book it and let me know. You're welcome to stay with us, and the kids would love to see their uncle again. We'll talk later."

Peter called the Sprit Rock Center and booked a private room starting Sunday afternoon for a week. He then called the airlines and booked a flight to San Francisco that departed at three in the afternoon. He had a couple of hours to pack his clothes and take a taxi to the airport. He texted his itinerary to Anna, and she answered that she'd pick him up at the airport around six in the evening.

Peter's mood changed, and he was eager to go on this trip. He was numb throughout the flight. He had no deep feelings within him toward the loss of Amy, unlike the feelings he had when he lost his parents. He was to blame for his sadness. It was his ego that was deeply hurt. How could anyone do that to him? He considered himself a good and loyal man who did not deserve such treatment. He felt vengeful, which was not usual for him.

His sister was waiting for him at the gate. She came alone, as she wanted to hear details about his situation more privately. The thirty-minute drive to her home was sufficient to hear to the whole story. After twenty-five minutes of back and forth exchange, Anna said, "Peter, listen to me. You know I love you, and I hate to see you hurt or heartbroken. If you want her to regret her act and to respect you, you have to show her that you can manage well without her. Hide the fact that she hurt you, and consider this to be a story of the past now."

"You've always been wise and self-confident, Anna. I agree with you. And that is why I'm anxious to see what the future holds in store for me, starting with this retreat at Spirit Rock."

"I've never been there, but I hear it's a great place that attracts people from all over the world. You will certainly get what you need while you're there. I am proud of your decision to look after yourself inwardly. Remember, for every door that closes, another one opens. Remain alert and keep your eyes open to what is coming ahead."

"Thanks, Anna. I will, and I'm sure I will overcome this difficult period in my life. I miss having you near me, and I'm eternally grateful for your love and care throughout my early years. How old are the kids now?"

"Damon is eight, and Sandra is six. John and I are happy together. He's a good family man, and we still have fun after ten years."

"Happy to hear, and you deserve the best!" Peter said just before the car pulled up the driveway to her home.

The children were happy to see their uncle, and so was John Darby, Anna's husband. They all sat at the dinner table and shared some pasta and salad. After the children went to bed, the three of them sat together in the living room to chat. John said, "Peter, I know you're going through a tough period now. The thought of the separation alone can be dizzying. It's evident that Amy's love for you was shallow. Her rushed decision may cost her dearly, as you know. New affairs based mainly on passionate desires are doomed to fade away."

"I hear you, John, and in fact that is what our relationship was like in the beginning. The initial passion faded away less than a year after our marriage. We did not have common interests that we both enjoyed together. In a way, that lack of happiness at home pushed me to — to spend more time in the office, knowing that by the time I got home, I would be too tired to satisfy her outer needs. I — I wanted much more than just sex and glamour. She had no other hobbies or intellectual pursuits. So, other than my damaged ego, I should not be so angry that she left me."

Anna then said, "That's a good start, Peter, to understand the reasons that could have led to her exit. The ego and the hurt are matters that can be sorted out in time and during the retreat you're about to have. What's important is that you do not carry any guilt feelings with you as a result of her decision. Don't make it your fault. It's her responsibility to deal with herself and learn about life the hard way."

(Continues…)


Excerpted from "Talk To Me"
by .
Copyright © 2019 Sameer Zahr.
Excerpted by permission of Balboa Press.
All rights reserved. No part of this excerpt may be reproduced or reprinted without permission in writing from the publisher.
Excerpts are provided by Dial-A-Book Inc. solely for the personal use of visitors to this web site.

Table of Contents

Prologue, vii,
Chapter 1: A Drastic Change, 1,
Chapter 2: The Retreat, 17,
Chapter 3: A New Friendship, 33,
Chapter 4: Unwelcomed Events, 51,
Chapter 5: New Challenges, 69,
Chapter 6: A Defiant, Fresh Beginning, 83,
Chapter 7: A Center of Love, 97,
Chapter 8: The Big Doors Open, 113,
Chapter 9: Unexpected Events, 127,
Chapter 10: New Transformations, 145,
Chapter 11: A Clearer Outlook, 161,
Chapter 12: New Revelations, 177,
Chapter 13: A Few Bumps in the Road, 191,
Chapter 14: Thinking from the End, 207,
Chapter 15: Wishes Fulfilled, 225,
Chapter 16: A Fulfilling Life, 247,
Epilogue, 261,

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