Tuesday, April 15, 2014

It's Always Been You

We stand facing each other across the room. He leans against the wall with his arms folded across his chest. His face is an angry scowl.

The moonlight shines on his white blond hair usually so expertly styled is now tousled, hair hanging over his forehead. His grey eyes seem lit by a fire within. The scar on his face seems oddly in sync on his beautiful, predatory face. He is trying to go for a posture of ease but I can tell by the look on his face that he is keeping his temper in check - barely.

"You shouldn't be here." He snaps.

"And where should I be?" I question.

Grinding his teeth together, Griffin looks at me from across the room. Reigning in his temper. Assessing me. Calculating his next move.

"I've done things." He says bluntly. "I've done horrible, awful, despicable things."

"You did what you needed to survive." I say confidently.

Cocking his head to one side, he responds, "Is that the reason?"

I swallow nervously. He's trying to intimidate me. 

I won't let him.

Seeing his advantage, he pushes himself off he wall and stalks towards me.

"One guy tried to take my can of food. He lost his hand. Another guy was dumb enough to go after my brother. He got a blade to he eye." He declares forcefully.

Then he is is front of me.

"And for this," he says, pointing to the scar that runs from the corner of his left eye to his jaw, "the other guy got one to match - from his crotch to his sternum."

I force myself to look him in the eye. He may be tough, but so am I.

I'm not scared of him.

"Then he deserved it." I say quietly.

His eyes widen a fraction of an inch. The only visible sign that he's affected by what I said.

Taking a step back, he looks at me, really looks at me. I wonder what he sees. I wonder what he's thinking.

"I'm just trying to protect you." He admits.

"It's too late for that." I state.

His face is unreadable. He is a fortress - locked down tight, no way in.

I've come this far. No turning back now.

"It's always been you." I say.

His face softens.

"Afton," he breathes my name as if a prayer.

And right then, I know.

I know my heart will never again belong to me.

So, I had this scene in my head about this rough, predatory guy and this seemingly innocent girl stuck on my head.

I kept thinking about it and thinking about. And thinking about it. I just had to write it down.


I feel better now.

What do you guys think?

Wednesday, April 9, 2014

We're Back In The Game

**The previous post with Nat and Adam can be found here.

Heading out the door, I find myself staring at Adam in wonder.

Closing the door behind him, he turns to find me staring.

"What is it?" He questions.

Shaking my head, I reply, "Just who are you, Mr. Man-Boy Wonder?"

My brain tries to take the puzzle pieces and place them together to form a complete picture of Adam. But they seem to keep shifting.

Gently shoving my shoulder with his, Adam states, "I thought I already answered that. I'm Prince Charming."

Shoving him back, I quip, "Yeah, yeah. Let's see this is 'hiding place' of yours."

Giving me that lopsided heart-melting grin of his, he declares, "Follow me. It's not much farther."

Adam walks down the hallway as I follow behind, wondering for the tenth time why in the world we are here.

We stop at the end of the hallway before a simple wooden door. Without pretense or amble, Adam opens the door, letting it swing wide. After entering, Adam steps to the side so I can see the room fully.

I find myself looking at a library.

A beautiful two story library with intrinsically carved wood columns equally spaced between the bookshelves flank each side. Several spiral staircases lead up to the second level. The second level only frames the two longer sides of the room.

On the second level, there are additional bookshelves but there are window benches underneath ornate stained glass windows. Each window depicts a scene from the bible.

For a moment I am speechless. This was totally not what I was expecting. To say it’s beautiful doesn’t really capture the essence of this place. I've been in tons of libraries in my life but never one like this.

She would have loved this. Mom would have loved this library.

I can feel a lump rise in my throat. Before I can stop it, tears spring to my eyes.

Hastily wiping them away, I quietly say, “It’s lovely, Adam.”

Quickly, I turn away and head to the nearest bookshelf to give myself something to do. But not before Adam sees. Not before he sees me blubbering like an emotional mess.

Great. Keep it together, Nat.

To his credit, Adam doesn't say anything. Instead, he walks the length of the library, telling me of the many times he attempted to skip mass by coming here. And how each time he got caught.

While Adam tells of his life of crime, I cautiously walk down the length of the room. My hand grazes the spines of the books but I am not really seeing them. I am thinking of a time before. I focus on my breathing. Making myself relax and let it go.

After his lengthy narrative, Adam turns to me and smiles. It’s a genuine smile. His face conveys all of the things he isn't saying.

I know he knows I am upset. Adam was giving me time to compose myself while he distracted me. His face tells me that he is here for me if I want to talk.

It’s such a simple thing. But my heart sings in response to his gentleness.

Maybe Mr. Man-Boy Wonder really is Prince Charming.

I smile in return. Giving him a honest smile. One that lets him know I am grateful he gave me some space.

Pulling on my reserves from somewhere deep inside, I resolve to return to my usual snarky self. “So which window is your favorite?” I question, pointing to the windows at the top.

“Ah, that’s easy, snow bunny.” Adam responds with a wink.

And just like that. We're back in the game.

Hmm, another piece of the Nat and Adam puzzle. What do you guys think?

Well, get ready!

I've got ideas, people! Lots and lots of ideas!

Tuesday, April 1, 2014

What Century Are We In?

While listening to talk radio this morning, there was a woman who was talking about Susan Patton, i.e. The Princeton Mom.

Ever heard of this lady?

Ms. Patton wrote an opinion piece in the Wall Street Journal about how woman should spend 75% of their time searching for a husband and 25% of their time on everything else. She states the most important thing for a woman is marrying a good man. Ms. Patton goes on to say that women should be married by the time they finish college. Because, let's face it, you are the best you are ever going to be at this point and things will only go down hill from there.

She wants you to forget about studying for your ACT's and instead study the art of looking your best and finding your husband.

Um, excuse me? What?


What century are we in?

Can you guys check the date for me? It is 2014, is it not?

We didn't suddenly go back in time to the 1950's, did we? Or better yet. Are we back in prehistoric time where cavemen just hit their women over the head with a club which declared "mine"?

Reminds me of the ridiculousness of the Barbie doll that said, "Math is hard."

Don't get me wrong.

I have nothing against marrying a good man. I did the same thing myself.

But forgetting everything other than preparing yourself for marriage and finding your husband. That's a little cray cray.

There is so much more to being a woman than finding a husband. 

Some woman do not even want to get married.

Quelle horreur!

Women can go to college. Women can climb Mt. Everest. Women can become Olympic snowboarders. Women can organize a toy fundraiser. Women can start a book club. Women can run a 5K. Women can be doctors. Women can be mathematicians. Women can be police officers. Women can be writers. Women can be their class president. Women can be the President.

As for finding a husband, usually that just happens. 

It's called Life. 

You meet someone. Maybe at a frat party or a museum gala or a softball game or at the grocery. You get to know them by spending time with them. You commit to a serious relationship, then you decide to get married.

And 75% towards preparing yourself for marriage and finding a husband. 

Really, Ms. Patton? 75%? 

Because 75% means that a young woman would have to spend 18 hours a day searching for her mate and only 6 hours to do everything else.

Whew! You gotta be busting your chops to get all of that other non-essential crap, like eating, peeing and sleeping, crammed in there.

But wait.

If you have less than 6 hours of beauty sleep, then won't you look tired? Maybe bags under your eyes? 

Would your future husband think the "bags under the eyes" screams "life long mate"? Does the "I need more sleep look" say "I am a beautiful woman please choose me as your wife"?

*Eye roll.*

It's a shame that Ms. Patton believes in such an antiquated theory. It makes me sad to think her words are reminiscent of an outdated way of thinking when women didn't have as many options or freedoms.

Good thing I know lots of beautiful, strong woman who have daughters who are not raising them to think this way.

Solidarity, ladies. Solidarity.