I get writer’s block as bad as anyone. I try to give myself goals to keep me on track and moving forward but sometimes those goals will stress me out and block me up worse. I’ll listen to music or look through pictures to try to inspire myself to write something, anything, even if is not anything related to what I should be working on. Because I know the best way to break through writer’s block is by writing.
I guess I should say here, that I’m a sucker for a challenge. There is just something about putting a picture in front of my face or giving me a few words and saying, “Here. Write something about this,” I cannot resist. So in doing these exercises, I end up with little snippets of writing which likely will never be seen by anyone.
What a waste of words, right?
Well, I thought so anyway. Which is why I thought I’d share one such piece of my writing. I hope you enjoy!
“Say something,” Kylee demanded as she chewed nervously on the corner of her thumbnail, ruining the ‘Plum Luck’ polish job she had done only hours earlier.
Leaves rustled wildly as the wind kicked up around them. It seemed to mirror the nervousness she felt which grew with each moment Eli remained silent.
Or maybe it was the nervousness he radiated. She couldn’t tell. All she knew was something had to be terribly wrong.
Kylee had been so happy to see Eli when he came to pick her up. Each minute she could spend with him before she left for college she cherished. But as soon as she hopped up into his truck, his normally easy going crooked smile looked strained. His short wavy brown hair looked even more tousled than usual as if he had been running a hand through it nervously. When he told her they needed to talk, her stomach began to twist in knots.
Tension sat like a third passenger between them the entire drive to the lake on his parents property. It wasn’t until they reached the lake and she was able to escape the stifling confines of the truck that she was able to take a deep breath.
“Eli, you’re freaking me out. Say something!”
“Kylee,” Eli began as he shoved his hands into the front pockets of his low-slung , faded and torn jeans. It drew her attention to the V in the line of his muscles along his waist which made all girls stupid. She would miss that V and the way his t-shirts clung to his toned chest and arms. But most of all she would miss him — everything about him — when she left in a few weeks to New York for school. The way he made her laugh or always made her feel beautiful or the way she felt comfortable and safe when she was around him, were things she didn’t think she could find in any other guy.
So this was it. Kylee could feel it in her bones. In spite of the denials she told herself their relationship was stronger than others, he must have decided differently. Her heart was already breaking at the thought.
“Do you remember the time our dads brought us out here to teach us how to fish?”
A smile crossed her face at the memory. They had only been around six years old and she had been so grossed out by the worms and scared by the pointy end of the hooks, her lesson didn’t last long. Eli was more than happy to handle the worms and cast out for her though. Then he gave her back the pink fishing rod her father had bought for her and let her take credit for the one fish that actually took the bait. “Yeah, I remember.”
“Do you remember the time we all came out here to watch the meteor shower our Sophomore year?”
She looked up to meet his gaze as she brushed the hair which escaped her ponytail in the wind, out of her face. There was an intensity in his blue eyes or an emotion she couldn’t read. She had always been able to read Eli. So this — whatever this was — made an uneasiness rise up in her instead of fondness at the memory. “You kissed me for the first time that night. Of course I remember.”
Eli took a few steps through the tall grass toward her. “Do you remember graduation night?”
How could she not? It was the night she broke the news she was going away for college instead of going to State with Eli like they had planned. They had gotten into a huge fight that night and in the end decided they would take things day by day.
Kylee tilted her head back as tears began to pool in her eyes. Ominous dark clouds had gathered and thunder rumbled off in the distance. What was he getting at? Why did it seem he was purposely trying to make this more painful than it needed to be?
She felt the first drops of rain hit her face just as a tear rolled down her cheek. This day had been coming for a while now. Kylee shouldn’t have been surprised. The two months which had passed since graduation had not prepared her for this. It would not be any easier to accept now than it would have then.
Kylee turned away from him and looked out over the lake as she wrapped her arms around herself. “Yes, I remember, Eli. If you’re going to end things between us, I wish you would just come out and say it already.”
Eli’s deep chuckle washed over her as he stepped up behind her. “That’s not why I brought you out here, Kylee,” he said as he wrapped one arm around her waist and brushed her hair over one of her shoulders with his other hand. He placed a soft kiss on the nape of her neck then murmured, “But there is the possibility we will go our separate ways after you hear me out.”
Kylee turned to face him and was struck by the serious look on his face. The sad smile he tried to give as reassurance did nothing to ease the anxiety and panic now rocketing it’s way through her system. So he was breaking up with her? Did he cheat on her? Did he do something else he didn’t think she would forgive? Her mind raced with one worst case scenario after another.
The rain had begun to fall steadily. It quickly soaked Eli’s dark hair which made it look more black than brown. He inclined his head toward the old wooden dock which jutted out over the water. “C’mon, I want to show you something.”
Hesitantly, she turned and began to walk forward. Names of their friends, dates and stupid sayings they made up — and once thought were cool — from over the years were etched into the old wooden posts which rose out of the water beside the dock. Each carving held a memory she would hold onto forever.
As she neared the end, her brows pulled together in confusion at what appeared to be new carvings into the boards of the dock itself. Then the words registered.
The words were carved into the last five planks of wood. She quickly spun around to find Eli on one knee with a black velvet box in his hand.
“Before you answer, I want you to hear me out, okay?”
That was easy. Words were lodged in Kylee’s throat behind the emotion which had surged to the surface anyway. She nodded.
“The day our dads taught us how to fish, I told my dad you were pretty. The day of the meteor shower, I decided I would marry you one day. And the day after graduation, I bought this ring. Even though I don’t know where school or your career will take you, I knew that night it didn’t matter. You are it for me, Kylee.”
Eli blinked against the rain then looked past her to the lake and over the clearing of land which surrounded them. “This land here is ours if we want it. We can build a house and start a family or I can follow you wherever your path leads you. I want you to go after your dreams. I want you to be happy. But I also want to be there with you along the way. I want to know that in a year or even ten years down the line, you will do me the honor of becoming my wife.” He slowly lifted the lid to the velvet box to reveal a platinum ring with a princess cut diamond. It was beautiful but not nearly as beautiful as the man kneeling in front of her.
Kylee sunk to her knees in front of him, heedless of the puddles in the warped wood which soaked into her jeans. Her tear filled eyes lifted to his before a nervous smile pulled at his lips. Memories flashed through her mind of fort building and swinging from a rope out into the lake when they were kids. Then when they were older of football games, bonfires and steaming up the windows of his truck while they made out. There weren’t many memories she had which didn’t include Eli. He encompassed all that was home to her and she couldn’t imagine her life without him.
“Marry me,” he pleaded.
Kylee smiled through her tears and choked out, “Yes,” as she threw her arms around him. Yes, they were young and some might question their decision. But that was the beauty of the next stage in their lives. The choices were their’s to make. Right or wrong, it was their story to write. And she would do it with Eli by her side, one page at a time.
R.J. Loom was born and raised along the shores of Lake Erie in Ohio, where she still resides with her husband, two teenage children and two spoiled dogs. She loves books, music, travel and anyone with a great sense of humor. When she’s not writing, she can be found with her nose in a book, looking for more books to add to her “to-be-read” pile or spending time with her family.https://www.facebook.com/