Thursday, August 11, 2011

Childhood Sweethearts


 Summer Evening, Edward Hopper, 1947
Photograph courtesy Tess Kinkaid, Magpie Tales

They had known each other forever. 

Ever since she could remember he had always been there. Long, hot summers had been spent swimming in the lake, barefoot in the river, tree climbing in the woods, picnicking in the fields behind the house, sneaking into her mother's kitchen and pocketing freshly baked cookies being left to cool and sharing packed lunches at school.  In the winter months the snow balls fights, the carrot on the snowman's face, trick or treating, the sledging over the small hills  behind his house,  the ice skating on the frozen pond where they fished in the summer.

The school years, the teenage angst, the college years, the football team, the cheer leading,  friendship turning to love, the break ups, the reconciliations  and then a war.  She promised she would wait and she was there when he came home. 

A year since his homecoming. Families and friends waited with excitement for an announcement from the childhood sweethearts.

A summer evening and he was eager to talk about spending the rest of their lives together.  She could not look him in the eye so she stared down at her shoes.  How was she ever going to be able to tell him that the life she was carrying in her womb, was not his?

Barbara M Lake ©
August 2011
Trinidad West Indies


  1. Your Magpie Tale is perfect prose describing the facial expressions and body language of this Hopper couple!!!

  2. Wonderful! Such a great short, short story.

  3. A perfect love destined for heaven in all its make-up towards adulthood. Nothing could have gone wrong but for the unsuspecting flare-up.One of the untold tragedies faced by returning heroes but wrapped up in secrecy until exposed sometimes violently. It's a shame! Beautifully narrated!

  4. Oh-oh, sweetheart = sweet tart. :) No matter, a charmingly sweet tale you've woven.

    Did you ever have a childhood sweetheart, Bee? Mine dumped me for a younger woman, a year younger to be exact. Oh the story of my life. Hahaha

  5. Oh, my! The little minx!! A story so common - even back in the day - perfectly portrayed from the prompt. I wonder if she ever let him know....

  6. And all was not what it seemed. Nicely written!

  7. Neatly done. You gave a unique spin to Hopper's painting, and who's to say it wasn't so? A nice, tight story, wonderfully told. Thank you.

  8. Wonderfully written. I enjoyed the whole. What a perceptive eye to this famous painting. Lovely.

  9. Woa, this had a real punch at the end. You shocked me as much as she inevitably shocked him. A fine and sad story, with a very-much "that's life" feel to it.

  10. Ooh, that's a tough one.

    All that time together. Rather sad.

    Terrific write, Bee.

  11. I knew something was coming buit wans't sure where you'd take it. Nice build-up.

  12. Your words fit the prompt perfectly. There is, indeed, something disquieting about this painting to me. You captured it in your story.

  13. Thank you everyone. I prefer happy endings but life isn't always a bowl of cherries and from first glimpse at the painting, and as Helen said, the body language, I knew that whatever I came up with was not going to have a particularly happy ending.


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