Love's Dream Silently Cracking
Lovers, "Jim "Jimmy" Kantrell and "Karren Holliwaye," in their late 20's, have been dating for a few weeks. There have been the usual phone calls, surprise visits (by Jim) with flowers in his hand and more romantic inventions of his heart.
Tonight, he and Karren are out on the town about to sit down in a moderately-plush dining establishment in their hometown. Jim has an ulterior motive: he has plotted as lovers do, to confess his deep love or as he will say word-for-words, "I'm so deeply in love with you, Karren, that I cannot see the top anymore." What girl would not respond to such a well-thought out confession? Jim has thought all week.
Waiter: Your table, sir, madam.
Jim: Thank you.
(Karren nods gracefully then sits. Jim sits after seating Karren.)
Waiter: Shall I bring you some before dinner drinks?
Jim: Uh, ahh, sure. The lady will have a Chardonnay. I'll have a Scotch on the rocks.
(The waiter nods and then leaves. Jim and Karren busy themselves straightening out their napkins and silverware as it their menial tasks were the most important thing ever to them.)
Jim: Sweetie, you look really beautiful tonight.
Karren: Ah, thank you, darling. Uh, Jim.
Karren: May I say something to you without you, uh, being hurt?
Jim: Sure, sweetie. I knew something was wrong with you for how quiet you were on the ride over here.
Karren: Well, I really do not know exactly how to word this being that you are "the" most sensitive, understanding man I have ever met and I would rather die than to hurt you . . .
Jim: Well, dear. What is it? Sounds pretty serious to me.
Karren: (slightly giggles) Well, it is serious and not that serious, but it's been bothering me since we have been seeing each other.
Jim: Okay. Shoot. Hold it. Let me get set first. (Jim acts as if he is bracing himself by holding onto the table.)
Karren: Jim, I appreciate your flattery very much. I really do, but you do not have to compliment me each time we go out, talk on the phone or just have lunch. I am not wired like most girls who live for men to compliment them. Now remember. I do appreciate the compliments, but do not feel obligated. Okay?
Jim: Well, ha, ha. Uhhh, okay. That's fine. Man, was I ever worried.
Karren: About what?
Jim: That thing that was bothering you. I thought it was as serious as a soon-coming earthquake.
Jim: Now, Karren. I know that it was important to you. It's just how my imagination works doing some stories for some writer's sites--my imagination works overtime. Sorry.
Karren: I see. I am so glad that you are not angry. Oh, and thank you for the compliment earlier.
Jim: Oh, yeah. You are welcome.
Waiter: Here are your drinks. Chardonnay for the lady. Scotch on the rocks for the gentleman. May I take your order now or would you like another minute?
Jim: We are ready. I am famished. You, Karren?
Karren: Oh, yes. I think that I will start with, uhhh, this House Salad with house dressing followed by this Chicken Parmasean with more Chardonnary, please.
Waiter: Very good, madame.
Jim: Oh, just give me this Porterhouse with a baked potato, green beans, and make the steak rare, please. And another Scotch on the rocks.
Waiter. Very good, sir.
Preparations being made
Jim: I have heard a lot about this place having great chow. I had forgotten just how hungry that I was since I had to work through lunch.
Karren: Through lunch? Dear, now you know that doing that is not healthy.
Jim: Awweee, you love me. You are so sweet. Oops, I am sorry.
Karren: Jim! Please! After me just telling you that I did not require . . .
Jim is frozen in a loving gaze zeroing in on Karren's face.
oh, just never mind. You are not listening anyway.
Jim: Sure, I am listening. I mean that. You are very sweet. It's just a good habit that I required of complimenting the girls I date . . .oh, my!
Karren: what girls? You mean lately?
Jim: No, Karren! Before you. You are the only girl in my life now and well, possibly for life.
Jim: Beg your pardon? (takes sip of drink.)
Karren: I am the only girl in your life, possibly for life? Did you say possibly?
Jim: Sure, Karren. I am not one to plant my plans on the horizon of any tomorrow. I live in the moment and day-by-day.
Karren: Oh well, yeah. I can see that. Okay.
Jim: (exhales breath of relaxation): I will say this. We picked a pretty good restaurant. The fixtures are nice. And to be honest, I wanted the restaurant and well, tonight to be special for you, Karren.
Karren: Oh? Well what have you got up your sleeve?
Jim: Nothing that will harm you, ha. ha. Anyway . . .
Waiter rolls a fancy cart up to the table with the couple's orders.
Waiter: House Salad, Chardonnay, and Chicken Parmesan, for madame. Porterhouse steak, rare, baked potato, green beans, Scotch on The Rocks for the gentleman. Will that be all? Enjoy.
Karren: Doesn't this look great?
Jim: You got that right. Let's have a toast first.
Karren: A toast? Wow! You really are up to something.
Jim: "To Karren, the once area of light that always drives away the darkness that sometiems creeps into my life."
Karren: Thank you, Jim. That was sweet.
(Jim slices a bite of his food starts chewing. He looks intently at Karren while he is chewing.)
Karren: Something wrong, hun?
(She takes a bite of her salad.)
Jim: Huh? Oh, nooo, nothing wrong. Just thinking of later on tonight.
Karren: What? Later on tonight? Now I am worried sick. What are you planning, Jim?
Jim: (laughs softly) Stop worrying. It's all good. Now eat.
(the couple enjoy a small amount of their food without talking and glancing at each other smiling ever so often.)
Karren: Jim, sweetie. How long have we been seeing each other?
Jim: Oh, about four months or is it five? Ha, ha.
Karren: I was just wondering. I appreciate this place, Jim, and you thinking of me and our relationship this much, but you know, there is something else that I need to . . .
Jim: I've not complimented you anymore, Karren. So what is it now?
Karren: Oh, don't get so snippy. It can wait. But what's on my mind is that tonight is not my birthday or our anniversary, so something must be up by the way you are acting--all nervous and all.
Jim: Sorry. It's just that . . .in the short time that I have known you, uh, well, I know that you have heard this a few thousand times, but you are the best thing that has ever happened to me, Karren."
Karren: Wow! Jim, I am, well, ha, ha, that got me good. Thanks, babe.
Jim: Hey, you are welcome and I meant that too.
Karren: Now you cannot even give me a hint about . . .
Jim: No. Now let's finish this feast. You want a good dessert?
Karren: You serious? I barely got into this dress. Got to pass on that, hun.
Waiter walks up: Everything acceptable?
Jim: Super, my friend. Here's the check and oh, just keep the change.
Waiter: Thank you, sir. Please visit us again.
(Jim nods at the waiter as he and Karren slowly walk back to his car.)
(Karren is quiet as she checks her make-up and hair in the mirror of her compact.)
Jim: Where to now? You want to go to the park and take a late-night canoe ride?
Karren: Jim, a canoe ride? Well, I don't, uhhh . . .
Jim: It's settled. A canoe ride it is.
(The atmosphere is relaxed in the car as they go to the city park where people can take a canoe
for a ride in the lake adjoining the park.)
Karren: Is it when we are in the canoe that you are going to tell me what you said was bothering you?
Jim: Huhh? Oh, yeah. That would be fine. Thanks for reminding me.
Karren: Uh, huh. (looks wishfully out the window.)
Jim: Karren, had you rather walk a little while than take a canoe ride?
Karren: It's your plans, Jim. I will be happy either way.
Jim: That's one of the million things that I love about you--your laid back and easy-going attitude.
"If you read my last hub, "The Right and Wrong Way to Open Christmas Presents," on that particular hub, I put a text box, much like this one, on that hub to inform my Wonderful Followers that I would going to give them a "Christmas gift" of not publishing another hub until over in January 2017."
"Okay. I goofed. In my spare time, I wrote several hubs to publish in 2017 and not really paying attention to how much space it was eating up on my hard-drive, so to make a long confession short, this is one of those hubs."
"Now I can delete the text and photos from my hard-drive and breathe a little easier. I am truly sorry for opening my big mouth and publishing something that I did not know would come back and "bite me in the behind."
The wall starts to crack
(The couple arrive. Get in one of the canoes. There are hardly any people in the park and at the
canoe launching area at 9 p.m. and this suits Jim just fine.)
Jim: Man, this is tough. I am not in the best of shape, ha, ha.
Karren: Want me to do the rowing and you sit here and strum me a tune on your ukelele?
Jim: Ha, ha. Nice one, Karren.
Karren: Hey, this is not that bad, and I have to confess. When you first mentioned canoe ride, I had a wave of apprehension for it's tough for a girl to get in and out of a canoe when she's in a dress.
Jim: I don't mind. (winks at Karren.)
Karren: You are just full of the devil tonight aren't you?
Jim: Relax. Go on. Pull your shoes off.
Karren: I haven't done that since . . .uh, well, okay. Can't see the harm.
(they reach the center of the lake and Jim stops rowing.)
Karren: Ahhh, I see. You get the girl at a disadvantage in a canoe under the full moon that you obviously planned and then what?
Jim: Karren, you worry about everything don't you? Relax. Live in the moment.
(Now there surfaces a scary, unsettling lull in the conversation.)
Karren: Babe, what's wrong?
Jim: Huhh? Oh, uhhh, well, nothing really. Just organizing my thoughts.
Karren: Wow! Never had to do that, ha. ha. Let me guess . . .
Jim: Guess what?
Karren: That thing you said earlier in the evening that you, uhhh, wanted to talk to me about. Am I right?
Jim: Kinda, Karren. Kinda. I just have to put the right phrase in the right place.
Karren: Why? It's just us out here.
Jim: Let me explain. (Gazes toward her) Karren, I've never said what I am planning to say to you to any girl at anytime of my life and I swear that this is the truth. So a thing like this means that I have to present my very best thoughts for well, you . . .deserve it.
Karren: How sweet, babe. I mean it. I feel so well, uneasy, but in a good way.
Jim: Fine. I promise that when I am ready to tell you what's on my heart, you will never be the same, but by the same token, neither will I.
(Karren doesn't talk. She looks intently at the reflection of the moon in the water.)
Karren: Sweetie, I hate to show my impatience, but I have to be at work in the morning and if you aren't ready to, uhhh, tell me what it is that you . . .
Jim: (Loudly): I--AM--HOPELESSLY-IN-LOVE--WITH--YOU . . .!
(Karren gasps. Then looks at Him angrily. She looks back at the water. Draws her lips tight, slaps the water.)
Jim: Well, you know how I feel, Karren, so . . .
Karren: How dare you?! I mean really, Jim.
Jim: What are you upset about? On our second date, you were quick to inform me how you could not tolerate lies and a liar. So what I have just said is THE truth.
Karren: I know, but Jim . . .
Jim: But what, Karren? Tell me. It took me almost three weeks of writing, rehearsing this confession and well it just came out kinda straight-forward.
Karren: It's not that. It's just that . . .
Jim: What? It's just what?
Karren: I am married, Jim. Did you hear me? Married!
Jim: (in shock. Mouth open) Married? But . . .
Karren: You never thought it strange that I was always careful about what restaurant and theater we visited and many times how I kept my face down?
Jim: Naaah. I just thought you were ashamed of me.
Karren: Oh, babe, babe, please understand. I DO love you and I might possibly be IN LOVE with you too, but Jim . . .it's
Jim: Your husband? I can figure that even with my high school education.
Karren: This is not a good time to put yourself down. We need to deal with this.
Jim: Deal with this? You act as if I confessed to a minor shoplifting offense. Karren, did you hear me? I'm in love with you . . .
Karren: I know and that hurts worse than being dumped.
Jim: Worse? How would you know? You were never dumped as pretty and sweet as you are.
Karren: I wasn't talking about before I met you. I was talking about right now.
Jim: Who's dumping you?
Karren: Well, you will when you hear what I have to say.
Jim: (stares at her momentarily): Come on, Karren. Please do not play these games with me.
Karren: Games? Okay. No anger. Please understand that you have put me in a very precarious position. I knew that you might have feelings for me by how you never stood up for yourself when I would intentionally insult you in a playful way. But IN LOVE? Wow, Jim!
Jim: I am. And you want to know how I knew?
(Karren nods and is softly weeping wiping her tears with a tissue.)
(Jim continues): I haven't been able to sleep a full night or eat a full meal in about three weeks, Karren. I look in the mirror, any mirror and I see your face. I walk down the street and look in a storefront, there you are . . .no matter what song is on the radio, you pop into my mind. These are not just symptoms, but the REAL thing, Karren. Face it. I am in love with you so deeply that I cannot see the top. If being in love was water, I would have drown by now.
Karren: (halfway smiling): Sweetheart, I am just blown away right now. Can you, uhhh, give me some, uhhh, time to sort out my feelings for you and oh, yeah, I wanted to tell you about Bobby, my husband.
Jim: Bobby? What about Bobby? And what about me?
Karren: This is tough, Jim. Be easy with me. I do have feelings for you, and yes, the romantic type. You are not just a friend, Jim. You are someone who has given me something that I thought had died since Bobby and I have been married--and this isn't easy to say, but he forgot how to make me feel like a woman and you just smile at me and I feel like the prettiest woman in the world!
Jim: (looks shocked): I never knew, Karren. Oh, well then what do you propose that we do?
Karren: that makes this part the more difficult to tell you, but you see, uhhh, Bobby has been offered a new job with his company in Ohio and it comes with a big raise and more responsibility, oh he is a hard worker and a good employee, Jim. I try as hard as I can to be happy for him and all the while he is walking on a cloud in excitement telling me this big news each night, my heart is really breaking for you, Jim, and what a move will do to us.
Jim: Move? You mean . . .
Karren: Yes, we have to move in two days to the new house that Bobby's company has purchased for us and well, I cannot see any other way out except to, you know?
Jim: Divorce? Is that what you mean?
Karren: Yes. And I would do that too, but right now, I am so mixed up inside that I am turning sick.
(She leans over and leans against Jim's chest to rest her head. Jim looks away with a look of agony welded into his face.)
Jim: Okay, sweetie. We best get going or else, we are going to be in huge trouble.
Karren: I'm so sorry, Jim. I really am. I will still be here like I said for one more week, so I will call you in a day or so and in the meantime you be thinking of a solution and I will be . . .
Jim: Thinking of how to keep both of us happy?
Karren: You and I?
Jim: No. Bobby and me.
Karren: I do not want to hurt what we have, Jim. When I am with you, I am so free and light in heart. And you are so caring and understanding and yes, I am now sorry for scolding you back there in the restaurant for complimenting me for right now one of your compliments would go a long way.
Jim: Karren, I love it when you talk seriously. Your nose wrinkles and is so cute.
Karren: (sofly laughs still laying back on his chest.) Thanks, Jim.
(Both do not talk for a short while. The look of contemplation is on their faces.)
Jim: We're here. Rats! Uhhh, Karren . . .
Karren: Yes, Jim.
Jim: Would it be okay to . . .
(She rushes into his arms and they lock in a long, passionate kiss. Then she grabs him and embraces him as if she will never see him again.)
Jim: Karren, it's okay. Shhh. Settle down.
Karren: I can't lose you, Jim.
Jim: Babe, I can't lose you either.
Karren: So what should we do?
Jim: Call me tomorrow?
Karren: You bet.
Good night, Palm Springs, California
Okay, what happened between "Jim" and "Kareen?" You tell me in the Comment boxes below. Thanks.
© 2016 Kenneth Avery