Break-ups and Make-ups

“You broke my heart. How can I trust you?” He had called me the day before and arranged to meet. After a year and a half apart I was surprised to hear from him. Shocked would be a more appropriate word. Now here I was, in his kitchen, the heart of his home. Listening to him ask for a second chance.

“I was wrong. Is that what you want to hear? I was stupid. I’ll say whatever you want to hear.” The look of anguish on his face told me more than his words could ever convey, but my heart still hesitated. He had smashed it into so many pieces it had taken months just to gather them into one pile, never mind putting them together again. Still, when I looked at him I melted.

I never meant for it to happen, but I fell for him. Hard. I tried to keep our relationship light and casual. We had fun, we raised hell, we laughed and we loved. But we always told ourselves we would stay free and clear. And still I fell. I never told him, until it was too late. When he left I was devastated. And he didn’t understand why. Really, I didn’t either.

Now, here he was, asking me for another chance. And I, not wishing to risk heartbreak, only wanted to turn and run. “Please, I’ll do anything if you’ll just give me another chance.” He walked towards me and I felt my pulse quicken in anticipation. My head and my heart were at odds, fighting a silent war he couldn’t possibly understand. He stood before me, mouth drawn, eyes cast down in defeat, waiting for my response. My heart pounded until I thought it would beat out of my chest. I grabbed his shirt, pulled him towards me and kissed him squarely on the mouth. His hands on my hips, pulling my body into his was the only response I needed.


“We’re having a baby?” Henry said it out loud for the fourth time, a bewildered look on his face. Elizabeth calmly smiled up at him from her seat at the table. “Yes honey, we’re having a baby.” She returned to the crossword puzzle she was doing. Henry wondered how she could remain so calm.

He had returned home from work to the smell of pot roast in the oven and half a dozen pregnancy tests spread out on the table, Elizabeth quietly working on her puzzle. 

“Beth, what is all this?” She looked up at him. “They’re pregnancy tests. Six of them. All positive. We’re having a baby.” Then she flashed a brilliant smile.

They had tried to have a baby for more months than he cared to remember. Two rounds of IVF had only wiped out their savings. So they decided to take a break from thinking about children and focus on being a couple. And by some miracle, this had happened.

Henry gently pulled Elizabeth from her chair and wrapped her in his arms, looking down at her adoringly. He spoke, this time not a question but a definitive statement. “We’re having a baby.”

A Long Night

He came up behind me and I felt his warm breath on my neck, his words falling out of his mouth in a slur. “You always thought you were better than me.” His mocking tone was full of contempt that only came out when he drank. Normally sweet and gentle, Paul was harmless until he had a few drinks. Then his insecurities and fears surfaced and he inevitably directed them at me. I stood still, afraid to move or say anything. I never knew what might further agitate him. I had learned the hard way that silence was best.

He circled me, fingers pulling at my french twist until it unraveled and my honey locks spilled against my shoulders. “You and your fancy hair, your fancy dresses, always acting so prim and proper.” He leaned in closer and the sickly sweet smell of bourbon on his breath made my stomach turn. “But we both know the real truth don’t we? We know exactly how far you’d go to get what you want. All the way down to your knees, right baby girl?”  I fought the urge to slap him. His use of humiliation always took me to a dark place and I knew he was pushing me for a reaction so he would have an excuse. I wouldn’t give it to him. I refused to be his punching bag tonight.


I sat on the beach, my toes curled in the warm sand and fingers drawing lazy figure eights while the late March sun broke through the wispy clouds and shone on my face. I took in a deep breath of the salty sea air and smiled at the beginning of spring, my favorite season. In a way, it was a new beginning for everything in my life. Starting over was never easy, especially when it wasn’t your choice. He had left on a rainy January night when the wind howled and the shutters clattered against the house, creating an eerie loneliness that I hadn’t been able to shake. Today was the first day I had ventured out and sought refuge at my safe harbor – the beach. There was something so peaceful about the rhythmic waves surging and ebbing, crashing against the shore without end. A timelessness, a faithfulness that only nature could command.

Crazy Little Thing

It’s funny how life seems to go by so slowly, then you turn and look and see that it’s passed in a blur. One day you’re twenty years old with hopes and dreams and your whole life ahead of you. Idealistic, enthusiastic, inspired. You know exactly what your future holds. Except it doesn’t turn out that way. It twists and turns in ways you never saw coming. Sometimes it’s better than you expected, sometimes not so much. If you persevere, you may find that through it all, though the best of your plans may have been cast aside, you still end up in a better place than you ever imagined. Life is funny that way. It can pass in a blur, but it allows you to freeze frame the important moments, to experience them over and over again in your mind. This is the true magic of life.


Alone again
Body left to its defenses
My soul constructs a wall
Around my heart
Strong and sturdy
Thick and tall
Protecting me
From pain
And misery
And heartbreak
But the wall
Could not prevent
My memories and thoughts
I closed my eyes
And heard the sound
Of his voice
Calling my name

First Date

The expectation is always better than the reality. So, when he asked me on a date I reluctantly accepted, not wanting to ruin the fantasy I had built of him. I had spent an evening watching him, memorizing his gorgeous features, fantasizing. A week later here we were, sitting across the table from one another, his sapphire blue eyes trained on me, lips pursed into a heart shape, his turn to memorize every one of my features. I was intimidated.

His mouth curved upward into that now familiar grin, forming apple cheeks, and I was mesmerized by the lush red lips and the thought of how they would feel on mine. His lips seemed to dance when he spoke, his deep bass drawl sending fire coursing through me. His words didn’t matter as much as how his voice made me feel; tingly, breathless, alive. I noticed that when he spoke his eyes twinkled like stars, his hands moved animatedly and his voice came alive like a storyteller. He was all in, no holds barred, absolutely captivating. I sucked in a deep breath and smiled. Sometimes the reality is better than the expectation.

The End

Steam wafted from the bathtub as I dipped my toes into the water, testing the temperature. It had been a long week and I needed to wash it away. I sunk into the deep, hot water and closed my eyes. It didn’t take long for my mind to wander to him. My bottom lip began to quiver and I fought back tears. It seemed more like seven years than the seven days that he had been gone. Our final fight had been spectacular and the hatred we spewed that night had lingered in the air of our shared apartment for days after he walked out. Every night I waited for a phone call with an apology that never came. It didn’t occur to me that he might be waiting for the same thing.

A lone tear slipped from my eye, snaking down my cheek and holding tightly on the edge of my jaw, defying gravity, a stubborn streak to rival my own. When I finally felt it lose its grip and drop it was as if a dam let loose within me. Everything I had kept bottled up was suddenly unleashed and wave after wave of emotion hit me with the force of the churning ocean in a hurricane. I relived every moment, every joke, every smile, the laughter, the love, the passion, every kiss, every touch, the tears, the anger, every raised voice, every fight, the fear, the resentment. I pulled my knees to my chest, bowed my head and sobbed, my salty tears mixing with the bath water, unaware of space or time.

An involuntary shiver ran through me, I assumed from my thoughts of him, of us, of our failure, until I realized the water had grown lukewarm and my skin was shriveled. I slowly rose, goose pimples forming on my skin, and wrapped a towel around myself protectively. The chill reached my bones and I couldn’t decide if I was shivering from the cold or the pain. No matter, the cure was the same for both – my well-worn pajamas and a stiff glass of whiskey.


I’ve always thought I was in the wrong place at the wrong time. Let me give you an example. When I was a teenager I listened to Linda Ronstadt backed by the Nelson Riddle Orchestra as she crooned classic jazz tunes like I’ve Got A Crush On You, My Funny Valentine and Someone to Watch Over Me. I admit I had my classic Ronstadt rock days in my very early youth listening to my older sister’s albums, but when Linda went old-school, that was my jam. So while my friends listened to the hottest top 40 songs, I sang of living “the lush life in some small dive” and “hanging my tears out to dry”. These were the words that resonated with me. Nobody understood me.

I guess I’m one of those old souls. I’ve always related to odd things – rather, things that people my age would find it odd to relate to, because I don’t find them odd at all. I think this is why I’ve never quite felt like I fit in anywhere. The square peg, round hole thing. Whether it was my family, my friends, my school – everywhere I went just seemed . . . off. When I was younger it bothered me. Now that I’m older, more experienced, more comfortable with myself . . . I embrace the odd. I’m an old soul in the wrong place but always at the right time.


I watched him across the room, careful to avert my eyes whenever his gaze moved anywhere near me. I’d been secretly admiring him all night. Who could blame me? His chestnut hair was just long enough to add a bit of danger and mystery to an already intriguing man. Hypnotic blue eyes were perfectly contrasted by the dark fringe that framed his face. He had a distinctively strong nose with nostrils that flared when he laughed and a square jawline that was emphasized when he smiled. His strong facial features matched his sturdy build. He wasn’t muscular in the traditional sense, but I sensed that underneath his well-fit button-down shirt and blazer, his arms and chest and torso would feel firm and solid under my fingers.

He took a drink from his hi-ball glass and his head moved in my direction, forcing me to look away. Nervously lifting the champagne flute to my lips, I subconsciously licked them before drinking. I paused a few moments to be safe before returning my gaze to him. He was smiling at the woman next to him and a brief thunderbolt of envy shot through me before I got lost again in his eyes. They shimmered like blue sapphires when he smiled and his closed-mouth grin made his cheeks look like ripe apples; the effect was genuinely enchanting.

His pink lips were full with a prominent cupid’s bow that drew my focus every time I looked at him. I couldn’t help but stare. I wondered what it would be like to kiss him – surely his lips would be soft and moist, but firm and full of purpose. I imagined that in contrast to the rough scruff of his stubbled, unshaven face and felt a warmth build inside me. Another long, slow sip of champagne helped to calm my senses as I looked around the room. So far, I had been left alone, allowed to indulge in my fantasy world.

As I glanced back in his direction I saw he was moving, walking towards me, his eyes now locked onto mine. I froze in place and felt my hands tremble in anticipation long before he reached me. All I could do was watch, wait and wonder as he made his slow approach. When we finally stood almost toe to toe, icy blue eyes pierced through me. My fingers grasped tightly around the glass in my hand. The corners of his lips turned slightly upward, forming small, red apple cheeks, and his eyes took on a devilish sparkle. A deep Southern bass voice rumbled from his chest.

“Darlin’, I’ve been watchin’ you watch me all night.” My jaw fell slack with the shock of his words. The champagne flute slipped from my fingers and in one smooth movement he captured the glass and my hand in his own.  His smile opened fully, lips forming a perfect plump heart shape, to reveal brilliant white teeth. A soft sigh escaped my mouth before I could stop myself and he let out a gentle chuckle. The way he looked at me I didn’t even feel self-conscious. He glanced down at the empty glass that we both held, then one eyebrow shot up. “Would you like another?” I was afraid to speak, afraid anything that came out of my mouth would be mere unintelligible noise, so I nodded instead. As he took my hand and led me away, he stopped, turned and flashed another radiant smile. “I’m Christian.”

Pieces of You

I looked down lovingly at the bundle in my arms, 6 pounds and 8 ounces of heaven wrapped in a blue blanket. A blue knit cap covered the soft, dark fuzz on the head of my newborn son. His pink face and miniature hands were the only things visible from the swaddle of blankets. I gently ran my fingertip along each of his tiny fingers, marveling at their microscopic size. When I stroked his palm, his fingers curled around mine and my heart surged. I looked beyond his misshapen head and slightly squashed nose and focused on his pursed lips, curled into the shape of a heart just like his father’s. My breath caught in my throat when his eyes slowly fluttered open, revealing the blue pools that were so familiar, but lost to me forever. A tear slipped down my cheek. I knew that even though Spencer was gone, he had left behind a piece of himself that I could hold onto forever.

Morning Song

The morning sun peeked through the blinds in the window, casting a glow across his stubbled face. Lying on my side next to him, I took advantage of his peaceful slumber to appreciate the sheer beauty of the man. His short, dark hair was tousled and mussed and my fingers ached to reach out and play. Long, dark eyelashes closed together hid his piercing blue eyes, the color of the wild cornflowers that grew in his native Texas home. My eyes trailed down his nose, focusing on the small bump which he had gotten in a long ago fight years before he met me. I had heard the story many times but it never failed to charm me.

Moving my gaze down I rested my attention on his plump, red lips; the cupid’s bow creating a natural pucker even in sleep. I took in a deep breath and marveled at the perfection before me. I couldn’t resist any longer. My finger inched forward and traced along his bottom lip, while I subconsciously bit my own. He stirred, eyes fluttering open slowly. I moved my hand from his lips to his hair and allowed my fingers to weave through the silky strands. “Good morning.” A sly grin crossed his face and his strong arms pulled me against his chest, encircling me in his arms. A deep, soft southern drawl filled my ears. “Mornin’ darlin’,” as I felt those plump lips press against mine.