Well, I hate it when time slips away from me. I had a WeWriWa post ready last week, but I didn’t post the link to it. It’s my fault, I got side tracked. MAJORLY sidetracked… I was making hamburgers for dinner one night, and I went to prep the patties. But when I went to remove my ring, as I always do, it wasn’t there. I then slipped into panic mode trying to remember where I had last seen it. But that day, and the previous day I had been de-Chistmasing the house. Boxing things up, tossing things, cleaning the house… ugh. You can see where I am going with this. I had no clue where I lost my wedding ring that I have worn for almost 24 four years now (our anniversary is next week)
Okay, it has been fitting loose on me for the past six months. And no, my wife didn’t take it to have it resized, I asked. She would tell me and not let me go into this open-four-trash-bag mode and dig through muck. And I looked everywhere for it. From looking under furniture to taking off every pipe in the house. I plan to run a metal detector around our home because I took down the lights, every box of decorations, and pretty much disorganized the place, and questioned every stray animal; I’ve done it all.
You may wonder why all of this for a silly ring. Well it means something special to me. About fifteen years ago my ring didn’t fit. It was too small and I wore it on my pinky. As a surprise, Carolyn sized it up and had it inscribed. The reason it’s special is because during that time we were going through hard times. At one point we were pretty close to separation. Seeing that ring and its inscription reminds me that we can get through anything. Yes, I know marriage means more than just a ring. But it is special to me, and I would like to find it.
My story is how I can write Stephanie and Jason’s story so well. This book stems from our experience. I hope I can capture it well. Speaking of, let’s get back into their story. === I have an ring update, but first our snippet.===
Stephanie Marshall is the owner of a successful Charlotte, NC writing firm. She and her staff advertise for some of the biggest names up and down the east coast. Even though the writer’s life is exciting, and her company is in demand, she struggles with the monotony of home life. Stephanie is on the verge of an affair and has chosen to take the next step in that relationship.
… And then there is Carter.
Our angelic friend is back, and he visits Stephanie to teach her three lessons about her life. One that involves her past, one about her present life, and one that will challenge her to the reality of the choices she makes.
Last time we left Stephanie, she and Jason’s relationship seemed to be on the up and up. A Little Reminder of theirs had sparked memories and rekindled emotions that had seemed to have gone dormant. Now she must return to work, but will she be able to face the old temptations there?
First a bit from last time:
“Guess I need to find a new frame,” Jason laughed.
Stephanie gave him a half-hearted laugh. She excused herself to the bathroom. What am I doing? she asked the mirror. She really did love, Jason. He was a good husband. He never did anything to deserve what she was doing to him. Never would he ever do to her what she was doing to him. She decided she needed to cut it off with Kenneth. While it felt great to be admired, it was crossing lines that shouldn’t be crossed. She had something better here; her kids were part of this gift, and it wasn’t worth losing it all for a flirt and a smile.
That night she and Jason made love, and it was like old times. She wasn’t sure if it was finding the menu, but something sparked inside Jason, and he gave himself to her. The passion they shared felt like they were newlyweds again. She felt loved. She felt desired; the thought of another man melted away with every caress; every kiss took her deeper into what she needed from her husband. Stephanie was looking for compassion, and Jason met every need without a word.
Now here we go with our new snippet: (again we are skipping ahead a bit. Stephanie and Jason have a pleasant morning but it is short-lived knowing they both have to go to work. While Stephanie only needs to check in because she left Veronica and her team hanging to finish their assignments. The office is empty when she arrives, so she thinks. When she enters she hears one voice, Kenneth’s. They meet and engage in small talk. This is where we enter the scene.)
“Well, I need to get back to this article,” Kenneth said, pointing toward his office. “If I don’t see you before you leave, have a great weekend.” again winking.
Stop doing that, she thought.
Stephanie finally made it to her private office and shut the door, kicking herself for such obscene thoughts. When she finally gathered herself, she turned on her computer and went through her inbox. There weren’t any new assignments from prospective clients, just thank you’s and kudos from existing and payment confirmations from work submitted. Stephanie went into the company account and checked the balances and glowed at what she had grown the company into. It was far above anything she had dreamed. She made a few clicks, paid each of her writers, and imagined the looks on their faces when the paychecks they were anticipating hit and they could finally get on with their weekends.
She even imagined Kenneth’s smile again. As if on cue, there was a knock on the door. With reservation, she responded, “Come in.”
There is your ten (or so). And now we continue on to finish out the scene:
“Hey, boss,” Kenneth said, entering the room. “Thanks for the payment. Now the weekend can begin. I was wondering if you’d be able to pay for the piece I’m completing now. I will have it completed before I leave today, I know it’ll be early and not part of this pay period, but I could use the funds for this trip.”
Thinking about the abundance in the account, and the brief he was writing was for a long term client, Stephanie nodded. “I don’t see an issue with it, Kenneth. But this will be the only time I can do this. I don’t want this to become a habit, nor do I want others to think this is an okay thing to do.”
“Thank you, Mrs. Marshall,” Kenneth said, extending his hand for a handshake.
Stephanie stood and walked around her desk to shake his hand. This was her first mistake. She accepted his hand and held it for a bit too long. A second-mistake too long. Their eyes met and locked, mistake three. Then, it happened, he pulled her in, and she allowed it. Their lips met, unable to stop herself. When he released their passionate kiss, he asked again. “You sure you can’t get away for just one night?”
“I will see what I can do,” Stephanie said, and she meant it.
Stephanie was a bit weaker than she anticipated. Now what has she gotten herself into? It seems that one night of pleasure with her husband may not have been enough. But what is this? A getaway? Will she go through with it?
I hope that this has captured your attention and interest as I am trying to show the back and forth of her struggle of emotions without making it boring or exhausting. I do remember my battle of feeling like I had a grasp on things, but then giving in to the moment. It is easy to say you’ll be strong when the temptations are miles away, but much different when they are staring at you in the face.
==Don’t forget about the update in the final wrap up below==
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Saturday is for Snippets from a current piece or past work.
The Transference (2022)
Little Reminders of Who I Am (2020)
Thanks for reading this week. And now for the ring update. Yes, I did find my wedding ring. Amazing, right??
I mentioned the metal detector in the greeting. Well if you follow me on Facebook, you may already know, but a writing friend, Glenda Thompson, her husband is a Constable in our area. He commented that he had a metal detector and offered to stop by. After about a half hour, his contraption beeped and I tossed some dirt aside and there was my ring. Here are some pics from that adventure:
You can read all about it here!!
In His Exciting Service,
Jeff S. Bray
Check out amazing established and emerging writers at Weekend Writing Warriors. Each week we post new snippets from either published works or works in progress for each other to comment on. Gain insight into how the mind of a writer works and a behind-the-scenes look at works before they hit bookstands everywhere.
6 thoughts on “Weekend Writing Warriors – 1/16/2023 – Little Reminders of Who I’m Going to Be – Unexpected Office Visit”
The push and pull between honor and desire here is so real. Nicely done, Jeff!
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Thanks, Nancy. Hoping not to overdo it. Appreciate the viewpoint.
Not a good idea, Stephanie. She should have stayed on her side of the desk. There was no handshake needed, and she’s opening herself up to trouble in the future if Ken feels hurt and decides a little retaliation is in order.
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Yes she should’ve. I may cost her. It is just a matter of how far she will go.
She’s being stupid. She’s got a great husband, a family, and she’s risking it all. I agree with Kate. No handshake necessary. She’s setting herself up. Right now, she’s not very likable (to me, at least).
Your story about the wedding ring wasn’t silly nor was your worry. The symbolism of it was important to you. To most of us, I’m sure. Glad you found it.