Sep 11, 2020


They had been house hunting for a few months. Though they both agreed that they needed to move out of their apartment into a real house, they could not agree on what they wanted their house to be like.

         Joline wanted an old-fashion house with wooden furniture and lacy dollies on the tables. Handmade curtains and grand staircases. When their realtor asked what she wanted for their house, she had replied by saying she wanted a ‘house with history.’ Daniel was quite the opposite. He did not want a house that old people had lived in. He wanted something new and modern. He wanted sleek countertops and polished floors, with unique yet sophisticated rugs.

         Hence the fact that they had spent months looking, not only for the house, but also for décor. And now, they were there. In their new home.

         “I love it,” Joline said, and clasped her hands to her chest.

         Silently Daniel said, I hate it.” It was everything she loved as far as decor, which meant it was everything he hated.

         He stepped inside and noticed the plum-colored rug. He had wanted a black rug in the front entrance, but she had chosen a plum one, saying that it better matched the wooden floors.

         He took a step forward and heard a board creak. Precisely why he wanted a new house. New houses didn’t creak like the knees of old men. He scowled, but smiled when his wife glanced his way. He was doing this for her and the least he could do was pretend he liked it as much as she did.

         “Come on, let’s look at the upstairs rooms.” Joline smiled and started walked up the stairs, which he learned also creaked.

         He reluctantly followed her. He felt like he had seen enough, but since he would be living here until they decided to move elsewhere, he knew that he needed to get the lay of the land.

         Joline walked up the stairs with barely contained excitement. She loved it. Ever part of the house was the exact way she wanted it. The house was old, not old enough to be rundown, but old enough to have history. And everything from the dark rugs and grand staircase matched what she had hoped the house would look like.

         She turned back to look and her husband and smiled at him. He smiled back, but it was not as enthusiastic as hers. She understood his less than enthusiastic response. The house had been designed to match her tastes after all. But once she convinced him of the beauty of the old-fashion house, he would love it as much as she did.

         She arrived on the second floor and smiled. She headed directly to their room and opened the door. “Ta-daa!” she exclaimed and gestured to four poster bed with a burgundy canopy around it. “What do you think?”

         Daniel glanced first at the bed and then at the two upholstered chairs beside the curtained window. He struggled for something to say. To him, it looked, well, kind of ugly. Nothing like the black headboard he had imagined, or the sleek chairs he had thought would go with it. “It’s…um…old-fashion.”

         She smiled at this, so apparently it was the right thing to say. “Exactly, I knew you would understand it.”

         He almost laughed. He did not understand it. Why in the world would somebody want something old that looked old too, when they could have something new that looked sleek.

         As she led him through the other rooms on the second floor, he wondered again why he had let her pick all the furniture. Some of the rooms held ornately framed pictures of random people from the 18th century and others mahogany desks and even a globe. It was just so ugly. Well, at least to him.

         But he turned to look at his wife and noticed her bright expression. That is why he had done it. He could endure all the creaky boards and old paintings to be on the receiving end of her happy looks. He endured it, and would endure more, because he loved her so much. And love prompted him to make sacrifices.

         Joline turned to look at him. “You don’t like it, do you?”

         Daniel looked at her in surprise. Had his displeasure been so obvious? He wanted to lie and say that he did, but he knew that he should be honest with her. Besides, she would know if he was telling the truth or not either way. “I don’t.”

         He watched her start to look hurt and he quickly added, “But I am happy if this is what you like. You should be able to enjoy the house.”

         She sniffed. “You should too. I’m sorry. If I had known that you would dislike it so much, I would not have decorated it this way.”

         “No, I want you to decorate the house the way you please. I am sure I will get used to it after some time.”

         She turned and began walking down the stairs. “Come. I have one more thing to show you.”

         He groaned under his breath and followed her. He really did not want to see another room. He just wanted to sit down and relax.

         She grabbed his arm and started pulling him. “Don’t worry. You will like this one.”

         She pushed open a door near the front of the house and ushered him inside. “This is your office.”

         He steeled himself, expecting to see more of her old-fashion décor and picture frames, but what he saw surprised him. In the center of the room was a marble desk with an office chair behind it. The rug on the floor was black and white with a unique yet modern design on it. There were no old pictures on the wall, but instead there were two floating shelves with all his books on it.

         In one word, it was perfect. “It’s everything I wanted. Thank you Joline.”

         She smiled from where she stood behind him. “I am glad you like it. I want you to have a special room since you let me decorate the rest of the house. I know it is not as big of a sacrifice as the one you made, but I hope you like it all the same. After all love is full of sacrifices.”

         He smiled and encircled her waist with his arm. “It’s perfect, Joline.”

         She turned and hugged him back. “And yeah, at our next house you can pick all the décor.”

         He smiled. “I’ll hold you to that.”

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19:24 Sep 23, 2020

This is such a realistic romantic tale. I totally agree with MP - love and marriage are definitely full of compromises but it is all worth it in the end. Just one thing to point out: the dialogue doesn't need to be italicized. Changing it might make it a bit easier to read. It's not much, but it was the only critique I could find. Well done! Could you read some of my stories? Thanks! Stay safe! ~Ria~


Thora Porter
19:37 Sep 23, 2020

Thank you so much for your feedback. Also, I would be glad to read your stories.


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Chris Morris
09:25 Sep 24, 2020

This is a nice story, well done. Heartwarming ending with the two people making their sacrifices for each other - a healthy thing in a relationship if done well.


Thora Porter
13:23 Sep 24, 2020

Thank you so much, Chris.


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Suhi Rohin
00:13 Sep 24, 2020

I really liked how you used this external conflict to express the conflict the couple had between them, you told two stories in one. To offer one critique, the tension was built up really well about the possible miscommunication in their relationship, but the resolution seemed a little abrupt. It would be cool to see how that misinterpretation worked out in a bit of a transition. Sweet ending in that they understood understood each other after all!


Thora Porter
00:56 Sep 24, 2020

Thank you Suhi Rohin for your feedback.


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Mustang Patty
11:05 Sep 19, 2020

Hi, Thora, Thank you for sharing your well-written romance. Yes, life and marriage are full of compromises, and the husband in your story certainly compromised. I was SO happy that Joline gave him one room that he could call his own. Good luck to you. ~MP~ Would you mind reading some of my stories? I would appreciate your feedback.


Thora Porter
14:47 Sep 19, 2020

Thank you so much. I am happy you enjoyed it. Also, I would love to read your stories.


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