Ahoy Fellow Fathomers! This week our group writes to the word prompt, "nail". Would Marty ever change his mind? From Steal My Heart, book 4 WIP from The Fantasy League series.
“Good Lord, young lady, you sure make me feel my age.”
“Yeah, old man, whatever, mid-life crisis years are still well ahead of you. Today is attributed to couch-itis.”
The fifteen mile bike ride through an expansive nature preserve winded both of them. However, Sharlyn would never admit the truth. No breeze, the bright green leaves still in the heating, humid air, the day proved to be another hot one. “C’mon big brother, I’ll buy you an ice cream.”
Suddenly, it occurred to Marty he hadn’t had ice cream, since, well, the last time with Lola. “Ice cream?”
“Yes, you know, the frozen sweet stuff that adds pounds to your gut.”
Recalling their goodbye, when she rejected him, she wouldn’t leave with him. She didn’t want a relationship. They were better suited as friends, blah blah blah. Trite replayed scenes flickered in my mind, as if veiled from a strobe light. Betraying tears fell from Lola’s gentle face, just missing the inside edge of her bowl, almost giving an alternative meaning to salted caramel gelato. How did I miss the analogy then?
All I wanted was her teasing smile, the mischievous giggle, anything telling me she wanted me too. Even a chance, just a small one, an agreement testing the waters of our resilience. Dogged determination to find us the way she scraped out the empty, sticky bowl, looking for more, yet invisible ice cream.
She said no because she knew everything would be exposed. I’d find out about Sharlyn, her vile past, the ugly truth. Was she really thinking of me? Knowing how much hurt and anger would be contained in our shared house? The resulting separation of everything- books, silverware, my heart from my chest.
Sharlyn sat quietly, watching me- for how long, I don’t know. I finally met her eyes, she pretended to inspect a broken nail. “What’s so heavy? I didn’t mean you’re getting fat or anything.”
“Silly girl, I know.” Aside from physically shaking my body like a wet dog, I had no idea how to lose these feelings Lola continued invoking from deep inside me.
“I know a great frozen yogurt place, that stuff’s almost like eating nothing, or kale. Not quite the empty calories of water or something, but you get my drift.”
“Lead the way.” I wheeled my bike toward her Jeep.
“I know girl trouble, I have radar for split tail problems.”
I couldn’t lie to Sharlyn, she knew the truth, even if she didn’t know the details. “Memories- ice cream brought back certain memories.”
“I could apologize for bringing it up, but, why? You know, I could say something as innocuous as, oh…yellow mustard, creating a tsunami of heart break. Our experiences and memories are so private, and sometimes oh so very weird.”
“I one hundred percent agree.” Our entire exchange proved genetics ruled not only physical attributes, but personality as well. Lola shone through her daughter more clearly than a star on a perfect night. My aching heart received a reprieve because of charming affection. I welcomed the happiness. “By the way, do you have an affinity for yellow mustard?”
“But, of course! What else would you put on a sandwich?”
Damn, there was her momma all over again.
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