I know, I’m an awful tease…
March 15, 2005 § 1 Comment
Ok, so I already posted those two meager chapters of my attempt at a fan-fic. I’m still kinda stuck there, but I appreciated the input.
Here I have a story that I have been working on even longer (and as such, it IS longer.)
My basic idea is to create a novel (or novella) that I wish to publish eventually. It’s Christian in nature, just FYI, but I would appreciate any comments or suggestions. It started as a short story, and as such, probably should have stopped there, but I have been adding to it, and re-tooling it.
Here is Part, the First. 🙂
Tell me what you think! Thanks!
“To honor and obey… honor and obey…”
The remembered words echoed in her head, reverberating loudly until a migraine seemed most imminent.
But what if I can’t? Anna’s mind cried out. Can’t… can’t… won’t.
Silently, she sat in the midst of the crowded noisy restaurant that hosted her rehearsal dinner. It hadn’t been noisy and crowded when she’d made the reservations, of course, but it seemed that tonight was a good night to celebrate and everyone in town wanted to celebrate here.
Incoherent singing drifted through the dining room, punctuated every now and then by the braying laughter of a man’s voice. She couldn’t tell who was louder, her own exuberant melee or the drunken birthday brawl in the next room. Each seemed to be competing for the Loudest Most Obnoxious Party Award and as far as Anna could tell, they were neck and neck.
A waiter entered from the kitchen and tripped on the carpet, sending his large tray of dishes flying. Anna flinched and shuddered as plates and glasses crashed to the floor and the sound of breaking glass tinkled through the air. A great cheer went up among the patrons and there was scattered applause. Anna’s eardrums began to vibrate.
“Are you ok?”
Anna blinked, uncomprehending, at her fiancé, Robert.
“Hmm? Oh, yeah… yes, I’m fine.” She took a breath and exhaled sharply, digging up a reassuring smile. “ Yes, I’m just a little over-stressed, I guess, with all the excitement and everything.”
“Do you want me to take you home?” he offered, rising slightly from his seat.
Anna closed her eyes and shook her head slightly, more to clear her thoughts than as a response to his query.
“ Um… yes, home sounds real good about now; it’s hot in here…”
Robert’s green eyes darkened with concern. “We can go, I’ll get our coats.”
“No!” Conversation faltered around her and Anna realized she’d spoken more sharply than she’d intended. Embarrassed, she smiled apologetically.
“No, that’s ok, I just need a breath of fresh air. I think I want to walk home-by myself, if you don’t mind. It’s only a few blocks. Besides, I think you may have plans.” She nodded toward Robert’s best friend Sam, who winked at them mischievously.
Her manner and tone gave evidence of her resolve and Robert knew it would be useless to argue.
“O.K.; if you’re sure you’re alright…”
She nodded curtly but managed a small smile as she quickly rose. She didn’t think she could stand another minute in this hot, over-crowded building. Somehow, she managed to endure the overzealous embraces and kisses and deluge of words and well wishes from her remaining friends and family as she bravely excused herself; must get some sleep before the big day, you know; and yes, it has been a lovely time; and no, I can hardly wait for tomorrow.
Very relieved she was indeed that her own bridal get together had occurred the night before. Anna didn’t think that even Ricky’s company would be welcome to her tonight; Ricky, who had been her dearest friend and closest companion since middle school…
“It’ll be ok, go home and relax,” she had whispered as she hugged Anna and kissed her on the cheek. “I love you. Get some sleep; I’m praying for you.”
Ricky always knew.
Robert guided her steadily towards the door, but panic began to set in as her head started to throb. The exit appeared to telescope away from her as she found herself surrounded by a never-ending obstacle course of tables, chairs, diners and servers; glasses chinked and plates scraped at Anna’s raw nerves.
Claustrophobia snared her like a scared rabbit, as she became acutely aware of how maddeningly slow Robert was about getting her jacket.
Get on with it already! She stifled a frustrated sigh as he began to help her with her coat. Usually this was just part of his quirky old fashioned charm, like opening doors for her and seating her first; but at this moment, it was quite irksome. Anna wanted OUT of this restaurant NOW and she did NOT wish to be touched!
“Are you sure you’re ok? Let me go with you. Or at least let Ricky go.”
His concern and sincerity managed to calm her frazzled spirit, if ever so briefly. She allowed herself to relax in his strong embrace and fought against tears she didn’t understand.
“What’s wrong? What’s going on? Do you want to go get some coffee?”
Anna had to laugh at Robert’s cure-all suggestion. It seemed a cup of coffee was his answer to every difficulty.
“No, thanks. I think I just need a walk. Alone.”
She silenced his protest with a look.
“Hey,” he smiled gently. “We’re getting married in the morning.”
“Just get me to the church on time.” The edge was dulling on the headache but her eardrums were still throbbing as she looked desperately to the door just a few feet away.
“Alright, alright! Go already. Make some tea, light some candles, run a bubble bath… RELAX! Everything’s going to be fine. I’ll see you tomorrow.”
He pressed his lips to her forehead and watched her walk out into the night.
Slowly, the door hissed shut behind her as Anna drug in a deep lung-full of the brisk October night air.
Free at last, free at last.
Turning toward home, she started down the street. Old-fashioned street lamps lit the sidewalk but her thoughts were far away. Anna really couldn’t have been safer in the idyllic Rockwellian burg that she called home. There was virtually no crime rate, and the last time the police had been out in force was Labor Day when they had led the parade down Main Street.
Tonight would be her last night in her parent’s house. Where had all the time gone? She had taken for granted that she would remain a child forever, and yet, here she was on the eve of her wedding.
A day that shall live in infamy… She smirked dryly.
Up ahead was the two-story farmhouse that she shared with her mother and father. She could clearly picture the kitchen wall that bore the record of her growth… the polished hardwood floors she used to skate on in her socks…
Then there was her bedroom. Her own inner sanctum of peace and tranquility where she realized she had been only too sheltered from the great big world. This was the room that had hosted so many adventures, pillow fights and late night story-telling sessions. She recalled with a wry grin the record six coats of canary yellow it took to cover up the ebony paint she’d slapped on during her “black” phase. Tomorrow, everything would change.
“God!” her soul cried out. “What am I so afraid of? I know I love Robert… I know he loves me… I KNOW You put us together! But…” honor and obey “but…” obey “What if…? How…?”
That simple phrase had been eating away at her brain all day since her pastor had banged through the ceremony at the rehearsal that afternoon. She and Robert had decided to go with the traditional vows because they both agreed that they embodied everything God was asking of each of them in this covenant. She had even felt something akin to superiority over the many women who had opted to drop that particular phrase from their vows. Now she felt something akin to envy.
“Obey, Lord? What if he asks me to do something I can’t,” won’t, don’t want to, “do?”
Sweet, lovable Robert. Anna knew that he’d rather jump off a cliff than ask anything of her that she might find objectionable. But once you made a promise-no, vowed-to obey-any and everything-well, then, you had to… no matter what. No matter what.
Wives, submit to your husbands. The remembered scripture didn’t bring her much peace. She had managed to accept the verse at face value readily enough before she had ever planned to get married; the Lord had caused it to be written therefore it was right, it was true, and as it should be. But now, when faced with the reality of it, why was it so hard?
Anna walked on deliberately, deriving grim pleasure from the steady shuffle-crunch of the crisp brown leaves beneath her feet.
She had not been an easy one to woo in the first place. Anna was well aware of the fact that she could very easily shut people out and that Robert had worked long and hard, if not silently and subtly, to win her affections.
As she opened her front door, she leaned back out over the porch. “Ok, I’m in. You can go back now,” she called.
“Ok. See you tomorrow,” was the sheepish reply.
“Dude, I told you she’d know we were here,”
She listened to the voices fade as the two shadowy figures of Robert and Sam headed back to the restaurant.