Photo Credit: Angie McMonigal Photography

“Wait for me,” he called to her when they were children trudging through freshly fallen snow.

She didn’t wait.

But eventually he caught up.

And they built elegant snow angels and elaborate fortresses together.

“Wait for me,” he begged twelve years later when she fled their gloomy hometown and he, one year younger, bided his time until he would graduate high school, wiling away the days like an idle sloth bear in the rainforest canopy.

She didn’t wait.

But eventually he caught up.

And they walked through Central Park holding hands, and made love in their tiny studio apartment to the sounds of car horns and angry drunks on the street below.

“Wait for me,” he breathed in her ear a year later when he returned to their depressing hometown to work at his uncle’s hardware shop.

She didn’t wait.

But eventually he caught up.

And he returned with pockets filled with hard-earned cash and a tiny velvet jewelry box, and he got down on one knee in the middle of the restaurant where she had been dining with an inadequate substitute for him.  Six months later he waited for her at the front of a small church while she floated down the aisle in an ivory satin sheath.

She never waited; it didn’t suit her personality. She was impetuous and dramatic, impatient and independent. He knew that about her and he loved that about her.

Fortunately, he was good at catching up. He would find her – transformed in a way that only time and distance can allow – and they would fall in love all over again.

He died on a steamy August morning in a cramped hospital room. After the initial diagnosis, he had died quickly, with little waiting around. And now that he was gone, she felt like her safety harness had come unbuckled and her footing had slipped. She was in a free fall, the world swirling and spinning around her.

And there was nothing she could do but wait.

This post is a first for me for two reasons:
(1) It is the first piece of fiction that I have written for this blog. While the characters in the story are purely fictional, I suppose it is a universal truth that we are all waiting for someone or something.
(2) It is the first time I am linking up with Trifecta, which issues a challenge each week to write a post that is between 33 and 333 words and includes the 3rd definition of a designated word. This week the word is
IDLE:

1: lacking worth or basis : vain <idle chatter> <idle pleasure>
2: not occupied or employed: as
a : having no employment : inactive <idle workers>
b : not turned to normal or appropriate use <idle farmland>
c : not scheduled to compete <the team will be idle tomorrow>
3: a : shiftless, lazy
b : having no evident lawful means of support

 

This post is also part of the weekly Photo Inspiration Challenge.  Special thanks to Angie McMonigal Photography for her fabulous photos.  Make sure to visit her website or facebook page. Her work is both stunning and, well, inspirational.

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30 Comments

  1. I like it! It is funny how she treats him like crap but will still feel loss when he is gone.

    • Christie Reply

      Like most relationships, I think there is probably a lot of complexity there.

    • Christie Reply

      Thanks, Stacie. It was fun – and a bit nerve-wracking – to step outside my comfort zone. I actually can’t stop thinking about these two characters and their story so maybe we’ll see more of them.

  2. Wow, this is such a beautiful piece of writing. Poignant and lovely. I feel for both of your characters.

  3. Such a sad and lovely story. I could almost see a movie playing out as I read. Well done.

  4. I can name at least 16 emotions that went through me as I read this: hope, sadness, frustration, anger, love, passion are just a few! What a beautiful story of the life any two people could lead and how, in the end, it’s about how we uniquely fit together with our “one.” Some lead and some follow and when we least expect it, the role can change.
    Thank you for your beautiful words!
    Vicky
    http://www.thepursuitofnormal.blogspot.com
    http://www.facebook.com/ThePursuitOfNormal
    twitter: @PursuitOfNormal

    • Christie Reply

      Thank you so much, Mary! I really appreciate your thoughts and value your opinion.

  5. That’s lovely; his ability to catch up every time is so sweet. It seems fitting, though, that he doesn’t have to “catch up” that last time.

  6. I like the way you used a large font. This was easy to read.
    I hate to be a downer, but saying things like “bided his time until he would graduate high school, wiling away the days like an idle sloth bear in the rainforest canopy.” make me roll my eyes.
    This has 338 words. You can probably find five unnecessary adjectives very quickly.

    • Christie Reply

      Thanks for taking the time to count the words. I double-checked and, for what it’s worth, there are exactly 333 words. The extra 5 words are in the photo credit.

  7. What a lovely story!Loved the way you captured the two opposite personalities & the interplay between them:-)Yes,I agree with you,we all are perpetually playing the waiting game..

  8. Christie, how nice to see you here at Trifecta. You’ve captured half a lifetime in 333 words. Well done. I enjoyed the complexity of the relationship. She knows he’s always there, but she doesn’t want him completely until she can’t have him. Human nature, isn’t it? We don’t recognize what we have sometimes. Nice piece!

  9. Oh, this is so good. Definitely one of my favorites so far this week. (:

    • Christie Reply

      Oh, wow! Thank you so much for your thoughtful comment. I really appreciate it.

  10. I liked this story. It’s like they were supposed to be star-crossed lovers but he refused to let go 🙂 Throughout the story, I didn’t like her very much (no one deserves to be strung along like that.) But still, when he died, I felt a little bad for her because she’d likely regret her treatment of him and have to live with it for the rest of her life. And life being the way it is, would probably give her an exceptionally long life…many years to wait it out.

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