Okay, that title is a bit dramatic. I admit it.
Prior to the release of “A Bride of Salt and Stars” next month, I thought I would share one of the critical scenes with you. I’ve been asked “How does the relationship in your books work?”
Here’s a scene with Wally (Waleska) and Ring.Wally loves the symphony, and Ring loves Wally. So, they have evening at the symphony hall where they work on their connection, which is– strained? Sometimes? I’m not sure. For this vignette, I drew from an experience at a family funeral. I was listening to the music and wondering— well, read the scene. I think you’ll understand what I was thinking about all those years ago. I hope you enjoy.
Wally and Ring: An Evening at the Symphony
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As usual, the symphony was soothing and broken by occasional riffs on the tympani, or deep, mellow honking from the bassoons. I really admired the fortitude of someone who could coax noise out of a woodwind that looked like a construction crane with a mouthpiece. We’d practically oozed into our seats after a dinner of, as Wally requested, steak and red wine, from a small Argentine restaurant that was dimly lit and romantic. After the intermission, as the music wound to its conclusion, I noticed a small, neatly dressed gentleman several seats down and one row ahead. I had seen him before, as he was regular patron. He was memorable because of his natty red bowtie, a look that came naturally to him. At his advanced age, he had lived long enough to see such neckwear fade in and out of favor many times, but his crisp bow indicated that for him, it was a lifelong affectation rather than a fad.
Tears rolled down his eyes as the beginning notes of Claire de lune began to drift across the audience with aching delicacy. Wally squeezed my hand as she too saw the man’s reaction, and then we both realized that the seat next to him was empty, conspicuously so; it had been the place of his wife, and now, like a huge part of his soul, it was open. While the music climbed ever higher in the scale before softening with bittersweet chords, I felt Wally sigh as she placed her head on my shoulder. I wondered, as she did, how long the man had been married to his wife, and how did he go on? When his head bent and jewels of light spangled on his pale, wizened cheeks, I felt pangs of sadness so intense that my breath caught in my chest. I turned to Wally only to find her staring at me with her eyes bright and wet.
“Do you love me that way?” Her voice was soft, nearly a whisper.
I kissed her and she was soft, so tender and unlike Wally that I opened my eyes in surprise. When we pulled slightly apart, I inhaled the cloud of her hair and made a memory there and then.
“I do.” I told her, with some urgency. Images of fifteen years flashed past me and I knew, in the most secret of places, that I hoped I was right.
She smiled, wan but beautiful, and then said in a voice so sad it could break me, “You always were a terrible liar, dear. It is one of the reasons I am yours.”
And that, as they say, is that. More to come this week. Sign up for your Advance Review Copies of “A Bride of Salt and Stars”, which will be sent out this weekend!
Another gift: Book one of the series is free this weekend. Here’s the link.
Until we chat again!