Sunday, March 18, 2012

An Excerpt to Insert

Photo by L. Kolp

There was no possibility of taking a walk that day.

~Jane Eyre by Charlotte Bronte


  1. There was no possibility of taking a walk that day. I tried, I really did; and after a few short steps, I stopped in my tracks. The sight before me was incredible. Paper mache balls in colors of pink, yellow and orange decorated massive oak branches like ornaments on a Christmas tree. The lush green lawn was filled with rows of white chairs. As I stepped closer, I began to recognize the faces of his family and our friends.

    What is going on? I wondered.

    There was a light tap on my shoulder and with a turn of my head I saw him, the love of my life. We had been engaged for several months, but we knew the wedding would have to be put off until we were finished with our postgraduate studies. Money was tight and our time was limited.

    “Surprise,” he said as he drew me near.

    “What are you doing here?” I was away on a family reunion weekend that he couldn’t attend at the last minute because of a school project that came up.

    He was smiling. “Do you have a few minutes to spare so you can become my wife? I don’t think I can wait another day.”

    Before I knew it I was swept away by my mom and sister, taken to a room in the hotel lobby where the dress I had tried on last week waited for me. An hour later, I walked underneath the colorful decoration into the loving arms of the best man in the world- my husband. And we’re living happily ever after.


    Malcolm Colquit sat on a bench in the clearing by the lake. It was a wonderful spring day. The air was cool, but not enough to be uncomfortable. The shadows were short as the sun hung low in the April skies. He fed the swans swimming just off shore where Malcom sat, and he conversed with the squirrels. It was a great day for a ball game. It was a good day to fly a kite. It was a nice day for a wedding.

    “Look at her” Malcom told his bushy tailed friend. “Can you believe she’s wearing white?”

    Jennifer stood under the pergola. She was the epitome of grace and beauty. Malcolm’s heart still held a special place for the woman he had called his own at one time. She was radiant in her happiness. Colquit thought the groom looked like a dork, but she looked good. Malcolm had a hard time understanding why she never agreed to marry him, totally missing the fact that at no time in their nearly three years together had he ever asked her.

    Malcolm heard a refined cheer in the distance as the “happy couple” kissed for the first time as husband and wife. Colquit raised his brown bag to his lips, kicking back for a guzzle of his distillation, dripping it down his chin. He slumped over on his bench disillusioned, disheveled and disparaged. The swans swam away from the clearing near his seat. His friend the squirrel scurried up the nearest tree, knowing the supply of nuts had dried up.

    The newly married pair entered their horse drawn hansom and headed off for their reception. Jennifer looked over toward the lake as the carriage passed, noticing the rag-tag solitary figure slinking over on the bench. She could have sworn it was Malcolm.
    They hurried away as the wind whipped up. The clouds rolled in and the sun lost its lofty position. Malcolm Colquit missed his opportunity.

    And I was beginning to rain.


    June. Again. For the past 25 years of my adult life I have dreaded yet another “month of love” and the endless weddings that seem to happen for everyone but me. I was looking forward to getting away from it all this year.

    After my latest ex-love-interest married last summer, I began to carefully plan my summer break. As a teacher, it meant I could escape for the entire summer if I wanted. I found a great deal on a summer-long rental of a cottage in the UP of Michigan. Far away from friends and family in Indianapolis. I knew no one there and would have no invitations to weddings that I would have to politely accept.

    I moved into the cottage on Memorial Day. It was perfect! There were trees all out behind the house, which backed up to a State Park. In front of me, a gorgeous fresh water lake. I knew the water would be cold for most of my stay, but the view was the relaxation factor I was looking for in this escape.

    The last few days of May, I did all the settling in activities: going to the grocery store, walking the lake front, and exploring the lush woods of the State Park. I even met a few folks who make their permanent residence along this beautiful lake. I was ready for my first full weekend of summer vacation.

    Not quite out of the school-time routine of rising early in the morning, I woke this morning, the first Saturday in June, just as the sun began to break the horizon. I decided that after a steamy cup of coffee I would go for a walk in the park and then enjoy the lake front when the sun was a bit higher in the sky.

    Heading out the back door, I had taken only a few steps before I saw a commotion just across the property, in the Park. Donna, one of the older ladies I had met earlier in the week who has lived here for years, was coming up the path. I stopped her to ask what was going on in the park.

    “Oh, Hon, didn’t anyone tell you? That spot is one of the local favorites for weddings. It’s reserved every Saturday and Sunday, Memorial Day through Labor Day -- rain or shine!”

    “No, actually. I didn’t know that – but thanks for the information.”

    “Dear, you really do have the best seat in the house!” she called, as she continued on down the path.

    There was no possibility of taking a walk that day…or any Saturday or Sunday for the next month.

    ...sigh...gimme a break!

    1. Haha... I love this, Paula (but feel bad for the girl).