Everything Has Beauty

mgm-pedro-pinto-2be77b7e-689e-4bb4-8cb1-84bca2c66dcb “What do you see in her, man?” Brad asked his friend, Sebastian “Granted, she had a great body but her face…

Sebastian glanced at him.  “What’s wrong with her face?”

Brad stared at him.  “Are you kidding me?  I’m sorry, man, but she’s ugly.”

Color suffused Sebastian’s cheeks and his eyes darkened in anger.  “That’s a terrible thing to say, Brad,” he retorted.

“Well, it’s the truth.  And I’m not the only one who thinks you’ve lost your mind.  There are so many hot girls on campus you could go out with and you settle for an unattractive one.”

“It’s obvious that your idea of beauty is different from mine.”

Beauty?  You would use the word beauty to describe her?  Seriously, you need your eyes checked.”

“She has a name and yes, I think she’s beautiful. Everything has beauty, but not everyone sees it.”

“Well, you’re the only one who can see hers.”

“She has lovely dark smooth and flawless skin.  Her eyes are an unusual shade of brown and they sparkle when she talks about the things she likes.  She’s smart, thoughtful and unpretentious.  You’re right, everywhere I turn, I see the faces of beautiful girls but hers is the one I look for.”

Brad studied him.  “You’re really hung up on her, aren’t you?”

“Yes.”

“Well, why don’t you ask her out then?”

“I plan to.”

“Well, here’s your chance,” he said as he looked past his shoulder.

Sebastian turned and his heart skipped a beat when he saw her.

Brad smiled and patted him on the shoulder.  “Good luck, Man.  I mean that.”

Sebastian nodded.  “Thanks.”

Brad walked away.

Sebastian leaned against the wall and watched nervously as Dominique approached him.  She looked great in the red top and the denim skirt which reached just above her knees.  His eyes lingered on her bare calves before returning to her face.  He didn’t care what anyone said, to him, she was stunning and she had the most incredible smile.

“Hi,” she said when she reached him.  She stood looking up at him, her head cocked to one side.  “You look very nice.”

He blushed.  “Thank you.  So do you.”

She smiled.  “Thank you.  So, how have you been?”

“Busy helping my sister to move.  She moved out of our parents’ house last week Wednesday.”

“It must be nice having your own place.  After I graduate this year and get a job, I’m moving out.”

“Don’t you like living with your parents?”  20190410_093020838_m

“They’re great but I like the idea of being on my own.  You live on your own, don’t you?”

“Yes, but I have financial assistance from my employer as well as a family allowance which helps with my expenses and tuition.”

“Is it hard working and attending university at the same time?”

“It is but I manage.”

“Do you have time to socialize?”

“Yes.”

“What about a girlfriend?”

“I don’t have one,” he replied quietly, his expression guarded as he met her steady gaze.  His heart was pounding.  “What about you? Do you have a boyfriend?” He held his breath as he waited for her to answer.

She shook her head.  “No.

He exhaled in relief.  “Dominique, there is something I’ve been meaning to ask you.”

“Yes?”

“Will you go out with me?”

For a moment she didn’t answer.  It was as if she was trying to make sense of what just transpired.  Finally, she said, “I never thought you would ask me out.”

“Why not?” he asked.

“Well, I’m not like the other girls on campus whom I’ve seen you and your friends hanging out with.  They’re pretty and popular.”

“I’m not interested in any of them, Dominique but I’m interested in you.  I’ve wanted to ask you out for a long time but today I finally had the courage to do so.  You haven’t told me if you will go out with me.”

“Yes,” she replied, smiling.  “I will go out with you.  I can’t imagine what the other girls or your friends will say.”

“It doesn’t matter what they think.  All that matters is how you and I feel about each other.  I like you, Dominique.”

“And I like you, Sebastian.”

He reached for her hand.  It felt soft and small in his.  And he felt the heat flow through his body and settle in the pit of his stomach.  His eyes darkened on her upturned face.  He wanted to kiss her but decided that it would be nicer to have their first kiss in a more romantic setting.  “Come,” he murmured.  “I’ll walk you to class.”

She was beautiful, but not like those girls in the magazines. She was beautiful, for the way she thought. She was beautiful, for the sparkle in her eyes when she talked about something she loved. She was beautiful, for her ability to make other people smile, even if she was sad. No, she wasn’t beautiful for something as temporary as her looks. She was beautiful, deep down to her soul. She is beautiful – F. Scott Fitzgerald, Wisdom Quotes

This was written for the Ragtag Daily Prompt for today’s prompt, Flow.  If you’re interested in participating, click HERE for more information.

Source:  Wisdom Quotes

 

Tough Call

winter-street-dale

Frank was fixing dinner when she got home.  One look at her face and he knew she’d had a bad day.  “Oh, Baby,” he muttered.

She clung to him, crying as she recounted what happened. “I can still see the look on his face.”

“I know it was tough but you had no choice.”

“When I took the job, I didn’t think I’d end up arresting my own brother.”

“You swore to uphold the law and that’s what you did.”

“I didn’t want to believe that he was guilty but the evidence…”

“You couldn’t ignore the evidence.”

“No, I couldn’t.”

 

 

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 Photographer

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He watched her, camera ready to take pictures.  She didn’t seem to notice him as she stood there, alone, apart from the others, in her the black off the shoulder dress and wearing what looked like tassel earrings.  He knew because his ex-girlfriend used to wear them too.

He was supposed to be circulating around the room, snapping pictures but after spotting her, he was riveted to that spot.  He supposed he could go ahead and just take the pictures like he was hired to but he wanted her undivided attention. So, he waited.

She turned her head suddenly and saw him.  Their eyes met and held.  Then, he went over to her.  “Hi,” he said.  “I hope you don’t mind me taking your picture.”

“You’re the photographer,” she replied.

“Yes.  My name’s Gaston.”  He held out his hand.

“Kiana.”  She smiled as they shook hands.  “Pleased to meet you and the answer is no.”

His eyebrows rose quizzically.  “No?”

“You asked if I minded you taking my picture.  The answer is no, I don’t.”

He smiled.  “Good.”  He took several.  “Are you here alone?”

She nodded.  “Yes.  Are you married?”

For a moment he was startled then he saw her looking at the ring on his right hand.  “No, I’m not married.  This is my father’s ring.  I have been wearing it since he passed away a year ago.”

“I’m sorry,” she said.  “Were you close?”

“Yes, we were.  Are you cold?”

She nodded.  “A little.  It suddenly gotten a little drafty in here.”

He removed his jacket and draped it around her.  This close, she smelled wonderful.  “Here you go,” he said softly.  “This should keep you warm.”

She smiled up at him.  “Thank you.”

“Pardon me for asking but, do you have un petit copain–a boyfriend?”

“No.  What about you?  Do you have a girlfriend?

“No.  I’m a single man.  After this fête is over, would you go out for a drink with me?”

“Sure.”

Bon.  I hate to leave you, Kiana, but I must get back to doing what I was hired for.  I will see you later.”  He excused himself.

She watched him go and for the rest of the evening, she could think of nothing else but him and his incredible eyes.  As soon as the party was over, he was at her side.

This was written for the Ragtag Daily Prompt for today’s prompt, tassel. If you’re interested in participating, click HERE for more information.

Addie’s Little Adventure/Invitation #writephoto

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Photo by Sue Vincent

Everyday after school, I took a shortcut so that I would walk past the mansion where the English couple lived. And every time I paused to peek through the gates which were always ajar and stare at the strange faces on the posts. Behind and above the gates was foliage which swayed from the gentle summer breeze. Mama used to work there before the Mistress fired her. She accused Mama of stealing. Mama denied it, of course. Mama said that the Mistress didn’t like her because she was black. The Master was away when Mama got fired. The Mistress told her that if she showed her face at the mansion again, she would report her to the police.

Mama was sorry to lose the job because it helped to take care of my sister and me but she didn’t have a choice. For months she couldn’t find a job because the Mistress refused to give her a reference but the Master gave her one. Mama said that he was always very kind to her. That’s why I’m fixing to meet him so I could thank him for being good to my Mama.

The gates were ajar. After glancing around me to make sure that no one was around, I pulled it open so that it was wide enough for me to pass through. I pushed it in behind me. I looked around me. I felt like Alice in Wonderland. The grounds stretched endlessly in all directions. They looked like a giant green lush carpet rolled out. The sweet smell of roses and bougainvillea filled the air as I walked between them, my heart racing. I was on private property. I could get into trouble for trespassing. What if someone caught me and took me to the Mistress. That thought alone stopped me in my tracks. Maybe coming here wasn’t such a good idea. I’d better get out of here NOW.

I turned and started to head back to the gate when I heard a man’s voice behind me. I froze. I was afraid to turn around. I stood there. I don’t know for how long before he came and stood in front of me. He was tall and very attractive with black hair and grey eyes. He was dressed as if he had been out riding. For some insane reason, he reminded me of Mr. Willoughby from Sense and Sensibility. His gaze narrowed as he studied me.

“Have we met before?” he asked.

I shook my head. “No.”

“You look familiar.”

“I’m—I’m Mabel Brown’s daughter, Addie.”

His expression brightened. “That’s why you look so familiar. How is your mother?”

“She’s doing well. She got another job.”

“I’m happy to hear that. I was sorry to lose her.”

“That’s why I came here. I wanted to thank you for giving Mama a reference.”

“It was the least I could do after what my ex-wife did.”

“Your ex-wife?”

“Yes. We’re no longer married.”

“Is it because she fired Mama?”

“It was the last straw.”

“I’m glad she’s no longer here. I was afraid that if I got caught I would have to face her.”

“You don’t have to worry about her anymore, Addie.”

“Is she back in England?”

“Yes. Are you in a hurry to leave?”
I shook my head. “I was but I’m not anymore.”

“How would you like a tour of the grounds?”

My face brightened. “I’d like that very much.”

He smiled. “Come along then. You came all this way to thank me. The least I can do is to show you around.”

As we walked, my eyes drinking in my surroundings, I thought of Mama and what she would say if she were to see me now, walking on the grounds of the fine mansion where she used to work. She was right about her former employer. He was a really nice man not to mention, very attractive. I was happy that he was no longer married and it wasn’t only because I disliked his ex-wife. Stop filling your head with romantic notions. He’s a grown man. He’s not going to be interested in a school girl.

“How old are you?”

We were standing by the fountain and I was watching the water as it cascaded when he asked the question. I turned and faced him. “Seventeen.”

“I’m twice your age.”

“You look much younger.”

He smiled. “I have my father to thank for that. He too appeared to be much younger than he was.”

“Are your parents still alive?”

“Yes. They are living in Marseilles where my mother was born. Are you dating anyone?”

I shook my head. “I’m not interested in any of the boys at school.”

My answer seemed to please him. “If I didn’t have to attend to business now, I would invite you to stay and have tea with me. Are you free tomorrow afternoon, say around the same time?”

Heart racing with excitement, I nodded eagerly. “Yes, I’m free tomorrow.”

He smiled. He had such an amazing smile. It made his eyes twinkle and my stomach flutter. “Good. Tomorrow afternoon, then.”

We walked back to the gate. As we stood there facing each other, I held out my hand. “Thank you for the tour.”

“You’re welcome, Addie.” He shook my hand and when he released it, I could still feel where his fingers had been. The skin tingled. “I’ll be waiting here for you tomorrow afternoon. Goodbye.”

“Goodbye.” I waved before I turned and walked away. Halfway down the street, I realized that I didn’t even know his name. Not to worry. I’ll find out tomorrow.

 

This was written for the #writephoto Prompt – Invitation at Sue Vincent’s Daily Echo.

Another Bad Day

Dear Diary,

I had another BAD day today.  Mom and I got into another one of our huge arguments.  She’s always finding fault with me.  I just can’t seem to do anything right.  I’m sick and tired of this.  Sometimes, I wish I could run away but where would I go?  I can’t stay at my father’s place.  I don’t like his new wife.  She’s young enough to be my older sister.  She’s so fake.  Always acting all nice when he’s around but the minute he’s not there, it’s like dealing with Cruella de Vil.  I can’t go to Sean’s house.  His parents would have a conniption.  They don’t know that we’re sexually active.  We have been very careful.

So, as I was telling you, Mom and I had an argument this morning.  Today it was how I didn’t do a good job washing the dishes.  I mean, really?  Why did I even need to wash them when we have the dishwasher?  Yesterday, it was my room.  Apparently, I didn’t do a good job cleaning it.  Isn’t that what she is supposed to do, being a housewife and all?  The day before, it was the rice.  It got burned.  I was in my room texting my friend, Millie.  But still, how was any of this my fault?  Mom’s the one who’s supposed to do the cooking, not me.

I got grounded and my cell was confiscated for a whole month because of the rice incident.  Can you believe that?  It’s just so unfair.  She’s always criticizing everything I do but doesn’t say anything to either of my brothers who get with murder (I don’t mean they literally murder anyone, of course.  It’s just a figure of speech).  They hardly get grounded or have their privileges taken away.  It’s painfully obvious that Mom favors them over me.  That’s fine with me.  I don’t want her favor anyway.  I just want her to be fair, that’s all.

Yes, life here is hard for a seventeen year old girl.  Can’t wait until I turn twenty-one and can move out.  Until then, though, I have to deal with Mom.

Well, that’s my rant for today.  Until tomorrow, ciao for now.

Anabela

This was written for the Ragtag Daily Prompt for Tuesday which is Fault. For more information, click HERE.

Mother Arguing With Daughter Over Use Of Mobile Phone

 

Direction

A man’s heart plans his way, But the LORD directs his steps – Proverbs 16:9

Have you ever made plans without consulting God first? You decide that you are going to go into missionary work because you saw a program on TV or know someone who is in the mission field but have you asked yourself if that is what God wants you to do? He might want you to be a missionary where you work or where you live instead of you going off to another country.

You might be planning to quit your job and move to another city or country but is that what God wants? What if He wants you to stay put because He has plans for you? You may be planning to get married but what if God wants you to wait? What if the timing is not right? OR what if the person you want to marry is not the right person? How many people could have avoided heartache, unhappiness, failed marriages if they had only waited on the Lord.

Let the Lord direct your steps. If you have plans, share them with Him. You may or may not have His blessing but either way you will be much better off than if you were to go ahead and follow your own plans instead of waiting on Him to give you direction.

fork roads

The Encounter

“Drink from your own well, my son—be faithful and true to your wife” – Proverbs 5:15

In all the years he had been married to Ashley, never once had he looked at another woman until that moment when he saw her leaning against the wall in the subway.  She was stunning and looked like a fashion model.  Other people were staring at her too but she seemed oblivious to them.

Although, his gut was warning him not to, he walked over to where she was and stood there, waiting for the train.  He had his head turned away from her as he looked down the tracks but he could feel her eyes on him.  Unable to resist, he glanced over his shoulder.  Their eyes met.  She smiled at him.  He had two choices, smile back or turn away.  He smiled back.  That was his mistake.  Leaving her position against the wall, she sauntered over to him, her gaze traveling slowly and deliberately over his tall frame.  He felt his body respond and his heart began to pound.  He turned around so that he was fully facing her, his eyes practically undressing her as she stood in front of him.

“Do you have the time?” she asked, her head cocked to one side, her eyes riveted to his face which felt hot.

He glanced at his watch.  “It’s a quarter to six,” he replied.  This close she was even more stunning.  Every instinct urged him to run but he stood there staring at her.

She smiled.  “Thank you.”

“Do you work around here?” he asked.  “I’ve never seen you before today.”

“Yes, I work around here.  I was on my way to the Mall to pick up a few items.  I’ve never seen you before either.  I would have remembered.”  Her eyes slipped over him again.  “You’re a fine looking man.  Too bad you’re married.”

He swallowed hard.  “Does that make a difference?” he asked.

“It might to your wife.”

“She doesn’t have to know.”

“She doesn’t have to know what?”

“That you and I are talking to each other.”

“Is that what we’re doing?”  She laughed.  “What’s your name?”

“Silas.”

“Well, Silas, do you want to buy me a Café Latte?  There’s a really great coffee bar near Bryant Park.  We can go there and figure out if talking is all that we want to do.”

Every nerve was screaming that he should say no and walk away but when the train thundered into the station, they got on together.  She stood in front of him, holding on to the overhead metal bar.  The car was crowded so he was standing really close to her.  He could smell her perfume.  It suited her.  Her body was inches from his and a couple of times, he bumped against her when the train stopped abruptly.  He couldn’t hide his reaction to her even if he wanted to.  By the time they got to the 42nd street subway, he knew that he was in big trouble.

They walked to Culture Espresso.  It was a pleasant afternoon, mild and sunny.  While he went to buy the Café Latte for her and a Mocha for himself, she went to find a table.  She found one by the window and was sitting with her back against the wall.  He sat down opposite her and set the Café Latte down in front of her.  “Thank you,” she said.

“You’re welcome,” he replied.  “You haven’t told me your name.”

“Aretha,” she said, holding out her hand.

He clasped it and blinked when heat coursed through his body at the feel of her slender fingers in his.  When he released her hand, he took a sip of his Mocha, his eyes trained on her.  This is madness, he thought.  He should be on his way home, not sitting here in a coffee bar with her.  For all he knew she could be in a relationship.  “Do you have a boyfriend?” he asked.

She shook her head.  “No.  I’m single, unlike you.”

He withdrew his left hand from the table and placed it on his thigh.  “Does my being married bother you?”

“Well, I’ve never been with a married man.  It complicates things.”

“So, after we finish our coffees, we part ways?”

“I didn’t say that.  Married or not, I want to do more than talk to you, if you know what I’m saying.  I live five minutes from here.  When we’re done here, we can go there.  It’s up to you.  You can walk away or you can come back to my place.”

Silas’s mind was reeling.  This was temptation in its purest and potent form.  Now he had an idea of how Joseph felt when he faced Potiphar’s wife or King David when he saw Bathsheba.  His mind was telling him to do what Joseph did and run but his body was telling him to do what David did.  He had a while to decide what he was going to do.

“So, what type of work do you do?” Aretha asked, breaking the silence.  “From the way you’re dressed, you look corporate.  Are you?”

“I’m a Software Engineering Manager.”

“You look a bit young to be a Manager.  How old are you?”

“Thirty-five.”

“Hmmm.  I’m forty.  So, do you like your job?”

“Yes, I like it very much.  And it doesn’t hurt that it pays very well.  What about you, what is your line of work?”

“I’m a Chief Executive.”

“When I first saw you, I thought you were a model.”

She laughed.  “I’m flattered.”

“You’re a very stunning woman, Aretha.”

“Thank you.  And you’re a very handsome man.  I’m not surprised that you’re already taken.”

“It didn’t stop you from approaching me in the subway.”

“I couldn’t resist.”

He slowly removed his cell from his pocket and dialed the number.  He listened to it ring out and then the answering machine kick in.  “Ashley, something has come up so I’ll be late getting home this evening.  See you later.”  He ended the call and slipped the phone back into his pocket.  He looked at Aretha.

“Are you sure about this?” she asked.

He nodded.

Aretha finished her Latte and got up.  “Let’s go, then.”

He drained his glass and rose to his feet.  He followed her out of the coffee bar.  The sun was beginning to set.  They didn’t say much as they walked to her place.  He was trying to ignore the Bible verses that popped into his head.  He was about to cheat on Ashley, something he never once imagined he would ever do but he couldn’t seem to help himself.  He wanted Aretha.  She aroused such a passion in him.  It was raw and powerful.  It gripped him like a vice, leading him down a path he never thought he would end up on.

He still had time to back out.  With every temptation, there was always the way of escape. Yet, he found himself walking right towards it with both eyes open.  He was throwing wisdom and caution to the winds.  His desire for her was luring him straight into a trap.  Maybe it was true that the only way to get rid of temptation was to yield to it.  Maybe all he needed was this one time with Aretha to get this “thing” for her out of his system and afterwards, they would part ways and never see each other again.

As soon as they got to Aretha’s place and she had locked the door behind them, he reached for her.  His mouth found hers and he devoured it like a mad man, driven by a hunger that couldn’t be held in check.  She kissed him back wildly.  In a matter of minutes, they were naked and making love on the rug in front of the hearth.

Unfortunately, their encounter that afternoon wasn’t their last.  It was the beginning of a long and torrid affair.

“Watch and pray, lest you enter into temptation. The spirit indeed is willing, but the flesh is weak” – Matthew 26:41

Sources: CNBC; Culture Expresso; Latte Art Guide; Eater New York; Brainy Quote