a novelist's dabblings

A Smattering of Love Stories

From a girl who truly loves love stories … just an exploration of so many different types tonight. There are so many loves out there … it’s a marvel that any actually work out …

She was Bronwyn, and he was David. Their roles were established, their friendship filled all the expected gaps in their lives. She held to it unquestioningly, and he pretended like he didn’t question every day why it couldn’t be absorbed into an immersing romance.

Lily was a girl of routine. She always took the same route home, always ate dinner at 6:15, and always stopped at the same coffeeshop on Friday afternoons for her week’s indulgence – a fresh cinnamon roll. It didn’t matter that one day he walked into her life and changed everything – that she saw him and suddenly could think of nothing else. There was no possible way that he would ever upset the routine and notice her back.

Wasn’t it funny the way things worked out? How things came back to remind you of what there once was? Jenny and Matt had had their share of romance, but like most high school flings, had parted ways after graduation. Now here they were, twenty years later at a reunion, with their separate stores of life experiences, but remembering just for a few moments what they had once shared together. And as sparks from each lit the eyes of the other, they wondered why it had never lasted …

Frustrating. That’s what Anne was. And yet Oscar had never been so intrigued by a woman in all his life. She could simultaneously make him spitting mad and soul-fascinated. They could have the most ferocious sparring of wits, and she’d come out on top and gloat, and he’d be mad and swear he’d never speak to her again. Or he’d come out on top, and she wouldn’t admit it, and pretend like she was right all along, but with that look in her eye that said she’d get him next time. And maybe each of them did a little dance in their hearts that at least they got to spar with each other – because who else knew them well enough to know exactly which buttons to push?

He had told her he loved her … on that moonlit night with the breeze tousling her hair. And now the greatest fear of all swelled like a beast inside of him, and he couldn’t bear to face it – that that love had completely vanished. It had dried up like a pond in the middle of a sweltering August. And she never suspected a thing … because he had to keep on acting his part despite the hollowness carving a gaping hole inside his chest.

Betsy didn’t love him. She had told Jack that multiple times every time he had told her he loved her. So why was he still persisting? And more to the point, why did she still let him? Why was she not annoyed like she had been in the past? Was it possible to make someone fall in love with you? Was it possible that his beautiful, devoted love was creating inroads of possibility in the façade of her denial? Maybe deep down inside, she truly was connected to him and it only took his careful unlacing of the cords tied so tightly around her heart to make her see it.

She optimistically wore the flower in her hair again, bravely hoping that tonight would be different. It wouldn’t be, but there was no harm in hoping, right? It wasn’t that there was a lack of options. Oh, there were options. Men had approached her on the dance floor, she’d allowed them to give her a whirl, and she always ended up the evening alone – by her own choice. She’d smile graciously at them and talk with interest, and then she’d gently extricate herself and move on. They had not the deep bond of a kindred spirit which she could tell in an instant.

And there was nothing else that she truly wanted in a man. It wasn’t the way he looked or how he complimented her or how he acted the part of the gentleman. It was what he laughed at, what he was passionate about, and how his spirit linked with hers that made all the difference. And she hadn’t quite stumbled upon that yet. But perhaps tonight would be the night it all changed.

“It’s just –” her voice caught as tears rose in her eyes, “I’ve never tried so hard to make someone love me.”

He stared long and deep into her swimming eyes. “Well, clearly, you should stop trying. Because you never needed to. I’ve loved you from the start.”

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