First, I want to thank all of you for your excitement and congratulations and amazing comments on my I Am. Number Seventy-One post. You all are so so amazing and it truly means the world that you were so happy for me.
Now, for a little fiction. I'm linking up with the Romantic Friday Writers for their "First Love" prompt. This isn't exactly the most romantic short story ever written, but there is the hope of future romance. Be sure to check out the other stories!
The Playground Knight
She pulled off the road and put the car in park. Five minutes. That’s all she needed before she went home. She took a deep breath and told herself not to cry, but the tears defied her and sprung to her eyes. Defeated, she dropped her head in her hands and let the sobs overtake her.
It felt good to let the dam break, but she needed to stop before her eyes became puffy. He couldn’t know she’d been crying.
Kristy looked in the visor mirror to wipe her eyes, but something outside the window caught her eye.
She’d parked in front of a playground where a young boy was pushing a little girl on a swing.
Suddenly, she was transported back twenty-five years to the playground at Parker Elementary.
Tommy Wilkerson liked to play with bugs. And lizards. And would catch frogs and hide them in Mrs. Goldman’s desk drawer. He was always filthy, mud on his shirt, sand in his hair, dirt on his face. She never paid him much attention; he was a boy, and an icky one at that.
Billy Wilder was a bully. He mostly picked on the other boys, but one day he decided to target her. He tripped her on the way to the swings, getting her favorite yellow dress dirty. Before the tears could spring to her eyes, Tommy ran over and pushed Billy down.
“Don’t you know you’re not supposta be mean to girls?”
From that day forward, Tommy was no longer an icky boy. He was a hero. She loved him ardently all through elementary and middle school. She cried hot tears in her pillow for six weeks when he moved away freshman year.
Breaking away from the past, Kristy looked down at the gold band on her finger. She’d dated a lot of guys since the day she’d been rescued on the playground, but in the end she didn’t marry the knight. She married the troll under the bridge. Like Billy, Ray Thatcher didn’t know you’re not supposed to be mean to girls, as evidenced by the bruises beneath her shirt.
He was waiting for her to come home with the damn fixins for the damn chili like he’d asked her the first damn time and if she didn’t hurry, more bruises would follow.
Kristy shifted into drive and looked at the playground one last time. The children were running to the slide. The little girl tripped. The boy stopped, held out his hand and helped her to her feet.
Kristy put her foot on the gas, but instead of driving forward, she made a u-turn. She wasn’t sure of the direction she was headed, but she knew where she was going - to find Tommy Wilkerson, her first love.