Funny thing happened on the way to the wedding…Part 2

Abby decided to stay awhile, ordering as many drinks as her body could tolerate, or rather to numb every sense that was hurting. She really didn’t want to let him go, but she also didn’t want to be the one responsible for someone else’s pain.

With each drink, Abby tried to piece together a picture of what she thought Agustin’s fiancée looked like. Maybe she’s a beautiful, modelesque woman with long flowing hair and a Stepford wife personality. Then again, maybe she was an out-of-shape, hunch-backed troll with warts and hairs growing out of a mole on her nose. Abby giggled to herself.

“Hello, is this seat taken?”

Abby looked up to see a very handsome blonde-haired man stand before her with a gleaming smile. She perked up thinking that maybe her luck was about to change. “No, no one’s sitting there.”

“Thanks!” The handsome man took the chair and rejoined his group of friends who seemed to be celebrating something or another.

Abby sulked. Head low. Heart lower.

“I guarantee you that whatever it is, really isn’t as bad as you think.”

The man’s accent was thick. Between that and the effects of the alcohol, Abby’s mind was starting to swoon. She really didn’t want to entertain conversation – mostly because she didn’t want to make the same mistake twice. “Yeah, well, you don’t know so why don’t you buzz off.”

“I could, but you look like you need a friend.”

Abby looked up at the man – hard. “And I guess you’re trying to be my friend, right?”

“Alright, alright. Maybe not a friend per se. Maybe I could be a listening ear.”

Abby really did want someone to talk to. She need to be comforted, but a part of her felt like she was being desperate about confiding in a stranger.

“How about we start with names.” He smiled trying to encourage Abby to do the same. “I’m Khalil. And you are…?”

“Abby.”

“What is troubling you Abby?”

“You just want to jump right in. Let me ask you this. If I tell you all about me, what benefit is it to you?”

Khalil sat back in his chair considering her question. “Is it so wrong for a person to want to help another?”

“No, but most men have some type of agenda when they see a woman who’s down.”

“Sorry you think that way. I am not most men. I want to help you, if I can.”

Abby leaned back. Her brain was still swimming, fighting against inebriation to determine whether to take a chance or not.  He was decent looking.  Tan skinned with coal-black hair and a friendly smile.  But most of all he was being nice at a time when it seemed that she was falling apart.  After studying him, she gave in.  She hoped it wasn’t another mistake.

Abby gave the highlights of her day with Khalil listening attentively. There was something about his eyes that made her feel comfortable.  As the conversation continued, Khalil’s eyes danced in a way like a snake charmer putting his prey in a trance. Before Abby realized it, they were leaving the restaurant and heading back to his place.

When all was said and done, Abby had slept with Khalil. She felt ashamed, embarrassed, and like an easy whore. While Khalil was still sleep, Abby eased out of bed, grabbed her clothes, and cried all the way home. She couldn’t believe she’d stooped to this level. Was the hurt from Agustin that bad that she had to resort to this?

Abby didn’t know what to do with herself. She didn’t have girlfriends to confide in or at least a relative that she felt wouldn’t judge her. She wanted to turn herself inside out and wash away all the bad things that had happened today. But all she could do was pace….rummage through uncomfortable feelings….rack her brain through questions that didn’t seem to have answers.

Ding, dong.

Abby stood still. She prayed that Khalil had not followed her.

“Abby open up. It’s me.”

“Agustin?” Abby hurried to open the door.   “What are you doing here?”

Agustin hastily entered the apartment, taking Abby’s face into his hands. He began kissing her. Abby pushed him away.

“Aren’t you supposed to be getting married?”

Agustin slowly held up his left hand.  Without making direct eye contact, “I am married.”

Abby moved further away from him wiping away his kiss with the back of her hand. “Married?! Shouldn’t you be with your wife then? Why would you come here?”

“Abby, I love you. I don’t really know why I went through with the wedding, but I know my life is with you.”

“Get out!”

“But Abby can’t we talk about it?”

Abby started a push-punch combination on Agustin, “GET OUT!”

He left. Abby slunk on the couch.  Her emotions were numb, but her mind was in disbelief.  She quickly scanned the room to see if maybe she was being punked.

Writing and Love, it’s About Control

melanievlogan:

Truer words have never been spoken, Millie.  Many writers, and I do this as well sometimes, attempt to control the character because we have a set agenda on where the story should go.  But like reality, situations and lives can move in directions that we never expect.

Originally posted on Millie Ho:

Writing Control I captured this during university in London. Now I realize what was missing.

I was speaking with a friend recently about why people, particularly creative types, become unable to create something they know they’re perfectly capable of creating. I think it’s because when people create something, they’re putting a part of themselves out there, and because the work is an extension of themselves, they often get too invested in it.

In short, we care too much.

I used to think writing perfectionism was all about quality control, but control can really only come from a place of love.

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Funny thing happened on the way to the wedding…

It’s Saturday morning. The sky is blue, birds are chirping, and everything in the world seems right. As I roll over in the bed there’s an empty spot. Loneliness sets in. Doesn’t seem like that long ago that he was here.

Abby stewed in her funk until she couldn’t take the depressing road it was leading her down. She rose from bed, trying to figure out something positive to do with herself today – and to help drive out the thoughts of him.

After putting on her workout assemble, Abby headed out of the apartment and began jogging through the neighborhood. As each foot pounded the pavement, it seemed to echo her heartbeat which only intensified because her head was still on him – Agustin. She used to think that name was funny, but in the throes of passion it was rhythmic and romantic to the ears.

Abby shook her head to try to rid herself of the reminders of the great sex they had. But it really didn’t matter because the path she was traveling contained many memories of the love they once shared. There was the park where they’d picnic and listen to the live concerts. The bakery where they’d get up early on the weekends to have coffee and bagels. And the bridge where…

She didn’t want to think about it. It was her mistake to let him slip through her fingers. She sat on a grass-laden knoll looking out to the bridge. Inside her soul was filled with guilt, anger, and regret.  She loved Agustin and she knew without a doubt that he loved her, but they were too young for the type of commitment he wanted.   But time’s past. She felt more mature, experienced even, aware of what she really wanted in life, but would he still want her?

Abby hurriedly grabbed her phone from the fanny pack and dialed a number that she prayed was still in service.

“Hello?!”

“Hhhii. Agustin?”

“Abby! It’s great to hear from you. How have you been?”

“I’ve been doing well. Hope you have been too.”

“Well, um, yeah I’ve been doing well too.  Finally moved up in the company, heading projects and all.”

“That’s great! Congratulations.”

“Thanks. So what have you been up to these days?”

“Still working and volunteering. Almost finished with the master’s. One semester left.”

“I’m happy for you Abby, but I’m a little caught off guard for why you called. Don’t get me wrong, I’m glad you did, but…”

“I was thinking about you this morning and, well, I was hoping we could, I don’t know, meet for a drink and talk?” Abby hoped she didn’t sound as awkward as she felt.

“Um, sure. How about that little restaurant on Sycamore in a half hour?”

Abby was surprised that he wanted to meet so quickly, but she took it as a good sign. “Ok. Make it about forty-five.“

Abby hurried home and scrambled around in her closet for something to wear. She didn’t want to look too sexy for fear of being obvious and desperate, but she didn’t want to be too casual or plain Jane either. She opted for a simple olive summer dress. It was one of Agustin’s favorites. Abby put the finishing touches on her hair and make-up and heading out the door.

***

Abby arrived to the restaurant early and grabbed a table close enough to the entrance where she could see Agustin come in, but still intimate enough where they could have some privacy. When he did show up, Abby’s mouth dropped. He was dressed in a black tuxedo complete with pink boutonniere and baby’s breath. Abby knew he hated dressing up, so there had to be something significant for him to be dressed this way.

“Wow Agustin! I didn’t know that this was such a special occasion,” she tried to joke to break the ice.

“Hey, why not have drinks and appetizers in style.” The two shared a giggle as he sat down.

Then there was silence. Abby’s curiosity was killing her about why he was dressed up, and Agustin was wondering how he could break the news. Almost simultaneously they began to speak, but it was Agustin’s voice that won out.

“Abby I’m getting married today. In fact, in a couple of hours.” Agustin’s face looked pained at having to tell her, but how could he continue to hide it considering his attire.

At the other end of the table, Abby looked shocked, hurt, and then near tears. She tried to recover quickly, “Oh, well congratulations!” After a moment of silence, “So why did you agree to meet me?”

“Abby, I’ve thought about you a lot over the last couple years and thought maybe we’d get back together, but you were pretty adamant about getting through school and a career. And if you remember, I did propose that day on the bridge. You turned me down.”

Abby felt the stab of guilt to her heart. She turned her eyes away from him because she knew he was right. “I’m sorry about that. I just….wasn’t ready.” She turned back to look at him directly.

“And I’m assuming, now you are and you thought that somehow we’d get back together and live happily ever after.”

“I didn’t really know what would happen, but I at least hoped for a chance.” The sound of disappointment and heartbreak resonated in her voice. She held her head down trying to fight away the tears that were trying to break through.

Agustin wasn’t sure what to say. Since he’d seen her he felt confused. He knew he loved the woman he planned to marry, but he couldn’t ignore that he was still in love with Abby too.

Abby finally found strength and raised her head with confidence. “Agustin, you found the woman who you’re really supposed to be with. I’m happy for you. I admit that it hurts knowing that we’ll never be together, but maybe it’s all for the best.”

He felt the resemblance of the heartbreak like years before at the bridge. “Maybe you’re right.” He stood and stared at her as if taking a picture to hold forever in his heart. Then he turned to walk away.

Abby sat. There was numbness at first. Then a myriad of emotions ran through her body. Finally one settled – heartache. The flood gates opened and she cried.

The Everyday Writer: Teach Yourself

melanievlogan:

Reading this post helped to further drill a point in my mind – be true to yourself and your writing.  It is good to read and admire the works of others.  And it is good to take note and tips from it, but in the end it is their works and creativity.  We shouldn’t be afraid to share our own thoughts and style even if it’s different from the norm.

 

Originally posted on The Robot Drummer:

One more Stephen King quote: “You learn best by reading a lot and writing a lot, and the most valuable lessons of all are the ones you teach yourself.”

photo: NY Times photo: NY Times

This piece of non-advice or meta-advice is one of my favorites.

I love learning from other writers. And I enjoy sharing a little bit of what I’ve learned too. But I think, ultimately, everyone has to find their own way.

I’ve read books and thought, “Ah I see how you did that! I’m gonna do that too.”

And then, once I’m trying to copy another writer’s style of follow their advice, “Well, that’s not working out so well for me, but I think I can tweak it a little.”

Even in a genre that seems so limited, e.g. The Novel, there seems to be infinite ways to do it. Enough ways in fact that about 62,000 novels (and short story…

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Eyes Wide Shut: The Plight of Everyday People

melanievlogan:

I’m reblogging this post because the thoughts and feelings are the same, but there’s something I’d like to add. Our world has been in such chaos in recent years. Sure there have been good times and positive things occurring, but what seems to be fueled in the news and media are issues about hate, violence, and other negative things.

I’m not ashamed to same that I am a Christian and that I do believe that love can cover a multitude of things. To see progress, the first part is in the changing of our hearts and attitudes for the better and looking for positive productive outcomes to remedy social and personal ills.  We may not see a huge change overnight, but we can see change.  I will continue to pray for this world and everyone in it and I hope that you will too.

Originally posted on Musings by Melanie V. Logan:

Image: Clker Image: Clker

The world today encourages us to be independent, open-minded, and look for wealth or exposure as a way to happiness.   Along the way, we’ve stopping loving or caring about our fellowman. In fact, we often don’t take the time to get to know our neighbor let alone our fellow man.

Our world has grown quick to hurl judgements and criticisms rather than a helping hand or just a listening, understanding ear.  Sometimes it feels like there is little regard for humanity anymore.  Stereotypes seem to be the new rule with dire consequences.  Reading or viewing the news shows us that.

What I feel we fail to realize is that everyone on this earth is a human being – needs air to breath, food and water to eat/drink, and has blood coursing through veins.  But somehow we get caught up in the things that create division  like race, gender…

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Justine: When Family Doesn’t Understand Your Writing Life

melanievlogan:

I can totally relate to this post.  Well, not entirely, but definitely when it comes to loved ones understanding the drive and amount of time to write.

I recall one occasion where my husband and I were supposed go out for dinner.  I asked for 30-45 minutes to finish up.  After a couple hours, I was still working.  Hubby was not only hungry enough to each a bear, but highly ticked off at me. because I was still sitting in front of my laptop with hair looking like a bird’s nest.

I was in the flow of my characters and the storyline and didn’t want to stop for fear that I’d lose my groove.  After a brief heated exchange, he ordered a pizza for us, and agreed to go into another room to allow me to continue writing.  Unfortunately, I had lost my zeal and had to put it down anyway. :-(

Originally posted on Eight Ladies Writing:

eight ladies writing, justine covington, family work balance, writer's lifeLast Friday, while packing up the kids, dog, and husband for a weekend getaway, I phoned my mom and dad to see how they were doing on their trip to my sister’s house. What started as an innocuous conversation turned out to be a near hang-up on my part. And it started with a simple question my mom asked:

“So when are you going to finish this book?”

That was not the time to ask me about the book. I’d just come back from ten amazing days in England and was still jet-lagged, yet was so inspired and ready to do war with the problems I’d been facing in my story (and had been ignoring for no other reason than a sense of apathy that I’d never be able to solve them). However, on my return, I was absolutely barraged by normal family demands, which resulted in almost zero time…

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Mental Infidelity – Does it Really Exist???

Originally posted on Musings by Melanie V. Logan:

Photo: DNA PlusPhoto: DNA Plus

When one thinks about infidelity, often the first thought is something sexual, occurring between two people with one or both being in a relationship with someone else.  There are scars that may come from this – feelings of betrayal, distrust, hurt, and a plethora more depending on the person.  The result of these affairs can split relationships, marriages, families, and even cause a ripple in the bonds with friends, co-workers, and others who once held a high esteem for the individual involved.

Emotional infidelity isn’t far behind.  While there may not be physical contact, there is a deeper bond created by sharing thoughts and feelings with another instead of sharing with the spouse or mate.  When the cat’s out of the bag, there may be similar feelings of betrayal, hurt, and distrust.  Some may try to work through those things to better the relationship with their mate/spouse. …

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