This week, random.org handed me Mama Kat writing prompt number one: Write a short story prompted by your favorite song. I’m kind of glad.
Each item in the shop had the aura of “vintage.” He picked up a ring whose heart-shaped stone reminded him of the mood rings that had been popular in the mid-70’s and still surfaced occasionally as a fad among the kids he taught drama to.
The shop owner said the ring had arrived as part of a “catch-all” basket full of costume jewelry that had not sold at a recent estate sale. It wasn’t worth anything monetarily, but something about it spoke to him.
When he showed the ring to his granddaughter later that day, she slipped it on, half as a joke.
“Ha ha – I am going out with Jake tonight – maybe I’ll tell him my ‘other boyfriend’ gave it to me to throw would-be suitors off track,” laughed Tierney.
“Where did you learn such an old-fashioned word as ‘suitors’?” asked Jed.
“I am old-fashioned that way. I still believe in ‘the one,’” said Tierney.
“You’ll find him. You’ll know.”
As Tierney and Jake snuggled on the porch swing later that evening, he mused out loud about how their lives would change when college started in the fall. “We’ll see each other at Thanksgiving break – that’s not so far off.”
Tierney joked, “I wonder if you’ll even be returning my calls once you get sucked into campus life,” and mentally started looking ahead to the long run she and her running partner Dave had planned on Saturday. These long runs were the highlight of her weekends, and an important part of her training regimen.
When Saturday arrived, she and Dave eased into a rhythm around mile three, waving at the other runners fitting in their mileage. “I can’t wait to run cross country at Eastern Carolina,” he mused.
As Tierney considered the distance between Boise and Eastern Carolina, she realized that words were leaving her mouth way ahead of any commands her brain’s thought/traffic control might intend. “So will you be here for Thanksgiving?”
“Probably not,” said Dave. “I think Jocelyn plans to come out and see me,” he mused as he offered Tierney a hand to climb a ridged area on the trail that had gotten slippery with the recent rain. As he squeezed her hand, she realized that the ring her grandfather had shown her was still there, digging in as he tightened his grip. She also realized that she liked the way her hand fit in his.
Tierney’s pulse rate did something hinky, something completely unrelated to the change in the trail’s elevation. Why on earth would her heart choose now to skip one beat?
As she arrived home, cooled down, rehydrated and began her shower, Tierney glanced again at the silly ring that her grandfather had bought a few days prior.
A ring with a history she would never know. One heart that may have represented unspoken connections between couples before she was born.
She had held hands with Jake a hundred times. Only once with Dave.
In one clasp, her heart had returned a call.
A call from Dave.
This is the song behind the story.