Previous Challenge Entry (Level 3 - Advanced)
Topic: Write in the ROMANCE genre (04/19/07)
TITLE: Nothing But The Truth
By Beth Muehlhausen
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A flood of snaky rivulets drowned the car’s windshield while raindrops pounded out a deafening roar on its roof. Prisms of light glittered like gems as they rolled from the top of the windshield to the bottom – the work of a streetlight’s beam reflected in thousands of drops.
Lightening cracked nearby, pulsing a series of eerie lights. Thunder’s bass drum proved it meant business.
“WOOO – that was loud!”
They huddled inside the car while the storm claimed everything outside.
“Hey, it’s cold – here, zip up this sweatshirt,” he shouted over the rain’s drumming. She snuggled into the fleece, and when he smiled, his eyes brightened hers. “There’s no way you’re getting out of the car in THIS! Might as well sit tight and wait it out.”
They’d been to the campus library to study for an exam with a small group of friends and were on their way to their respective homes when the rain began. Although momentarily trapped, they were safe and dry.
“Yeah, for sure – I’m not getting soaked if I don’t have to! Maybe we can drill each other some more for the test …”
He laughed the clear, open-throated laugh that reminded her of soft breezes on summer days when they played together as children. “Nah, we’re all studied out, don’t you think? This will blow over soon. Just hang tight …”
As the two spoke forcibly over the sounds of the storm, their warm breath frosted the cold windowpanes, sealing their privacy.
Dripping diamonds continued to stroke the now-opaque windshield. “You know …” she mused in a barely audible voice, “It’s been really hard this spring … since I know we’ll be graduating … and going our separate ways.”
He studied her profile – the familiar upturned nose, long eyelashes, and curly bangs. Impulsively he reached out, but then stopped before she could see his intention. Despite a lifetime of friendship he’d never held her hand.
Ba-BOOM! Another flash of lightening followed by a thunderous roll jarred her back to reality. She turned her head ever so slightly in his direction.
Their eyes met.
As rain hammered for attention on the roof and the streetlight cast surreal shadows, she leaned his direction and focused her gaze. In return, he raised his left hand to touch her face. Gently, so gently, he held his finger to her lips to keep her from speaking while he studied some soul-spot behind her eyes.
She searched his face. Surely he shared her feelings? He also realized their lives were too enmeshed to separate?
With deliberate initiation he stretched his right arm around her shoulders and drew her close. The wind hooted and howled as it pushed the lightening and thunder into the distance.
His finger left her mouth to outline her face. “I don’t know what to say. I … I only know I don’t want this to end.”
Her hands reached up and clasped his. “So … you know it too?”
The raindrops on the roof slowed like the last kernels of a batch of exploding popcorn. His nose touched hers and both of them closed their eyes.
Their lips met for a brief but tender moment.
She waited, expectantly. He laughed, and something like a soft summer breeze wafted through the stuffy interior of the car, sweeping away everything but the truth.
He spoke a simple statement that would forever forge their futures.
“I love you.”
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