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Monday, November 24, 2008

Embracing Eyes

The Designs by Gollum blog has challenged readers to write a story. I wrote one, then decided to not publish it. It stayed in my drafts for a few days, and then Gollum posted about your "inner critic". I realized that my "inner critic" was definitely holding me back (probably a wise decision by my inner critic). So, in an attempt to exorcise my inner critic, I am going to post my little story (it really is little-it was a lot longer before I cut it down--you know me and my words!) If you read this story, you should lay all of the blame on Gollum's blog. Feel free to go tell her that her encouragement has created a monster over on my blog!


Gollum's posting contained a picture and a song that we were to use as inspiration for our story. We were also to use at least five words from a list she posted (and I'm not sure I used five)!

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~



EMBRACING EYES

Since that day, almost a year ago, when Lanny packed all of his possessions and left me for a younger woman, Terri has been bringing me "dates". She carefully does not refer to them as dates. She very casually mentions that she is bringing a friend. The fact that the friend is always a single male does not escape me, and Terri's insistence that she is not match-making does not convince me.

Terri's husband of four years, Phillip, still adores her, and I love to see the sparkle that appears in Terri's eyes when she speaks of Phillip. As Terri's bridesmaid, I almost wept as I witnessed their love for each other on their wedding day. They appeared to be completely alone; no one else mattered; it was just the two of them committing their lives and their love to one another. That may have been the moment that I realized that Lanny and I didn't have the kind of love I had always dreamed of having. I don't think Lanny had ever looked at me that way. I had resigned myself to the fact that love like that was only in books and movies, and that the comfortable relationship I had with Lanny was enough. I thought Lanny felt the same way. What shocked me even more than his leaving was the sense of relief I felt when he was gone.


The Fall Fundraising Fling was Terri's excuse this time. I knew I would have to attend alone, but it was one of those obligations I couldn't avoid. I invited Terri and Phillip to come for a light supper before the dance. I'm sure Terri saw through my invitation. She knew I didn't want to walk into that room alone. When Terri called to say she was bringing a friend, I had second thoughts about not walking in alone. I might prefer it to spending the evening with one of her "friends". I knew her heart was in the right place, but past experience had taught me that her match- making abilities left me fumbling for words with a man I had just met. I was sure she had no chance of finding my "Mr. Right". Believe me, I had looked!


I decided to serve supper on the terrace. Daylight would be fading, and the view from the terrace is lovely at sunset. Besides, there is more breathing room on the terrace. I didn't want to feel trapped in the dining room with this stranger. I knew Phillip and Terri would be gazing lovingly at each other, while I attempted small talk with a stranger. Just thinking about it was exhausting, so I turned my attention to making the terrace look inviting, and tried to not think about the awkward conversation that would surely be ahead of me.

I hung candles over the table, because I had read that candles create ambiance. The simple white tablecloth did not look very festive, so I dug out two table runners, and when I layered them across the top of the white cloth, I was pleased. Terri appreciates a unique table setting, and the adoring look on Phillip's face when he sees Terri's excitement over decor always makes me smile. You would think my divorce would have made it painful to watch this adoring couple. It was really more painful to watch them when I was plodding along in a loveless marriage.





The shrimp bisque was in the crockpot, the bread was warming in the oven, the wine was breathing, and my terrace was ready. I had just enough time for a soak in the tub before the arrival of guests. Of course, the decision of what to wear still loomed ahead of me. Since becoming single, that decision seemed to have become more difficult. If I wear the low-cut red dress, will it appear that I am on the prowl for a man? If I wear the French blue evening gown, will I look prudish? In the back of my mind, I knew that I would wear the basic black, which in recent months, had become my color choice for most of my attire. It just feels so safe and non-committing.


As predicted, Terri gushed over the table setting, while Phillip stood by her side, with a loving smile on his face. I was relieved to see that Terri's guest was at least attractive. Morgan held my chair for me, and my eyes locked with his beautiful, deep blue eyes. I have read that eyes are the window to the soul, but I had never sensed the truth of that statement until that moment. I could not recall ever having seen such depth and sincerity in a man's eyes.

Dinner went well, and we prepared to leave for the dance. As I was reapplying my lipstick, Terri came into the bathroom with me and asked my opinion of Morgan. My remark that he seemed nice caused Terri to arch her eyebrows in a manner that implied that she knew more than I did. Since she is usually right, I let her arched eyebrows pass without comment. However, I was bothered when I looked at Terri in the mirror and noticed the smirk on her face.


When Phillip, with an exaggerated bow, asked Terri to dance, I realized I would again be left to make small talk with Morgan. I was trying to think of something other than the weather to talk about, when Morgan took my hand in his and led me to the dance floor. Our first dance was seamlessly smooth. It was like ice dancing, and I imagined skates making beautiful circles on the ice.


When he looked into my eyes and I looked into his, it felt like a passionate embrace. I was completely alone with this man with the soulful eyes. My heart was beating so rapidly, I feared that I would collapse in his arms. Somehow, I managed to retain my composure, and when the dance ended, I became aware that there were others on the dance floor. I wondered if any of them felt as disoriented as I felt.

Morgan and I remained dance partners for the night, only to switch partners when Phillip asked me for a dance. I know Terri had insisted that he do so, because I had been their supper hostess. As Morgan danced with Terri, we looked at one another over our dance partner's shoulders. I tried to talk myself back to normalcy. This was not the way I reacted to men. I tore my eyes from Morgan's and attempted to focus on making conversation with my dance partner.

When we again switched partners, Morgan whispered that he could not take his eyes off of me. I know I blushed, but I didn't tell him that I was experiencing the same phenomenon. I knew I was going to have to get a grip on myself. As I struggled with my feelings, Morgan took me in his arms again. I realized that, for the first time in my life, I seemed to have no control over my emotions, and I suddenly lost any desire to reign in my feelings.

That was two years ago, and today is our wedding day. Terri is standing up with me, and Phillip with Morgan. Once again, I see the love in their eyes as they gaze at each other as if a bride and groom are not standing between them. As I look up at my groom, I see the same look in his eyes, and I smile, knowing that it is also the look in my eyes.

PART 2- EMBRACING EYES: CLICK HERE

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It is my understanding that, if we write a story, good or bad, we get this award. (If Gollum wants to come take it back, I will certainly understand!). This has been a little scary for me, and I am looking at it as a growing experience. Thank you for bearing with me as I took this journey into the exorcism of my inner critic. I promise this will not become a habit on my blog, so please come back on another day. Okay, I'm taking a deep breath, and I'm clicking that "publish post" button before my inner critic can change my mind again! laurie


42 comments:

Life on Bonnie Lane said...

I don't know what you were so scared of because this was fabulous! I think it was very well written. It sure had me hanging on every word! You should try this again!

Kady
Life on Bonnie Lane

Anonymous said...

Laurie, I've got goosebumps! Oh dear you are meant to do this. Love, Cindy

profenretraite said...

Well, Miss Laurie, you have been holding out on us! You are a writer! I agree with Life on Bonnie Lane..I don't know why you were so scared. You did a great job. I don't think Gollum will come to get the award back. I loved it..Debbie

Anonymous said...

Laurie, I loved it too! I knew you could do it, you are such a talented writer! I'm glad you conquered your inner critic! Love Ya! Connie

Glenda said...

You continually amaze me. You need to stand in a corner until you learn not to downgrade yourself. You wouldn't put up with that kind of attitude from your children, and don't you know by now, they learn by example.

Face it lady, you are good and for the life of me I don't know why you can't see it. I guess it is true, "none so blind as those that will not see". I really, really liked your story.

Lynne said...

No surprise you wrote a beautiful story.. You soooooo have a gift.. some day when I grow up I'm going to have a gift...~lynne~

Shelia said...

Laurie, you stop that apologizing! Honey, this was really good! I loved it!! You may a career ahead of you.
Be a sweetie,
Shelia ;)

Tomarie said...

WOW LAURIE!! You have the gift! I'm fanning myself! :-)
What a touching and HUMAN love story! WOW AGAIN! :-)
K-E-E-P I-T U-P!!!!

Bridget said...

I'm giving you a standing ovation! I knew you could do it. I hope you enjoyed the process as much as I did when writing my story. This was really a great story!
Bridget

Diane said...

OMG Laurie, this was fantastic!!! Now I want to be greedy & ask for another story! You're a great writer! ☺ Diane

xinex said...

oooooh, Laurie. What a beautiful love story. You should keep doing this. You are such a good writer!..Christine

lvroftiques said...

Well I for one am feeling intimidated!! How come everyone who posts on Gollums is an author in disguise except me?!! That was wonderful Laurie!! I want to hear the long version!! I want MORE!!! Durnit!! MORE!!!!*winks* Vanna

Gollum said...

Laurie, I'm so glad you beat the snot out of your Internal Critic (I'm posting more about this at midnight tonight) and published this excellent story. Yes, ma'am, that award is yours, and it is well deserved. You opened with a hook that pulls the Reader right in. I loved that you added the food. You appealed to all 5 senses. And I'm so happy she found the love of her life, and that they got married. I hope you keep doing this--you are good!!!!
((hugs))
Gollum

nikkicrumpet said...

Well I can honestly tell you that somebody needs to WHAP your inner critic upside the head!! What a doofus your inner critic is...can it even read??? You did a marvelous job...I was sucked in to the story and enjoyed every minute of it. And at the end I was smiling!

Bo said...

Bravo Laurie! I l♥ved the title and every single word you wrote. I must tell you that this story practically described the way my husband of nearly 40 years & I met. He still has those "embracing eyes"...Fantastic! ;-) Bo

LillyB said...

You know I thought we were friends!!! You made me cry! it is 640 in the morning and I am crying (Happy tears) this was beautiful. You are extremely talented! NEVER let fear stop you from doing anything!!! You can do all things thru Christ!!!

ann said...

GIRL,YOU'VE MISSED YOUR CALLING.I'VE READ SEVERAL AND YOURS IS GREAT.WHEN WILL YOUR BOOK BE COMING OUT?...ANN

squawmama said...

Wow Laurie this was really excellent... Great job... I don't know why you even hesitated publishing it... BRAVO!!!! Have a great day...

(((HUGS)))
Donna

Deb said...

Hi Laurie! This was great so heart warming. I'm a sucker for happy endings. Deb

Melissa Miller said...

Hello Laurie, You are truly an amazing and talented writer. You are bleessed with a special gift.
Thanks so much for your kindness on my DR and table. I really did know better. I was trying so hard to take decent photos I just didn't pay any attention to that detail. I am a bit embarrassed. Oh well, I must laugh at myself today. Have a blessed Thanksgiving. Enjoy your wonderful family. ~Melissa :)

Gollum said...

Yes, my inner critic is a HIM, too.
:-)

I saw that you'd written this exercise because, when I glanced down at the "Blogs That Serve Hot Chocolate" section on my blog, I saw the picture. And I ran right over, lickety split.
:-)

Happy To Be said...

BRAVO!! Laurie what a great story girl and I am so glad you hit the publish button..just great I was there with you the whole time girl..you are just amazing to me the way you can write..me I can talk girl..but wirite not a lick...great post today Laurie I loved it..Now take off that Black dress and get back into those Granny sweats..hugs and smiles Gloria

artis1111 said...

I think we all have doughts about some things. Great job on your story. I hoe we get to do more. Kathy

Debbie @ ribbonwoodcottage.blogspot.com said...

wow, you won! You had me captivated from the beginning. Great story...I loved it and I loved that you got married! You won!!!!
Debbie

marty39 said...

What a fabulous story. I hung on every word. Very well done. I'm a sap for a good love story, and this was more than good. Marty

Anonymous said...

Dear Laurie! You are a natural story-teller! What a heart-thumping romance! 5 stars! (I'd give you the Best Writer Award if it were mine to give.) Hugs and smiles, Fieldstone/Pam

Lynne said...

Laurie, I'm so glad you came by for a visit. Thanks so much for your kind comments on the tablescape. I'm glad there were no serious injuries too! lol
~lynne~

profenretraite said...

Hi Laurie...Just stopping by to wish you a happy Thanksgiving. Congrats on the nice comment from Gollum. You go girl!... Debbie

Lady Katherine said...

Oh, Laurie, You had me at hello! I was hanging on every word. Just wonderful! How about the honeymoon? You stopped too soon. I was ready for more. So lovely. Today is a special day, My hubby always says you too, when I say I love you, for the last 31 years. Today out of the blue, he told me he loved me. I felt my heart beating again. Which brought the feeling of a young girl, even though I am 50.

Kristen said...

You definately deserve the award. Great story. I hope your "inner critic" is gone.

Cami @ Creating Myself said...

Awesome Laurie! It is so real & so well done that i actually thought for a moment that you were talking about yourself!

Beautifully done!

CIELO said...

I love love that terrace and that awesome table against that awesome window... wow, what a pretty and romantic setting... just gorgeous... I was just there appreciating the sounds of nature, the sweet wine and the breeze running through; playing with the curtains.... ahhhh, just lovely my dear.... ;)

Have a wonderful Thanksgiving!

cielo

Anonymous said...

Happy Thanksgiving sweet girl! I know it will be such a special day with your wonderful family. Love, Cindy

Happy To Be said...

Laurie have a safe and blessed Thanksgiving dear friend...hugs and smiles Gloria

Rhondi said...

Hi Laurie
Just wanted to say Happy Thanksgiving.
Hugs, Rhondi

Laurie - Decorating Fanatic said...

Ohhh! I didn't want it to end! I was waiting for their first kiss!! My kids were screaming & fighting in the background but I didn't hear them because I was so engrossed in your story!!! Oh please go back and write some more. Start right after that first dance and work your way up to their wedding! I want to hear all about their courtship and how they fell in love!! I was already falling in love with the characters. YOU ARE SO TALENTED!! YOU NEED TO DO THIS FULL TIME. Hope you had a great Thanksgiving -We just got home and yours was the first blog I checked! I just wish I had YOUR BOOK to go curl up in my jammies and read, it would be the perfect way to end my day. Seriously! Be back for a visit soon. :) ~ Laurie

MIMILEE said...

You are a very talented writer! You should do more of this......go for it! Bravo!

Thanks for visiting my blog and your kind comments.

Lynne said...

Good morning Laurie, With all the issues downstairs among many others I'm about ready to just hang it up period..Depressing doesn't even come close..I hope you had a super Thanksgiving..
~lynne~

ceekay said...

Laurie...thanks for stopping by. Wow, you are quite a writer. Subdue that inner critic!

Diane said...

Laurie, Hope you had a wonderful Thanksgiving! We had a great day. Steve painted our accent walls & I baked pumpkin cookies. Only one pooch got into the paint... Had dinner at our DIL's folks house. Take care! Diane

Pam said...

GREAT job Laurie! What an enjoyable piece to read. Thanks for sharing, and tell that inner critic to keep quiet! Keep writing! :) Pam (pc25)

Miss Janice said...

Well, that was just awesome! It was a great love story...