Previous Challenge Entry (Level 3 - Advanced)
Topic: Start (01/16/06)
TITLE: Stranded on Sycamore Avenue
By Sally Hanan
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Racing downstairs faster than the devil on horseback, the line of squares was out of his hand before it managed to embrace his lips.
“S’mine.” He bravely reached out to grab it back, but Ginger’s nails were like a vice. His speech faltered and withered as Ginger stared him out of his burst of courage. He hung his unbrushed head, his eyes sadly stuck on his empty fingers.
Victory rose up in Ginger’s chest. Waves of power and the odor of chocolate had made her hungry. She moved toward the pantry, only to discover a tray on the counter, inlaid with a pink rectangle of satin, set for one. Her best china was on it - filled with hot waffles, strawberries, syrup, a steaming cup of coffee, and a fresh posy of flowers from the garden. One small plate remained … a plate that would have been just big enough for the line of chocolate squares she held in her hand.
“Happy Valentine’s Day honey.” Greg kissed her gently on the forehead and went to get his jacket. “I think I’ll go out for a while, if that’s okay with you.” The door shut quietly behind him.
Silently, Ginger sat down and began to eat. Each bite stuck in her throat. Even the coffee wouldn’t push it down.
Greg saw her coming as he turned the corner. A smile made the left side of his lips curl up, but he hid it quickly. Pretending he hadn’t seen her, he kept walking, speeding up a fraction to make her either run or call his name.
She walked. Some would have classified it as a run, but not Ginger. A few minutes later she was beside him. He could smell her perfume – his favorite one. He said nothing.
“Thank-you for my breakfast. It was very sweet of you.” He grunted.
“I, er, I really appreciated it.” Her puzzled face tilted so she could look into his. He was enjoying this, but made sure he still looked disconsolate. Her pace quickened.
“The chocolate was a lovely finish to it all.”
He stopped. She stopped. “And?”
“And?” her voice echoed.
“Was there anything else you needed to say?”
“Um, well,” she hesitated, “no, I don’t think so.”
Well, if you’re done then, if it’s okay with you, I’ll keep on walking for a while. I have some things I need to think about.” He stuck his hands in his denim pockets and walked off, carrying a delightful mental image of Ginger’s open mouth stranded on the curb of Sycamore Avenue.
A minute passed.
“Sorry.” Her voice drifted down the street like a dreamy haze. He turned his feet around in time to see a smirk on her face as her smug body walked toward him.
“I did it!” she exulted. Her arms snaked themselves around his maturing waistline as his arms did the same around hers. “I’d never have believed that marriage weekend would help us. I thought that pastor was crazy telling me that saying sorry to you each time would be like creating a new start for us. He was right!”
Greg pulled his head back a bit. “I didn’t quite catch it though, you were so far away. What was it you said again?” Something like a growl came from her throat, but she pushed him away playfully.
“You’re lucky you got that much.”
Yes I am Lord. Thank-you.
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