An Excerpt from SJ Hermann’s anthology, SPLINTERED LOVE

An Excerpt from SJ Hermann’s anthology, SPLINTERED LOVE

From the short story, “Leap of Faith” –

Forever Love – A couple discovers that true love will last forever
https://www.amazon.com/dp/B013Z0XVBG

Months passed. Lisa still kept it barricaded inside her, not displaying any type of emotion, not even allowing Michael to kiss her. Yet with the lack of affection, he still hung with her; a noble feat that she admired. Either he was tough as nails or as dumb as a rock, but the pieces started to fall in to place. They had so much in common, and they went to the same college at the same time. She repeated in her head, why.

They sat in a crowded seafood restaurant, the salty scent of fish filling their noses with every intake of breath. They discussed their pasts—well, he was the one doing most of the talking. Lisa held back her messed up disaster of past relationships and the emotional hell she had been through. He did not pry anything personal out of her, nor did he try.

“I was an only child,” he said, wiping the white napkin on the side of his mouth. I couldn’t have asked for better parents. What about you? What about your parents?”

She knew that this question would come to see the light of day. She filled her mouth in an attempt to avoid bringing it up. She wasn’t ashamed, but now was not the time to feel that knot of pain tightening over her losses.

Michael noticed she had no interest in talking about the subject so he continued. “Anyway, just a couple of month’s into college, I met this wonderful girl.”

Why the hell is he telling me about his old girlfriend on the first date? She thought to herself.

“We weren’t party goers like half the other students were. We never went to Fort Lauderdale for spring break like everyone else. We preferred to be alone together. ”He paused, and changed the subject. “If you don’t mind me asking, what happened between you and your ex-girlfriend?”

****

Russell kneeled on one knee before her, the aroma of the scented candles, vanilla to be exact, filled her nose. His hand trembled as he took hers. Lisa’s emotions collapsed, shaking as bad as he was. Her eyes opened and the flow of tears tickled out as they trailed down her face. She didn’t ponder much as to what her answer would be before the words left his mouth.

“From the first day I met you, I knew that there was no one in this world as special as you. Every day, since I first looked into your beautiful eyes, I have thought of you. Your lovely smile, but more importantly, the person on the inside. You stole my heart, and the only way I can be with it again, is to have you by my side.”

He reached under the bed and took out a small silver box graced with a darker shade of a silver band just above the opening. For a fleeting moment, she pondered how many times he had rehearsed this scene in his head, but as soon as he flipped the lid open the thoughts vanished. Wishing she could see the ring through the tears, she fell to one knee.

“Lisa Fielding. My devotion. My love. My soul is yours, and I would be honored if you take my hand in marriage and be my wife.”

He squeezed her trembling hand to hold it steady, and slid the diamond ring on. She nodded as quickly as possible; the word “yes” stammered out of her quivering mouth.

She embraced him and then raced back to slam the door shut with a heavy thud.

****

A veil of sadness covered Michael as he swirled the remaining wine in the glass before setting it back on the table. The sorrow in his eyes as they met drained the happiness from her. She braced for the worst; but she hoped for the best.

“There was an accident,” he said.

“I’m so sorry,” she replied.

“So was I. We were torn away from each other when we reached the highest peak of love. I cherished her. I treated her like royalty because that is what she was to me. The beauty of the universe could not compare to hers. When we were apart, there was a piece of me missing and when we were together, I never wanted to let her go.” His voice cracked as the passion for his girlfriend grew. A tear began to fall as he continued. “I never thought I would see her again, but in my heart, there would be nothing that could keep me away. The moment I saw that flash of light, I witnessed her elegance; her absolute magnificence within that light. My soul was determined to get back to her.”

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