(A Clean, Inspirational Romance for hearts of all ages)
Ever wonder what happened to Abby from Paula Freda’s “Beautiful Dreamer”? Find out in the romance novella, “The Lark and Robin Red” (Abby’s Story)
EXCERPT 1: Abby and Johnny met for the first time at the church wedding of their best friends, Julie and Evan. Abby was Julie’s Maid of Honor and Johnny was Evan’s Best Man. Johnny had just returned from his four-year Army tenure and assignment overseas, and had missed the church rehearsal and dinner.
On their way out of church, the newly wedded couple, with the bridal party following, stopped and moved to a side altar before the statue of the Blessed Lady of Fatima. Julie pulled out three white roses from her bouquet and placed them at the foot of the statue that represented the mother of Jesus. The couple, eyes fixed with love and respect on the Lady’s sweet face, whispered their thanks in unison. In a sotto voce, Julie asked the Blessed Mother, “How about Abby?”
Just before entering the white limousine with her husband, Julie threw her bouquet over her shoulder, accidentally on purpose in Abby’s direction. Given no choice, Abby caught the bouquet, laughingly remarking on its meaning’s improbability in her case.
Thus begins the romance of Abigail and John.
EXCERPT 2: “What’s wrong? Is it something I said?” although she hadn’t said much. Perhaps the way she was dressed. Yet she had taken pains to dress simply. Tan slacks, a soft mint green top, and windbreaker and tan sneakers. She wasn’t dressed much unlike him.
“Not-nothing’s wrong, sweetest. I guess most guys in my position would feel nervous.”
Oh God, he’s going to break off with me, Abby thought, steeling herself for the worse. She didn’t blame him, of course. Unbelievable, his dating her had lasted this long.
Johnny swallowed hard. “All right, Abby,” he said. “Just ignore everyone who will soon be staring at us, or aiming their smartphone cameras at us. Keep your attention on me.”
He released her shoulders and drew a small velvet box from his pants pocket. Kneeling on one knee, he snapped it open.
“Abigail, I know it’s probably too soon to make my declaration. But I won’t wait to ask you. There’s too much sadness in your eyes. You think so little of yourself because of someone in your past who was blind to the real you, the sweet and generous and selfless you. I’m not making that mistake. Abby, if you think you could bear with my faults, and just see the love in my heart, and the desire to spend the rest of my life with you. If-if you can see yourself growing old with me, patiently … Abby will you marry me?”
No, she thought, this wasn’t real. She was in bed, dreaming. Any moment the alarm on her radio-clock would go off and her favorite country singer wake her gently with a guitar-strung melodious song.”
He took her surprise for hesitation. “Abby, I know this is sudden. But if there’s the slightest inclination on your part to consider my proposal, take the ring, wear it, until the day you feel absolutely certain you have no feelings for me, then you can give it back to me. No questions asked, no recriminations. I’ll exit your life as suddenly as I entered it.”
Oh, No, Abby thought, tears welling up.
Thoughts raced through her mind, silly thoughts. How could such a gorgeous hunk of a man fall for the likes of her? How could anyone feel such love for her after so short a time? And yet, I don’t care what his reasons are. My head is not going to ruin my one chance, if there is the slimmest possibility; he’s actually fallen in love with me, for myself.
Vocal chords trembling. and forgetting her self-promises to be tactful and reserved, she blurted, “Johnny, Yes, I will wear the ring, because I know I couldn’t love anyone the way I love you.” She took the box, re-moved the small Marquee diamond ring from its velvet bed of white, and slipped it over the fourth finger of her left hand. He’d probably ask her for the ring back one day soon, but she didn’t care. She’d take whatever happiness was allowed her, for whatever short time, before he said goodbye to her.
The happiness on his face was hard to discount. His smile so earnest, she dare believe its sincerity. He stood up and took her into his arms, and kissed her tenderly, oblivious to the crowd that had formed around them and their clapping and ooohs and aaahs, or the phone cameras trained on them.
One man, though, wasn’t clapping or smiling. He was a thin, sallow-faced young man in a wheelchair. He stared at the couple, not with rancor or jealousy, but with a heart-wrenching sadness. The young nurse guiding his wheelchair watched him stoically. She ex-tended one hand and clasped his shoulder He turned partly in the wheelchair and lifted his head to meet her compassionate gaze, and missed Abby’s shocked expression, as absently looking over Johnny’s shoulder while he held her in his embrace, she saw the man in the wheelchair, Jason, the man, healthy, strong, athletic, selfish, she had once loved with all her heart, the heart he had broken in two….
(E-book Available at Smashwords.com – Soon to be available at Amazon in ebook and standard and large print paperback formats. https://www.smashwords.com/books/view/657814
Book Copyright June 2016 by Dorothy Paula Freda
Bookcover copyright by Dorothy Paula Freda
Licensed from iStockphoto