Sunday, 15 July 2012

RFW Challenge No. 40 - 'Greener Pastures'

Welcome to Romantic Friday Writers Challenge No. 40 for Friday 13th July 2012. RFWers is a fortnightly challenge that is founded by and hosted by and Donna Hole. Challenge No 40 is the theme, 'Greener Pastures'.

My text for 'Greener Pastures' is a continuation of my text for 'Stuck in the Middle'. Please read the text for 'Stuck in the Middle' before reading my text for 'Greener Pastures':
Paul waited seven years for his wife, Jenny, to be declare legally dead, before proposing to Priscilla. Paul's first wife was missing after her ship went down in a storm. There were lifeboats and survivors, but she was never found.

Paul invited Priscilla out to dinner at the new French restaurant, Victor Hugo. They had just finished their Lobster Thermidor,  and were about to order dessert.

'I'd like to have the Bavarian cream. What would you like, my love?' inquired Paul as he returned the menu to the waiter.

'Oh, that's sounds good. I'll have that too', replied Priscilla,  beaming of pride and expectation. This was no ordinary dinner. 

While they waited for their Bavarois au Chocolat, Paul dug into his jacket pocket and pull out a small gift-wrapped package and put on the table.
'Oh, what have we here? ' asked Priscilla, lighting up like fire-fly.

'A little present for you', said Paul smiling slyly as he slowly pushed the package on the white linen tablecloth over to Priscilla, 'Please open it!'

Priscilla tore away the wrapping paper and found a small box. Inside was a beautiful emerald and gold ring with a hand-written note: Will you marry me?

'Oh, Paul, you remembered my favourite colour! The answer is yes!' replied Priscilla, in time before the waiter came with their desserts.

Paul smiled and was about to say something about their future together when the Bavarian cream arrived. Paul ordered coffee and surveyed all the well-dressed men and women sitting at white linen-covered tables, celebrating something, just as they were. It was then that Paul saw a woman who looked familiar. She was standing by the entrance, speaking with the head waiter.

'What is it, Paul? Don't you feel well? You look as if you've seen a ghost.'

'No, I'm fine. Couldn't be better!' lied Paul as he was trying to think about what this meant. The woman he saw was Jenny, his first wife. He could see her clearly. Had she seen him? 

[Text Copyright 2012 Christina Wigren]


According to WordCalc, the word count for 'Stuck in the Middle' was : 340

And now, here is my text for 'Greener Pastures': 

Paul paid the waiter and rose from the table, 'Would you like to wait here while I get our wraps?'

 'No, dear, I'd like to use the ladies'. I'll meet you at the door.'

 As Paul approached the coat-check, a blond woman touched his sleeve.

'Jenny! Is it you?' whispered Paul.

'Yes, Paul. Take this and call me. We need to talk,' murmured Jenny as she shoved a note into Paul's hand.'

Paul unfolded the small paper as he saw Jenny march toward the exit.


 'Well, what happened last night?' inquired Charlotte, Priscilla's roommate, 'Did he propose?'

'Oh yes!' squealed Priscilla showing her left hand with the emerald engagement ring.

'Oh, it is so pretty! When's the wedding?'

'I don't know yet. We didn't talk that much. He just drove me home and that was that.'

'Maybe he was just tired.'

'Yes, suppose so,' replied Priscilla unconvinced.


There was a telephone number on the paper that Jenny had given Paul. He dialed and waited.
'Hi, it's Paul.'

 'Thank you for calling. I have so much I would like to talk to you about. Would you be willing to meet me somewhere to talk?'

 'Yes. I think so. Where do you want to meet?'

Jenny gave him directions to The Silver Spoon, a restaurant on the other side of town. Paul wasted no time in meeting her there.

Is the magic still there? thought Paul as he took Jenny's hand and walked toward the entrance. 

'I've already had dinner, but I can have some coffee while you have a meal.'

Paul and Jenny sat down at a table. Paul looked up at Jenny and asked,'What happened? Why didn't you let me know that you survived?'

'I couldn't. We were going to take the boat, which was why our names were on the passenger list, but we changed our minds at the last moment. Tom had this idea to take an airplane trip instead. Well, to make a long story short, we got off course and crashed on a tiny island. Tom was badly injured and we had no radio contact. I did what I could to help tom, but he died a week after we crashed. After that, I was alone.'

'When did you get off the island?'

'About a month ago. The embassy helped me get to hospital and there we started trying to find out if I have anyone left to help me.'

'If I only knew. We all thought that you were dead.'

'How are the children?'

'Sarah was only three when you disappeared. My brother and sister-in-law have really helped me with Sarah and Colin. They can't have any children of their own, so they want to adopt them.'

'Have they done that?'

'No, not yet. We have only recently gotten a presumed death certificate.'

'Am I presumed dead?'


'Do you still have any of my things, my clothes, books and such?'

'There are a few things left, that I could not part with, but I had an auction and sold most of everything else.'

'I see.'

To be fair and honest, I must tell you that I have been seeing someone.'

'Oh? Is it serious?'

'Well, I thought I might remarry.'

'What do you think, Paul? Is it too late for us? I still love you, or at least I still love the Paul I knew.'

'I want to help you any way I can, Jenny. But I think the best thing would be for us to not be married again.'

Jenny put her hand to her mouth and tears rolled down her cheeks.

'Yes, Paul. I think you're right. But it hurts.'


[Text Copyright 2012 Christina Wigren]

Word count for 'Greener Pastures' is according to WordCalc: 647; FCA; Full Critique Acceptable

Best wishes, 

This text is fictitious and any resemblance to persons, living or dead, events or firms, is purely coincidental. 

First Commenter:


C.S.H said...

I think Paul still loves her too.. He's just not wanting to hurt Priscilla. Very interesting.. you can feel the chemistry between them.. and yet, they're in denial it seems. I loved it!

Ann said...

what a difficult and heartbreaking situation for both of them. A very interesting read.

dolorah said...

A whirlwind of emotional trauma. Sad that he has already moved on, but he does seem a bit unsure of his decision. Especially now.

How tragic that Jenny missed the boat that sank, but still ended up in a plane crash on an island. Lots of unanswered questions to move the story along to another excerpt.

- Anna, you probably could have met word count by not adding in Priscilla's segment. -

Great take on the theme, to have the presumed dead wife return at the last moment. I like how you weaved in his indecision about going back to Jenny.

Thanks for participating in Greener Pastures Anna. I know how hectic your time is now, so the effort is appreciated.


Denise Covey said...

Hi Anna. You're so busy yet you still took time to write for us. I'm so glad you did.
What a situation! It has happened in real life. I've read stories like this. What a problem! Poor all three of them. I think Paul still loves her - he kept some things he could not part with. I feel sorry for the 'other woman' but I think no matter what decision Paul makes he won't be truly happy. He didn't tell his wife he was engaged, he was just 'seeing someone.'

Thanks Anna!


The Poet said...

My dear Anna,
I have to agree with the others...there's definitely still some chemistry between them. This was way too big of a deal not to tell Priscilla, his future wife that his former wife was still alive. I'm surprised there aren't a lot more accusations flying back and forth and am amazed at the calmness of them both. Certainly a dilemma for the three of them. Nicely told. Thanks for sharing.
Travel safely!

An Empty Table For Two

Mr.Miglani said...

I really Liked the way emotions have flown in this story !!!
I was surprised at few decision in the story but its a wonderful post !!

Unknown said...

What a whirlwind of emotions in your story! I feel for all of them. What a tough decision they need to make, unfortunately, someone will be heartbroken.

Anonymous said...

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Tanya. said...

Hey Anna, have been so busy I haven't been on the computer for a while and I'm playing a bit of catch up. Hope you and your children are well. This is such a sad next chapter to the story, I can understand how Paul would be torn in so many different ways but I don't think he is being totally fair to Jenny...after all none of this was her fault and she must be having a very hard time...I'm kind of hoping that you will be writing another chapter as I'm intrigued to find out how things turn out. After all Jenny still has two children...and why isn't Paul looking after those...and what will he do about his proposal. Here's hoping you have another chapter on the go. xx

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