Previous Challenge Entry (Level 1 – Beginner)
Topic: Write in the ROMANCE genre (04/19/07)
TITLE: One Long Stem Red Rose
By sharron pete
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Melancholy jazz played on the radio as a light mist dotted her windshield. The drive to work was exceptionally boring as was the day that followed. Meetings, reports, phone calls, was this all her life had become? There was a time when life meant so much more. Six months, 4 days, 13 hours and 45 minutes ago.
He was a striking figment of her imagination or so she thought. The first time she saw him it was love at first sight. Tall, handsome, successful he was everything she ever imagined. They met on a blind date. It was one of those rare occasions—a good blind date. Weeks and months of candlelight dinners, walks in the park, and endless conversation ended with an ‘I do’ and well wishes for marital bliss. And bliss it was, though short lived. He had two loves. She was one, his job the other. And his job was now the reason for their separation.
And now six months, 4 days, and 15 hours later she sat. Staring patiently waiting for the phone to ring. When it did she was both startled and scared at the same time. Holding the receiver, she listened for that familiar voice on the other end. Relief washed over her, she’d been anticipating his call all day. As he listened she talked about the nuisances of her day. Careful not to express too much emotion she listened as he described what he could about his. He spoke in generalities, trying hard to sound upbeat and positive. He knew she’d slept better if she didn’t know the details.
Ten minutes had passed. Her heart sunk. His voice quieted. Their time was up. After the ‘I miss you’s’ and ‘I love you’s’ it was over as quickly as it had begun. Hanging up the phone she glanced across the room at the long stem red rose lying on the kitchen table. It was the last gift he gave her before he left just two months after they were married. She forced herself not to cry. Thinking about how great a day it had been because it was Monday. Most of her co-workers hated Mondays. But she relished them. No matter how tough the day had been or how bad she felt, she thanked God for every Monday. Monday night was date night.
Her co-workers knew what date night meant. For her it meant no working late, no last minute ‘must do’ assignments, and no going out after work with the gang. They understood. At least some did. Occasionally she would catch an earful. Someone wondering how she could sit patiently while her husband was thousands of miles away fighting some other country’s battle. She never expounded on her thoughts or explained her husband’s actions. She didn’t delve into his family’s military background, the sense of pride he felt, or his strong faith in God. She just couldn’t. All she could do was hope and pray.
Six months, 4 days, 15 hours, and 10 minutes had passed since she’d seen her husband. And she wondered how she’d make it. Every night she prayed that God would bring him home safely and hopefully soon. Every morning she awakened to one long stem red rose laying on a desolate kitchen table and smiled.
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