Friday, September 7, 2012

#RomanticFridayWriters; I Should Have Kissed You

Romantic Friday Writers is an every other Friday blog fest. You don't have to join to enjoy the excellent stories. You don't have to post every other Friday either if life doesn't cooperate for you to do so and you want to join. Check out all the excellent stories here.

My story: I Should Have Kissed You!

Forty years hadn't dulled the ache, erased the pain, or lessened the vision that lingered in her conscious memory. Tall, to pale, with raven black hair that he kept a little long. From the moment her young heart saw John, her brothers best friend, to the moment she despaired, Brenda's longing had never dulled. Even now, as she did the dishes after dinner for her husband and children, she could smell John's after shave, feel his large hands, warm on her shoulders, and hear his baritone whisper, "Hi beautiful!" Why hadn't she been brave? Why hadn't she expressed her burning desires?

Simple. She was fourteen and he seventeen. John dated all the popular girls. He was wild. Her family didn't approve, not even her brother. She listened. Why?

Oh, she had been so shy. Why didn't she reach out and grab John's hand, pull him into a darkened corner of their basement rec-room and plant her hands into the fabric of his tie-dyed shirt?

Brenda shut her eyes, the moment re-lived. This time, her adult experience, her matured personality skirted the shy insecure teenager she had been. This time, she pressed plump lips against his warm ones, she felt the pressure he returned, she moaned---

"Brenda, what are you doing?" Allen, her husband said.

She jerked, opened her eyes to the dull reality of a life that didn't thrill her. "Nothing." Did Allen believe her? He shrugged. Even when she shared herself with Allen, it was always John in her imagination.

Brenda had nearly been successful in forgetting John. She'd tried. It wasn't that she didn't love Allen. She did. But life with him had been difficult. Her children ignored her. She had poured herself out for them all and they simply were too absorbed with their own concerns to pay attention to her. If only she could forget John, perhaps then she would find some measure of personal satisfaction. However...

Mother's phone call this afternoon had taken her back forty years. Mom and Dad had spent a pleasant evening with John and his wife. Oh yes, the once womanizing kid had married young and remained faithful to a woman who had been widowed young by war. John supported her and raised her three children by her dead husband. What is it that they say? Hindsight is 20/20.

Brenda sighed. The physical ache of her breath sharpened John's memory. Mother had said John didn't look well. Was he sick? Then there was her own news. News she had kept from her husband and children. News she hadn't even shared with her Mother. "Not long now," Doctor Edwards had said.

Not long now. Had John inquired about her?

"A few weeks," Dr. Edwards said. Should she call John? Try to arrange a lunch date? Reveal the truth, that she had never forgotten him?

"Inoperable." Edwards frowned as he pulled the x-ray from the screen. Would it be totally embarrassing to reveal her heart to John at this late date?

If she grabbed John and fulfilled her long held desires, would he reject her? He was after all married.

"Cancer." Edwards sat down behind his desk. Brenda's heart ached. So did her head. "Cancer," she whispered.

She felt John's arms around her. She tasted his honey sweet lips. His breath, warm against her neck.


"Brenda?" Allen called. He found her on the floor. Dish soap on her hands. A smile touched the rose red familiar lips. Her skin was moist and cold. "Call an ambulance," he yelled. His children ignored him, to busy texting their friends.

Word Count: 574

I  hope you enjoyed it.

I'm looking for critique partners, if interested say so in the comments and leave your email address.

I'm sharing a link with you for an author who frequently post about his self published experience with e-books. He recently shared that to make it in the e-book buisness you must post short stories. (2,500 words). Many of us develop great ideas for our Romantic Friday Writers post, why not turn them into short stories, create a cover from a photo or art and see what happens? Be sure to have your work critiqued and hire an editor. Mine doesn't charge much for short stories.

Here's his link:


Anna said...

Dear Nancy,
Wow, this was heart-wrenching reading! This short story has everything: young love, memories that refuse to fade, the wrong choice in life, the 'what-if?-factor', and it ends with what we fear most - the protagonist's own death.

A story that gives one the shakes!
Well done!
Best wishes,
RFW - I should have kissed you

N. R. Williams said...

Hi Anna
Thanks so much for your kind comment. I'm thrilled I delivered something you enjoyed.

Carolyn V said...

Very good Nancy! Loved it. But it was sad. I hate cancer...even in stories.

Heather Murphy said...

Well done! This is heart-wrenching on so many levels!

N. R. Williams said...

Hi Carolyn
I hate cancer too. Glad you enjoyed it and hope you visit some other RFW's post.

Hi Heather
Thanks so much. The whole 'so many levels' is encouraging to hear.

Thanks to both of you for coming by.

Adura Ojo said...

Wow! Oh well, you know what I'm going to say, Nancy. Another great story. Sad, poignant, romantic and heart breaking. Love your use of the prompt with the emphasis on Brenda's regrets. We really should grab life while we can.

The back story was skilfully handled and weaved seamlessly into the story. Gave the storytelling a refined polish - one of your trademarks.

Couldn't help laughing out loud when Brenda's husband barged into her thoughts. Typical but an under-discussed subject. Men should be taught not to do that!

Just one typo I noticed on the first read: I think you meant to say: hindsight is 20-20.

I would love to be your critique partner, if you'll have me. I think our writing styles are somewhat similar in a way, with the brevity. We can support each other. Don't feel compelled to accept, though. You may get better offers:)

Have a lovely weekend, Nancy.

N. R. Williams said...

Hi Adura
Wow, what a wonderful comment. Oh yes, Ill take you up on the critique offer. That will leave one more slot or maybe two.

Yolanda Renee said...

What can I say that hasn't already been said. Loved it. You did a wonderful job, you captured it all and the ending was perfect.

I think killing the protagonist is one of the hardest things to do, but maybe not so much in a short story. I'll have to try. I've killed one of mine off three times and then find I can't go through with it.

Really, though, great writing.

Sally said...

Great writing. I know people, women, who just put up with everything whilst allowing their dreams to release them in some way. Very sad, especially as it shows how selfish her family and children were even to the bitter end.

N. R. Williams said...

Hi Yolanda
You have me blushing. I put my heart into this one. Oh yes, it is hard to kill the protagonist. Even a minor character sometimes.

Hi Sally
I know women like this too. It makes me wonder where their at to allow such behavior. But maybe like my protagonist, they've just given up.

Thank you both for coming by and leaving comments.

Madeleine Sara said...

So sad, so much regret. Lovely writing. I could feel her different emotions: the regret,the sadness, the longing, the shock of her diagnosis, the hope that John might have regrets too. I'm glad she managed to kiss John in her (dying) dreams...

Kiru Taye said...

Hi, Nancy. What a heart-breaking story told with such poignancy. It's another reminder that we have to live life to the fullest. I really felt her regrets. Nice one.

N. R. Williams said...

Hi Madeleine
Thank you so much for the praise. I'm glad my story resonated with you.

Hi Kiru
Yes, we do need to live life to the fullest, each day if possible.

Thank you both for stopping by and leaving a comment.

Francine Howarth: UK said...

Hi Nancy,

A poignant tale of resignation to one's fate, memories, regrets, and revelations that really tug at a reader's heartstrings. Tough call writing about inevitable death. Vile kids!


N. R. Williams said...

Hi Francine
Vile indeed. You made me laugh. Thanks for coming by and leaving a comment.

Denise Covey said...

I love the mistiness of this Nancy, like how misty it made me feel. Adura has said it all. It was gut wrenching but I'm sure, a reality in some lives. Oh those complicated teen years, so conflicted our choices, then you're left wondering the rest of your life.

Well done Nancy.

RFW is going to be calling for best stories for an ebook. I agree. Novellas are the new novels as far as ebooks are concerned.

ATM I won't go for critique partner. My strength is the final edits - I spend my reading time finding all the bloopers in everything I read, lol! I'm going to post about this soon with a new idea I have to sell ebooks.


N. R. Williams said...

Hi Denise
Thanks for your praise.

I am interested in your e-book ideas.

Michael Di Gesu said...

Hi, Nancy,

Oh how I hate CANCER! Such regret, such sadness. Emotional, teary eyed, and so intense.

Beautifully portrayed.

Anne said...

Hi Nancy! How tragic it really is when people give up love for all the wrong reasons. It just makes life so unbearable. Beautiful!

Nilanjana Bose said...

Sad...but lovely! beautifully poignant writing, the regret captured very well.

N. R. Williams said...

Hi Michael
Me too. So happy it touched you.

Hi Anne
It truly is tragic, to live without love.

Hi Nilanjana
Thanks for the compliment.

And a big thank you for visiting me and leaving a comment. It is much appreciated.

Charmaine Clancy said...

Loved the imagery of 'plant her hands into the fabric of his tie-dyed shirt'. Story pulled me in straight away. I also like your dry twist at the end with the kids on their phones.

Bitter but sweet :)

N. R. Williams said...

Hi Charmaine
Oh thanks so much, your comment means a lot to me.

Ghazala Hossain said...

I loved the beginning,I am not very happy with the ending. I want to be left wondering, if she gets to kiss John or not.

You write so well, this reads like real life and I am sure, real life is like this for many :)

N. R. Williams said...

Hi Ghazala
Yes, the character took over and died. It adds to the tension though I am almost always a happily ever after sort of person. Thanks for the complement.

Rek said...

Tragic and gut wrenching in the end. The story flowed so seamlessly that I forgot I was reading an RFW entry. I was a little sad when it ended with a unfulfilled wish. But, that's how real life turns out to be. Very well done and do take care of your health.

Crystal Hobbs said...

WOAH! I don't even know what to say at this point.. I am speechless and I didn't see this coming... she loved john so much but she literally loved him until she took her last breath. WOW! This was amazing! Thank you for sharing. How sad and tragic.

N. R. Williams said...

Hi Rek
What praise! To be so involved you forget you're reading a specific thing. Thanks so much.

Hi Crystal
Yes, right up to the end. Thanks for your wonderful comment.

Once again, thank you both for stopping by, reading and sharing your thoughts. I appreciate it.

Donna Hole said...

Ah, so sad; her missed opportunities at life and romance, and then to add Cancer to the mix. Tore at my heart.

I have a couple manuscripts in my e-mail for beta reading, and I've been too busy to write anything myself lately. I agree that crit partners are invaluable.

Many of my flash fiction for prompts have sparked longer stories - short stories any way. To me, this is the purpose of prompts/challenges like this - to get a person writing. These exercises may turn into a best seller one day :) If not, at least they sharpen writing skills and let authors experiment with different techniques, genre's, and styles.

Thanks for sharing the link; and thanks for participating in this weeks RFW challenge.


N. R. Williams said...

Hi Donna
Thank you for your visit. And your welcome about the link. I am writing some short stories now and you know I'll blog about my experience.

Pat Tillett said...

It seems that I'm the only male commenting on this. No matter!
This was sad, heart wrenching and very well written. Well done!

N. R. Williams said...

Hi Pat
Thanks so much.