Previous Challenge Entry (Level 3 - Advanced)
Topic: Once in a Blue Moon (01/06/11)
TITLE: A Date With Mark
By Dana McReynolds
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This day of pampering was prompted by a surprise birthday gift from her husband. Mark was always good about remembering special events, but through the years, romance took second place to soccer games, science projects and runny noses. Now empty nesters, there was nothing standing in the way of a night just for them.
Diane still felt a slight twinge of motherly guilt. It seemed to be a package deal with the birth of her children. But four kids and twenty years later, she was embracing the fact that it was acceptable to enjoy herself and her newfound freedom. After her youngest daughter left for college, Diane wandered around like a lost puppy. It was a strange feeling to wake up to an empty house, even somewhat unnerving at first. Mark tried to remind her of all the things she had put off over the years, scrapbooking, sewing, even jogging a 5K.
After a few depressing months, Diane was finding herself at last. Her birthday could not have come at a better time. Mark must have recognized it also. After all, when was the last time he had planned such a special date?
Almost giddy with excitement, Diane waited for Mark to return home from work. She may as well have been seventeen again, waiting in her parent’s foyer for him to pull into the driveway. Diane mulled over the possibilities in her mind. Would there be reservations at a fancy restaurant or maybe even a concert or play? Really it did not matter because a night out with her husband was all she desired.
Mark arrived bearing flowers and a small blue box. Yes, the night was starting off right. As they pulled into a hotel parking lot, Diane was beside herself at thoughts of dinner and a perhaps a luxury suite. Upon entering the lobby, Mark took a turn away from the restaurant and led Diane to a banquet hall instead. A banquet hall that was filled with family and friends gathered for Diane’s first surprise birthday party.
After the initial shock, Diane took a moment to step back and survey the crowd. It seemed that she was surrounded by everyone she knew. No, she wouldn’t get to spend a quiet evening with Mark after all. Instead she would spend the evening being celebrated by the people she loved the most. A rare event indeed.
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