Too Young

“What’s wrong, Ken?” Roxanne asked him as they stood on the hill overlooking the river one Sunday afternoon.  He had been very quiet and she could tell from his expression that something was troubling him.

D85D2-D8D4-CD1C-38CF-A053EA3522F5“You’re too young for me,” He insisted.  “I’m almost twice your age.”

“What does age matter when two people love each other?” Roxanne demanded.  “Are you sure that our age difference is the only reason you’re having second thoughts about us?”

He frowned, his blue eyes narrowing behind the sunglasses.  “What do you mean?” he asked.

“Well, you’re white and I’m black–”

“If I had a problem with your color, we wouldn’t be together.” He ran his fingers through his auburn hair.  “Frankly, I’m astonished that you would even think so.”

“I’m sorry,” she apologized, looking very contrite.  “Ken, please don’t let our age difference come between us.”

“I don’t want to but you should be with someone your age not someone who has been married before and is now divorced.  You have your life ahead of you.”

“It doesn’t matter that you were married and are now divorced.  I don’t care about that.”

“I’m old enough to be your father.  You should be with someone much younger, Roxanne.”

“I don’t want to be with anyone but you, Ken.  I love you.  I thought you loved me too…”

older man at windowHe ripped off the sunglasses and tossed them on the grass before taking her by the shoulders.  His eyes were troubled when they met her wide ones.  “I love you,” he muttered tightly.  “I love you so very much.”

She put her arms around his waist.  “Then, stop finding excuses not to be with me,” she cried.  “I know you’ve been through a bad marriage with a woman who didn’t deserve you but I’m not at all like her.  I love you more than life itself and I know that I can make you happy if you would just let me.”

Releasing her shoulders, he cupped her face between his hands.  “You win,” he said simply before he lowered his head to kiss her.  Above them, the sun emerged from behind the clouds and below the river flowed, unabated.

This is my last post for 2019.  Happy New Year, Everyone!

The Kimono

large-1553101402-8f48644e0975da7f3a5204b6f24bd2f3Since he made the proposition, they had been seeing each other regularly every afternoon, excluding weekends.  She would arrive at his suite at five and he would let her in.  There were the odd occasions where he would be in the suite, waiting for her in the bedroom when she went to clean it and after she was finished, she would join him.  Afterwards, she finished cleaning the other rooms and suites before going home.

Seeing her during the week wasn’t enough for him.  He wanted to see her on the weekends too.  Today, after he was finished with his business and they were together in his suite, he would arrange with her for them to see each other on the weekends, preferably in the afternoon.

Right now, he was sitting in the lobby of another hotel, waiting impatiently for the others to show up so that the meeting could start.  He was always the first.  As he sat there, he thought about Ife.  He was relieved when she told him that she was divorced.  He wondered how long she was married and why it ended.  Was her ex-husband living in Kampala?  Did they have any children?  He hoped not.  It would only complicate things.  Maybe they didn’t.  Surely she would have mentioned if they had when he asked her if she was married.

It drove him crazy that she kept calling him Mr. Kobayashi.  He wanted her to call him by his first name.  It made things more intimate between them.  Right now it what they had was a business arrangement.  In exchange for not reporting her to management for using his toilet that fateful day when he caught her, he received her services.

He was a businessman.  He was used to making deals which benefitted all parties involved.  In all honesty, in this arrangement with Ife, he was the only one benefitting.  He was getting what he wanted while she was doing what she had to in order to survive.  He was exploiting her and he knew it.  His conscience wouldn’t let him forget it but he wanted her so badly and this was the only way he could think of to make sure that he got what he wanted.

His thoughts were interrupted when a group of men came into the lobby.  He rose to greet and introduce himself to them.  After exchanging pleasantries, they made their way to the boardroom where they spent the next few hours before breaking for lunch.  After lunch, the meeting last another few hours and then they adjourned.  He was anxious to get back to the hotel.  He glanced at his watch. He had just enough time to take a quick shower before Ife got there.   His heart skipped a beat at the mere thought of being with her.  She was so incredibly beautiful.  He was hooked.

When Ife got there, he was wearing a black Japanese Kimono Robe with red lapels, cuffs and sash.  It had an embroidered dragon and oriental motif on the front, the back and the sleeves.  It looked expensive.

hpaul_profile“I didn’t know that Japanese men wore kimonos,” she said.  “I thought only the women did.”

Toshiro smiled.  “Men wear kimonos too.  They often wear them to weddings, tea ceremonies and other very special or very formal occasions.  I have several.  This happens to be my favorite.  Do you like it?”

She nodded.  “Yes.  It’s beautiful.”

“Would you like me to buy you a kimono?  I think you would look very beautiful in one.”

“You don’t have to, Mr. Kobayashi.”

He moved closer to her.  “I want to, Ife.  I will buy it when I return to Tokyo and bring it with me the next time I’m in Kampala.”

Ife stared at him.  Why did he want to buy her a kimono?  What did it mean?  Was it a sign that he was developing feelings for her?  Or was he doing it out of guilt?  If that were the case, she didn’t want anything from him.  “Mr. Kobayashi, I don’t think you should…”

“Let’s not talk about the kimono any more,” he said as he pulled her against him.   “As a matter of fact, I would prefer if we didn’t talk about anything right now.”  His lips found hers.

Unable to help herself, Ife put her arms around his neck and kissed him back.

Next up is Toshiro Learns About Miremba.  

Source:  Kyotokimono-rental

It’s How You Respond

Transitions themselves are not the issue, but how well you respond to their challenges Jim George

butterfly in hand on grass
Image by Dreamstime

What transition are you going through today?  Getting old is a big one.  You’re not as agile and flexible as before.  You ache in parts of your body you didn’t even know existed.  It’s important to be active.  Exercise is key.  And you have to deal with those annoying things called eye floaters.  It’s bad enough that you have to wear two pairs of glasses—one for reading and one for distance or bifocals and then to have to deal with black things in your eye…It’s possible to grow old gracefully but it takes effort and patience.

For a lot of women, it’s hard to go from being married to being divorced.  My mother seemed to adjust fairly well but I remember that there were times when she expressed regret about the end of her marriage.  She never remarried.  My father remarried once.  It’s hard for the kids too because they lose one parent when the marriage is over.  They are raised by one and see the other at appointed times.  When your parents divorce, it’s like your entire world is falling apart.  For years I felt as if my father had abandoned me but when I was older and wiser, I was thankful that he didn’t stay with my mother for my sake.  I wouldn’t have wanted him to be unhappy on my account.

Transitioning from high-school to college or university can be a tough one.  For me, it was hard not being with my friends.  We all went to different colleges.  I was a bit of a loner on campus.  I didn’t join any clubs or socialize much.  I had one or two friends.  I was more immersed in my studies.  I worked hard and studied a lot.  I had great professors whose remarks on my papers were very encouraging.  I took my Major in Journalism and Minor in Art History.  And I graduated Cum Laude.  After leaving college, I had to find a job.  Unfortunately, I couldn’t find anything in my field but I never let that discourage me.  Over the years, I have worked at different companies and have been fortunate to meet lots of wonderful people.

Going from being a single woman to being a family woman has been the biggest change of all.  Before I met the love of my life, my life comprised of home, work and church.  I loved going to church.  There I worshipped and fellow-shipped with terrific people who shared my faith.  They were like my second family.  I was involved in different ministries and was part of the choir.

I enjoyed doing community outreach such as visiting homeless shelters for women and youth and a senior’s home.  But in private, I prayed to God for a godly man.  And years later, I met him on a bus.  He spoke to me, I invited him to my church and the rest is history.  We have a son.  I regret not having two children but I’m thankful that God blessed with me one and my mother with her only grandchild.  Before she died, she enjoyed eleven years of his life.

Transition can be hard, challenging but it can also be rewarding.  It just depends on how we handle it.  In my case, it is God who has helped me through each life change.  This year when I lost both of my parents within months of each, it was God’s loving presence and Jesus’ promise, “I will not leave you orphans; I will come to you” which held me together.  My two sisters and I aren’t alone.  We have the Lord and we have each other.

Like me, you don’t have to go through any transition alone.  Your families, friends or faith can be your anchor.

This was written for the Ragtag Daily Prompts for today’s word, Transition.  If you’re interested in participating, click HERE for more information.

Source:  Blue Letter Bible

Acceptance

wk-102-impress


“Stop trying so hard to impress Ariana,” Stefano told Nora.

“I just want her to accept me, that’s all.”

“Give her time, Caro.  When she’s ready, she’ll come around.”

“Why doesn’t she like me?  Is it my color, my background?”

“Neither.  She’s just not used to seeing me with anyone since her mother and I divorced.”

“Maybe she’s hoping that the two of you will get back together.”

“That’s not going to happen and I’ve told her that many times.  Elena has accepted that I have moved on with my life.”

“I can understand how Ariana feels.”

“She’ll come around.”

“I really hope so.”

 

104 Words

 

This is for the Weekend Writing Prompt by Sammi Cox. For instructions, click Here.

Two Reasons to Celebrate

Young and sassy are the words my husband use to describe me.  We are opposites.  He’s an introvert and I’m an extrovert.  He’s in his mid-fifties with grey sideburns but he still has the body and libido of a much younger man.  I’m in my late twenties and I’m trying to keep up with him.

We met last year when a mutual friend invited a group of people to Maui for a week of sun and fun.  Lorenzo didn’t go with anyone and nor did I.  We were immediately attracted to each other and for the rest of the vacation, we were inseparable.

A year and four months later, we are newlyweds.  For our honeymoon we went on a 12-day Mediterranean cruise which ended in Venice, the city of love.  After we spent two days there, we headed to Milan to visit his family.  We figured we might as well since we were in Italy.

I must say that although I half-expected it, it still came as a bitter disappointment when his parents made it painfully obvious that they didn’t approve of me.  No doubt my color had more to do with it than my age.  His teenage children from his previous marriage were polite but I could tell that they didn’t approve either.  Being married to me meant that their father wasn’t going to return to Milan or reconcile with their mother.

I feel sorry for them.  When my parents divorced and my father remarried, I was upset.  I wasn’t nice to my step-mother, Violet because she ruined all chances of my parents getting back together.  It took years for me to get over that disappointment and be civil to Violet.  Now, she and I are friends.  And I can see how happy she makes my father.  I hope that one of these days, Lorenzo’s children will come around too.  He’s the love of my life and his happiness means the world to me.

Lorenzo and I ended up spending only two days in Milan and then we were off to Rome.  I loved Rome–the people, the food and the piazzas.  On our last night, we visited Piazza Navona and enjoyed a couple of gelato as we admired Bernini’s perfectly lit Fountain of the Four Rivers.

Lorenzo and I were sorry to leave Italy but we were excited about beginning our life as a married couple and moving into our new home overlooking Central Park.  It took a while for me to get back into a routine because of jet-lag.

Ten weeks have passed since our honeymoon and I’m standing in front of my enormous closet, looking at the designer clothes, bags and shoes I brought back from Milan and Rome.  As I look through the outfits a smile tugs at my lips.   I can’t wait to see Lorenzo’s face when I tell him the good news tonight over a home cooked dinner.  We have two wonderful reasons to celebrate.

That’s right.  We’re going to have twins.  Whether they are boys or girls or one of each, we won’t know for some time or maybe, we’ll decide to wait to find out.  Already, I’m making plans to turn the extra bedroom into a nursery and I’m just dying to go shopping for the babies.

The chiming of the clock reminds me that I have to get dinner ready.  I close the closet doors and leave the bedroom.  I’m going to make sure that tonight is a very special night for Lorenzo.

I’ve been learning to cook Italian dishes thanks to Jamie Oliver.  I’m going to make tasty tuna meatballs with pasta and Caesar salad.  And for desert, what else but his favorite–pistachio gelato from our favorite neighborhood gelato place.

After dinner and when we’re relaxing in the living-room, then I will tell him that we’re going to have twins.  And then, we celebrate with a bottle of Martinelli’s Gold Medal non-alcoholic Sparkling Cider.

This was written for the Ragtag Daily Prompt for Sunday’s word: closet and Monday’s word:  jet. If you’re interested in participating, click HERE for more information.

Devastating News

from-renee-heath
PHOTO PROMPT © Renee Heath

“I’m devastated to hear about Douglas and you,” Liz said to Ronda as they sat outside of Liz’s home.  Everyone else had gone to the baseball game.

Ronda held back the tears.  “After fifteen years of marriage, we’re getting divorced.  Who would have expected that?”

Liz squeezed her hand.  “I can’t imagine how you must be feeling.”

“Right now I’d like to kill them.”

“Do you know who she is?”

Ronda wanted to scream, it’s your bloody daughter!  She’d seen them going into the tepee one evening.  “No,” she lied.

“Well, whoever she is, I hope she burns in Hell.”

 

100 Words

This was written for the Friday Fictioneers challenge hosted by Rochelle Wisoff-Fields For more details, visit Here.  To read other stories based on this week’s prompt, visit Here.

The New Year’s Eve Visit

Jon Passavant bwI was sitting at my desk when she walked into my office, dressed in a sleeveless, low cut black dress that hugged her snugly.  I tried not to give away the fact that I was turned on.  What was she doing here?  I wondered.  She knew better than to come to my office.  Fortunately, no one else was around.  It was New Year’s Eve and everyone had left early.  It was just me in a place that was so quiet that you could hear a pin drop.  The windows blocked out the sounds of the traffic below.

I watched as she came closer.  She had that come hither look.  I was tempted to leave the desk but I stayed put.  “What are you doing here?” I asked.

“It’s New Year’s Eve.  I wanted to stop by and wish you all the best for 2019.”

“You could have called instead of coming all this way.”

“I know but I wanted to see you.”  She was standing over me now, her body inches away.  I could smell her perfume.  It was as intoxicating as she was.  My heart is racing now and it’s becoming increasingly hard for me to act like her being there didn’t matter.  It did.  More than I’d like to admit.  I ached to touch her.

“You’ve seen me.  You can go now.”  I swung my chair so that my legs were no longer underneath the desk and I was facing her.

“Not until I’ve had a chance to do this,” she murmured.  And leaning over, she kissed me on the mouth.  “I couldn’t do that on the phone, could I?” she said when she drew back.  We were both breathing heavily.

That was my undoing.  Muttering under my breath, I grabbed her and pulled her down onto my lap and my mouth found hers.  I kissed her like a ravenous wolf.  Her response and the feel on her fingers digging into my scalp were a huge turn on.  I put my hands under her legs and stood up.  I carried her into the conference room next to my office where there was a leather sofa.  I put her on the sofa and dragged the dress off her.  I quickly stripped and then my mouth and hands were all over her.

We were like two animals in heat.  We couldn’t seem to get enough of each other.  Her nails clawed at my back, digging into my flesh but I didn’t feel the pain.  All I felt was pleasure–exquisite, mind-numbing pleasure.  The kind I never felt with anyone else.  She made me feel things I never felt before.  Being with her was like riding on a roller-coaster.  I wanted to get off but the ride was so exciting, so exhilarating, so tantalizingly sweet…And when it was over, I get off, thinking that this is the last time but it never is.  All she has to do is show up and I’m going for another ride.

This session seemed to last longer than all the others.  Maybe it was because I didn’t want it to end.  When it was finally over, I stood up and got dressed.  She followed suit.  We didn’t say anything as we returned to my office.  I sat down behind my desk.

“That beats going down to Times Square,” she remarked as she picked up her handbag from my desk.  “I’m glad I didn’t take Dwayne up on his offer.”

My head shot up and my gaze narrowed as it met hers.  “Who’s Dwayne?” I demanded.  I was jealous.

“He’s a guy I’ve been out with a couple of times.”

“Have you and he ever…?”

She shook her head.  “No.”

“Are you going to see him now?”

“No.  I’m heading straight home now.”

“Are you going to see him again?”

“No.  What about you?”

“What about me?”

“Are you and Lillian still separated?”

“No.  We’re divorced now.”

“So, you’re a free man again.”

“In a matter of speaking, yes.”

“So, what’s stopping us from hooking up for good this time?  This on and off thing you and I have isn’t working out for me.  If you don’t want me in your life, just say so and I’ll walk out of here and you’ll never see or hear from me again.”

I stood up at once and pulled her against me, my face earnest as I declared, “No, I don’t want you out of my life.  I know I’ve behaved like jerk.  My only excuse is that I wasn’t ready for another serious relationship.”

She put her arms around my neck.  “I understand.  I just wanted to know where I stand with you.”

“Are you hungry?” I asked suddenly.

She nodded.

“Let’s go to Buffalo Wild Wings and celebrate the New Year together.”

She smiled.  “Sounds good to me.”

Over ultimate nachos, beer-battered onion rings, gooey mozzarella sticks and boneless wings and Fountain Sodas, we made plans for our next date.

Sometimes love shows up at your doorstep whether you’re ready for it or not.

Sources: TIME; Buffalo Wild Wings