Tuesday, July 3, 2007

Entry: Short Story July 2-July 13

The Rocking Chairs
By Paulette Harris

“I thought we would be on a front porch somewhere rocking in our rocking chairs, growing old together.” David pulled a comb through his sharply cut salt and pepper hair. He tried to straighten his black silk tie as he conversed with Melissa’s mother.

“Don’t give up so easily David.” The tall striking red-head raised her eyebrow. “Give Melissa some time, she was passionate about Michael. Even though the marriage got a rocky start, everyone hoped for the best. Melissa tried to make it work. You know how tenacious she can be. It was no surprise when he died because of drug and alcohol abuse. Melissa was too young for marriage then anyway.”

She has liked you since grade school, David, so just be there for her like you always have, and tell her your feelings. Sow good seeds, and let love grow. Her father and I both want the best for those that we love. You two have the same dreams, it will work out. I promise.”
David held the door of the funeral home for her after she smoothed a wrinkle out of her forest green wool suit. Big rain drops burst from dark clouds as the small funeral procession moved north to the end of Napa Valley and Michael’s final resting place.

“Would you like me to stay, Melissa, a little longer?” David hung back as everyone left for the reception at the Cardinale home.

“No, I’ll meet you at the house.” Melissa brushed away tears and turned away from David. “I will walk back by myself.” She changed her mind and reached toward him, but he was already on the way down the hill towards his sporty blue Mercedes-Benz. “I, I wanted to thank-you for being there for me David.” She said to the wind.

Melissa arrived at the house thoroughly soaked and her newly permed blond hair dripped. She shivered as she unbuttoned her leather coat and exchanged it for a towel. “Would you like some hot tea?” The maid said.

“Come, child, come sit by me.” Michael’s mother smiled and patted the sofa.” You have had such a long day. You can stay here if you like, and your parents as well.

“Ah you are such a dear, but my parents and I have reservations at the hotel. I will be going on to Sacramento and spending a couple of days there, then flying back to New York with Mom. Thank you so much for all your support and love. We’ll see each other often.” Melissa took her mother-in-law’s handkerchief and dabbed the older woman’s big Italian brown eyes.

The plane lifted up easily out of a fog bank. Melissa and her mother soon arrived in New York.

Melissa loved city life. She and David started a perfume company that became an instant success. Expansion included San Francisco. David would supervise the east coast and Melissa, the west coast. Successful in other businesses several years after graduating from the University of San Francisco; he and Melissa’s parents often met up in the same social circles.

Beautiful Melissa was always welcome when she arrived. The two continued to enjoy each other’s friendship. David was in the military when Melissa married Michael. Although David had many flings, he never found the right person. No one could measure up to the small woman with blue eyes and long dark lashes that he fell in love with so many years ago.

Melissa always dreamed of owning her own business so when she visited her mother and the opportunity came to start something on her own, she jumped at it. She included David because of his savvy business sense and she trusted him.

Melissa thought that she could convince Michael of her idea and they would be successful. She could not understand his desire to raise Peruvian Paso Horses and his need for drugs and alcohol. She shook her head in dismay. She loved him dearly and tried to save the marriage, but things were not working. Michael’s depression became worse towards the end.
Weeks later, David invited Melissa to dinner. “Melissa, I need you to listen to me. I know that our communication gets confused every time we talk but please help me.” He reached for her hand and patted it. “I understand that it hasn’t been that long since Michael passed away. I know you loved him.” He slapped his forehead, “Oh man this is so hard.” He said. “I love you Melissa, I always have. You know how difficult it is for me to lay my feelings on the table like this but I just can’t wait any longer. I am so afraid of losing you a second time.” He took her other hand. “Melissa, would you marry me?”

Melissa began to weep. “I can’t.”

“Why, what have I done wrong? I know you love me too.”

“David, I am pregnant. I found out the day Michael died. How could you still love me when I am carrying another man’s child? I wanted to tell you, but I didn’t know how. I do love you; you are the most wonderful faithful man I have ever known.” The fragile woman pulled away from David.

“Are you saying you won’t marry me because of a baby, Melissa?” David reached across the table and took both hands again. “I would love to be a part of this new little life, Melissa. I am so proud of you. Please give me the honor of putting this ring on your finger. I want to make a life for us. I have your father’s blessing and your mother told me to tell you the truth. I want to take care of you two for the rest of my life. Please say yes.” David smiled as Melissa met his eyes.

“Yes, David I will marry you. I love you too.” Melissa’s eyes twinkled as she leaned across the table and kissed him.

Submitted by
Paulette Harris

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