Here’s the fourth installment of my 365-Day Writing Challenge, which I started about a month ago. Today I bring you something sweet and idyllic, a kiss, and a promise of romance to come. Here’s the prompt:
“23. Sugar: Write something so sweet, it makes your teeth hurt.”
This was my attempt at a bit of a romance story. Let me know what you think!
Sunlight streamed in through the frosted french windows, and onto the sleeping face of one Gloria Wilbrook, whose auburn braids were fanned out across the large pillow beneath her. She often took her naps here, on the lounging sofa in the library, where the noise from her younger siblings playing in the yard below could not reach her.
It was especially hot today, and her mother had traipsed quietly about their modest, three-acre property, doing a bit of gardening outside, a bit of baking inside, babysitting all the while. She had seen to it that Gloria be left alone during her nap; that was their agreement: when her mother had days off, she would watch the children during the afternoons so long as Gloria – being the eldest of the four children – was here to watch them when the grown folks left to town at night.
So it was a surprise to Gloria, an unfortunately light sleeper, when she heard the door to the small drawing room open and the shut without care to her delicate state. She opened one hazy brown eye and looked to the source of the disturbance only to find – not a child – but a tall young man, hat clutched to his chest and a sheepish look in his eye.
“Apologies Gloria, I didn’t know you was asleep,” he began, smiling. “Your mama said I might be able to find you here and I wanted to see you.”
Gloria groaned softly, mourning the loss of her slumber, but she was awake now and would not return to sleep again easily. She swung her legs over the side of the couch and rubbed her arms as though shaking off excess sunlight from her shimmering brown skin.
“I can come back another time if,” the young man began, already backing away to the door.
“Naw, Peter it’s fine,” Gloria said finally, returning his smile. “Come ‘ere and let me have a proper look at you.”
The young man, Peter, walked over to Gloria and sat down beside her on the couch without hesitation. He picked up one of her lotioned hands gently, raising it to his thick lips and kissing her open palm.
“And here I thought you was gonna turn me away,” he chuckled as their gazes met. He held her gaze as he slowly kissed her other palm, smiling into her skin.
“You know I’d never do that to ya Peter. ‘Sides, Mama wouldn’t allow it. I’m willin’ to bet that woman loves you more than I do,” Gloria said. Peter moved closer to her, and Gloria rested her head against his broad shoulders, sighing happily.
“I do love you, Peter, you know that?” Gloria hummed, her gaze passing slowly over the numerous books lining the walls. “Even as much as I’d cook and clean for you – sometimes.”
“Sometimes,” Peter laughed, then turned toward her and tilted her face up to meet his. “That sounds fine to me, baby.” He leaned in and touched his lips to hers, and she ran her hands up his sun-kissed arms to wrap them around his neck. They did not move for a moment, relishing each other’s embrace. When Peter did not let go immediately, Gloria opened her almond-shaped eyes to find his half-open eyes staring back at her, could feel a smile pulling at the edges of his dark brown face.
“Gloria,” he whispered over her lips as though praying to an angel, and smoothed his hand over her loose braids.
“Will you marry me?”