Showing posts with label WRITER AWARD. Show all posts
Showing posts with label WRITER AWARD. Show all posts

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)!



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.



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