CW: The Marriage Journal

JULY 27th, 2020.

Today marks the first day of my honeymoon. As I turn onto my left side, I see my best friend sleeping peacefully. Gently I push away the covers and step onto the floor, hoping that it will not creak. Not everyone is an early riser like me, and that is OK. I throw the blue satin robe from the armchair over my shoulders, grab my diaries and a pen, and then promptly sneak out onto the balcony overlooking the ocean.

The sun has not come out yet, but I can already see the orange hue poking out from behind the horizon. The honeymoon suite is located in a wooden cottage, which sits only a few feet away from a private beach. We have a bungalow all to ourselves. The abundance of trees and flowers make it seem like our cottage is the only one on the island. In truth, there are dozens in this resort only.

I run my hands over the blue journal and then bring my nose closer to the cover to breathe in the smell of the leather cover.

“One can never have too many journals,” I said to my sister when she asked me what I wanted for my last birthday.

When Frank proposed only a couple of days later, I decided to use that journal my sister got me to commemorate my married life.

It would be a cool thing to show the kids decades down the road. There would be so many words of wisdom found among those pages. Great memories filled with joy and laughter, too,” I mused to myself back then.

I lay the notebook on the coffee table and open it up. The first page is already filled with drawings of hearts. “Married Life Journal” is written diagonally in big, bold letters. My and Frank’s name is seen below it. After I pull off the cap of my fountain pen, on page number two, I write today’s date as neatly as I can.

“I wonder how long I will be able to keep this up,” I wonder and smirk to myself.

Before I write anything else, I turn around and look into the room through the glass door.

Still asleep,” I sigh.

It is only fitting that I look back on the four-year-long relationship with Frank before I am fully ready to embark on the journey of the new chapter of my life. Placing the new journal to the side, I open the one I used over the past few years. Like the ‘Married’ one, this journal has a dedicated first page. “The One,” it says. I roll my eyes a little, remembering that every time I met a guy I liked, I would start a new journal solely dedicated to him and our relationship. Needless to say, those prior journals were never fully filled, always ending prematurely. But this time, every page of that notebook was scribbled on. Quite a few pages were added loosely to the end.

APRIL 15th, 2016.

I’m in love. Zoey and I went clubbing last night. We met these two cute guys who looked like they were straight out of a Telenovela. Tall, tanned, dark hair, dark eyes. They were both handsome, well-dressed, and they seemed to know how to treat a lady. The four of us danced the night away, laughing and talking. The one I spent the most time with said he would call the next day, and today I woke up to my phone ringing.

“Hey, this is Frank,” said the man on the other end of the phone line. “From last night,” he added.

“How are you, beautiful?” he asked.

So, he doesn’t even remember my name,” I thought at first and shook my head with disappointment. While I was offended, of course, it also made me feel better that I didn’t remember which one of them was Frank and which was Ben. “A little hungover,” I answered.

“Did you and Zoey get home alright last night?” Frank asked.

Oh, so he’s calling for Zoe,” I thought to myself and grimaced a little. “Yea, we made it back all OK,” I replied coldly.

“I’m glad to hear it,” Frank said.

For a moment, there was nothing but silence on the line, and I was about to hang up.

“Would you like to go on a date next weekend, Lily?” he asked, and my heart skipped a beat. “So he was calling for ME, and he DID remember my name,” I thought to myself and smiled. “Sure. Let’s do that,” I replied and disconnected the call before doing a happy dance.

JUNE 30th, 2016.

OK, I know I said it before, but it really is true now – I do love him. We had a fabulous day today. First, we went to the beach and flew kites. Then, we went to the zoo and fed elephants. In the evening we cooked dinner together.

OCTOBER 2nd, 2016.

With the holiday season around the corner, I thought it would be a good idea for Frank and me to meet each other’s families. I was a little worried about bringing it up to him, but Frank loved the idea.

OCTOBER 15th, 2016.

I met Frank’s mom. She invited us over for dinner. We ate, we talked, we browsed through photos of Frank as a kid. His mom and I made plans to go shopping together. Maybe we will get mani-pedis, too. Just the two of us. She was absolutely wonderful.

OCTOBER 27th, 2016.

I hate my mother. Frank was nothing but nice to her last night, and in turn, she acted like a bitch towards him. Kept asking him difficult questions and making snide comments. Afterward, she told me he was no good for me and that I should break up with him.

DECEMBER 13th, 2019.

Frank proposed to me tonight. I said, ‘Yes!’ Of course. This day could not come fast enough. I called my mother to share the great news, but she told me I did not have her blessing.

JULY 26th, 2020.

Today is the day I get married to my best friend. To the love of my life. To my intimate partner. I cannot wait to be called Mrs. Higgs.

As I read the final words from the old Journal, Zoey comes out onto the balcony.

“You been up long?” she asks and yawns.

“Just a few minutes,” I tell her and pull the new journal closer.

Today is the first day of what was supposed to be my honeymoon. Yesterday, no more than half an hour before I was scheduled to say I do, I went for a walk to clear my head and warm my feet that were slightly getting cold. Behind one of the oak trees, I saw my mother, who had previously refused to attend the wedding. As I walked closer to her, I realized that she was not there for me and that she was not alone. Glued to her lips was the mouth of the man, I thought I would marry that day. 

“Let’s go grab breakfast,” I say to Zoey as I close the notebooks and push them away.

“Let’s,” she says with a smile and grabs my arm.

***

“Twenty minutes before you are about to get married, you find your mother and your fiance kissing passionately.”

– prompt used for this CW piece.

[Source: Reedsy]

***

P.S. As always, you are more than welcome to use this prompt to inspire your post. If you decide to write something, be sure to pingback to this post so that I can get an alert and check out your piece. (A post on how to do pingbacks can be found here.) If pingbacks are not your thing, feel free to simply leave a link to your piece in the comment section below. The more, the merrier!

Stay golden,

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***

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43 thoughts on “CW: The Marriage Journal

Add yours

  1. Good story. I had to read it twice… very clever wording referring to the ‘best friend sleeping next to me’ – I automatically thought that this referred to Frank. The revelation that it really was her best friend at the end made the story complete – I like the way you did this. Nice pacing throughout as well, well done!

    Liked by 3 people

  2. Better to find out sooner rather than later. Double lives so sad. No wonder mother did not think him good enough well not for her daughter anyway. Well written you always get a great twist in the story. I thought best friend was Frank, how wrong.

    Liked by 3 people

  3. Another great story that has left me wondering…
    A couple of technical things that may make it flow better – I think the 2nd paragraph would be best if all in first person. Saying “I can already see” and “our cottage is the only one…” would sound better. Also the sentence “every time I met a guy I liked, I would start a new journal dedicated to them and our relationship.” would be better if you used “him” (referring to “a guy”) instead of “them”. I hope you find this helpful. 🙂

    Liked by 2 people

  4. I also had to reread the top part. Didn’t see the twist coming either. I thought the mom not approving him was funny, and I like the contrast between how Lily sees Frank’s mom to the way she describes her own mom. Now I see why Lily’s mom didn’t approve. 😄 I also like the journal format, how it helped go back in time to find the truth.

    Liked by 3 people

  5. Now more than ever it was a good decision to not reveal the prompt at the beginning. Another great twist.

    And you do that thing writers do… not giving all the details of the main character and find a clever way to reveal it later. In this case her name.
    Have you ever done a writing course or do you just read so much you figured it out yourself?

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Yes, definitely.

      I’m humbled by your kind words.

      No, I’ve never done a course. I thought about it in the past but I see it as “cramping my style.” Plus, I hate wasting money on something intangible. So I read, observe, and just think.

      Like

  6. This is a good story, but one that I had to force myself to finish. Let me explain. When reading creative work, I have to become invested in the plot or characters to continue turning the pages. This piece seemed average with nothing to hold my interest. Then I saw the journal’s dates, dates, and more dates. Ugg…more reading…

    I told myself to hang in there and keep reading. After all, the author is one of my favorites. I’m glad I did, as the payoff at the end, was damn worth it! I became so invested I went back and reread the whole story.

    I’m guilty of wanting instant gratification at times and could have missed this great story, BUT because of the reputation you’ve built creating good work, I read it without any more questions. What that means for YOU is its time to publish more work with your name on it. Your brand can sell. People will buy if it has your name on it.

    Well done Sam Kirk.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. As always, thank you for your honest feedback.

      Personally, I like finishing with a twist, which makes me mostly focus on the ending and leave the rest to the flow.

      Because I don’t want to be a one-trick pony, I’ve been experimenting with different things for the past couple of months. However, I missed my twisted endings, so I decided to go back to my roots for a bit. Hence, this piece.

      I totally understand your reasoning, though.

      Your final paragraph left me speechless… Talk about motivation….

      Stay golden!

      Like

  7. Great post. I recently wrote a blog article about marriage. The institution of marriage has evolved over the year. In the beginning, it was purely designed to promote the survival and economic prosperity of both families. During the Victorian era, romantic love became viewed as the primary requirement for marriage and couples spent a huge amount of time and energy in the rituals of courting and finding romantic ways to express their love, affection, and loyalty to their chosen ones. In this modern era, the institution of marriage is evolving into a third stage, also known as the self-expressive marriage. Nowadays, marriage revolves around self-expression, we seek not just love but mutual personal growth. We want partners who are able and willing to help us explore our feelings and our identity, partners who can help us bring out our most authentic selves. Feel free to check my article – https://authorjoannereed.net/do-you-want-to-talk-about-
    marriage-yes-i-do/

    Liked by 2 people

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