Living the Dream

As a young girl, I always dreamed of becoming another Lucy Maud, devouring books sometimes three and four on the go at one time. Now, here I am, 50-something, and the dream keeps coming back to me. When Magpie Tales started publishing their prompts, I couldn't resist. My first few attempts were shared with a very select few - and it is thanks to their encouragement that I am emboldened to share with more of the world. Read, enjoy (I hope), critique, and tell me what you think.

Sunday, July 25, 2010

Magpie #24

I’ve been away for a few weeks – writers block?  Not sure, but something has kept me away from writing.  This week, though, the prompt caught my eye and my imagination immediately, just took a few days to get to putting pen to paper (or fingers to keyboard).  So here’s my contribution in response to this picture:



All they had was this one little room in the attic.  Well, actually they didn’t have that, it was only rented, along with all of the furniture and necessities for living.  What they really owned was only their clothing and a few personal items.  But as long as Peter was in school, this was all they could afford – one room, used to be called a bed-sitter.  The furniture consisted of a sofa-bed on one wall, a chest of drawers with an old TV perched on top on the opposite wall, a table and two chairs tucked in one corner, and a cabinet under the window with sink, microwave, and hot-plate .  They could practically stand in the middle of the room and touch something, anything.  It was certainly cozy.

Most importantly, though, they had each other.  Neither of their parents had been pleased at their decision to get married, Sophie putting her education on hold so that Peter could finish first.  Because of the parents’ displeasure, they were truly on their own with Sophie’s wages from the diner paying the rent and putting food on the table.  There was nothing left over at the end of the month - except love, lots of love.

Sophie was proud of their little home, and kept it pristeen.  She made sure everything was tidy, nothing out of order, every surface dusted or wiped down, not a speck of dust in her house!And most importantly the bed must be made up every morning.  Heaven forbid that anybody should walk in and see the bed unmade – not that they had much company as Peter spent every spare minute studying while Sophie kept house.

They’d been married for four weeks and three days.

On this, their one-month anniversary, Sophie left the diner, stopping at the local deli for dinner fixings.  She was excited to be planning to surprise Peter with his favorite dinner – pork chops in mushroom gravy (just reheat and serve), mashed potatoes (from a box), and canned green beans.  Not exactly the way his mother would have made them, but the best she could do with two pots and a hot-plate.  For dessert – she splurged on two apple strudel pieces.   All day she had been planning how she’d have everything ready when Peter got home from his study group.  But something was niggling at the back of her mind, something that wasn’t quite right, something that made her think the evening may not go exactly as planned.

When she opened the door to their little home, she knew immediately.   The sofa-bed wasn’t made up!  There it sat, folded out as if they’d just gotten out of it, covers thrown back, pillows mussed, certainly not fit for company, or even for an evening of television or reading while Peter studied at the table.  Sophie remembered their disagreement in the morning over whose turn it was to make the bed, and she’d rushed out before their difference was settled, almost late for work, thinking surely Peter would just take care of it.  Obviously he hadn’t!

Well, neither would she!

Sophie turned on the television to the news, and proceeded to get dinner ready.  Just as everything was warmed up, Peter arrived home – perfect timing, Sophie felt proud of herself.  Peter looked at the sofa-bed, but didn’t say anything.  She greeted him with a kiss, and they sat down to dinner.  Conversation was a little stilted, the unmade bed and the disagreement of the morning hanging in the air between them like a cloud just waiting to burst.

In between bursts of small talk, the evening news filled the little room with sound.  When the sportscaster announced the soccer game between Manchester and Liverpool, showing right after the news, Sophie and Peter looked at each other and grinned.  As one, they picked up their plates from the table, piled them in the sink, undressed and crawled into the bed.

Who needs to make beds, do dishes, or study when they had a soccer game  to watch – and each other!


Visit Magpie Tales for more wonderful stories and poems based on the prompt Willow has posted.