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Previous Challenge Entry (Level 3 – Advanced)
Topic: Ohhh…. (02/04/10)

TITLE: Beat of My Heart
By Robyn Burke


It wasn’t the worse fight they had ever had, but it was certainly the most pointless. Bailey pulled her thin sweater closer to her body as she strode with defiant purpose. The street of her little town was quiet, typical of a weeknight. She walked on, unsure of her destination, only knowing that the house behind her wasn’t big enough for the two of them tonight.

Cy pushed his chair back from the table, groaning. The discussion with Bailey had been heated and he cringed that he had allowed it to go this far. They were enduring an unusually stressful time right now. No work, no money, things he felt responsible for as the man of the house. Fighting with his wife only added to the strain. Why was he so quick to rise to his defenses over inane things? Because they were inane, he just as quickly reasoned. Without trying to place blame on Bailey, he worried over her rapid ability to take things personally when he was only stating facts.

Bailey stood in the streetlight contemplating her choices. A walk around the block would allow her plenty of time to cool off and clear her head. She hated when her temper got the best of her. She didn’t blame Cy for being frustrated with her but how did he remain so calm and unemotional over things that obviously stirred her passions?

Stacking dishes in the sink, he thought of the paperwork waiting for him in his office. He would rather find Bailey and make up. He pictured the two of them snuggled on the couch, feeling the beat of her heart in time with his. But he had to finish this bid if he had any hope of snagging a job. He glanced into the living room as he walked by, fully expecting to see Bailey curled up in her chair. Surprised to find the living room empty, he sighed. She must have gone upstairs to her craft room, which meant, with any luck, she would work her anger off with some creativity. He locked up the front door, turned off the living room light, and preceded down the hall to his office.

Thirty minutes in the cold night air was enough for Bailey. Feeling calmer and a little foolish, she rounded the final corner that brought her back to her home block. Walking and praying had done wonders and she took a deep breath as she neared their home. The porch light was on, shining like a welcoming beacon. She jogged up the driveway, eager now to find Cy and put this squabble behind them. She pictured them lying in bed, fingers entwined, hearts beating as one.

She reached the top of the porch and twisted the doorknob, words of endearment on her lips. A solid obstacle stunned her. The door was locked! “What --?” As quickly as her anger had cooled, it returned. That he had locked her out the house sent her reeling. She knew she had acted childish and rude and was willing to admit she had gone too far. But for Cy to lock her out of the house was so uncalled for she couldn’t even begin to understand it!

With a seething fury, she kicked the door and pounded against the frame. “You jerk!” she screamed as she felt her frustration mounting. Just as quickly, she felt shame for losing it once again. She turned and ran down the steps even as she heard rumbling from inside.

The door open and Cy’s confused voice called out. “Bailey?”

His voice, wrapped in love, even as bewilderment pitched his tone higher than normal, brought her to a halt. Before she knew it, he was beside her, arms reaching to her. She crumbled at his touch and dissolved into his arms, sobbing.

"I'm sorry, Cy, I’m so sorry!”

“Aw, sweetheart, me too!”

“I was horrible, but why did you do that? Why did you lock me out of the house?”

Cy drew back, eyes wide. “I didn’t do it on purpose! I thought you had gone upstairs!”


As the truth registered, Bailey shook her head and even in the midst of tears, began to giggle. Seeing the warmth in his eyes and the hint of smile at his lips, she snuggled her head against his chest. Fingers entwined, she listened to the beat of his heart.

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This article has been read 396 times
Member Comments
Member Date
Anita van der Elst02/11/10
Excellently presented. I like how you went back & forth between Bailey & Cy, letting us see them as they processed; it was totally realistic. I was very satisfied with the ending too. Great job!
Marita Vandertogt02/12/10
I agree...excellent writing. I like the natural lead up to her "ohhh" moment and then resolution. Kudos.
Michelle Knoll 02/15/10
Nicely done. Very nicely done. And so real. Wow. I could picture this so vividly as I read it, as if I was right there. Loved the ending too!
Sharon Kane02/16/10
The best description of a marital row I've ever read. So, so typical. I'm glad you brought them to reconciliation at the end.
Brenda Shipman 02/16/10
Ohh...the highs and lows of married life! Very realistic depiction of a "squabble".
Sarah Elisabeth 02/18/10
Hey Robyn, congrats on placing 12th in the Level 3 with this entry! There are so many talented writers here, so great job! If you haven't already, be sure to check out the Highest Rankings on the boards:

Robyn Burke02/18/10
Thank you everyone for your feedback! It is so awesome to have a place to share our creative talents isn't it?

I had to really stretch to write this since I have never had a squabble with my husband...NOT! ;)