This story is inspired by a writing prompt. The prompt indicates I should find a wedding photo (mine or someone else’s) and write a story based upon it. I decided to look for a photo of a war bride.
I’m also inspired by a few other characters here: a British teacher I knew in elementary school who was a war bride, Gilbert and Anne from “Anne of Green Gables,” and of course Thor and Jane from “Thor.” Additionally, my own wedding reception took place in a library, so it seemed like a good setting.
On a technical note, I don’t think the guy in the pic is wearing a Marines uniform. Please forgive me though, as Marines are obviously the hottest and I am married to one in real life. I guess he kind of inspired this, too 🙂
I know this is sort of a romance scene, but I tried to write it with a comic book feel. Just sort of something I’ve been experimenting with. Seeing things frame by frame is an interesting way of envisioning the story. I’d love some feedback on that.
The prompt asks for 500 words or less, so that’s what I’ll aim for. Here goes.
A Promise Kept
The meeting of Corporal James Davenport and Dr. Lucinda (Wellington) Davenport
I was a nursing student, but I didn’t want to be a nurse. I was already wearing the outfit, though, and didn’t like my few other options. Of course until that moment I never thought about waiting more than a year on the possibly flawed wishes of a man who might be dead; I never thought about moving overseas to start a new life.
We met in the library.
I had my book on the table and I was engrossed. Several students passed by, mostly men, none really taking notice of me.
He was so tall, he blocked the light. That caused me to look up and I was unable to see his features with the way the lamp was behind him. When he asked to sit down, I gave nothing more than a cautious nod. As he sat, I could see just the uniform. American. Marine.
In a ladylike gesture, I folded my hands over my book and gave him my attention. Boldly, he took the seat opposite me and offered a half-smile and a wink. Before I could say anything, his hand was moving towards me; towards my hands. No, towards the book.
“Comic book?” he asked. “That’s how I used to get away with reading them. Hiding them in a text book like that.”
He seemed surprised to find that it was, in fact, not a comic book, but a journal that I was hiding within the open novel. “Physics?” he went on. Intrigued, he leaned forward. At last, I could discern some of his features. His eyes were the color of ice and his skin somewhat tanned, likely from working outside. He put the journal down and looked at it, but when he looked back up at me, he regarded me differently, likely based on the reading material.
I was wearing cherry red lipstick and when I smiled, I could see that was his focus. He took off his cap and folded it, resting it next to the journal while I answered him.
“I have three brothers,” I explained. “So I am familiar with reading Captain America instead of doing homework,” I assured him, “And it was worse for me because I had to wait until they were done before I could read it.” I looked coyly at the physics journal, but realized this study was just as fascinating as physics.
“Well, ma’am, I’m just passing through your country, and I don’t know what you’re doing here in a library dressed as a nurse reading a physics journal, but given we both like the same comic book, I’d like to ask you out for coffee…or I guess tea.”
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