Carys Weldon Blog
Wednesday, July 12, 2006
Yesterday I only wrote 9 pages. :(
Today, I've been at the computer for an hour and a half and done nothing but email. However, I'd like to post what I wrote yesterday. You can tell me what you think. Interesting enough to read on, or not?
Needs a new title. Taking all suggestions.
This is the working one: A WIFE TO BE FAITHFUL TO
“See anything that catches your eye?”
Chadrick Metzger glanced over his menu at his mother, Minna. “Not yet.”
“I didn’t think so.”
He frowned at the prices, not at her. Not that he couldn’t afford a ten dollar salad but he’d found very few of them worth the money. Dandelion greens could be had on any country lane for free. They weren’t even throwing in a strawberry or slice of melon—forget a couple chunks of ham and cheese. That cost twelve.
And the price per ounce of steak…higher than the gold standard. He knew what beef was going for, and he had his hand in some mining operations, so the menu simply annoyed him.
Some things he couldn’t get over. He’d come from poor stock. Food was not better just because it had sprigs on the side of the plate, and less gravy. He didn’t care how well the restaurant was rated. And he liked more than three green beans.
Setting the menu aside, he asked, “Why do you like this place?”
His mother set her menu down, too. She fluttered her lashes in a faux innocent look. “Why, it isn’t the food, darling, but the clientele that brings me.”
Actress. He saw her lips twitch in amusement—and expectation. She was playing the grand dame, complete with gloves and spangled with diamonds. Real diamonds that he’d bought her. She had her hair coiffed and a designer hand beaded gown on—even though it was midday.
She was stunning, he had to admit it. Like a movie star on opening night. Drawing attention from everyone. Insisting he pick her up in his stretch limo so they could make a big entrance.
Chadrick preferred his cherried out classic Shelby and lower key establishments.
Staring at her, he tried to fathom her point. She always had one. She wasn’t giving it away, though. And she was a master at the staring game.
He gave up and glanced around. The clientele? Someone she wanted him to notice?
The Stepford Wives were having a luncheon on the patio. And the Joy Luck Club had a meeting going on the higher level. And, oh yeah, over in the corner, he spotted the Ya-Ya Sisterhood—right next to the Steel Magnolia table. Better than half of the women acknowledged his presence in one way or another. Winks, smiles, waves, fanning themselves while eyeing him.
Plastic women. Perfectly rounded breasts, professionally tightened eyes and puffed lips. Boutique clothes and vogue shoes.
Lots of legs. Sleek legs. Legs that caught his eye. But following them up got him…disappointment. He could practically see the dollar signs in their eyes.
He picked up the menu again.
“Well?” She prompted. “See anything you want?”
“Not really, but I think I’ll order the salmon. How about you?”
She clucked her tongue. “It won’t taste half as good as the stuff you caught in Alaska last year.”
“I’m sure you’re right.”
Her hand reached out and took hold of the top of his menu, tugging it lower. “You know why, don’t you?”
“No.” He didn’t want to think, or try to solve her little mystery. He liked his info laid out. “But you’re going to tell me. Aren’t you?”
“Yes.” She smiled patronizingly. “Apparently, for all the lessons you’ve learned on your own, you haven’t gotten this one.”
“It’s only good if you have to work for it.”
“That’s not always true.”
“The things you appreciate the most.” She pursed her lips and he knew she was waiting for him to refute it or give in.
“What are you getting at, today, mother?”
“If you can’t find anything on the menu here, maybe it’s because…”
“Stop.” She’d played the metaphor on him?
Owlish eyes blinked once, slowly at him. She whispered, “I hate it when I have the slow son in the room.”
That line had spurred him to a million triumphs. And, against his will, it stirred something in him. She was disappointed in him for some reason? Wanted him to be better than he was?
What else could he do? He owned an international conglomerate. He financed expansion projects in more than one small country. And he’d built a few factories for local workers.
Making sure the workers were fed and clothed had gotten him interested in agriculture. It never ended. There was always some other area that he needed to reach out and take care of.
Compensating for a lack of a father figure? Maybe. For his impotence in one area or another? Probably.
Chadrick ran a hand behind his neck. He sat back in his chair. “Just spell it out.”
Her lips twisted. In a dramatic display, she made a show of pulling off her gloves. The import of that didn’t escape him. When she laid them aside, she leaned forward and in clear, succinct tones, she said, “I want you to get married and give me grandchildren.”
It wasn’t that he hadn’t heard it before. But all the other times, he hadn’t been at a point in his life where he could consider it. Too much going on, out of control. His life had been too full.
But he’d been feeling lonely, of late, and realized that she was probably right. He’d achieved everything he’d gone after, but what was left?
He had a secret fear that he might be too much like his father. What if he couldn’t handle it? His father had run off.
There was no question, he was a playboy. No woman had kept his interest for long. Faithfulness…it seemed impossible.
Sadly, he told her, “I’d like to oblige you, but I can’t.”
“Won’t.” Her eyes sparkled with stubbornness.
He was sure his glinted with the same. “You can’t rush something like that.”
“Rush?” Her voice took on a distinct edge. “You and I both know how old you are. No one could accuse you of rushing into marriage.”
“I haven’t met a woman I want to be tied to forever.” There, he’d said it.
“Why is that, do you think?”
He thought about it for a minute, then threw up his hands. “I got nothing. Why don’t you tell me?”
“Because you’re looking for parts in the junk yard.”
That made him laugh outright. “I’m…what?”
“You know,” she waved her hands around toward the room in general. “You can’t find a virgin in the room, let alone a lady of any virtue.”
“Keep your voice down.”
Louder, she asked, “Is there a virgin in the room? My son needs a virgin!”
It embarrassed him. He adjusted his tie, then took a drink from his crystal water goblet. He had never had a virgin in his life, and he wasn’t looking for one. The whole thing was ridiculous.
And he had no trouble getting women. None whatsoever.
The whole time, she swiveled in her chair, looking for a hand up.
“He’s rich. He’s good looking. And virgin will do. No takers? No?”
She stood up, smoothed her gown down, and looked at him. All eyes were on them. And she began to peel her jewelry. She dropped it all on the table, announcing, “I’ll put seventy thousand dollars worth of gold and diamonds into the dowry.” She swiveled again. “Is there a virgin to be had here, or not?”
“Stop it.” He had to clear his voice, and repeat, “Just stop, now.”
Minna had center stage, though, and she reveled in the spectacle. When it was apparent that no one was going to come forward, she dropped both hands to the table and said, “If you don’t like what’s in the shop, go somewhere else.”
“I’ve been all over the world.”
“But you were only window shopping. It’s time to buy.”
“Do you want to eat here, or not?”
“You obviously don’t.”
Chadrick stood up. She was right. On more than one count. Pulling his wallet out, he yanked out a large bill and dropped it to the table. They might not have been fed, but they certainly used the table and room.
“Get your things,” he said.
“I don’t want them. I want grandchildren.”
He scooped up the jewelry and gloves and put them in her hands. “This is all I can do, for now.”
To his surprise, the performance seemed over. She looked up at him, weakly, with tears in her eyes and asked, “Was it so much to ask?”
That made him feel awful. He didn’t know what to say. But, he did what he always did when she got upset. He put his arms around her and held her.
“Was it?” She sniffed.
“No. I suppose not.”
Several minutes ticked by. For the first couple, it was just the two of them alone there, but eventually, he realized that they were still being watched.
To the room, he said, “She just wants grandchildren. Is that a crime?”
Laughter and a small spate of clapping went around the room. Someone suggested he try a debutante ball, if he was looking for a virgin.
He shuffled his mother out of there. The car was waiting, of course, and they climbed in. She dropped the jewelry on the seat and cried some more.
It bothered him that his gifts were being tossed around as if they were of no consequence. His glance went to them repeatedly—but avoided her face altogether.
The driver waited patiently for directions on where to go. But where?
A thought came to him. A cheap diner they’d eaten in when he was a kid. That would cheer her up. They didn’t care how people dressed down there. It was in the old theater district.
Her sniffles hesitated as he gave directions to the driver, but she didn’t say anything and she didn’t stop crying. With every mile, he felt worse and worse, and his gaze strayed to the jewels more and more.
If everything he’d accumulated was nothing to her, the one person he had always lived to please…what did he amount to?
Chadrick readjusted in his seat, propping his elbow on the door and his chin in hand, and stared at the passing country side. He probably wouldn’t renew his membership at that country club. Not now.
Closing his eyes, he wondered…where do you find a woman you can be faithful to?
AFTER NOTE: I came back and am editing this post with this...just to give you an idea of how I write and how long a few pages takes, sometimes. I am now up to page 25, and it's 2:30 p.m. So, that's about 16 pages in four hours. Crazy how long it takes to get words on a page for a book to get up to readable length, isn't it? And I'm faster than most!
Anyhow, I'm off to a lunch date with my psychic friend, Linda, who is Maiden of Mysteries on Keen.com--and my best friend Becky Cline--who will hopefully be published by Kensington soon. Catch ya later!
AFTER-AFTER NOTE: I came back after dinner--6 or 7 o'clock and started writing. With multiple interruptions from children, those living with me and those coming to visit and calling home, and a call from my husband and...I got that thing that was at page 25 up to page 34 by 11 p.m. IMO, 9 pages more in three or four hours was not good. How many interruptions can you get? (A LOT MORE THAN YOU CAN COUNT.)
Posted by CarysWeldonblog ::
6:44 AM ::
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