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Thread: Tears of a Rose

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    Post Tears of a Rose

    Below is my first finished novel. It has been finished for several years now however, due to insecurity, it has never been published. I post it here hoping to get some useful feedback. If it gets good feedback, perhaps I shall finally move forward with publishing it. Thank you all for taking the time to drop in on my thread.

    Nurse and part time writer, Promise Genson, finds herself longing for the romantic ideal of love. A lover of romance, she begins such a book, emailing it to her friend to review who happens to be an editor, though she had yet given permission for publishing. Events in her life become hectic when, Aidan Feral, her high school sweetheart, shows up his mother in need of her care. There might still be something there... but there also might be something or rather, someone she forgot.

    Selah Donavon (the heroine of Promise’s novel) is a writer and small café owner in suburban Pennsylvania. When she sits down to write her newest masterpiece she encounters a dilemma. In order to portray her characters interactions properly she must gain an intimate knowledge of the world of online dating. Signing up for a match site is not her idea of romance; however, as her resource becomes a tangle of heartstrings she finds herself drawn away from the imaginary into reality. And the reality is she’s falling in love! But with who?
    And there's days I wish life came with a << rewind button, some days I wish I could just all take back...
    And some days where I laugh and the whole world seems to serious and I think to myself, "where's the art in that?"

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    Registered User Calidore's Avatar
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    This blurb has what the other one lacked: it's at least specific enough to get people interested who would be interested.

    So here we have a nurse and part-time writer (you) writing a romance about a nurse and part-time writer who is writing a romance about another writer. My main question is, is there enough interdependency between the two layers of the novel to actually make both necessary?
    Last edited by Calidore; 01-18-2015 at 02:35 PM.
    You must be the change you wish to see in the world. -- Mahatma Gandhi

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    I like the set up and my best friend liked it. That's why I'm posting it here, to hopefully get some further input.
    And there's days I wish life came with a << rewind button, some days I wish I could just all take back...
    And some days where I laugh and the whole world seems to serious and I think to myself, "where's the art in that?"

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    Tears of a Rose - Chapter 1 - Sir Knight

    “Sir Knight,

    I am writing to you as a damsel in distress. I’ve been warned not to plead for your coming, because others may hear but I am loathe to submit to their counsel. I do not know your name but I pray you come on the speed of the wings of the dawn.

    I long for your presence beside mine, your fingers in my hair and your eyes gazing longingly into my own. I long to feel your touch on my skin and feel your hand hold mine, our soul pressed together in the age old dance of love.

    I fear you may have gotten lost for though I seek you with the depths of my heart I have not gazed upon your face. Or have I? Oh say it is true!
    I’ve thought myself, once, to have gazed upon your shining armor but alas it was only a dream. My heart sighing I turned away from it and have wandered this lonesome path since, pining for you to come to my rescue.

    I am held captive here, slave to my solitary ways and drowning in my tears. I wait for your arrival like a bird waits to sing of spring. Eagerly I watch from my prison, trapped within these walls of my own design.

    My soul burns with the weigh of affections denied, my heart heavy with the ardor I long to give you. When you come know you shall be welcome. I shall fly into your arms like a bird freed from its cage, for that is what I shall be. I shall herald you with cheekly kisses, wrapping you in my expectant hugs…”


    The clacking subsided as her fingers paused on the black and white marked board below, a single digit moving to hover over the key marked ‘Bk Sp’. However, she was not the fool to throw her dreams away. Placing her hand on the run away mouse, she manipulated him to the illumination on the screen bearing the title ‘save as draft’.

    The screen flashed and she blinked, staring at it blankly for a moment. Had her world sank so far? Was her entire life contained within this metal box that whirred with the complaint from overuse and this picture screen hardly the size of a small moving box? Had she really packed up her life into such a space unfit for any but a cat perch?

    Reaching up she stroked the head of her only affectionate friend and allowed the creature to roll its head against hers. The being mewed plaintively and she shook her head rising slowly to stretch any muscles weary of lethargy. The gray and white blob arched her back and oozed off the monitor falling in step with a questioning mer beside her owner’s feet.

    “Come along, Alex,” she urged, knowing the feline would follow, “let’s go make some dinner, shall we?”

    The cat hurried ahead to climb the stairs, pausing several from the top she send back her complaint pertaining to a lack of speed past her swishing tail.

    “I’m coming. I’m coming,” Promise responded in a small manner of exasperation as she began to ascend the stairs; Alex waited impatiently at the top, her tail candy caning from side to side.

    Closing the basement door behind her, Promise moved into the kitchen where Alex had already scaled the heights of the fridge. Maple eyes peered down at her pitifully as she reached in and popped open a can of tuna. Shutting the door with her foot she heard Alex thump onto the counter; she announced her presence with another mew.
    And there's days I wish life came with a << rewind button, some days I wish I could just all take back...
    And some days where I laugh and the whole world seems to serious and I think to myself, "where's the art in that?"

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    Chap 1 - (con't)

    “Selfish little thing,” Promise chided, affectionately scratching the ying yang forehead. As was usual Promise, once Alex was content, settled down to her meal and another one sided conversation. “Another night alone eh, Alex?”

    The cat purred a euphoric tune; her face and mind were so far in her bowl she hadn’t heard a word. Sighing, Promise poked at her tuna sandwich and looked at her clock. She still had quite a few hours until she had to be at work. Maybe she should do some cleaning, she thought without movement.
    Her alarm scolded her out of bed at 2:30 that afternoon and while she had cleaned some of the time a pair of yellow monstrosities gripped her hands and threatened never to let go. Ripping them from her suffocating fingers she hurried to dress; donning an unfitted smock covered in smiling fish and unflattering pants of the periwinkle persuasion she prepared to go in for her shift.

    Attaching her ID to the pocket of her coat she entered an antique smelling building and smiled. With a stethoscope swinging about her neck, she proceeded to the desk greeting her patients as she walked by.

    “How are you Mrs. Davers?”

    “Eh?”

    “I said ‘how are you, Mrs. Davers?’” she projected in a caring and patient tone.

    “Good, child. Bless you for asking,” the old woman responded with a lopsided grin. What must have been beautiful features drooped, bowing to time. Patting the woman’s hand she promised her to visit later.

    As she worked at the desk later that day a wrinkled hand interrupted her line of sight. An alarm tattled loudly close by and Mr. Wilkins a person deaf and partial blind stood unsteadily before her.

    “I’ve…I’ve come to get my…my medicine,” his hands stuttered, shaking with each motion. Taking hold of him, she gently lead him back to the chair and helped him sit down, appeasing the whining alarm. Pressing her fingers against his palm, she told him patiently the nurses were coming. He settled back against the chair back his head soon lulling to the side. A patient beside him awoke with a start to his snoring.

    The nurses about the desk chatted about nothing and everything as they worked on paperwork and filed papers. After arranging for three patients’ doctors visits, she stretched and decided to wander the halls to check on her patients.

    She visited Mrs. Davers again as she had promised and made sure that Mr. Wilkins was settled comfortably in his chair. After making sure none of her more dependent patients were in need of assistance she approached the last name on her roster, Mr. Hillogans.

    When she entered his room he was dozing on his bed the TV playing in the background. His wife, Maddie, sat in the chair watching the tiny screen. Hearing the door open she located the remote and clicked it off.

    “I just can’t bear silence; when Martin falls asleep…” she began to explain then trailed off looked up at Promise. The baggy skin on her face rose a little with her smile. “Well I should probably go. I was just waiting to hear… to hear how he was doing.”

    “He’s recovering well, Mrs. Hillogans.” The small wife and woman sighed thankfully. “Thank goodness for this establishment. Why I don’t know what I would have done if…”

    “It was our pleasure,” Promise assured her moving towards the door, “would you like me to walk you to the exit?”

    “Oh no, no surely you have something you should be doing.”
    And there's days I wish life came with a << rewind button, some days I wish I could just all take back...
    And some days where I laugh and the whole world seems to serious and I think to myself, "where's the art in that?"

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    Chap 1 (End)

    “At the moment I…” A particularly loud bell rang through the halls causing a commotion that could be heard all the way at the end of the hall where she stood holding the door.

    “Mercy!”

    “It’s the new patient. She's been been here a couple hours. What’s her name?” a voice asked more quietly as frantic fingers began flipping through papers.

    “Her name is Ms. Damian,” a nurse called as Promise stopped beside the desk.

    “What’s going on?” she demanded.

    “Ms. Damian rang for chest pain. Anne went to check on her,” Laurel informed her in a speedy manner.

    “Have the proper steps been taken to…” Laurel nodded.

    “We contacted her family and she’s being sent to the hospital as soon as she’s ready.”

    The rest of the night was pleasantly dull as everyone recovered from the adrenaline high caused by Ms. Damian’s chest pain. When Promise returned home she shed her uniform and dropped onto her unattractively semi-lumpy bed; her covers were still ruffled from her haste earlier.

    She was staring at her ceiling when she overheard the first mew and it made her smile. Making short kissing noises she called her merring cat up beside her. Rubbing the feline behind the ear she sighed away her cares. When she stopped Alex protested but Promise refused to respond; she was exhausted. When Alex bit her shoulder Promise shoved her off but rose.

    “Guess I’m a little hungry too,” she admitted; nothing tasted quite the same as a true midnight snack.
    And there's days I wish life came with a << rewind button, some days I wish I could just all take back...
    And some days where I laugh and the whole world seems to serious and I think to myself, "where's the art in that?"

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    Chapter 2 - Rescue Me

    Selah Donavon stared at the pulsing line on the page pondering the implications of the newest thought skittering through her mind. The plot to her newest story required she gain an intimate knowledge of that desperate attempt known as online dating. She herself was opposed to the mockery of the human mating ritual; why would anyone want to put themselves on display like that? However, she was able to justify her cause for bringing up the site and putting her fingers to the board.

    Writing well required many tools of research. An author’s dearest companions were an unabridged dictionary, an inclusive thesaurus, and the plethora of information available at the tip of her mouse’s nose. Marking the world of online dating up as an unconventional resource she prepared her profile. A twenty-six year old female from Harleysville, Pennsylvania who enjoys laughing until she cries, writing quirky stories, and creating new dishes to serve at her café. Her build was...

    How had Dante put it when they were dating? Pleasing and her personality was electric. Well at least her smile lit up the room. She was trusting, spontaneous, and original. She thought herself a true catch with green, almond-shaped eyes and fiery locks red, natural at that, framing the stereotypical Caucasian features of beauty.

    Now she needed the perfect name; it had to be alluring yet innovative and all together reflective of her personality and purpose. It took several moments of thought; however, when she had it she had it. Typing the name in to her satisfaction she pressed submit and sat back; all she had to do was wait.

    Clicking under his email his eye caught hold of an interesting subject line: new match found. Breaking the seal he let his eyes scan the contents within. Sip_of_heaven huh? Leaning closer he scrutinized her picture intently. She certainly looked to fit the claim. Venturing under her profile he found himself further intrigued. His eyes read:

    I’m not here for romance. I don’t believe in the legitimacy of matchmaking sites. However I am here because I believe that all writers should thoroughly research the topic they’ve chosen to write on. Since my newest masterpiece includes an online romance I’m here seeking someone who is willing to ‘play house’ with me.

    Honestly when I feel ready for the commitment I’ll be doing my own searching not letting someone else find me. I refuse to be a list of alluring qualities to some pervert who happened to be crossing the information highway at the time. Romance will come to me when it’s meant to. I’m not so desperate that I need to look for it.

    Nearly laughing at her boldness and assuredness of her needs he began to type a reply. Beyond her good looks this woman obviously knew her mind and wasn’t afraid to reveal it. She was everything he had listed on his profile he discovered as he scrolled through and read more thoroughly. He was always up for a challenge; far be it from him not to challenge this beautiful woman’s faulty view of manhood and love.


    "Prom, that last chapter you sent me was amazing!” Turning to look over her shoulder Promise paused to allow her friend, Adelie to catch up. She was waving a stack of papers wildly about her ringlets of red. When she came to a stop Promise waited for her to catch her breath in silence. Adelie recovered quickly, never addressing the flailing white between her fingertips though using the hand to gesture. “When are you sending me the next? I want to know what his reply was! What her reaction is!”

    “You’ll just have to wait,” the calmer female responded.

    “This is your weekend off right?”
    And there's days I wish life came with a << rewind button, some days I wish I could just all take back...
    And some days where I laugh and the whole world seems to serious and I think to myself, "where's the art in that?"

  8. #8
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    Chap 2 (con't)

    Promise nodded hesitantly; the last time she had disclosed the information… she shuttered. The memory of spaghetti and Mozart was too much to handle.

    “Yeah…but Addy…”

    “You’ll love him, Prom! I know my track record is a little shaky right now but…”

    “I don’t know... I was planning on cleaning this weekend,” she returned lamely.

    “Cleaning?”

    “The house is a mess and…”

    “Poo,” she pouted, “you aren’t even going to give him a chance.”

    “Adelie, I’m just not…”

    “What’s two hours on Saturday night?”

    “Missed sleep,” promise quipped good naturedly yet with purpose. Sighing at her friend’s silence she relented, “just this last time.”

    “You won’t be sorry!” But she was.

    “So you see…” her date droned on, “it’s quite simple really. The ram is the short term and the hard drive is where all your files are saved for long term access. Binary code…”

    “Pardon me but what is binary code again?” he delighted in her feigned interest, rambling on for several more minutes about motherboards, megabytes and modems. He was starting into comparing Dell, Sony, and Toshiba when her cell phone rang. Motioning she had to take the call she hunkered down over the tiny speaker and pressed the receiver to her ear.

    “Hello?”

    “Prick?” Smiling at the affectionate term she resisted the urge to cry out in relief.

    “Colin?”

    “You sound desperate,” responded his familiar voice, “who does she have you fixed up with now?”

    “I can’t say. He’s sitting right here,” she whispered in a polite horror.

    “Tell him you have to go powder your nose,” he answered, “I’ll call you back in exactly 45 seconds. Walk quickly.”
    She stared at the phone for five of her precious seconds then rose and tossed her purse on her shoulder.

    “The lavatory calls,” she excused herself sheepishly, hurrying to the shelter of the nearest facility; her phone rang as she ducked in the door and she fumbled in her haste to open it. “Save me,” she pled into the mouthpiece by way of greeting. Colin chuckled on the other side of the line.

    “I underestimated how desperate you sounded a moment ago.” There was silence then he asked, “what’s the man’s COD?”

    “Cause of death? He’s not dead, Colin,” Promise chided.

    “Good as for your purposes. You really have got to stop agreeing to these dates before I find you on my slab.”

    “You’d enjoy that very much wouldn’t you, Colin?”

    “It would help me understand you better perhaps,” he said almost sounding contemplative.

    “Just help me get out,” she hurried, “the poor man probably thinks I fell in.”

    “Have you eaten dinner yet?”

    “What does that…?”

    “Have you or not?”
    And there's days I wish life came with a << rewind button, some days I wish I could just all take back...
    And some days where I laugh and the whole world seems to serious and I think to myself, "where's the art in that?"

  9. #9
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    Chap 2 (End)

    “Yes, I have,” annoyed she continued, “I had a steak; he had the lobster if you must know.”

    “Dab some of that red stuff on your cheeks and tell him you must have gotten some shellfish in your meal. You’re horribly allergic and he must take you home immediately. If he insists on taking to the hospital you know where to find me.”

    “Thanks,” she breathed with great relief, “you’re a life saver.”

    Slipping her phone back in her bag she quickly did what Colin had instructed and acted well the part of her dilemma. He insisted on escorting her to the hospital and she was lacking in color by the time he arrived, her hand braced on the dashboard to preserve her life. Colin was right; she may very well end up on his slab if everyone she dated drove like that.

    The nurse on duty gave her a strange look when the man she had eaten with hurried explained what had happened. She stared at her fingers raising an eyebrow when the rash spread to her fingers but waited for the man to leave before passing judgment.

    After her companion had left the nurse at the desk looked up at her and said, “If you’ll have a seat ma’am, one of our doctors will be with you shortly.”
    Promise chuckled and shook her head. “I don’t really need to see the doctor. It was just the only excuse I could think of.”
    The woman looked puzzled for a moment then what Promise had done seemed to dawn on her and she grinned in amusement, “very creative.” Promise acknowledged her compliment with a thank you and then turned to leave. It was only a short walk to the County Coroner’s office down the road but she didn’t want to keep Colin waiting.

    “That’s a record time.” Colin grinned as he saw her move into the theater that looked down onto his work area.

    “The man drove worse than he carried a conversation,” she sighed flopping into a chair and kicking of her heels, “I wasn’t sure I was going to make it here alive.”

    “If not I still would have seen you again,” he responded with a smile as he inserted the scalpel into the man’s chest.

    “So what’s this man’s story?” Promise asked curiously as she stared at the man on Colin’s table.

    “Catastrophe you mean?” Colin inquired, “his stomach became a little too intimate with the business end of a gun.”

    “Any other wounds?”

    “Just he bruises he sustained from falling down the stairs.”

    “Ouch,” she responded with a wince.

    “He also managed to…” Promise smiled listening to Colin ramble in about his findings. They had been friends since elementary school and he never ceased to
    fascinate her. One day she’d write a story about someone like him. That once in a lifetime friend that you could never let go but never hold too tight.
    And there's days I wish life came with a << rewind button, some days I wish I could just all take back...
    And some days where I laugh and the whole world seems to serious and I think to myself, "where's the art in that?"

  10. #10
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    Chapter 3 - Catching Facts

    Selah blinked and cocked her head as she looked at the subject line. Someone had replied so quickly? Exploring the email she immediately noticed the face. My, my if the man wasn’t drop dead gorgeous.

    Ok lady, you caught my attention.

    Selah chuckled to herself at his bold approach. Most girls would have clicked out of the email then but she was intrigued. Could this be the type of man she was looking for to assist her in her work?

    I’m always looking for new challenges and you posed one I couldn’t pass up. I’ll help you write that story but under one condition: you have to give me a chance. You say romance will come when it’s meant to but who are you to say when that is?

    I checked out your profile and studied your picture. You’re everything I’m looking for, beautiful. Consider my offer but know even if you turn me down to help you I’ll be after you baby. You’re the one I want. Email me soon so we can get started. I’m willing to try anything once. When do we start?

    Astonished, she leaned back against her chair, thankful she’d opted for the model with the cushioned back. She hadn’t expected such a quick response but she had never imagined a response like the one In_Your_Dreams had sent. Was it safe to reply to? Was she willing to risk it? In_Your_Dreams had been very forward with what he wanted; was she willing to accept his challenge as he had accepted hers? What harm could come of it?

    Putting her fingers to the keys she typed back:


    One challenge for another only seems fair. We start at your reply.

    After pondering on how to proceed for a moment she shut down her computer and climbed out of her pajamas. The café couldn’t open until she arrived and no man in his right mind would be up to check his email that early in the morning.

    Promise worked tirelessly at the paper before her. Ms. Damian had been readmitted to their humble community and seemed to be doing well. Someone had said her grandson was coming to visit her today; Promise was wary of the encounter. What kind of person was he? They had all sorts of characters in and out of here visiting.

    Would he treat her nurses right? How old was he? Well Ms. Damian was only a few years over eighty. Maybe her children had had children early and that would make her grandson what? Twenty-something. Man she was desperate. With renewed zeal she plunked letters on the page nearly hearing them in the silence. Today was a pleasantly slow day.

    As the thought passed through her mind the clock ticked noon and patients began to be escorted to the dining rooms by the able aids of her staff. Rising from her nearly completed document she wandered down the hall towards where the meals were already being distributed. As she came upon Mrs. Davers she gently took hold of the woman’s wheelchair and pointed it down the hall.

    “Time to eat, Mrs. Davers?” she said amiably. “Did I hear your daughter is coming to visit you today?”

    “She’s coming to take me to the doctor’s.”

    “Is she? Well I hope your appointment goes well.”

    “So did I Miss. Genson,” the older lady sighed, “this old body can’t stand another surgery like the last.”

    “I’m sure you have nothing to worry about,” she assured the small lady fearful of a returning cancer. “They said it was in remission; that was five years ago.”

    “I know Miss. Genson but I’m still scared to think about it.”

    “Here we are,” Promise announced; taking a deep whiff she added, “smells like ham is on the menu this afternoon.”
    And there's days I wish life came with a << rewind button, some days I wish I could just all take back...
    And some days where I laugh and the whole world seems to serious and I think to myself, "where's the art in that?"

  11. #11
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    Chap 3 (End)

    Settling down for her own lunch some time later she was pleased to see Colin enter the room and look about. Adelie pulled up behind him and was the first to spot her across the room. She waved enthusiastically and grabbed hold of Colin’s arm pulling the momentarily disoriented male along with her. They both stop beside where she was sitting. Adelie plopped down immediately while Colin remained standing, getting his bearings she supposed.

    They both looked like they always had she supposed. Adelie’s attire was as vibrate as her personality, breaking with convention beautifully. Her earrings dangled, nearly touching her shoulders as her strikingly blue eyes danced with merriment. She stared in on one of her reprimands on how she, Promise, never gave anyone a chance. Simon, her atrocious date from last evening, would have been perfect if she, Promise, just had given him a chance.

    Colin stood behind her looking down at the top of the seated woman’s head with annoyance. Promise resisted the urge to giggle at the display. Colin had always disliked Adelie’s plots to fix her up with someone and the gleeful girl remained one hundred percent oblivious.

    There were a lot of other things about Colin today that nearly seemed to transport her back to the hurried days of missed homework assignments and tardy slips. He hadn’t changed a bit since the night he graduated over eight years ago. Remembering that time made her blush but thankfully her tinting went unnoticed. She was two years his junior but oh the crush she had had on him!

    Today was turning out to be one of those days that transported you into the comfort of the past and its conformity to routine and balance. Why it was like being at the lunch table all over again. Listening the Adelie babble in the background and watching Colin sit so quietly almost as if he was waiting for the perfect moment to make her laugh and send her milk her nose again. He always had been fascinated with the quirks of the human body. Perhaps it was fitting that he had gotten a job as a coroner.

    However today he wasn’t in his lab coat with his hands covered in rubber gloves and a mask pulled low on his face. No today Colin was Colin. His shaggier hair cut hung down past his ears by stayed shy of reaching the nape of his neck. There was a slight curl to it that made the more prominent features of his face soften. His green eyes studied her with curiosity as he asked, “Are you listening, Prick?”

    “Sorry,” she apologized sheepishly, “what did you say?”

    “I was just telling your editor over here to stick to her papers and stop trying to rewrite your life. You’re happy how you are, aren’t you, Promise?”

    Promise looked between the two and sighed. This wasn't what she had in mind to discuss when she had settled down for lunch.

    “Is anyone at this table truly happy,” she dodged; looking down at her watch she amended, “I really must be getting back to work.”

    Gathering her trash she deposited it in the waste can and made her way back upstairs to her paperwork thinking on what Colin had asked her. Was she truly happy right now? She knew what the answer was but she also knew she could never admit it to either of her companions. Neither would ever let it drop is she were to tell them she was so lonely she had taken to talking to her cat.

    Behind the pretense of work even Edith didn’t bother her as she sighed over the state of her life. Just as she finished filing the intake reports from the recent meal a voice called her attention upward.

    “Excuse me can you tell me where my grandmother’s room is?”

    “Sure,” Promise replied cheerily, “give me her name and I’ll take you there myself.”

    “Her name is Ms. Damian.” Promise looked up smiling, the expression vanishing as her face took on the same startled look his had.

    “Aidan?”

    “Promise?”
    And there's days I wish life came with a << rewind button, some days I wish I could just all take back...
    And some days where I laugh and the whole world seems to serious and I think to myself, "where's the art in that?"

  12. #12
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    Chapter 4 - Recall Revelations

    Jumping onto his computer Haruko hurried to check his email. Had she responded? His face brightened at the declaration: ‘Sip_of_heaven has emailed you!’. Eager to read her response he brought it up quickly and read:

    One challenge for another only seems fair. We start at your reply.

    The reply was simple but welcome and he hurried to type a response back.

    Just tell me what to do. I’m putty in your hands, doll.

    Looking at her profile again he was surprised to notice that their cities were relatively close to one another. Even if they lived on opposite sides the most it could take to see each other was an hour tops. He began studying her profile trying to determine her favorite haunts and eateries. If he could get her to trust him, which didn’t appear to be very hard task, perhaps he could convince her to meet him in person.
    Girls were always flattered if you knew what was just on their mind and what was closest to their heart. If he could just figure out what Heaven liked he could knock her socks off in their first meeting and get a leg up in his pursuit.


    “I can’t believe it’s you,” Aidan murmured, his voice quieted by surprise, “so this is where you’ve been hiding.”

    Hiding? Could he blame her after their history together? She had been a naive high schooler then, when they were dating. She had ignored all the signs because it was 'true love'. Now she knew better.

    As it turned out there had been another girl. Aidan Feral had a tendency to do that but she had been lost in the delusion she was different. After all she was the first girl he had ever put a ring on. Apparently to him it was just a band of metal, a way to get one step closer to what he really wanted. What happened between him and that other girl? She pondered quietly to herself. They must be married by now, maybe even with kids.
    “I’ll take you to your grandmother,” she told him pushing out of her chair.

    “Wait,” he said in a panicky tone, “wait.” He hurried after her and took her by the arm to stop her. “Can we talk?”

    “Here?”

    “Not here,” he fumbled his words, dropping them left and right, “We…Shannon…I…did you a terrible injustice.”

    “You think?” she responded cynically.

    “You’re obviously not feeling forgiving,” he amended withdrawing from her bodily.

    “Do you expect me to be?” she asked in raised tones. He grimaced at the attention she was drawing.

    “I expected too much,” he mumbled almost to himself, “I’m going to visit my grandmother and leave but… I want to talk.”

    When her anger drained, she fought the tears. She may not have been happy with her life before but meeting Aidan again, that was torture. She nodded her head, biting her lip. Leveling her head again she responded on an exhaled breath, “agreed.”

    Aidan was a part of her past she’d forced herself to tiptoe around for years. If she didn’t hear all the gruesome details she’d never be able to move on. And she needed to, she reasoned with herself. His grandmother was under her care.

    “You need some time to gather yourself again,” he observed mercifully, “I’ll let you be the one to make the first move. You must have my number in her records. Look me up when you’re ready to talk.”
    And there's days I wish life came with a << rewind button, some days I wish I could just all take back...
    And some days where I laugh and the whole world seems to serious and I think to myself, "where's the art in that?"

  13. #13
    The Rough Draft WordsWillCome's Avatar
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    Chapter 4 (End)

    He entered his grandmother’s room after having seen her name beside the door and left her standing in the middle of the hall bereft. Her eyes graced her surroundings she found many pairs returning, in a way of sympathy, her gaze.

    “Promise, Mr. Wilkins is trying to get out of his chair again,” Laurel informed her, poking her head out of one of the rooms. She was normally the first to notice. She kept a special ear out for the chair and bed alarms. “Are you feeling okay?”

    Pulling herself together Promise fought to smile. Her patients needed her right now; there would be all night to have a pity party and debate. After making sure Mr. Wilkins was situated to his satisfaction she moved on to the next and the next giving them her undivided attention.

    That day before she left she made sure to grab Ms. Damian’s file and copy down the number to her next of kin. Staring at the number she fought the urge to tear it up on the spot as a release. She wasn’t a child anymore. She could handle this like any normal adult. Her friends were there for moments just like this. By the time she’d talked with them surely she’d be in a better frame of mind.

    Alexa met her at the door but she passed the confused cat by with a sigh. Letting her work bag fall from her shoulder with a plop she collapsed onto the couch. The ceiling blurred as she thought about her past with Aidan. He never would have apologized like that when they were in high school; he wouldn’t have even apologized. He didn’t. He honestly seemed to have changed but was she willing to risk that he hadn’t?

    When her phone rang she laid there through the first barrage of shrill pleas. However, when it persisted and she was forced to pull herself together; she answered on the third ring.

    “Hello?” her voice sounded watery to her but she hoped to mask that by a cheery tone.

    “Hey, Prom! How’s it going?”

    “Do you have any idea what time it is, Colin?”

    “It was time for you to get home from work.” There was a silence then he asked, “should I have called tomorrow?”

    “No,” in a more depressed tone she repeated, “no.”

    “Okay Prick, what’s going on?” he demanded. Falling down onto the couch she bit back a sob. As she tried to gather the scattered pieces he began speaking again, “I’m coming over there.”

    “Colin, you can’t. It’s nearly twelve thirty.”

    “Then I’m sending Adelie over there,” he returned firmly.

    “But…”

    “You know she’s still awake, Promise.”

    “I’ll be okay, Colin. It just threw me off a little bit.”

    “What threw you off?”

    “I saw Aidan today.”

    “That jerk?” Promise recoiled at the vehemence in his voice.

    “Colin, please. I’ll be fine.”

    “Are you sure?”

    “I’m positive.” Once again the line was dead.

    “Promise?”

    “Yeah?”

    “You’re over him right?”

    “Do you really have to ask after what he did to me?”

    “I just don’t want you to get hurt again.”

    Promise smiled through her pain at his concern. Every since boys started taking an interest in her in middle school he was always there to referee. Making gossip to find what their purpose was towards her he always had her back. It was comforting.

    “I won’t,” she assured him, “you won’t let me.”

    Sensing he may be headed for his table speech she headed him off. “It’s been a long day, Colin. I think I’m going to go to bed.”

    “Are we still on for coffee tomorrow?”

    “Yeah.”
    And there's days I wish life came with a << rewind button, some days I wish I could just all take back...
    And some days where I laugh and the whole world seems to serious and I think to myself, "where's the art in that?"

  14. #14
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    Chapter 5 - Brighter Hope

    “Is it true?” Michael asked holding his coffee tight in his fingers. “Did you really go on that site?”

    “What site, Mikey?” Selah asked without understanding; suddenly it came to her, “oh you mean the matchmaking site?” At the desperate look on his face she laughed. “Honestly, Mike, I’m just there for my new book.”

    “It seems like a big risk for a collection of papers.”

    “A collection of papers…” She made no effort to hold her tongue. “Is that what you think of my books!”

    “By no means is that what I meant. I merely meant that sites like that can be dangerous. You never really know who you’re talking to and…”

    “Don’t worry about me, Mikey,” Selah said shrugging of his concern; as she rose she ruffled his hair. “I’m a big girl.”

    "All grown up," he acknowledged watching her turn to leave, "that's what I’m worried about."

    Searching through her emails she stumbled across one that declared cheerily ‘In_Your_Dreams has emailed you!’. After scanning his short response, she typed back her reply. It would be best if they just pretended that we were two people meeting innocently for the first time. Eventually the story called for them to meet but they would cross that bridge when they came to it. They should start with anything not in their profile and go from there. By the way the end of her email chimed Sir Dreams was a very intriguing man.


    “So…you saw Aidan yesterday?” Colin asked in a horrible attempt at subtlety.

    “His grandmother is staying at the home.”

    “At Sun Set Hills?” Promise nodded.

    “You didn’t give him your phone number, did you?”

    “No!”

    “Good.”

    “But he did give me his and told me to call,” she admitted.

    “But you aren’t going to, are you?”

    “Colin, as much as he hurt me,” she whispered, looking up from the hand she had pressed over her heart, “I need closure.”

    “And just what kind of closure are you hoping for? Honestly, Prick, what can come of this but tears?” Gently he closed the hand that remained on the table in his.

    “I don’t know,” she exclaimed in frustration, “but please this is something I’ve got to do.”

    “You’re serious!”

    “Can you please be a little supportive? This is hard enough without you jumping down my throat.”

    “I apologize,” he relented, “I won’t say another word on it but I refuse to like this.”

    Sitting about her house later that day, she found herself with Aidan’s number in hand and the phone cord twirling about her fingers. She kept saying she was going to call him, confront him, and get some answers but… it was a scary prospect. She lost count over the next hours until dusk just how many times she’d found herself by the phone, the dial tone begging to be put out of its misery in her ear. She always appeased it but panicked when silence then ringing took its place.
    And there's days I wish life came with a << rewind button, some days I wish I could just all take back...
    And some days where I laugh and the whole world seems to serious and I think to myself, "where's the art in that?"

  15. #15
    The Rough Draft WordsWillCome's Avatar
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    Chap 5 (Con't)

    Gathering her guts, she dialed the number and petted Alex’s head as it ringed a third time. She should have known he would be out. Out on a date with his wife no doubt.

    “Hold on just a moment,” came a voice quickly over the cord. Surprised by the sudden response, she withdrew the phone from her ear and stared at it.

    “Hello?” A pause and then a more unsure. “Hello?”

    "Aidan?"

    "Prom! I knew you'd come around.”

    “Please, don’t call me that.” It reminded her of the last time they had gone out as a couple. As the silence stretched, she fidgeted. “I… I shouldn’t have called.”

    “No, that’s not it. It’s just…never mind.” She waited expectantly. “Can you meet me at the Half Shell tomorrow? Just for lunch?”

    “I…”

    “You don’t have to work do you? We can always reschedule.”

    “No, no tomorrow is fine.”

    “Then I’ll meet you there at 12:30? The booth by the door on the right?”

    “12:30 it is.”

    “Promise, all I ask is that you hear me out.”

    “And I want you to listen to me as well.”

    “That’s only reasonable.”

    “I’ll…see you tomorrow then.”

    “Yeah,” she sighed, “tomorrow.”

    Scooping the hair out of her eyes, Promise wondered what madness had brought her here. She was seeing Aidan Feral, the man who had broken her heart. As time passed, she became less sure of her purpose in this agreement. The doorbell jiggled as she pushed to her feet; she wasn’t ready for this.
    Trying to make her hasty escape, she collided with a broad chest. “I’m…I’m sorry,” she stuttered then looked up into Aidan’s blue orbs.

    “You weren’t running out on me were you?” She gave no reply. “I wouldn’t blame you,” he apologized, “after what I did.”

    After seating her, he called for menus then reached across to place his hand on hers; she withdrew and with an awkward clearing his throat he did the same.
    “What can I say, Promise, I did you a horrible wrong.”

    “So you’ve said many times now.”

    “Yes, well, you’ll probably be happy to know,” he said awkwardly, fiddling with his napkin, “Shannon gave me my just desserts. Three weeks after we graduated she just took off. I haven't heard from her since. Haven't had the chance or courage until now to talk to you either.”

    When he looked to the side to avoid her eyes they came to rest on the waiter’s. “What would you like to drink?”

    “Just water,” Promise told him.

    “The same,” Aidan replied then turned back to face her, “you must think I’m horrible but… well, I’ve never gotten over you, Prom. I lost something special when I lost you.”

    Promise blushed at his praise as the waiter placed their drinks on the table. Sensing the moment, he bowed out without interrupting.

    “Can you ever forgive me?”
    And there's days I wish life came with a << rewind button, some days I wish I could just all take back...
    And some days where I laugh and the whole world seems to serious and I think to myself, "where's the art in that?"

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