Posts tagged: fiction
Word Count ~440
In high school, she’s one of those insanely popular girls that everyone likes, and not just because she’s pretty. Some people hate her, but even they’ll admit that they’re just bitter, because she’s so sweet and beautiful and smart and perfect. She’s that girl who gets along with her teachers and her parents and charms adults and children and teenagers alike.
When she graduates valedictorian, she goes to one of those small colleges with a great name in the middle of nowhere, and studies mechanical engineering and kinesiology, a joint degree with which she plans to go on into medical school and eventually amputee rehabilitation. People go all soft-eyed when she tells them, so she doesn’t usually say it.
Then one night, when she’s doing a terrible karaoke version of ‘Hound Dog’ with a friend, he’s there, laughing like everyone else, only unlike everyone else, he doesn’t take his eyes off her smile. He approaches her once she’s come off the stage, and before she knows it, it’s three months later and she’s slow-dancing with him at her sister’s wedding.
Her mother is frightened of him and his tattoos and the black stretchers in his ears, but he treats her nice and she thinks she might love him. So when he whispers a proposal in her ear while they shower her sister with rice, with her next handful goes her caution, and she says yes.
They don’t announce it, but he buys her a pretty little grey diamond set in titanium, and it isn’t her mother who first notices, but her father. He shakes her fiancé’s hand while her mother fans herself and tries not to faint.
The wedding is small, six months after their first meeting, and she falls pregnant before the year is out. She and her sister give birth within days of one another, and before anyone really realizes, she’s having their second and third children at the same time, twins who take the names of their fathers.
Fifteen years later, when their oldest has packed up and left to tour the world with her band, she goes back to school, finishes her masters’ degree and eventually, two weeks after the twins have gone to colleges two thousand miles from one another, she starts her first day at work, rehabilitating soldiers who’ve suffered amputations.
And suddenly, she’s smiling again, like before the children. Twenty years into their marriage, they feel again like newlyweds, and it’s one such of these days that he watches her awake with the widest smile he’s ever seen her wear that he falls in love with her all over again.
Here’s more of what I posted yesterday…I do particularly love feedback if you would be so kind. And I welcome constructive criticism.
There was something about her, and it wasn’t her long legs. Nor was it the curve of her hips and chest. Not the bow of her lips or the cornsilk of her blonde hair or even the angle of her eyebrow.
It wasn’t even the way her body fit against his, or the way she said his name.
It was the way he could always read the smile in her eyes, the silent words that walked between them and told him how happy he made her. It was the way she bit her lip when she looked at him, like there were always things she wanted to tell him but knew that he already knew. It was the way her eyes snapped to him every time he entered the room.
It was the way her palm felt against his. The way her rings made his fingers cold in the wintertime, because she refused to wear gloves if they were going to hold hands. The way her thumb pressed against the back of his hand to make sure he didn’t pull away.
That’s why it came as such a surprise when he found the gun hidden in the trick drawer in her closet. He’d just been searching for his Christmas present when the back of the drawer had sprung out, leaving him with a block of wood and a Beretta and a panic that was so fierce that he dropped the semi-automatic and screeched like a little girl.
She came running, looking between him and the pistol until he pointed at it from his new vantage point in the corner behind her dresses. “Christmas present,” was all he managed to stammer, and she cocked her head at him in utter bewilderment.
“That’s not your Christmas present,” she said, picking up the gun and putting it back into the drawer and replaced the false back. Pushing the drawer in with her hip, she reached out to him, but he didn’t reach back. “What?”
“Gun,” he said.
“Oh.” She stepped back and shrugged one shoulder. “Just because I mostly do deskwork with Interpol doesn’t mean I’m not allowed to carry weapons.” But he just stared at her in horror. She fidgeted. “Look, it’s really not a big deal.”
“But you—you just keep that in the drawer.” Keeping his back to the wall, he edged around her and backed out of the closet. “What if—I mean—what if…Why don’t you keep it in the safe?”
She followed him, flipping off the closet light and shutting the door behind her. “Why? It’s not loaded—I keep the bullets in the next drawer down. Besides, there aren’t any kids around to find it.”
He waved one hand around. “Irrelevant! What if—I mean I could have…”
“Christ, I already told you—it’s not loaded,” she said, slowing her words down as if she was talking to a five-year-old.
His fists clenched and unclenched, and clenched once more. He licked his lips. “Are there any more?” he asked, pushing a stray sock across the carpet with his toe.
“No,” she said, then hedged, head cocking as her eyes slid sideways. “Well—I have one at the office. I keep it in my desk, just in case one of our leads pans out.” As his eyes narrowed, she took three steps forward and reached for his hand. This time he didn’t pull away, and her thumb rubbed across his knuckles. “But I never bring that one home. It stays at the office.”
He sighed, eyes on her hand in his. “Why do you need two?”
“Just in case,” she said, shrugging one shoulder. “You know I take my badge home. I have the gun so that if I get called in for something, I’ll be prepared.”
When he continued to look unconvinced, she took his other hand and laced her fingers through his. “”Look, I’m sorry. Okay? I should have told you. Let’s just—let’s just forget about it. The gun won’t come out of the drawer again.”
He hesitated another few moments, but then she shook he one hand so their arms swung between them. Nodding, he pulled her closer and leaned down to kiss her cheek. “Okay.” He nodded again as if reassuring himself. “Okay. Let’s have dinner.”