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Previous Challenge Entry (Level 2 – Intermediate)
Topic: Write in the ROMANCE genre (04/19/07)

TITLE: Two of the Same Heart.
By Shannon Brendlinger


Two of the Same Heart.

Julia’s vision of the road was compromised not only by heavy rain outside but the rain coming from her eyes. She never thought she would take this road again. The road that led to a man she loved but could not have, a man who was the brother of her recently deceased husband. Recently only being three hours ago.
Her husband had given into a slow life taking disease. It was going on for three years with the last two ending in her taking care of a helpless man. Tonight he took his last breath as she held his hand. She was not shocked she knew it was coming but it still hurt that he had to go in such away and they never had any of there wedded life together. They found out about it just four months in to their marriage. The doctors had no time frame of how it would go from bad to worse and then death.
During the last three years Julia and Dean, her husbands’ brother, had connected and became close. They spent a lot of time together taking care of Derek. It was inevitable that they would feel for each other after awhile. One night Dean and she were sitting on his couch and he kissed her. She kissed back but then ran out and only leaving him a message that this could not happen. What would their family think? It had to stop; they could not spend any personal time together.

Julia pulled into Deans’ dark driveway. The power was out so she could not call; she had to come to tell him that his only brother had given into his impending death today. Why did it have to be her? She thought but she knew it had to be her. She knew he would want to hear from her and to be with her. The one he loved-and who loved him back.
He opened the front door to her drenched figure. The look on her face already told him that his brother was gone. He hurried her out of the rain and into the house. He then turned her to face him. “When?” Was all he said.
“About three hours ago, I tried to call but…”
He took her in her arms and held her tight. She felt so good there and wished he never let go. She was the one to break loose.
“He is your brother I should be hugging you,” she said with her head down.
“I think both of us need it, he was your husband.”
She did not say anything and dropped to his couch. They embraced and both cried softly for a few minutes just holding on to each other. Dean kissed her eyes and held her face in his hands.
“It feels so good to be close to you again.”
“Dean! Your brother just passed away!” She tried to pull away.
“I know that but we knew it was coming, we knew it could happen any day. He has been a vegetable for two years! I lost my brother along time ago and fell in love with his wife!”
She stared at him for a second and then her head fell into his lap. They stayed that way until morning.

Derek’s funeral was three days later. The family was ready for it to happen and they all felt the same as Dean; he has been gone for a long time now.
Julia and Dean planned to keep their love a secret for awhile, until the morning was over at the least.
Julia gave their mother a hug and Charlotte held her at arms distance.
“How are you honey,” she asked?
“I am going to be alright. How about you, how are you doing?”
“I will get through I guess. I guess it is easier for you with Dean at your side,” she said with a slight smile.
Julia’s eyes went wide with shame.
“Oh Honey you don’t feel bad about it,” she rubbed her back. Derek has been unavailable to you for two years. I do not think anyone would see any wrong doing with a man who shares your pain and loss? Dean then came behind her and said,” I guess my mom has already told you she approves of us?
Julia smiled with relief and hugged Charlotte again. She lost her husband along time ago and now she could have the man she loved; the man of the same heart.

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This article has been read 482 times
Member Comments
Member Date
Jan Ackerson 04/28/07
Wow, you packed a lot of story into 750 words! A complete plot arc--not a simple accomplishment.

Unlike the mother-in-law, I found the situation a bit problematic--both the timing of their affection and their actions. But I'm aware that I may be in the minority here.

You did a good job with portraying your protagonist's emotional roller coaster.

Dan Louise Mann04/30/07
I really liked this story. It would be nice if our computer spell checker would find all our little errors, wouldn't it? For instance, why doesn't it find all the quote marks that don't have a their twin. :o) (Didn't detract from your fine story, just made it a little harder to read in places.)

I was confused at the end when you introduced her mother, and then the brother-in-law mentions HIS mother gives her approval. So I'm not sure if BOTH mothers gave their nod of approval, or if Julia is so close to her mother-in-law that she thinks of her as, and calls her, "mother."

Those things aside, I liked the story, and the way the story developed and the characters are believable. Kudos to you!

Rita Garcia04/30/07
Lots of detail packed into "750" words! I like your title, "Two of the Same Heart."