Free write Friday!

This week we had a pretty interesting photo as the prompt for FWF, I hope you enjoy my take on it! This is how I’d feel about my wedding dress/day (if I believed in marriage, but that’s a whole different post I suppose).

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I’m supposed to be dainty
And fragile.
Laced bodice
Silk sleeved

Pristine blanched fabric draped across shoulders
that he is appointed to keep weightless
hugging hips he is supposed
to keep bearing the weight of his blooming seeds

I am supposed to be smooth curves
Softness
A place to sink  into
But I am so much more

I am the land he will build his home on
I will share his burdens
and the weight of his struggles
will rest equally on my shoulders

I have sharp edges
and fierce-ness pouring from the depths of my eyes
I am powerful
save the fragility for moments that call for it

I am unbreakable
No lace bodice
Silk sleeved
pristine on my body

I will wear my backbone on our wedding day
Pearls along each vertebrae
Demonstrating that wife is not synonymous with weak
Showing how beautiful strength really is

FWF! And my 300th post!

So I’ve been absent from Free Write Friday for a while now but I’m glad I had a few minutes today to sit down and write! This is also my 300th post oFWF! And my 300th post!n this blog (whoo hoo)! Anyway, the prompt was:

My attempt:

Some days it just doesn’t make sense.
Not any of it.
How we threaten with palms tight around unlit matches
And eyes falling in love with gasoline canisters
Without hesitation

We forget that we are forests
We are branch limbed
And wildflower tongued
We are all too willing start something we cannot contain.

 

So that was my contribution to the prompt, hope you enjoyed! 

“Sunday Kind Of Love” (Excerpt) FWF!

The story up to this point: Leila and Remmy have been best friends since high school. Which is just about when Leila fell in love with him but since he never showed any interest she settled for being just friends. Now they are both in college and Remmy has just shared a secret he’d been keeping from her for years, something that will make it impossible for them to be together even though Remmy is finally confessing his true feelings for Leila.

Remmy was shaking beside her, she couldn’t tell if it was his frustration or something else at fault. “Leila, please don’t think less of me because of this.” he said with imploring eyes. All the anger she had flooded from her with that one look. “I could never think less of you for doing something you thought would help your family.” she said as she took his hand in hers and gave a tiny squeeze. She kept speaking, “But Remmy, this is a big deal. You have to tell your parents what’s going on.” He shook his head, “I can’t. That’s another part of my contract. I can’t tell anyone about it.” Leila tilted her head, “But you told me.” Remmy gave her a look, “You’re different. You’re the one person I can make the exception for.”

Leila tried to calm the sudden butterfly infestation that was occurring in her stomach as Rem gazed at her now. It was a different look, she thought she knew them all but this one was new. He was staring at her as if he was trying to tell her something, as if he needed her to know what he was thinking. “Leila, if I say something right now do you promise not to hold it against me in the future?” She gave him a questioning look but nodded slowly. Remmy turned on the bed so his whole body was facing her, then reached out and ran his thumb along her jaw line. The touch gave Leila warm shivers. What is happening, she thought as she stared at her best friend. When he spoke his voice seemed to be coming from far away, almost muffled. Yet, she heard him, she understood. “I know you’re my someone better.” he said. Leila closed her eyes and tried to swallow past the lump in her throat. Remmy’s finger stopped tracing her soft skin. She knew what she needed to say, she just didn’t want to speak the words.

This whole time she’d known he was the one, and now he was telling her she was the one too. But it didn’t matter, it’s not like they could ever be together now. “Remmy, don’t do this.” She pleaded as she opened her eyes again to look at him. He looked hurt as he spoke, “Why not Leila? I lo…” Leila gave him a stern look and shook her head as she cut him off. “Please don’t say what I think you were going to say.” Leila slid to the edge of the bed and stood quickly. “I’m gonna go.” Remmy was only a beat behind her, nearly stumbling from standing too quickly as he tried to stop her from reaching the door. “Why are you leaving?” He asked frantically. “Because Remmy, this is too much.” She had one hand on the door knob but she couldn’t go yet. With her back to him she rested her forehead against the door as if she needed it’s support to go on.

“Did you know?” She said tentatively, relishing the way the door cooled her skin. Behind her, she heard Remmy moving closer. “Did I know what?” He asked which caused Leila to let out a harsh laugh. “How I’ve felt about you. This whole time, what, five years we’ve been friends. Have you known this whole time?” This was easy, she thought, talking to him without looking at him. She could do this. “For years, Remmy, I have cared about you in a way that I have never cared for anyone else. Tell me, if you’ve known.” Remmy was so close now. He placed one hand on the door near the side of Leila’s face to brace himself. With his other hand he tugged at Leila’s waist, trying to turn her towards him. “Will you look at me, please?” he asked when she resisted. Reluctantly she turned and looked up into his eyes. “I didn’t know.” his voice was rough with emotion, “But I hoped you did. I hoped when you looked at me you saw something worth looking at. I hoped you felt something for me like what I feel for you.” His hand was still on her waist, with his other, he tilted her chin up towards his face. “Leila, I know you don’t want to hear this but I need to say it.” He waited for her nod before he bent his head down so close their noses brushed. Instinctively, Leila licked her lips as her heart raced. Now she was the one shaking.

Remmy’s warm breath was causing more shivers as her eyes fluttered shut. His lips were almost pressed to hers when he whispered, “I love you, Leila Andrews, I’m in love with you.” He let the words kiss her. He spoke them slowly against her, letting his tongue slip across her bottom lip as he said her name. Leila felt like she was melting. Her legs weren’t so much weakened as they were unwilling to support her at this moment. She began to slump back against the door but Remmy’s hand on her waist kept her steady, pulled her closer to him. She was waiting for him to kiss her for real but he didn’t. He just kept holding her. Slowly she opened her eyes and saw the struggle in his. She knew she must look equally troubled. “Remmy, we can’t do this can we?” she asked with no idea what she even meant by ’this’. “Remmy shook his head, “It’s all my fault. If I’d known…” He trailed off with a pained look on his face.

In that moment Leila made a choice. “You’re wrong.” she declared. Remmy looked at her, confused. Inhaling deeply, Leila went on, “We can do this. Even if it’s just for now, for this one moment we are going to do this.” She wrapped her arms around Remmy’s neck and leaned into him. He dipped his head towards her with a smile tugging at the edge of his lips before their mouths melded. It was a slow kiss, sensual and passionate just the way Leila had always imagined kissing Remmy would be like. She could feel the heat coursing through every part of her body. She didn’t care about anything that came before this moment. This was right, finally everything was right even though she knew everything would soon go back to being wrong. Leila stopped thinking and whispered against Remmy’s soft lips, “I love you too.”

Hey! So it’s been a while since I posted a Free Write Friday, but here I am. It feels good to be back. The latest prompt was to write about a first kiss. I decided I’d go ahead and share the first kiss of the characters in the story I’ve been working on. I felt it would be a good fit with the prompt since everything was pretty much a free write. I never know what’s going to happen until after I’ve finished the sentence. It’s rough, this is the first draft so don’t murder me if there is really horrible grammer or anything of the sort. I probably won’t leave this up long but I did want to share it with you and get some feedback! 

FWF/NaPoWriMo “Edge”

everyone is always so afraid of getting too close to the edge

afraid of what happens when you go “too far”.

what happens when you go too far?

 

the mind is a mighty labyrinth

so easy to get lost inside.

do you ever get lost inside?

 

the mind is a matrix

always giving something new to those who explore it.

what if you don’t like what you find?

 

the edge sounds sharp

sounds like jutting, protruding, impending.

why can’t it be soft, melting, safe?

 

sometimes the edge is only there to be left behind

to be dove off of, leaped from

why is everyone so afraid of getting too close to it?

 

Don’t you know it’s okay too get to close to it sometimes?

 

Happy Free Write Friday! I’m still figuring out this poem. Thanks to Kellie Elmore for the prompt! I hope you are having a great weekend!

FWF/NaPoWriMo! “Life, love…”

 

Happy Monday! As always, the awesome/talented/creative Kellie Elmore gave an interesting prompt with Free Write Friday which you can read here. I hope you guys enjoy my take on it!

Make up your mind
I can not take your push and pull
Your hot then cold
You are an ever-swinging pendulum with all the back and forth

You are a Rubik’s cube
A high level sudoku
Not impossible to solve
But so much work to figure out

I am tired
Trying to make sense of everything you put me through
Never making sense of anything
My lids are so heavy

I used to understand.
I thought I understood
But now I am finding myself too often
In rooms that have just barely enough air in them to survive

But you want me to survive
Count on my will to stay with you
I feel rooted in your living room
And I just want to feel like I’m really home when I’m there

Tell me that I am home
Wrap me up, pull me close
Fill my nostrils with the scent of you
Until all I am is full of you

You are life
You are why I feel anything at all
And I just want to feel good with you again
I only want to be good with you

Make up your mind
Make up your mind to stick with me
Watch me love you even when I do not understand
Love me even when you do not think you have been understood.

 

Thanks for reading/listening! I hope you enjoyed my attempt at the prompt, if so, let me know in the comments below! You can also chat with me on twitter @talichaj or on my facebook page facebook.com/talichaj. And of course, be sure to follow the amazing Kellie Elmore as well @kellie_elmore!

 

 

Free write Friday! “What time does”

The prompt: tell this story:

image

As the children grew up
And the parents grew old
Turning into grandparents
Then great grandparents
We’d laugh and cry together.

They’d all gather inside the
Heart of me and live their beautiful lives,
Everything was shared here:
The secrets told between sad eyes and
The mirrors hanging on my walls
The tears that would spill over and splash on my floors
The echo of giggles bouncing through my halls.

Love was made here
Many, many years ago,
Now they have all gone
All the ones who took care of me
And filled me with purpose have faded.
I don’t know how much longer I can stand
Knowing I’ll never have them with me again.
For now, I remember them, and imagine I am still strong.
I pretend that we all haven’t gone to pieces.

Free Write Friday! “A cold night”

The prompt: Time & place
image

I just stood there baffled. For a moment my mind was blank as my eyes took in the scenery before me; it was night time with the blare of fresh fallen snow on a street corner that I couldn’t quite place. Panic hit me at once and I frantically turned myself in a half circle trying to find my bearings. There. In the distance I saw someone walking away from my direction. No, she wasn’t really walking, more like stomping away in bright red combat boots. Her dark curly hair blew back as she stormed off. Briefly I watched her go until it dawned on me that maybe she could help me find out where I was and what the hell I was doing here.

Ignoring the way the cold and wetness began to seep through my own brown loafers, khaki pants and light blue button down shirt (which by the way, suggests I am possibly supposed to still be at work) and began to jog towards her. “Hey!” I yelled as I got a little closer. Nothing. “Hey, wait!” I called out again. This time she whipped around to face me. She was beautiful, although she was glaring at me with a fierce intensity I feel was unwarranted. She never stopped, just walked backwards while crossing her arms against her chest. “What!” she shouted angrily, the tone of her voice caused me to slow my pace lest I get too close to her and she decides to, I don’t know, murder me or something with her eyes. “Um, I, well…” I sounded like an idiot. Thing is, I don’t know what to say. For some reason ‘what planet am I on?’ or ‘excuse me, do you know what dimension we’re in?’ seemed like feasible questions considering when I woke up this morning it was July in CALIFORNIA. She rolled her brown eyes at me and started to turn around again. I’ve got to get it together. “No, wait. I’m sorry, Do I know you because you seem upset with me? Um, can you just tell me where we are?” I plead. She raises an eyebrow at me and shakes her head. “Wow.” She says bitterly as she finally stops walking, “What game are trying to play right now?” Ok, it’s official, one of us has lost our mind. “Um, I don’t know what you mean.” I stammer. She narrows her eyes and says in a snappy tone, “Ummm, I mean what I said.” Great, she’s mocking me. She tosses her head back and exhales loudly, a puff of steam rolls out of her mouth from the way her body heated the cold air. Now I’m getting angry, all I want to do is find out what is happening to me and she just wants to be a brat. “Never mind.” I reply curtly, it’s my turn to stomp away.

I get a few steps away before I hear her boots crunching in the snow behind me as she gets closer. “Shawn, wait.” She doesn’t sound quite so angry anymore so I allow myself to turn and face her once more. Up close I can see the imperfections in her face; the way her skin isn’t flawless, how two of her bottom teeth are crooked, the small scar right above her lip. They don’t make her less attractive as you’d imagine, instead they make her even more appealing to me. She seems real. She seems real in a moment that doesn’t make sense to me. “You know my name?” I ask in astonishment. “Of course I know your name.” She sighs and continues, “You seriously are out of it. I should probably call Dr. Myers.” She slips her hand into her back pocket and pulls out a phone with a yellow case on it. I reach out to stop her from dialing. “Who is Dr. Myers?” A new panic is setting in. She wriggles her hand, which I seem to be squeezing pretty hard from the way her face contorts in pain. “Shawn,” her voice is very calm as she speaks. “Can you please let go of my hand?” I let go, embarrassed by my reaction. “I’m sorry.” Shaking her head she says, “It’s fine. It’s all going to be just fine okay?” I nod even though I don’t think it’s all going to be just fine. “Why don’t you have a seat there on that bench, I’ll get some answers for you all right?”

I watch from my perch on the edge of the freezing cold metal bench as she dials the rest of the number and begins speaking quietly into her phone as if I can’t hear her. “Yeah, he doesn’t seem to remember who I am or where we are.” She says. After a few “mmmhmm’s” and a couple of “I see’s” she hangs up and turns to me. “Well?” I ask. “Shawn, you’re not supposed to be here.” I let out a harsh laugh. “Yeah, tell me about it. I don’t even know where here is.” “North Carolina.” My mouth drops open. “How the hell did I get to North Carolina?” I exclaim. She just shrugs her shoulder and gives me a sympathetic look. She takes a seat beside me and we sit in silence for a long while. “What’s your name?” I finally ask. “Lena, geez you really don’t remember me?” She replies softly. There are tears in her eyes and I suddenly feel like I should have pretended to remember her. “Uh, I’m sorry.” She wipes the tears away and takes my hand. “Don’t be. It’s not your fault.” “What’s not my fault?” She shakes her head, “Let’s just wait a moment, Dr. Myers is sending someone to pick you up.” She smiles a sad smile at me. Before I can I ask her anything else, a black town car pulls up to the curb. “Well, this is you.” She says gesturing towards the automobile. An older woman steps out of the back and strides toward us quickly. “Thank you Lena, we’ve been worried sick about him for the past week!” She says, pulling Lena into a tight embrace. All I can do is stand there gawking because I have no idea what is actually going on. When they separate the woman turns to me. “You’ve caused a great deal of trouble. I can not believe you ran off like that before treatment. You scared you’re mother half to death!” She scolds me as she grabs my shoulder and pushes me towards the car. “I. I’m sorry” I utter, unable to comprehend what’s happening. She pushes me into the car and then walks around to the other side, sliding in beside me.

Lena taps on the window so I roll it down. She leans in and kisses me on the cheek. “I’m so sorry Shawn. I love you. I just can’t…” She never finishes her sentence. Instead she straightened up and began stomping away once more. I turned to watch her as we pulled off. For a while all I could see was the bright red of her boots against the white of the snow. I don’t know why, but I felt like I just lost something really important. Beside me the woman, Tess, kept saying that it would be okay. I had missed some sort of treatment and that’s why I was so out of it. I couldn’t really pay attention. I was too busy trying to figure out who that girl was and why the moment she said she loved me I knew it was true.

I also knew that I loved her too. 

Thank you for reading this short story! I had a bit of fun writing a sort of mystery. What is wrong with Shawn? What is this treatment he’s missed for? Who is Lena? All valid questions that will remain unanswered, at least for now. Check out more of the responses to this prompt and other great prompts at the lovely Kellie Elmore’s blog!

Free Write Friday! “You Called Me Love”

wpid-free-write-friday-kellie-elmore.jpg

The Prompt: Ponder This

Love was just a word
Just a flick of a tongue
A quick exhale
It only meant fleeting

And then you happened
And you’d call me ‘love’
And it made me feel like
I was burning under my skin

No one had ever gotten beneath the surface
Until you, your love, you nestled inside me
Wriggled your way through the cracks
I thought I’d kept well hidden

You planted your lips as seeds against the
Soil of my fluttering field heart and blossomed
A brilliantly beautiful thing you were,
And you’d call me “love”

My favorite past-time was running the
naked skin of my palms along the bared
Flesh of your back, kneading my fingers into
The softness that camouflaged the sinewy strength against your spine

No, it was looking into those eyes,
The ones that always drank me in as if I were the only thing to behold,
the way they turned my pulse into an impulsively pulsating rhythm uncontrollable.

Or maybe it was just loving you back.
Yes, loving you back as hard as I was capable
Until my knuckles ached from holding on
And my throat was raw from the strain of saying the words so much they became my exhale

Love never felt like butterflies to me
It was only just a word, fleeting
And then you happened
And you’d call me ‘love’

I swear there were wings inside
Beating gently against my ribcage
Eager to find their way to you
every time you called me ‘love’.

So it’s been a couple of weeks since I posted for #FWF it feels good to be back! I actually started a story for last weeks prompt but I haven’t had a chance to finish it yet, keep an eye out for a really creepy story though 🙂

I hope you guys enjoyed this, it was random as always. I look forward to reading what everyone else posted in response to this prompt as well! 

Be sure to check out Kellie on twitter @kellie_elmore and you can follow me there as well @talichaj 

Free Write Friday! Falling

The prompt:

“We started dying before the snow, and like the snow, we continued to fall.” — Louise Erdrich, Tracks

The attempt:

Falling

We are burning bridges
And sinking ships
And fallen towers

We are crashing cars
And trains derailing
And branches breaking

We are slipping knots
And broken doorknobs
And leaky faucets

Everything we do is wrong
Even what is right
We are never blending

Always shifting
Always changing
Minds and directions

We are a map
Torn in half
Only missing the piece we need

We are missing the peace we need
Fighting in the name of freedom
What is freedom?

We fall
Like snowflakes
Hoping we don’t melt before we hit the ground

Hoping we don’t melt once we’ve hit the ground
We are falling
We are all falling.

Free Write Friday! Already

The prompt:

The attempt:

So what if I should have?
I didn’t.
It’s done.

Time is not patient
Life is not forgiving
And both are always running out too soon

I won’t waste my worries on the past
Or at least I’ll say I won’t
And I’ll try but if I don’t, who cares?

What-if’s and should-have’s
Are only pre-requisites for regret
And I don’t want too many of those to look back on

We are all our own hourglass
With tiny grains of sand for seconds
That still fall through even when we aren’t watching

We are not allowed to pick any of those pieces up
And move them back to the side that gives
We can only let them go, watch them settle but not change them

That, that is what life is right?
Decisions; sand grains that are heavy if you could hold them
Actions and thoughts that may be right or wrong but are still ours

Every moment in life is a potential what if
A should have.
A could of.
A maybe.

Every moment in life lived is also an already.

Hey guys! I hope you are all having a fantastic Friday! This is the last FWF of the year, can you believe it!??! A huge thank you goes to the talented Kellie Elmore for giving us such awesome content to use for inspiration. I hope next year is full of tons more motivation for us all! Thanks for reading/listening. I can’t wait to see what comes next for us all! 

Free Write Friday! “Figure it out”

The prompt:

envelope-typewriter-words-Favim.com-404175_large

The attempt:

There are three envelopes.
One for what I say to make things easy
One for what I say to purposely make things hard.
And one for all the things I was never able to say to you because I’d have to say them to myself first.

I only placed one in the mail today,
And now I’m afraid it may have been the wrong one.
If it gets to you, don’t read it.
Burn it. Rip it into as many tiny pieces as you can and then set it on fire.

Or don’t.
Maybe it’s best this way.
Maybe the choice I made will save us both,
Will heal our sore hearts
Maybe it will be what sets us free.

You are a steel door most days
And I have lived my life trying to be a hinge connected to you
Allowing you the ability to move in the right direction
But I’m backwards and you, you take advantage of the freedom I’ve given

You wear me like an excuse, and I let you so maybe
I should be the one waiting by the mailbox instead.
But I know I’ll never get what I’m waiting for.
You know you will never give me what I’m waiting for.

Maybe I’ll mail the other two as well,
Throw you off my trail a little bit,
Stir things up and give myself a bit of wiggle room to work with eh?
I’ll let you process what every word of every letter means, on your own.

There are three envelopes.
One for what I say to make things easy
One for what I say to purposely make things hard.
And one for all the things I was never able to say to you because I’d have to say them to myself first.

I placed them all in the mail today
I doubted myself, and I doubted you.
I hope you’ll figure out which one I meant to send
I hope you know me well enough to figure it out…

I swear I gush every time I do a FWF about how much I love the free writing style of writing. I never would have written anything like this otherwise. Thanks to the wonderful Kellie Elmore  for always providing interesting prompts! Make sure you go support her today as her new book Candy from strangers is now available for purchase!!!

Free Write Friday!

Life likes to wear you down from time to time
Pokes you in the open wounds it provided on its last attempt at breaking you
It will rub you raw and leave you to tend to the healing on your own

I have been there
I have witnessed the brutality
There were so many times I only sought release without care of consequences

To give in and give up were life preservers
Floating just within fingertips reach
It is nearly impossible to resist saving yourself when you are not suicidal
So how do you go against everything and hold out just. a little. longer?

They say patience is a virtue
They say you are never given more than you can bear
They say a lot of things that only mean what they mean
but do not do anything for you when you need them to.

How do you hold on?
When everything is slippery
Or burning, Or biting,
How do you hold on?

I guess you just do.
I guess you just do not give in
I guess you just do not give up
I guess you just keep holding on to the hope that
in just a little while it will all be better…

Hi there! I haven’t done a free write friday in a LONG while now, it feels good to be back! I attempted to write something for this last night but I was trying too hard and nothing would come so I let it go. Then this morning I saw a tweet from Kellie Elmore with the link and decided to give it another shot. It isn’t perfect but that’s what I love about free writing. You just let go and say whatever comes to mind. Thanks for reading! 

Check out more of Kellie’s prompts here
Read my Free Write Friday attempts here
Follow us both on twitter @kellie_elmore & @talichaj

Abandon, a love story

So this story is from a Free Write Friday prompt that the wonderful Kellie Elmore gave back in October of last year. Yeah, I’m super late! I realized I hadn’t posted it for whatever reason but decided I’d go ahead and share this with you.

The red numbers on the clock burned the time into Shelly’s retinas; 3:38 a.m. She slowly turned over to check if he was asleep yet. Braden always stayed up late working on new designs for the architecture firm he and his best friend ran together. He was knocked out, iPad at his side and glasses on the night stand. Shell gave Braden one last  look before quietly slipping out of bed. Everything she was taking with her was packed up in the trunk of her car already. She’d made sure to get it all done before Braden got home from the office earlier that evening. On her way out Shell pulled an envelope from her purse and perched it up beside Braden’s keys on the hall table. With that done she slinked out the house locking the door behind and placing the key she’d no longer need in the mailbox.

————————————————————————————————-

It had been four days since she’d left Braden and the life they’d built together over the past year and a half. Her voice mail was filled with messages from ‘home’ and a countless number of text messages gone ignored. Braden wasn’t like the rest, he just wouldn’t give up it seemed. It both moved and annoyed Shell who had been in constant motion her whole life. Her mother had taught her from a young age that there is too much of the world to see to settle down in any one place. And that there was no such thing as love. Or more specifically that there was no such thing as a man who wouldn’t leave you in the end. So Carly taught her young girl early on to do the leaving first. Her mothers rules were quite simple:

1. Never say I love you
Shell had broken commandment one 6 months into the ‘mere fling’ she and Braden were having. She’d met him at the firm she was working for as a temp. They’d been out at a music festival all day having a great time. There was wine, lots of wine consumed leading to the moment, but when she wasn’t lying to herself She knew that the wine had no influence on her words other than giving courage. They were sitting on the couch in what was then only Braden’s house, arguing in playful banter over which artist they’d heard that day was best. He was really making a case for an amazing jazz violinist when the words just came out of her mouth. She had felt them bubbling up inside her for weeks but was always so careful not to speak them. But now, it was too late to pretend she hadn’t just blurted out the three words she had never allowed herself to utter to a man before. Needless to say she was horror-stricken. Braden stopped mid-sentence and just stared at her, mouth agape and unbelieving. Shell had made it very clear to him early on that she was not the type of girl to fall and that he shouldn’t expect anything serious. And so he hadn’t.

Shell let out a tiny, nervous laugh and took a big gulp of her wine. Braden finally closed his mouth before tilting his head to the side and speaking. “Shelly, I’m sure you probably didn’t mean to let that slip, but I have to know…is it true?” He asked with all his expectations dancing in his eyes, Shell couldn’t lie now. She cleared her throat, took a deep breath and responded in a rush, “It’s true. But I shouldn’t have said it, I think I’ve had too much wine or something. Is it hot in here to you too?” She fanned herself quickly with latest issue of Design Weekly that was on the coffee table. Braden was giddy from the wine and from the affirmation. Removing the magazine from her grasp he took her hands in between his own, his face close to hers. Shell’s heart was beating fast and her lungs were not quite up to speed with the air that was coming in and out rapidly. He smiled, “Shell, I love you too. And I know that you don’t “do” love but obviously you can. So please, don’t get scared and run because I think you know that it would break both of our hearts.” Shelly slowly shook her head which was swimming before responding in barely a whisper, “I don’t want to break your heart Braden, that’s the last thing I’d want to do. But I am scared of this. I can’t just turn it off.” Braden smiled broadly, “That’s what love is, it’s scary because you can’t control it. But it’s a good scary I promise.” It was too late to turn back now and the more they sat in this moment the more Shelly knew she didn’t want to. She was in love for the first time, and as afraid as she was, she was equally excited and eager. She’d made the decision that night to find out for herself first hand what love was. That was when all her mothers rules went out the window for the first time in her 26 years.

2. Always stay independent from men

The couple had just returned to Braden’s house from a company dinner party. There had been many connections made and Braden was positive that a deal which had been in the works for months was finally about to be closed. It was a good night. He turned on the stereo to Shelly’s favorite Jazz station and pulled her out to the balcony to dance with him. They swayed slowly, Shell’s head resting on his shoulder, his arms tight around her back. They were happy, it had been a little over six months since that night in his living room that she had blurted out that she loved him. They had taken things slow, Braden didn’t want to frighten her away but tonight he had something he needed to ask her and Shell could feel it coming. As the song ended he tilted her chin up and kissed her slowly. When he pulled away he spoke softly, “Move in with me babe.” It wasn’t a question but he waited for her to answer. Her mother’s voice was yelling at her in her head, ‘never give a man the satisfaction of thinking you need him to provide for you. You work so he doesn’t own you, drive your own car, own your own home so he can’t control you.’ But Braden wasn’t the type of man to control, in fact he was nothing like the men Shelly’s mother had told her about all those years growing up. And he certainly wasn’t like any of those other jerks she’d dated in the past. A huge smile broke through Shell’s face, “Yes, of course!” she exclaimed as she leaned into him. She and Braden spent the rest of the evening celebrating the next big step in their relationship in bed. Shelly had finally understood why some people preferred to call it making love, and she was too happy about that to be afraid of breaking any rules.

3. Run. Fast and far BEFORE he does.

 “Can I make you some coffee hun?” Shelly offered as Braden sat at the kitchen table with huge stacks of paper before him, his back to her. “No thanks.” he responded absently. It had been nearly eight months since Shelly had accepted Braden’s proposal to move in with him. She had heard horror stories from her mother about what living with a man could do to a relationship but there had been none of the terrors so far. Lately Braden had been a bit stressed out at work due to a rapidly failing merger the company was looking forward to, but he never took any of that out on Shelly. She had noticed that it was a bit harder to get his attention though. That’s why she’d made it her duty to make things at home as comfortable for Braden as she could. She made sure she cooked him decent dinners, packed him healthy lunches with cute little love notes attached, kept the house cleaned and wore only the sexiest underwear Victoria’s Secret carried. She didn’t dare tell her mother that she had somehow become domestic. It seemed though, that unless she became one of those slips of papers in Braden’s ever growing files she’d never catch his eye again. It was a very off-putting feeling to have a man not toss everything to the side to be with her, and she didn’t like it.

Shelly wanted to have her Braden back. The man who swept her off her feet, the man who simply had to look at her to turn her on. The man who spent more time throwing his head back in laughter than he spent on his laptop and cell phone on business. She untied her robe and let it fall open as she turned away from the counter and toward the table. Beneath it was a skimpy purple and black lingerie set she’d picked up last week. Purple was one of Bradens favorite colors on her and she was hoping it would catch his eye. Shelly leaned over him and began to slowly massage his shoulders while gently kissing his neck. Braden only shook her off, “What are you doing Shell? I have work to do I don’t have time for this.” He sighed and stood abruptly grabbing all his papers in a rush. Shelly was taken aback, “I just thought…I thought you could use a break from all this work. It’s stressing you out babe.” She quickly closed her robe and held her arms tight around her waist, suddenly feeling extremely naked. “Look, honey I know that I’ve been busy a lot lately but this merger is important. This is our future I’m working for!” Braden had gathered all his files and laptop and had turned to leave when he noticed the expression on Shelly’s face. She didn’t look hurt or sad as he’d thought she would given his haste. Instead she looked angry. This was a look that he had managed to avoid for nearly eight months of cohabitation. “I’m sorry.” he sighed as he placed his work back on the table and stepped closer to her. It was too late though, Shelly had already shut down.  “Don’t worry about it.” her voice was ice as she pushed past him and headed to their bedroom. She couldn’t understand why people would sacrifice so much of the present for the future. Who knew what tomorrow would bring? It upset her that Braden assumed she’d want to give away the time they have now for the time they may or may not have later. Especially since she didn’t know that she could promise Braden the future he wanted. Sure she was happy breaking her mother’s rules now but a part of her still believed there was truth in every word her mother had uttered.

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Shelly’s phone rang again. She looked at the screen, surprised to see her mother’s photo instead of the picture of her and Braden cheek to cheek with the ocean in the background that she’d grown accustomed to seeing each time it lit up. “Hello mother.” she answered with a lack of enthusiasm. “Shelly, where are you?” Her mother’s voice was thick with irritation which was the normal tone reserved for Shell whenever she’d fail to call her weekly. “I’m great mom, thanks for asking. How are you?” Shelly’s voice dripped with sarcasm that she immediately regretted. She had been in such a bad mood since she’d left home. “Don’t take that tone with me Shell. Now where are you? Do you know Braden has called me and shown up to my house on several different occasions looking for you?” Shell groaned, her mother was adamant about not meeting any of her boyfriends so she could only imagine how those encounters went. “I’m sorry mom, I didn’t think he’d bother you.” “Yeah, well he has. Shelly what’s going on?” Shell had managed to leave a lot of her life out of the conversations she had with her mother weekly, mainly the parts about how serious she and Braden had become. Her mother knew the names of her boyfriends but never much more than that. “Mom just don’t worry about it. If he calls back just give him one of your famous speeches you give to get rid of guys okay?” Her mother huffed on the other end of the phone, “Wow, Shell thanks. I’m not telling the man anything, you need to talk to him. He said you left in the middle of the night only leaving a letter. That’s one of my moves.” “Yeah well, I thought you’d be proud mom.” Shell was indignant about the way her mother sounded disappointed with her. “Okay, I deserve that I guess, I think that you may have gotten too much of my pessimistic views on relationships.” Shell sat quietly on her end of the phone turning over her mothers words in her head before speaking, “Yeah well you only drilled it into my head that men aren’t capable of staying or loving so…”  After a moment her mother’s voice was in her ear again. “I think I was wrong Shelly.” Sighing her mother went on to tell say that her rules on love were (and these are her words exactly) “complete and utter bullshit”. She told her daughter that she had made a mistake by turning her against love, she had only been jaded by her own past and hoped her child would not have to endure her pains. She had spent the past couple of days getting to know Braden since he called and eventually showed up on her doorstep. He had shown so much love and adoration for her daughter that she could not deny it was really love.

“Shell, you can’t run away from this if you love him.” She paused a second before asking, “Do you love him?” This was new territory for the two; discussing Shell’s relationship. It was weird, especially because she felt as though she’d usually be reprimanded for the answer she was about to give. Her voice was quiet, barely above a whisper as she replied, “I do.” Her mother didn’t miss a beat with her request, “Then go home Shell.” After she hung up with her mother Shelly sat for a while just trying to wrap her head around the fact that her mom had actually admitted to being wrong and that before she said goodbye, she told Shell she thought Braden was a great man. Her mother rarely regarded men in a positive sense, which in a way was understandable if you knew the history that Carly had with the men in her life. It was nice to see that Braden could change not one but the both of their minds on love. Gathering her courage, Shelly decided to finally go back to the man that broke through all the barriers her mother had built which she eventually reinforced. She knew it would not be easy but seeing that Braden was willing to brave her mother even after she’d warned him of the woman’s bite. He was showing her that he was going to stay, and she believed him.

An hour later she reached her hand into the mailbox and wrapped her fingers around the key she had hoped would still be there.

Free Write Friday!

The prompt wordbank: cocoa, foiliage, wicker, Amber, sweater, aroma

The attempt:

I am sipping warm cocoa on the white swing that hangs from chains on the wrap around porch. Yes, it is the country, with a lake for a view and bugs for days that freaked me out at first but eventually became the norm. You know, I am a city girl at heart but we have made this wooded land our home.
Look there, do you see it? Just beyond the gravelled drive, past the battered mailbox you were supposed to fix three months ago, it’s the tree we nicknamed Boss for its overbearing size and the way it seemed to command the whole of the land. Watch with me love, the way the golden leaves float down to rest upon a bed of drying foliage at its base. Feel the way the wind tickles them and hear the way they rustle about in response. How many times have we sat here, how many years have we we let the aroma of the damp lake mixed with the sweet scent of what’s left at the bottom of our cups wash over us? Not enough yet. I pull the Amber hued sweater, the one you gave me as a just-because gift many falls ago, tighter around me as the wind starts to chill going into the night hours. I place my emptied mug onto the faded wicker table beside me and in exchange lift up the worn leather notebook we’ve shared for years, with both our handwriting consuming its space. I flip to the last page you filled and let your words warm me the way your touch, smile and laughter had. Your poetry falls from my lips and as I speak it the wind goes still, the lake becomes silent, the leaves settle in. That’s how I know you are here with me. I pick up my pen and write you one last poem in our book, my best one yet, and I know you are feeling every word of it.

hope you guys enjoyed my story. It started as a poem and ended as this. Many thanks to Kellie Elmore for the great prompt. See you guys again next free write Friday!

Free Write Friday! (Look! I’m on time)

wpid-free-write-friday-kellie-elmore.jpg

As usual, Kellie gave in interesting prompt. This one was intriguing to me because I had to dig down deep to see if any other gift stood out or meant as much to me as a child as the one I wrote about did. But no. This was the one.  What’s that you say? Oh, yeah, I know I AM on time this week! Unlike last week (whoops!) I actually sat down and did this one as soon as I saw the link. If you missed my poem for the last prompt, no worries, I’ll link it below! For now enjoy my yet to be titled attempt:

It was right before Christmas
in 1990-something when my mother and I were
in Kmart (a rare outing as it was far
and we had no car)
when I saw her.
Missy.

In all the glory a stuffed bear could possess
she sat atop the shelf and I knew I had to have her,
but no, my mother said, we must get what we came for
so she pulled me off to the aisles of necessity while
I looked longingly back at the shelf.

Fast forward to Christmas day where,
you guessed it, Missy sat displayed
beneath the fireplace!
And sure, she was just a stuffed animal
but when you’re young you latch on to these things.

Everything I did, I did with her in tow,
well, not everything.
I mean I definitely never took her outside to play
because I didn’t think my real friends would accept her,
I mean, come on, we were in elementary school by now for
goodness sake!
But I’d always be eager to come home to her,
tell her about my day, squeeze her during the exciting,
or scary or adventurous parts of the movie or tv show I was watching,
drag her from the couch to the bed with me, tucking her between
the fuzzed care bare sheets beside me.

It’s funny, how attached I was then
to something that could not attach itself to me…

Read last week’s FWF (that I posted only two days ago) here: Midnight

Thanks for reading my contribution to the prompt. I think I’d like to work on this in the future as I think I could definitely write this better. But for now, as the title suggests, it remains a FREE write, just writing with freedom and abandonment.