From a Distance is a love story where boy and girl struggle to cope with psychological forces affecting young lovers today. Though their first meeting is filled with intrigue and sweet innocence, their fairytale soon gives way to reality, and the real world proceeds to threaten their love―indeed their lives. It is the tale of a shattered dream and a young woman’s search to find her purpose in the menacing world around her. It is a harsh test of the powers of confessed, though struggling, love against formidable obstacles. Through it all, the young lovers depend heavily on Mother Nature to give them solace and provide communion and healing for their day-to-day wounds.
In the story, a young bride, Sarah Grace, runs away from tragedy on her wedding night. Days later, she is in hiding in the home of her aunt and uncle where she tries to reckon with her situation and regain her wits. Ultimately, she seeks respite through daily visits to the peaceful meadow near her hideaway. There, she plots a course for regaining her freedom and vows never again to allow romantic love to enter her life.
Early one morning, a young man would stand at the top of the meadow, enraptured by the vision of a woman lolling in the tall grass some 200 yards away. Somehow, he would feel her pain. He would just stand there, immobile, absorbed in her essence. One day they would meet and their love would grow as if destined for eternity. Little did they suspect that by and by, the magic of their fairytale beginning would collapse and they would walk a long, tough, weary road together―one which would take them to the brink of doom.
A rackety old pickup finally misfired its way out of town while a distraught young woman strained at the wheel and prayed to the gods for mercy. Nineteen-year-old Sarah Lock was running. After a while, she looked in the rearview mirror, sobbing, and nodded as she saw her hometown, Dallas, receding in the distance. Maybe a little speed on the open highway would thwart the backfiring of her stolen truck. She peeled away like a shot tiger. Must be the cheap gas, she thought. Sarah glanced toward the grassy roadside outside the passenger window and flinched at the sight of the little wad of money she’d pitched into the seat just minutes earlier—five one-hundred-dollar bills she had dug out of a jar in the pantry, her last tangible effort before bounding away. Now she was thinking, What am I going to face trying to buy a hamburger with a hundred-dollar bill? At once, she sobered, knowing that in the days ahead, she would face many other such pesky and much more compelling questions. But this is it, thought Sarah. The dream is gone; it’s over.
Vernon Bargainer holds a degree in psychology from the University of Texas. He is the author of three novels and has served in the public service as a frequent speaker and writer in human relations for thirty-eight years. He currently lives in Texas.