Previous Challenge Entry (Level 1 – Beginner)
Topic: The Inner Person (09/09/10)
TITLE: Tarnishing Dreams of Stardom
By PamFord Davis
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“Beth, turn out that light! Get in bed; you’ve got school tomorrow!”
“Yes, Mother,” The springs squeaked as I climbed up onto the bed, and wedged myself under heavy hand-stitched quilts.
Will winter ever end?
Gentle ticking of the wind-up clock soothed me to sleep. The following morning I slipped into my favorite frock; Deanna Durbin wore the fashion design in her last movie. I styled my wavy long hair like hers too, and relished the compliments when people said I resembled her.
My kid sister, Debby said, “Beth, get away from that mirror! Mother and Daddy are waiting at the breakfast table!”
“Just a minute! I want to put a matching bow in my hair.”
“Why bother? You’ll have to wear a kerchief in this snow storm.”
“I’ll fix it again after I get to school. There, that’s better.”
I kissed Mother and Daddy before sitting down. The aroma of Daddy’s fresh ground coffee gave me needed courage.
“There’s a school dance Friday night; all my friends will be there. Can I go?”
Daddy just continued stirring his steaming oatmeal. I hoped Mother would be agreeable.
She took a long contemplating sip of green tea, looked me straight in the eye and said, “You can go… if you promise to get up bright and early Saturday morning and do the floors. “
I detested the cleaning of the varnish veneer oak floors in many rooms, but I would do anything to get out of the house!
Friday night I met my dreamboat. “Well, hello gorgeous!” Joe held me close and my heart pounded in rhythm with the jitterbug. We dated steady and planned the perfect life together. I quit school in my junior year of high school and became his wife.
The honeymoon ended and my nightmare began. How could I have been so naive? He wanted to see a pretty face when he sobered up from a binge. After a few years, I no longer could believe his promises to quit drinking. There was now a child involved.
“Divorce! Give me a divorce!”
There, I said it. I will swallow my pride and go home to Mother and Daddy.
I needed money to support my little girl, boarded the bus into the big city in search for work. It was not easy without a diploma, and I had no skills to list on applications. Help wanted ads included an opening for clerk in a prestigious photographer’s studio; I acquired the coveted position.
Moving to the city, Mother convinced me it would be best for Patty to stay with her. We both knew I could not afford childcare. Weekend visits flew by; it seemed like my pending divorce not only ended my marriage, but nearly severed my relationship with my daughter too.
The photographer noticed my interest in the business, and trained me in the art of coloring portraits with oils. He also noticed me… I posed for him on several occasions, and took great pride in his comments on how photogenic I was.
One weekend, back at home, my life took a dramatic turn. My Brother Bill’s friend, Freddy dropped by.
“Beth, glad you’re here. I’ve been thinking about you.”
I smiled. “Is that good or bad?”
Laughing, he said, “I want you to meet someone.”
“No blind dates for me!”
“This is different. You’ll like Paul.”
“What’s he like?”
“He’s got a head on his shoulders, Army man, close to 35, and never been married. My sister’s had her eye on him, but he’s not interested….kind of’ tall, dark hair. You’ll make the perfect couple, both look like movie stars!”
Movie stars… Has he been reading my diary? Maybe I should meet this guy….
He introduced us and we were inseparable; we pledged our love in a church ceremony immediately after my divorce became final. He adopted Patty and our family grew with one, two, three other daughters. We were developing our own chorus line! Paul finally got his boy; I needed to see it to believe it!
Tarnishing dreams of stardom hid dormant. Time passed, and I experienced the thrill of seeing Hollywood when visiting our son in California. Inwardly, I perceive I am young and beautiful, dressed in silks, luxurious furs, and attending movie premieres. I take a final glance at Paul before turning off the light. He is still my leading man.
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