Friday, April 9, 2010

Bodice Ripper in Progress?

I was cleaning up some files from an old flash drive this morning and came across this piece I started writing several years ago.  It smacks of romance novel and I never finished it, but I might.  This is the opening page....thoughts? 

This was the kind of thing he’d always done.  B-- had perfect timing and when she saw his maroon baseball cap and scuffed cowboy boots at the edge of the concourse, she didn’t care that he hadn’t been waiting 20 minutes for the plane to land, what mattered was that he was there.  Just as he’d always been.

His six foot three frame towered above her as he dipped his chin in a welcoming nod.  He didn’t say anything, he knew he didn’t need to.  The touch of his hand at the small of her back spoke a thousand words and closed the gap of the years that had spanned between them.

“I had to check a bag”  “k”

He looked over the heads of the crowd and led them towards baggage claim.  While they waited for her bag, she recalled the day a few years earlier, the summer before the planes hit the twin towers, that he’d met her there at DIA for a drink during a short layover.

He’d once said “Call me when you come through town.”  Not sure he’d really meant it, but he did and when she deplaned, there he’d stood with his hands deep in his pockets, reading the floor.  She knew he didn’t like being around so many people, and yet he’d come this time—fought the crowded parking lots, found his way to the gate and waited.  Her plane had been delayed and now they had less time than they’d planned.  He didn’t seem to mind, pulling out a stool at the bar and ordering her favorite beer as if they’d been here before.  It’d been a year since her father had passed, so unexpectedly.  She’d just been back east visiting her mother for the first time and instinctively he knew it had been a rough one.  As usual, he didn’t speak much, waiting for her to invite conversation.  And she did.  What had he been up to? How was Elizabeth.

His answers were brief.  “Workin’.”  “She’s fine.”

It was enough—just to be there. 

They’d only spoken once or twice since the day she’d entered the church graveyard to see him standing there.  Hat in hand.  Standing by himself, away from the others.  She had not been able to go to him right away so she lifted a hand in a quiet greeting and he nodded.  While the brief service took place, she thought about his presence.  It was nice to see him, but why was he there?  It had been years since they’d spoke, the physical miles between them too many; the emotional miles too tender.  As the service came to an end and the funeral director slowly lowered her father’s ashes into a ground, still hardened against the spring thaw, she felt his arms come around her from behind.  At first surprised, her muscles tightened, and then she was helpless to the desire of her tired body to collapse against him. 

She was home.