He sat on a stool in the center of the smoky stage, soft lights focused on his face, his hands, his guitar. The sleeves of his worn plaid shirt were rolled up, revealing his tanned forearms, strong hands with calloused fingers gently strumming a beautiful melody. His chestnut hair was longer now, falling in soft layers that framed his face, then curling into waves at the nape. His eyes were closed, fringed with long, dark lashes. Rough stubble darkened his face, giving him a disheveled, sexy appeal. As he sang, his lips formed that familiar heart shape when they pursed together, and unleashed a deep croon when they came apart. The effect was altogether sensual.
I sat motionless on my bar stool, not daring to move – not wanting to leave this moment. He sang for me. In his deep whiskey siren song, I heard the pleas of his heart and the promises from his soul. I succumbed to the overwhelming emotions coursing through me and tasted the salty relief that slid down my cheeks. As he asked, my heart had listened and his song had moved me to tears. For so long I had questioned his intentions and his motivations. Life had beaten him down, broken his spirit. I wondered if the past would always haunt him. While he wandered and chased his dream, I hoped that he would realize his dream was waiting for him to come home.
That night my cowboy sang his song for me. His words touched my soul. And I finally saw forever in his eyes.
The Cowboy Series
Whiskey Siren Song The Return My Forever Man Midnight Cowboy Cowboy’s Delight Reunion Listen With Your Heart
She arrived fashionably late and charmingly tipsy, trailing bubbles of laughter like a champagne bottle that had popped its cork.
We deny our feelings as if we could avoid the pain of loss and the misery of a broken heart simply by our silent assent.
I walked into the smoky room and scanned the crowd, settling my sight on a figure standing at the bar. His snug denim jeans and worn plaid shirt only highlighted his muscular, athletic frame underneath. If I didn’t know him I might have mistaken him for a player on the local minor league baseball team. But this man’s talents were in the deep whiskey croon of his voice and the sweet melodies that sprang from his guitar. Walking up behind him, I snaked my arm around his thick waist and pressed my head against his back.
He turned and pulled me into his arms, tipping my head up and stealing a kiss. “Hello darlin’. You’re just in time.” A bright spotlight lit the stage and the host walked out to warm the crowd up. He bent his head down, kissing me again. “Sit here, it’s the best view in the house.” He nodded to the bartender. “Brian, take care of my girl.” I watched him walk backstage and sighed. He had a new song tonight – I’d not yet heard it – and my stomach fluttered in anticipation. He would only say it was a love song and I should listen with my heart. Soon I heard his name being called out and, as he walked on stage, a smile crossed my lips. My heart was listening.
Thanks to Rochelle Wisoff-Fields for hosting Friday Fictioneers.
PHOTO PROMPT © Roger Bulltot
“Mama, that doesn’t look like happy ever after.”
Ella’s deflated voice was another bitter reminder of our disastrous vacation. My precocious daughter had been so excited to see a real castle. I should have known better. How could a six-year old see past her Disney-colored glasses at the beauty of this twelfth century wonder? I looked up in awe and imagined an idyllic Camelot, my own unachievable idea of happily ever after.
Time for a change.
I knelt next to her and pressed my hand to her heart. “Sweetie, happily ever after isn’t in a castle. It’s in here.”
His suitcase lay on the bed, clothes thrown in haphazardly. I sat perched on the edge of the mattress, fidgeting with the pillows. Hugging his to my chest, I softly inhaled and savored his soapy smell. I peered up at him and memorized his face so I could pull it from my mind later, when I was alone and sad and looking for comfort.
Bright cornflower blue eyes with soft lines at the corners that crinkled when he smiled. Plump, pink lips that easily curved into the shape of a heart. Chestnut brown hair, short and spiky on top and curling into longer waves at the nape. I closed my eyes and imagined that face hovering near mine, hearing his deep, whiskey voice whisper my name just before his lips claimed mine. A single tear slid down my cheek and I quickly brushed it away before he noticed.
Finally, bags packed, it was time to say good-bye. “I’ll always love you.” I said. He only nodded and my heart broke into a million pieces all over again.
A poem doesn’t have to rhyme
To take your breath away
It doesn’t have to be complete
To break your heart
Omit a line, misspell a word
You can still touch a soul
It’s a secret I keep, nobody knows, but he still inhabits a tiny corner of my heart.
Tears laced with betrayal leaked from my eyes
My shattered heart oozed crimson regret
My soul was consumed with fiery flames of jealous rage
The broken bonds of love lay scattered in the ruins.
I climbed onto the ferry boat in the early morning hours, before the sun had a chance to peek through the clouds hanging low on the eastern horizon. I felt the ship lurch beneath my feet. The boat felt as unsteady as my nerves. I was leaving him for good this time. I’d been here before, heart shattered and faith destroyed. It was the last time I would let him make me feel this way. I let the cool ocean breeze wash over me as I left my broken life behind me. Beams of sunlight finally broke through the clouds and warmed my face, signaling a bright new beginning.
His toothbrush is still sitting in the cup next to mine. It’s the last thing, the only thing I have left of him. It’s a silly thing to hold onto, a piece of plastic. Still I can’t bear to throw it away. It gives me a strange sort of comfort seeing it sitting next to mine in the cup on the vanity in the bathroom we used to share.
Bury my heart in a shallow grave.
Water the flowers with my tears.
My soul at rest, I no longer crave
The promise of our eternal years.
Thanks to Rochelle Wisoff-Fields for hosting Friday Fictioneers.
PHOTO PROMPT © J Hardy Carroll
Her backpack and duffel bag sat at her feet as she slouched in the seat. She had been staring at the pay phone for hours.
She had gone through every emotion – anger, frustration, fear, hurt, rage, and confusion, now back to fear.
She stood and quickly closed the distance between her and the phone.
“I’d like to make a collect call.”
She waited what seemed an eternity to hear the familiar voice answer.
“Mom?” Her frightened voice was a whisper.
“Lindsay, I’ve been worried sick. Are you okay?”
“I’m at the bus station. Will you come get me?”
I kept my love for you hidden.
Silently I watched you.
Secretly I ached for you.
Alone I still wait.
The latch on the garden gate is rusted shut. Years of neglect seen in the overgrown plants and tangled vines. A fountain in the center of the garden, once bubbling with life, is now eerily still in the stale autumn air.
lollipop dreams danced in her memory
visions once so vivid now forgotten
a faraway twinkle in her eyes
every now and again when she smiled
the only reminder of days long ago
made of fairy tales and shooting stars
“I’m home.” I hear his voice and excitedly drop the pot I was washing back into the sudsy water. I turn the corner from the kitchen into the living room and my heart skips a beat. He’s been gone for six months and seeing him now – cornflower blue eyes, spiky hair, heart-shaped lips – I realize how much I’ve missed him. He drops his guitar and duffel bag on the floor and shrugs off his jacket. I run to him and bury my face in his neck, savoring the smell of soap and sweat. Our bodies fuse together as if they’re tailor made for each other. For months I’ve been bumbling along, stringing hours into days and days into weeks.
He kisses the top of my head and I sigh into his chest. I’m whole again.
I sat curled up on the shower floor –
The darkness broken only by the faint light
From a crack in the door –
Until the warm water turned from cool to cold.
There were still pieces of sadness and shame
Clinging to my skin as I reluctantly stood and
Turned the faucet off, my body dripping regret,
And grabbed a towel.
I think I would rather be alone.
Alone is painful.
Alone is empty.
Alone is hollow and desolate and endless.
But not alone and hiding who you are is exhausting.
And not alone and pitied by those who know is shameful and humiliating.
Yes ~ I think I would rather be alone.
My old friend you’re back.
In such an unwelcome way.
Taken up residence once again
In my heart and in my head.
My casual smile belies the bitter anger
Rising in my blood.
I had come so far.
But we all have our limits.
Invisible tethers designed to keep us
From straying too far from our destiny.
And that’s all it is after all ~ destiny.