Aiming for progress, not perfection.

"...being confident of this, that He who began a good work in you
will carry it on to completion until the day of Christ Jesus."
Philippians 1:6

Wednesday, January 18, 2006

my RIDICULOUSLY talented friend natalie.

ok folks... get ready to be impressed. my friend natalie is an amazing writer and she's going to be a famous novelist someday. no joke. she's amazing. following is a submission of hers to a creative writing contest. the assignment was to write a "proposal" - not necessarily a marriage proposal - as it would appear in a romance novel. or something like that. the assignment isn't really important because the writing rocks regardless of why she wrote it. read and enjoy. but remember: this writing is copyright natalie hankins brown and any stealing of it will get you killed by me or someone equally scary!!!! oh and the picture is nat and her husband at their sept. 17 wedding. isn't she lovely?


"Bloody, hell. Bloody, bloody hell!"

Jacki shook the thin white stick violently, her eyes squeezed shut tightly
praying to the gods of the irresponsible that that little pink line would

She placed the stick at the edge of the sink and sank, eyes closed to her knees
her elbows resting just to the edge of that life-altering piece of plastic.
Opening her eyes she stared at the tiny screen that told her future as clearly
as a mediums crystal ball.

"Bloody hell," she sighed. She scrambled to her feet as the restroom door
smacked her smartly on the back of the head.

"Oh! Sorry, didn't know anyone was in here*" The woman trailed off as Jacki
snatched the pregnancy test off the edge of the sink, but not before the quick
eyes of the stranger spotted it.

"Oh! It's pink! That's good right? You're gonna have a baby! Oh that's so sweet!
And you just found out! How exciting!"

The woman rambled on as Jacki stuffed the stick deep inside her purse, her face
twice as pink as that damning line. And as the strangers' thoughts processed
along she took a quick glance at Jacki's ring less left hand and her look of
grandmotherly elation changed to concern.

Her humiliation complete, Jacki mumbled her way out of the door and back into
pharmacy aisles scrambling for escape. In her hurry she tripped over a toddler
playing in the aisle, propelling herself forward a few wobbly feet to the left.
Jacki found herself nose to nose with a six foot condom display covered in rows
of neon colored boxes "made for her pleasure."

"A little late for that kind of sign," she muttered, rolling her eyes to the
heavens, and taking one last glance at that toddler gumming away on a sticky
sucker. "And the kid was a bit much, don't you think?"

Usually not much for conversations with God, Jacki nonetheless continued her
conversation with the big man along the three block walk back to her office.

"Okay so I should've been more careful. You've made that clear," she mumbled
making her way across the cracked sidewalk. "But he's so beautiful and sweet
it's hard to tell him no. Okay, okay, no one was saying no that night. And yes I
wore that dress on purpose and it worked. Okay, fine! Just blame it all on me!"

Pushing her dark hair out of her face in frustration, Jacki found herself in
front of the offices of Jackson, Hewitt and Marks.
"What's done is done," she said ignoring the confused look from the Mack, the
security guard at the front desk. She marched to the elevator and punched four,
tapping her three inch heel in anticipation.

Gliding silently to the fourth floor she tried to form the words in her mind.
"I'm knocked up. I'm with child." But the words that came tumbling out of her
mouth when the elevator doors opened to reveal her coworker and partner in crime
were a little less weighty and a little more inane.

"Trey. Hi! Whatcha doing? Busy day?" She bubbled incoherently in a high pitched
tremor as Trey stepped onto the elevator.

"It's been fine* are you okay?" He asked the normally cool and collected Jacki.

"Oh I'm fine, I'm fine, great actually. Oh Trey, I'm pregnant." She said, the
words tumbling out before she could stop herself.

"You're what?!" Trey said his easy smile shifting into shock. The doors to the
elevator opened on the third floor and Jacki made a move towards escape. "Oh, no
you don't," Trey said corralling her back into the elevator. Shooing away the
would-be passengers and pinning her against the wall of the elevator with his
long body, he waited until the doors closed before smashing the emergency stop
button. "Now one more time, slowly," Trey said, his body still pressed against
hers and his face inches from her own.

"I'm pregnant."

Trey's left hand slid slowly from the wall, into the small space between their
bodies to rest on Jacki's still taut lower abdomen. "Mine." He whispered without
question but with authority and reverence, knowing that in the past year she had
not been with another.

"Yes," she whispered. "Oh, bloody hell," the realization of the moment finally
sinking in.

"Well*" Trey said softly and they stood for a long moment, locked in their
half-embrace as their world changed. Finally breaking the silence Trey spoke up.
"Hon. I know you're having a moment here and so am I but there's something I've
been waiting to do*" Unwilling to move his hand from between their bodies, Trey
shifted to allow Jacki access to his side pocket. "Reach in there and tell me
what you find."

Confused, her mind still racing from her revelation, Jacki had her left hand
deep inside Trey's pocket before it occurred to her to crack a joke. "If you're
looking for a little action in the elevator Mister*" Suddenly something cold
slid itself on to Jacki's finger and her heart stuttered. Twisting her hand out
of Trey's pocket, the dim fluorescent light of the elevator revealed what her
heart had already guessed. Sitting there above the knuckle on her left hand, a
diamond solitaire had already found its home.

Shifting just slightly away from Jacki, Trey kneeled at her feet leaving his
hand on her abdomen and on their future.

"Baby," he spoke softly into the folds of her skirt's waistline and then into
her eyes, "Jacki, will you marry me?"

"Oh bloody hell* yes."

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