Sunday, November 16, 2008

Portrait of Words #3

Here we are in the third month of this writing challenge already. From the bottom of my heart, thank you to those that have participated by sharing a story or two and equally to those who encourage us by reading what we've come up with. I appreciate each and every one of you!

For anyone new, here is a quick run down on how it works. I supply a variety of photographs along with corresponding categories for them. (Main Character, Backdrop, Purpose, Item and Wild Card) From these five prompts, we weave stories as our imagination dictates. If you'd like the full blown details please click here. For all of this month's current photos, please click here.

If you're considering joining us...please do! Everyone is welcome to participate.


"Love at First Sight"

Neither of them had considered using a computer dating service before, but it seemed to be going well so far. After a few emails and a couple of phone calls, Pam and Johnathan decided it was time to meet in person. Their previous discussions had revealed,among other things, that each had been married before; Pam to a dirt bag lawyer who'd decided his new legal assistant had more to offer him than his wife of twenty-three years, and Johnathan to his high school sweetheart who'd been tragically killed in a car accident about three years earlier.

Both had admittedly filled out their online applications with a bit of apprehension, and in fact, had it not have been for their children, they probably would have never gone through with it. Pam's daughter, who herself was now married, assured her mother that not all men were as despicable as her father was and she should look for someone who would treat her with the respect she deserved. She also convinced her mom that online dating had lost its astigmatism of a desperate attempt of finding love. It really had become a legitimate way for busy people to connect with others. Pam wasn't sure she completely believed her daughter, but she was at least willing to give it a go.

Johnathan's two daughters had also encouraged him to go online, but from a slightly different angle. They both knew after three years of being alone, it was time for him to find someone to share his life with again. He had been introduced to a couple of ladies in the past two months, but had never really hit it off with any of them. He chalked it up to good intentions by mutual friends with poor results. There just didn't seem to be much spark in him these days, but with his girls blessings, maybe things would be different now.

The "date", as it were, was set. Both of them loved their coffee and decided getting together at the local roasters called the 'Java Hut' would be a safe bet. Johnathan was the first to arrive. He found a couple of chairs and a small table in the corner with a good view of the door. A few minutes later an attractive woman in a long sleeve blue shirt and shoulder length blond hair walked in. There was no question that this is who he was waiting for. As he got up to greet her, Pam spotted him. This was a good first sign they both thought, at least they each looked like the pictures from their profiles online.

After introducing themselves, Johnathan asked, "Shall we get something to drink? A vanilla laté if I remember correctly right?"

Impressed that he'd been paying attention during their previous conversations, she replied, "Sounds goo to me . . . with 2% milk though, I'm trying to watch my figure."

"I don't think you have anything to worry about." he returned. Then he thought to himself, "Good lord Johnathan you idiot, why don't you just look at her ass while you say that!"

Fortunately she understood it for the compliment that it was and just thanked him with a pleasant smile.

They gathered up their coffees and sat at the table Johnathan had reserved earlier. They instantly hit it off and before they realized it, an hour had gone by consumed completely by conversation and the occasional laughter. When their talk took a more serious turn, to their previous spouses, Johnathan suggested they move their conversation to the pathway that meandered through Winchester Park. Pam agreed and off they went.

The calm and peaceful stroll around the lake was a much better choice for the direction the conversation had gone. As uncomfortable as the topic might have started out, it was surprisingly refreshing for each of them to be able to talk with someone else who had experienced first hand, the pain of loss. What really struck them was the candidness with which each one spoke. Although they'd just met, it seemed as if they'd known each other for months. Another hour passed in what felt like a minute. Was it possible that they were really this compatible?

Pam suggested if Johnathan was game, they grab some lunch together.

"I'd love to." he said, "In fact, I know a great place out on the coast if you're up for a little drive?"

"Hmmmm. . . let me check my busy social calendar." she quipped. With a mock look at her watch, she continued, "Hey, look at that. . . looks like I'm free!"

"Great! To the coast we go," he energetically replied.

They opted to take Johnathan's car. It was a exquisite mint-green, luxury-class convertible Mercedes, and with the beautiful weather outside, it just begged to be driven with the top down. Pam was more than relieved they wouldn't be relying on her Ford Taurus to get them there. A trip across town was risky enough, but an excursion all the way to the coast could easily turn out to be a one way trip for it and for them.

About two hours later they pulled into the parking lot at the Sea Cliff Inn. As the name would imply, the views of the Pacific from the restaurant and luxury hotel were stunning to say the least. It was situated about a hundred feet above the pounding surf on a rocky bluff which provided a panoramic shot from the north to the south. They each ordered a glass of chardonnay from the bar and decided to walk out onto the sun deck and wait for a table to open up. The sound of the crashing waves below, mixed with the taste of the crisp salt air enlivened their senses even more. A moment later a young lady approached them and announced their table was available.

The clam chowder was out of this world! It was quite possible the best Pam had ever tried. Of course the ambiance of the restaurant and the company she was keeping could have easily influenced her decision as well. About halfway through the main course, Johnathan noticed Pam starring out the large window next to them.

"Hello. . . anybody in there? . . " he lightheartedly asked.

"Oh sorry," she replied, "I was just lost in thought."

"About what?"

"Oh, I don't know if I should say. It might come off as too forward or too sappy."

"Come on, I can take it. . . try me," he insisted.

Taking another sip of her wine to buy a moment, she started in, "See those clouds outside?"


"I couldn't help but think about the image they formed. If you look closely, you'll see two hands coming together to form a sphere in the middle. Now I know we've only shared one day together, but what I see in those clouds, and our short time with each other, is two lives coming together and forming something special between them."

"Wow!" Was all Johnathan was able to muster.

"See, I knew I shouldn't have said it out loud."

Interrupting her, he said, "no no no, not at all. I feel very much the same way about you too. I was afraid of saying anything too early for fear of jinxing it or that you wouldn't feel the same."

A sense of relief washed over both of them.

It wasn't more than a half dozen steps outside of the restaurant when they simultaneously turned to each other. Without a word being spoken they embraced in a long passionate kiss. It was love at first sight and they both knew it.


Now of you're thinking, "hmmm, this looks like a fun writing challenge." Please consider joining us next month. I'll have the pictures for the next one up on Friday 11/21. Hope to see you there!

Looks like the Mr Linky site is having outage problems again today. As a result the sign in link box may not be available. I'll type in everyone's link so you can find the other writers.

Maggie May
Dr John
B Roan
Betty Gram
Strawberry Jam Anne


Sandi McBride said...

Great story Jeff. I especially like that they had their first date in a coffee house. It was well told and sounded as though it could really happen, which is the basis for any romantic tale!
Good job.

Maggie May said...

Hi! I enjoyed reading your story and it was well written.
I only discovered your blog through other people writing "Portrait of Words" last month, so I was compelled to have a go too!
Not sure if I did it right! Please fill me in if I didn't.
Had a lot a fun though, as I'm sure you did!

Dr.John said...

I loved your characters. They seemed so real. I loved the happy ending. That's a refreshing change.

Mel said...

Okay.....that was a pleasant read.

Mostly cuz..... Well, you know!

Very nice.
And very plausible. LOL

Thanks, sir.
<-- gonna go read the others later today!

bettygram said...

I enjoyed your story. I am trying this for the first time.

Jeff B said...

Sandi- Thank you. I did this in a bit of a rush. Sat down at 1:00pm yesterday and wrote it. Ha, nothing like waiting until the very last possible minute.

Maggie May- Just came from your place and you did a great job. So glad you decided to join us. I'll have next month's pics up in a post on Friday if you're interested.

Dr John- Guess the softer side of Jeff has to show itself from time to time. It just keeps people guessing that way.

Mel- Sometimes warm and fuzzy actually does cross my mind.

Bettygram- Welcome aboard! I see that you carried over characters from some of the Wordzzles I've seen. cool.

Cherie said...

What a sweet story, and taking your girl to a restaurant overlooking the ocean. How can it miss? :)

Akelamalu said...

Great job Jeff. Mine is scheduled to post on Wednesday so I won't sign Mr. Linky until then.

B. Roan said...

I swallowed the hook instantly. You have given all those single women out there hope. Unlike that person having a written feud with his brother, you might have a little romance lurking in the dark recesses of your little 'ole heart. Loved it!

Jeff B said...

Cherie- Lisa and I have shared many meals on the coast. It's amazing how an ordinary lunch or dinner turns to the romantic side when you're there.

Akelamalu- Looking forward to it!

B Roan- Every once in a while the softer side shows itself, just not with Gene. Bwahahahaha

Anndi said...

You're a sap...

but a cute one. Well done, Jeff.

Gene Bach said...

Not a bad story for a puke like yourself.

Say, come to think of it, I just posted part #1 of a little story about you on my blog.

Jeff B said...

Anndi- SAP. . . Does that stand for Slightly Adorable Person?

Gene- I read your intro last night. It was very moving. Kind of like my bowels in the morning.

katherine. said...

This was sweet. (although I am sure he WAS looking at her ass just before he said that)

Astigmatism - impressive

Between this and the stories about Gene you exhibit a wide range of writing styles….laughing.

yaknow…I met The Teamster online…

Not in a writing mindset…but I will read the other POWs

Mags said...

Hi Jeff-I just wanted to stop by to thank you for entering in my contest and for giving Katherine an extra entry!!

Good luck!!

Sandi McBride said...

Still waiting on others to join us in this...hope more decide to show up...

Jeff B said...

Katherine- Well, maybe just a glimpse


A little of this and a little of that

Ah ha, it does work!

We like reader too

Mags- Thanks for dropping in.

Sandi- I know Akelamalu has a scheduled post for sometime tomorrow. I'm hoping there will be a couple more too.

Anndi said...

Actually, you're quite adorable. Especially when you pretend not to like The Sound Of Music.

Lu' said...

Thanks for hosting Jeff. I'll be back. I'm still behind in time and now it is time for bed. Thanks again :)

Strawberry Jam Anne said...

Hi Jeff - liked your story, especially the sound of the Pacific at the Inn and the clam chowder. Believe in love at first sight too.

Have had a go myself this month, hope it's OK.


Akelamalu said...

Mine's up now so I can go and read the rest. :)

Dianne said...

I like how easy and genuine the characters are.

I loved when he had that little thought to himself about his compliment and looking at her ass, sweet and funny.

A great, romantic story!!

Sorry I didn't participate this month - but I will make sure to get around to everyone's stories.

Oh and who is that Gene B guy - his comments are always so nasty!! I'd consider word verification - just for him ;)

Desert Songbird said...

Don't hate me, Jeff, for not reading. I don't have the energy or motivation to read posts more than five sentences long.

I wanted to let you know I was here, though!

Raven said...

Well, I did it. Nothing very good, but... Was there a Mr. Linky? I can't see him. Here's my link, though to my story

And now I can go read your story.

CrazyCath said...

Awwwwwwww. A lovely, straight forward love story. A great story Jeff.

Sorry I wasn't in the writing mood this month, but I will pop back and check out next month's pictures.

Jeff B said...

Anndi- Smile...

Lu- You're more than welcome. Thanks for participating.

Strawberry Jam Anne- absolutely it's OK. Everyone is welcome to join in. Nice to meet you.

Akelamalu- Yeah, you made it!

Dianne- No need to apologize. Your world seems to be more than busy right now.

I wonder how many people have come across one of Gene's comments without knowing the whole story and thought something along those lines? hehehe

Songbird- No worries. I do that sometime too. Just want a short burst of something to read instead of a long story. Good to see you anyhoo.

Raven- Glad you jumped in this month. Mr Linky is playing peek-a-boo again I guess. When it shows up again, I'll add your name to it.

CrazyCath- I understand. We all go through periods of that. Hopefully the pics for next month will have something interesting for you.

Farmer*swife said...

I so I need to get back into this. i've taken up writing in my IRL and between that and my commitment with school boards, activities, community service, CCD, and working on trying to land a job via "writing" I'm spent!!

I'd like to pop in and read some of the participants entries too!

Thanks for looking for me!

Travis said...

Nicely done Sir.

Finding Pam... said...

Awh...Jeff, that is so romantic. Just a beautiful story with such sweet moments. I may try this some time.

I don't know many men that write so expressive as you do. Thanks.

Jeff B said...

Farmer's Wife- Sounds like you have a pretty full plate. Maybe when things ease up a bit you'll join us.

Travis- Appreciated

Pam- The writing or the online dating? Bwahahahahaha

Seriously though, thank you for the compliment.

Carletta said...

Hi Jeff,
I saw Raven's story today and came over to check out yours. I loved it! A second chance at romance.
You know years ago (I'm telling my age) there was a magazine called True Romance. They would have bought this story in a heartbeat!!

a pot, a thought & a smidgen of dirt said...

Think I am a bit late this month, but would love to join in on the monthly writing, hope I can next month thanks fiona

Jeff B said...

Carletta- Thanks for coming by and taking the time to read it.

Fiona- Would love to have you join in. Next month's pictures will be posted tomorrow.

Starrlight said...

Nicely done, Jeff =)

Lu' said...

Love at first sight rocks. My hubby and I were love at first sight. The view has changed 24 years later but the love remains the same. Good stuff Jeff. Thanks for hosting.