You’re Not the Man I Married!

PROLOGUE

“You cannot possibly intend to continue in this marriage,” Grammy stated flatly, stabbing at the fried potatoes on her plate.

“I see no way out of this, Jackie replied resolutely. She ran her finger around the rim of her coffee cup. The Bee Gee’s new hit, How Can You Mend a Broken Heart, was playing on the jukebox. Jackie really wished it would stop.

“The man is a cad, and utterly dishonest. How can you ever hope to trust him? The depths of deception to which he can stoop seem to know no bounds. This simply cannot be allowed.” The elderly woman compressed her lips, as if she wanted to say more.

“Look, it is what it is. I’ve ‘made my bed,’ as the saying goes.” Her appetite gone, Jackie pushed the plate containing most of her sandwich to the edge of the table.

“We’ll get a lawyer – get an annulment. Surely the judge would see the truth of the matter and grant one,” Grammy said.

“That isn’t likely. Our marriage was consummated. What difference would an annulment make? It couldn’t change that.” Jackie rubbed her hand over her face, finally resting her forehead against her palm. “Besides, what self-respecting man would want ‘used goods’?”

“Oh, honey, don’t talk like that. God can make all things new. He will get you through this, you’ll see,” her Grandmother said, offering the only source of hope she knew.

“Grammy, don’t start with the ‘God’ stuff. If He loves me so much, then why didn’t He show me what I was getting myself into?” Jackie asked.

“Besides, even I know what the Bible says about divorce. It was part of the ceremony – remember? ‘What God has joined together let no man put asunder’ and all that. Apparently, this is ‘God’s plan’ for my life…and it stinks.” She set her coffee cup on the table with such force that it made their dishes rattle.

Grammy reached across the table and took Jackie’s hands into her own. Her eyes reflected the pain she felt for her granddaughter. “Jackie, honey, I’m not so sure this is His plan for you. This is all a big mistake. You didn’t know the truth about…well, about a lot of things.” She shoved her plate off to the side, nearly knocking Jackie’s onto the floor. “Oh, the audacity of that man!”

“‘For better or for worse,’ that’s what I said. If I don’t keep my word, how am I any better than he?” Jackie asked, as she withdrew her hands.

Grammy signaled to the waitress for more coffee. Jackie examined her nails while fresh coffee was poured for them.

After the waitress carried away their plates, Grammy hissed, “He is not the man you thought you were marrying. If he was, then I could see your point. This is different, dear.”

Jackie was thankful she’d decided to have this meeting at the diner. It forced them both to keep their voices down.

How can I make her understand? she thought as she struggled to find the right words.

“Grammy, you know what people think of a divorced woman. I don’t want to be ‘marked for life.’ Remember how the women treated Ruby Stanton after her divorce? They all but ran her out of town. Even the Women’s Aide Society didn’t want her around once the divorce was granted. Those ‘nice Christian ladies’ didn’t seem to care that her husband was a womanizing drunk. What makes you think it would be any different for me,” Jackie asked. She crumpled her napkin and threw it down on the table.

She slumped in her seat and groaned, “Oh, how I wish I’d listened to you and Gramps and waited longer before we got married; then I wouldn’t be in this fix. Regardless, I am determined to make our marriage work.”

“This is plain foolishness, child!” The volume of Grammy’s voice was louder than she had intended, and caused several heads to turn in their direction.

Tears began to well up in Jackie’s eyes. She peered intently at her grandmother. With great tenderness, she took the older woman’s hands in her own. Her lower lip quivered as she spoke with a gentle, pleading voice. “Please Grammy. I know this is a terrible mess. I know my marriage isn’t what it was supposed to be. I’m going to need all the wise counsel you can give.”

Drops spilled down her cheeks. “I saw my parents go through some terrible times. They made their marriage work, so can I. Please support me in this. I need your encouragement, some shred of hope that my life isn’t going to turn out worse than it already is. I can’t do this alone.”

*****************

>>Please leave a comment below – positive or negative. I’d love to have some feedback!<<

16 responses

16 06 2013
Valerie Rutledge

Well done, lady, well done. Excited to see what Bible story you are modernizing. Kudos to you for putting the prologue out there for feedback. May God bless you in this endeavor 🙂

16 06 2013
lessonsbyheart

Thank you. If I told the story, it would give away the plot. I’m looking forward to working on it again. 🙂

\o/

16 06 2013
Ann

No critique..I just liked it 🙂 Look forward to reading it so I can see the answers to the questions it raises. No problem with the song because unfortunately I remember it 🙂

16 06 2013
lessonsbyheart

Thanks, Ann. I’m looking forward to getting back to writing it.

\o/

15 06 2013
melanie jean juneau

-You have all the right stuff, the prologue draws me in

-You engaged me, conversation is realistic, just enough action -that it is easy to picture-

-it wasn’t till the waitress refills coffee that I realized (with a jolt )this was in a restaurant-

-slip in the year with the song? or else all the distress over a divorce seems silly

-The para on God is good but this part hit me funny

“Besides, even I know what the Bible says about divorce. It was part of the ceremony – remember? ‘What God has joined together let no man put asunder’ and all that. Apparently, this is ‘God’s plan’ for my life…and it stinks.”
“Jackie, honey, I’m not so sure this is His plan for you.

I’d lightenen up on the God stuff in the prologue- you want to hook people + Jackied herself is not a committed Christian

15 06 2013
Kari Anne Dorstad

I’m looking forward to reading more already. Is the time frame in the late 70s. I was just trying to remember when that song was a hit. I guess no one in your story will have a pc, email or a smart phone. Sounds great!

16 06 2013
lessonsbyheart

Yeah, all those “must haves” that keep us physically disconnected from everyone! The story will encompass a couple of decades. I’ll try to put more precise indicators of the time frame. Thanks for pointing that out. 🙂

\o/

15 06 2013
sevennotesofgrace

Yes I would want to keep reading. Random thought that comes to my head is, I wonder if this would be better as chapter 2 than chapter 1, and instead make chapter 1 a description of some scene of conflict, the husband and wife, without much explanation. ??

15 06 2013
lessonsbyheart

Ah, this is the Prologue…not the first chapter…a teaser, if you will. Chapter One opens with Jackie as a little girl. There are several years covered (and many major events) before this scene reappears. This is a modernization of a Bible story. Can’t tell you which one, or it would give away the plot!

15 06 2013
lessonsbyheart

Oh, and thank you so much for your input. I truly appreciate it. I’ve never written anything like this before ~ scary! 🙂

16 06 2013
sevennotesofgrace

No problem – keep going!

14 06 2013
Pure Glory

The raw emotions expressed show deep pain. Jackie’s denial of the depths of her marriage is also there. Fear of man and shame are her motivation for staying in her marriage, which seems shallow. The scene does appear believable. Good start for your book.

15 06 2013
lessonsbyheart

Thanks. This is the prologue. I have the first several chapters written. I’m glad to know it appears believable. I had to move it to the 60’s in order for some of the events to be plausible. That’s a challenge all by itself. Today, if this were to happen, the logical first step would be divorce – few would give it a second thought.

Chapter One opens with Jackie as a 7 year old. Between that chapter and the one the prologue fits into is her eventful life. Should I include the first chapter in the preview, do you think?

I really appreciate your input!

\o/

15 06 2013
Pure Glory

No, it’s not necessary to include Chapter One in your preview, unless you are desiring feedback. A book is like a baby and is best tended and cared for by the real mother. Only if have a specific reason would I include it. You have God given talent, be confident that what you are creating is good!

15 06 2013
lessonsbyheart

Thank you for you assistance. I let someone “look” at it and help edit. They “cut off the baby’s legs” to make it fit in the pram! I won’t make that mistake twice.:)

\o/

15 06 2013
Pure Glory

You’re most welcome! Be confident God has given you this baby and will help you success sly birth it!

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