A First Look
The last time I posted I told you the story of my friend and how the character Tommy is based loosely on him. I have been tweaking a scene that has been heavy on my mind since that last post and thought it would be the perfect sneak peek to debut. Here is the scene from Ryan's POV:
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A breeze kicks up and blows gently against the hem of her sundress, kissing her ivory thighs. Pervert. Irritated, I shake my head and I force my feet to move when those lovely legs of hers buckle beneath her weight. She lifts her face towards the sky and I can see that she’s crying, no, mourning. Her feral moan carries over the breeze and my heart breaks into a million pieces. Her grief is palpable; mixed with my own, it is suffocating. I am desperate to go to her, to wrap her in my arms and comfort her but there is no comfort in this loss and I am not who she wants. She runs her hand over the cold marble stone, tracing his name over and over. “Tommy” is the only thing she says between the sobs that tear my heart open wider with each shudder of her body. Watching her pain damn near kills me, still, I turn leaving her to grieve in private. If there is one thing I know with certainty about Beth it is that she is private to a fault and would not welcome anyone’s tea and sympathy, least of all mine. No matter how much I wish I could walk away, I cannot bear to leave her alone so I sit on the bench beneath the willow tree and wait. Maybe there will be a moment that she turns around or that I can reveal myself without her shutting down on me. Stubborn woman! Pinching the bridge of my nose and clenching my eyes closed I am assaulted by memories of the time spent on the lake with Tommy and Beth. All I ever wanted was for her to smile at me like she did Tommy that summer. The smile she gave him was a brilliant star shining against a dark sky. For the rest of us, her smile was fake and practiced. Never touching her eyes or giving anything away; it never brightened her face like Tommy’s smile did. She is so beautiful when she really smiles... Knock it off Cantwell! My frustration is interrupted as she reaches into her purse and pulls out an envelope. Captivated, I watch as she lays her bag flat against the ground, shifts onto her back and lays prone across the spans of Tommy’s grave. Resting her head on her purse she pulls a letter from the envelope. I silently curse myself for moving because I am too far away from her now to hear her reading to my dead uncle. She is there for a long time, having to take long pauses in her reading to quiet her sobbing and continue. When she reaches the end, she folds it up, places it back into the envelope and leans it up against Tommy’s headstone. Instead of standing, she turns onto her side and curls up in the fetal position, her shoulders still shuddering with her heartbreak. After a while her body stills and for a moment I think she may have fallen asleep. I stand to go check on her at the same time she sits up and starts brushing grass off of her dress. I slink back down onto my bench still unwilling to give myself away. I am a voyeur, nothing more than a peeping tom watching her struggle commune with the man we both loved and adored. She stands, brushing the remaining dirt and grass from her dress and I am struck at just how beautiful she is. She is hesitant to leave; taking her time caressing the rough edges of the head stone. With one final gesture, she brings her hand to her mouth, kissing her long delicate fingers and then places them back on the top of the stone. She doesn’t look my way as she walks back to where the rental car is parked and I stay seated on my bench until her taillights are no longer visible. Every cell in my body is screaming at me to turn and go but I find myself walking toward Tommy’s spot on the top of the hill and to the letter she left for him.
....until next time! Have a wonderful weekend.