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Thursday, September 27, 2012

Flash Fiction - Fabulous? or Flop?

I'm not in love with this...but I'm also not feeling well at all. I am trying to write a flash fiction piece that is good enough for the fall flash fiction contest and I thought 'first date' would be a great idea...and it has to be 750 words or less...

I really need some feedback on it - love it or lump it?

Her headline on Christian Mingle was “Vibrant Teacher Seeks Great Communicator” – I remember rolling my eyes. Why would I even bother putting myself out there, much less with someone ‘vibrant’? I was picturing someone way too pretty for someone like me. For some reason I clicked the profile anyway. Yup, another dead end…she wasn’t just pretty. She was way out of my league. A cheerleader coach and an ex-cheerleader, flowing blonde hair, great smile, twinkling eyes…of course I was drawn to her. Somehow we were a match (at least according to the computer software or something). I scrolled down.

Favorite actor – Kevin James

Religion – Lutheran

Family – No children, wants children

Online now – YES

There were goose bumps on my arms. I remember them well because I watched my arm as my fingers moved without hesitation to start an online chat with Vibrant Teacher.
We chatted for nearly two hours and made plans to meet online again the next day. After three days of chat (not that I was counting), I gave Jennifer my phone number. I held my breath and looked at the cracks in the ceiling, the stains on the carpet, and I waited…and my phone vibrated against my chest. As I picked up the phone, a tear rolled down my cheek. I thought I would be in an unloving and unhappy marriage with Jenna for the rest of my life. If this was Jennifer on the line, it meant so much more…


“Phillip?” said the most musical voice I had ever heard.

“Yes – who is this?”

“It’s Jennifer! I can’t believe it’s really you. You have a great voice.”

We phoned or texted off and on for the next 15 days. We talked about our ex-spouses, failed attempts at children, pet peeves, and guilty pleasures. Her ex-husband cheated, she miscarried their child, the memory of him treating her like a piece of property on their wedding day… I told her about the early days with Jenna. My 14 years of loveless marriage, my desire to have a physical connection with my spouse, and my love of children. And of course, I had to tell her about Lisa.

In 14 years, I had seldom enjoyed a physical relationship with my wife. It wasn’t her fault, it was depression and health issues, but the rejection burned. It was hard for me to feel sexy and manly without anyone desire from a woman. Jenna has been my first and my only.

I had lots of friends and even some attractive lady friends. One of my closest friends was getting married and invited me to her bachelorette party (possibly out of pity, but I like to think it was because I’m fun). It was there that I met Lisa and she wanted me right away. Things moved fast and within days we were in the bedroom and I was learning about things I had only dreamed of with Jenna. I was losing interest in Lisa, but I was very much interested in the things Lisa liked to do. She didn’t take it well when I ended things…

Now here I am, telling Jennifer about all of this. Trying to explain how I went from being a virgin to being the kind of guy who you might consider ‘kinky’…and since I met her on Christian Mingle, how is she going to look at me now? She seemed to be nonjudgmental as I stuttered and stumbled through explanations, rationalizations, and stories. She said she appreciated my honesty and she would be open to trying new things with the right person, but she would really like to wait until she was married. She hoped I could respect that – and I did. Part of me was still very ashamed of what happened with Lisa.

It’s been nearly three weeks of heart to heart conversations. I’ve got a charm bracelet in a box in my pocket. I decided against bringing a red rose – too obvious (or so my female friends thought). My hands are sweaty, I can feel a trickle of sweat at the base of my spine, and I’m standing outside of Olive Garden waiting for my second chance. I already know I want to make her happy. I want to be the husband she deserves. I want us to create a home and a family. 

This night means everything to me and God has brought us together for a reason….I say a prayer and remind myself “Phillip, don’t blow this”

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