Mar 13, 2012

Posted by in Creative Writing | 0 Comments

The One That Almost Got Away

For a recent writing project, I had to find a newspaper article and then use it as inspiration to create a fictional story. We had to write about 500 or so words, and then share just the first 300 with the rest of the class. Below is my first 300 or so words. I may just continue this story. 

She looked in the mirror and found the face of a 92-year-old woman peering back. “Who is that?” Elaine asked herself. “I am not an old woman.”

Elaine scanned the room until her eyes locked with his. John. Her love. Her life. Her husband these last seven decades. It seemed like yesterday…

John caught the first glimpse of Elaine when she came into the dry cleaners his father owned. There was a certain gentleness about her that he had not ever felt from another person. Soft auburn curls framed her face; intelligent brown eyes peer at him, one eyebrow slightly raised, head tilted to the left, waiting.

“When will these be ready,” she asked.

Flustered, he responded, “Day after tomorrow.” He handed her the receipt and just like that she was gone.

Elaine walked out of the cleaners and headed back to work, not giving the young man at the cleaners a second thought. She enjoyed her secretary position at the insurance company where worked with her best friend, Francesca. Francesca was like a little sprite, tiny, full of laughter and great fun. She had convinced Elaine to go on a blind date that evening. It was only a favor for a friend. At least that’s what Elaine told herself.

Later that evening, Elaine and Francesca walked from the office the short distance to the diner. Elaine couldn’t believe she had let Francesca talk her into this blind date. The girls walked past the other young couples sharing sodas at the counter to a table in the back of the restaurant. There, Patrick waited with his friend.

“Hello Patrick, John,” said Francesca. “This is my dear friend, Elaine.”

Elaine shook Patrick’s offered hand and turned to John. Surprise covered his face as they both realized that had met, of sorts, earlier that day. He quickly stood, banging his knee on the edge of the table.

The original story is about Edith and John DeBoer, who are celebrating their 70th wedding anniversary this year. Their true love story is quite inspiring. I found it in the SouthtownStar here:

I chose to change the wife’s name and I added in the characters of Francesca and Patrick. The rest of my piece continues the story – they marry, move to Texas. Eventually John gets shipped off to Europe with the National Guard. When he comes back, he and Elaine have children. John opens several businesses. He and Elaine end up doing volunteer work, where they counsel people to solve problems peacefully. Eventually, John is diagnosed with prostate cancer and he creates the first support group for men with this disease. They are now celebrating their 70th wedding anniversary.

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