I write fiction every Friday along with my group, the Friday Fiction Femmes Fatales. February is romance month! Our hostess, Molly Field of Grass Oil, sends a prompt and we all write different stories with the same prompts. Make sure to visit the other blogs to see what they wrote! Links are at the bottom of this entry. This is the sixth episode in a series. If you missed the first five episodes, here are the links:
Amanda and Richard had a lot of problems to work out. Their marriage was never the same after losing Ella and Anderson in a car accident. Amanda carried the blame for that, but they both blamed themselves after almost losing eleven year old Robert. He accidentally shot himself when he was playing with Richard’s gun while his parents were at a counseling appointment. Big brother Brad, seventeen, babysat him that night, so he blamed himself also. He was too busy playing guitar in his room alone to watch after Robert properly. Richard decided to put the handgun in a locked box under the bed instead of having it loose in the drawer next to the bed. Robert barely escaped with his life, and neither Amanda nor Richard wanted their family to face any more tragedy. Richard lost a good friend from work whom he had developed feelings for, and Amanda was trying to recover from her drinking problem. Although she enjoyed herself having one flirtatious lunch with an old flame, she drank too much and got a DUI on the way home. She didn’t want to cause any more problems for herself, her marriage, or her family. She was withdrawn and lonely, but she reached out to people over Facebook and other social media thinking that was a safer way to feel connection with others.
She liked spending time online keeping up with everybody she knew, but it also made her feel jealous of others as she unconsciously compared her life to theirs. She saw people posting about their engagements, their family joys, and their fabulous vacations. She was careful not to post too much about her situation as she didn’t want to let everybody in to her complicated world. One night, as they were lying in bed falling asleep to comedy shows, she liked a friend’s status so she could play along with a game. It was one of those chain-type games where you get an age from somebody and then you share what your life was like at that age and compare it to now. This ought to be interesting she thought to herself.
She participated three times as three different friends were playing the game. They gave her three different ages: 18, 21, and 23. Amanda was about to turn 47, so it was a walk down memory lane for her. Her life had changed so much since then. She was a student during the first two ages and by 23 she had already met Richard and was about to get married to him. One of the questions asked who had her heart at the time. When she was 18, she was a high school student and had just broken up with a boyfriend. But the young man who had her heard when she was 21 was someone special. Great. Why did I have to get this age? I was head over heels for this guy. Do I really have to admit that online? He had her heart, but she didn’t have his. It bothered her then, and it bothered her now. She thought about it for the rest of the day.
She met Brian in college. From the beginning, he had her heart. He pulled at her heart like a magnet. He was beautiful in the face with eyes that smiled when even when his lips weren’t. He was incredibly good-looking yet humble at the same time. They were good friends and did fun things together like mountain biking and rock climbing. He was smart, and he was funny. She was gaga from the beginning.
Amanda drifted off to sleep, feeling gravity’s pull. Her breathing slowed, and her mind relaxed. Time and space started to shift, and her visual landscape became surreal. She winded down hallways and spirals into a dream world full of colors and unknown places.
He was there. They were there. She travelled back to a magical morning when they woke up together in his bed. They were both young and free, and although they were affectionate, they weren’t sexual partners. She happened to stay at his house that one time, and that moment was etched in her memory. Sunlight poured in from the window on the east side of the room. The air was still and quiet and the blankets were soft when they awoke, embraced, and smiled at each other kissing lightly. It was dreamy. Amanda got lost in the moment. Their spirits intertwined and time stood still as they lingered contentedly.
Her body twitched, and she suddenly awoke. Catching her breath, she saw her bedroom walls, felt her familiar bed, and heard the familiar sound of her husband snoring next to her. He didn’t want a serious relationship with me. It was just friends with benefits to him. She reminded herself of that reality. She didn’t sleep much that night because she couldn’t stop thinking about the dichotomy between the dream and real life.
She and Richard needed to find that place again, but life kept throwing them punches. Brian married someone else, just like Brian had other girlfriends back when Amanda wanted him. Richard was the man who committed his life to hers; he was the man who built a family with her and was by her side every day through thick and thin. Having five children and individual careers got in the way of their bond.
Her oldest son, Steven was bringing his girlfriend and daughter, Cassidy, over for dinner the next day. Amanda couldn’t wait to meet her granddaughter for the first time. She had so much to do to get the house and the meal ready. She was working in the kitchen when she heard on the news, “A German study has shown that Facebook can make you full-on bummed out. That’s right, Facebook Envy is a new term used to describe how it can affect your outlook on your life.” She thought back to her dream and how different her life was then than it is now. She thought about putting Brian in proper perspective. It was an intense connection and an intense emotion, but it belonged in the past. Surely, her life with Richard was the enduring kind of love. It was a complicated and intense kind of love, but it was the mature and stable relationship she cherished and wanted to strengthen.
Here is the prompt:
Your character is drowsy, just about to drift off to sleep only to be roused because s/he spontaneously remembered an intense moment from his/her past with another love? It keeps her/him up all night, distracted the next day.
Visit the other blogs to see what the writers did with the same prompt:
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Thanks for reading this entry. Peace out!
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