Saturday, January 15, 2011

A Writer's Farewell

It was a brisk, clear afternoon when I created you.  The leaves were turning brilliant shades of yellow and red outside my window, just as I feel a shroud of gray covering my heart today.  I must say good bye to you my beautiful, my sweet, my creation.  Go now with the knowledge that you were loved.  Go now with the knowledge that you were, for a time, needed.  Rest well in darkness.

My Sincerest Apologies,
Elizabeth Michels

The Starbucks Scene
The first scene sacrificed to editing
from A Matter of Time

     Laura could feel the warmth of Xavier’s large masculine hand on her back urging her forward, closer into his arms. But could she trust him? Was he just here to do Trevor’s bidding and to seduce her riches away from her? Then in the next moment her thoughts of staying away from him for the sake of her own future tumbled out of head as his lips descended upon hers, warm and soft.   
     Xavier skimmed his hand down the side of her neck causing her to shiver, he looked deeply into her eyes and said, “Laura, I want you, it is our destiny to be together, as one.”
     Laura could feel the heat of Xavier surrounding her, pressing against her breasts as she arched into his arms hungry for more, at any cost to her future .  In one amazing……  
     Startled by the sound of someone calling her name from the far end of the barista counter Abby snapped shut the romance novel she was reading and placed it quickly on the small round bistro table; nearly dumping the real African fabric decorated coffee mug containing her grande mocha latte all over her low fat raspberry muffin.  While she struggled to stabilize the coffee she glanced up sheepishly to see who was calling her name. 
     “Great… of all people,” Abby mumbled coarsely under her breath. 
     Who else was it but Brittany Brooks walking her way, looking like she just stepped off a runway?  Brittany, with her long flowing blonde hair, the type of hair that always fell perfectly around her disgustingly pretty face.  She looked like a million bucks, and was probably wearing close to it from what Abby had heard.  They had lived on the same hall at Converse College, Abby left with a Bachelors of Arts, and Brittany left with the same plus an M.r.s. Degree courtesy of a starting linebacker for the Carolina Panthers.  Brittany was one of those girls that made Abby feel instantly self-conscious of what she was wearing, how thin she looked in it, and how successful she was in life.  
     Why had she worn this today Abby wondered.  A sundress and flip flops?  What had she been thinking?  Well at least, last she checked, she was having a good hair day today. 
     Abby adjusted her purse to a more prominent position on the chair beside her, as if the small metal Coach symbol would protect her more against the coming attack than the thickest armor shield.  When Abby glanced down to reaffirm that she was in fact wearing clothing at all, she noticed her book lying on the table in front of her with the cover face up.  The cover featured a muscular open shirted man looking passionately at a woman in a revealing ball gown fainting into his open arms. 
     Gasping, she quickly flipped the book over to lay face down on the table in hopes it would look like something from fine literature, and make her appear highly intellectual.  Abby put on her party smile and slid her hand back in her lap so little miss perfect would not see her un-manicured fingers. 
     “Abby?.....Abby Rhode.  Why it’s been ages since I’ve seen you.  What are you doing here?”
     “Oh, I live here now.  I just bought a……um, a historic home here in Charleston..” Abby hesitated as she responded; thinking historic was a nice way of putting it.
     “A historic home, oh that is just lovely, I hope you have a good contractor for any upgrades you want to do.  I should give you the number of the company we used to build our vacation house in Banner Elk North Carolina.  It was featured in Architectural Digest, you know,” Brittany said dismissively.
     “Thank you, but I am using a local company, excellent group, they came highly recommended from several sources,” or picked randomly from the yellow pages Abby thought as the words left her lips.  “I’m doing an extensive restoration; I just talked to Southern Living the other day about a feature article when it is finished.” 
     “Well isn’t that nice, do send me a copy of the issue when you have the home shot won’t you?”  Brittany replied with an air of sarcasm in her voice.  “So, there’s a special someone now?  You’re not doing this alone are you, Abby?  I have to say just finding time to meet with my interior designer was a headache when we renovated Stephen’s house to make it more to my taste.  By the time we chose the granite for the second kitchen off of the home theater, I just didn’t care anymore, you know what I mean?”
     “The house is mine.” Abby said defiantly then decided to embellish the truth of her life slightly.  ”I am seeing someone, though.”  And maybe just a few details to make it believable, “He’s a doctor, a uhhhh neurosurgeon.  He is actually the reason I moved to Charleston. 
     “Really?  Well isn’t that delightful, which hospital?”
     Abby panicked.  She had not been in Charleston for more three weeks; she didn’t know the names of the hospitals.  Other than the nearest Starbucks, gas station, and the number for pizza delivery, she didn’t know much of anything.
     “Well,” Abby thought quickly.  “He’s at the main one, the uh, big one….downtown, here in Charleston, where we are.  Yes, he’s the reason I moved to Charleston.”
     “Oh, how nice.  We should all do dinner together later this week,” Brittany replied, confusion briefly clouding her perfect face.
     Abby tried to shake off the lies pouring unchecked out of her mouth and steer the conversation back to safe territory.  “Mmmm, so what brings you to Charleston, last I heard you were living in..”
     “Ohh, I’m down from Charlotte for the week while Stephen is having the yacht packed up for the cruise to Paradise Island for a little vaca,” Brittany said visually sizing up Abby’s current lifestyle in one almost imperceptible sweep of her violet eyes.  “I was just out looking for the perfect pair of poolside shoes to match one of my swimsuit cover-ups, and I just cannot find a thing that’ll work.  Of course, all of our clothes for the trip were custom made through my personal shopper.  But, the shoes she brought over before I left were just awful.  Oh, the hassle of it all, you know?  Did you hear that Jennifer is pregnant?  Yeah, Matthew is so happy about it.  We just met up with them last week at this fabulous new restaurant back home, and she looks fabulous.  Pregnant, eating everything in sight, and still so thin, don’t you just hate her?  Of course we do go to the same trainer so I can’t be too critical.”  Brittany laughed looking at Abby’s low fat raspberry muffin with an air of silent judgment.
     “That is wonderful news, I’m so happy for them.” Abby said pleasantly.  “How do you like living in Charlotte?”
     “Love it!  It’s such a great city.  And Stephen is really happy with the Panthers.  He’ll be busy with the season soon, so Angela and I, you remember Angela, don’t you?  Anyway, we’re planning a trip to New York to shop and see shows while the hubbies are busy.  Oh, that’s my blackberry, I better go, sweetie.  So great seeing you.  We should get together soon” Brittany said in a tone meant to be believable, but never followed through with an actual getting together, as she answered her phone.  “Hi honey, how was golf this morning?  Oh, good. Yes, I’ll be back soon.  Love you too, bye bye……Bless his heart he just can’t do a thing without me.  See you later.”  Throwing up a airy group of diamond studded, French manicured fingers in farewell, Brittany turned and glided out the door. 
     As quickly as she had come, she was gone.  She had however spent enough time to take the good afternoon Abby was having and reduce it to a low fat raspberry hell.  Brittany had the sweetest way of doing that to people.  Not that she was a malicious destroyer of good days, she was just better, she was an elegant steak dinner and made Abby feel like a cold tuna sandwich by comparison. She had officially been delivered the Christmas Card as she liked to think of it.  Everything is perfect, everyone is happy, I lost ten pounds without trying and have enough spare money that my only concern in life is the perfect pair of pool shoes for island vacations.  Abby tossed her hair back and took a large defiant bite of her muffin with her chin raised toward the now closed double doors leading onto King Street.  So what if she gained a pound from its delicious fluffy innate muffin-ness?  Who would notice, her fictitious neurosurgeon boyfriend or the fictitious photo journalist from Southern Living?  “Oh my goodness, I really said that, didn’t I?  How embarrassing,” Abby mumbled into her coffee, completely disgusted with herself for her poor lying skills.   Why, oh why, had she not sat upstairs on the balcony overlooking the main floor of the Starbucks?  She could have gone on with her day blissfully unaware that Brittany was even in town.  
     Pulling herself together, Abby looked over the shopping bags at her feet and remembered that her life was not all that bad.  Shopping was supposed to make you feel happy and pretty, not depressed, unless shopping for swim suits, that was always depressing.  She smiled and forced herself to think of all that was good about today.  She had found the perfect antique-looking candle holder for her historic home while in a little shop down the street, and a cute new shirt in Banana Republic.  Abby sighed forcing a pleasant smile to her face and gathered her bags to leave. 


Heather Molloy said...

Poor Abby. I can't stand girls like Brittany. ;) my fave line was the low fat raspberry hell! LOL. Great scene; we get the feeling that Abby isn't where she wants to be but if she has to lie a bit to make it seem like she's okay, then so be it. Haven't we all been there.

Well done my dear. I can't wait to read the whole thing!

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