26 comments

Romance

(Write a story about summer love — the quarantine edition.)

The small green light next to his name tells me he is on line.  

I wonder what we would have done before messenger and similar platforms.   

Letters, scented and lovely,  a dried flower pressed into the pages!  Perhaps a primary school heart drawn with our initials and arrows depicting sand and stones and the ocean.

Ah yes,  we have a connection...

~~~~~

June: 

Hello my dearest,  I write to you this afternoon to let you know the flame still burns!  Hotly!  I smile and feel the color rise in my face as I would never have the courage to say things like this face to face.   There are advantages to quarantine!

Joseph:

I agree,  somehow the words give us courage but ours is not a recent infatuation,  at least not from my spot here on my lonely island.   How can an island be lonely when it is shared with the multitudes but I believe lonely can happen in crowds or in isolation.    How has your day been going?   I am drowsing in my chair,  lights low and thinking about calling this day over.  But you are midday there,  what are you up to?

June:

Just the normal things,  making a salad for dinner,  waiting for our pre arranged meetings!  I feel like a silly school girl when I see your light come on!

Joseph:

Speaking of silly and I will tell you about my thoughts earlier tonight.  It is quite dark but cloudless and the moon hangs full and gorgeous over the fields and villages.  Off to the east of me,  there is fog rising from the marshes.  It is quite lovely.  I think how nice to show you,  to share it with you so I imagine your hand in mine,  we lean on the gate and enjoy the night!

June:

I’m smiling to imagine us there together.  I have often thought that we share this moon.  This great orb that shows us so many different looks.  I do love the moon and I attach a large portion of mystery to the craters and bumps and ridges.  There is not much that is real that we can directly share with the ocean between us but nevertheless I feel you so deeply.

Joseph:

Yes I was speaking with a local friend about the hardships of maintaining a strong loving local courtship.  All of the rules and fears,  masks must be impossible for that tender kiss goodnight.

June:

We have been as if in quarantine for a few years and yet we are growing closer and closer.  We share so much.  Our worries and hopes,  our feelings….feelings are so important and so many are so guarded.  I have loved our time together,  sharing places and events, exploring history and castles and all the things I remember so vividly from my visit.   You have helped me keep it all alive.  I wish I had known you then,  when I roamed your moors and climbed down to your beaches.  I can imagine how you would have enriched my knowledge of the abbeys  and castles,  it was a dream trip come true for me but you would have made it perfect.

Joseph:

It was no dream and you will have another chance to visit.  Or I will come to you!  Visit your fair land in all of its vastness and diversity.  We will both have the same problems,  how to explain “us” to our family and friends.  We are not really clandestine but neither have we been open.  If they knew the things we have discussed and imagined….well now I feel color rising on my cheeks.  

June:

It has been a slow weaving of facts and feelings.  The fabric that is our love becoming more detailed and beautiful,  it is easy to slip from how are you?  To I love you,  if there is trust and honor.  Every ounce of your being shows me a gentle kind man who hesitates when I would rush ahead.  I imagine us so clearly that my pulse changes,  I can imagine being held in your strong arms.  After that I am lost!  Truly Lost!   Helpless to ward off your charms!   It is almost a thing of dreams,  colors and shapes so real.

Joseph:

As is always the way,  our time is almost up.  Why did we decide to limit our nightly visit to one hour?  A real love affair lasts all night and ends with me cooking breakfast for you in the morning!

June:

I’m laughing now my darling,  don’t you remember your dozing off and I just was left here with no explanation?  It is midnight there!  Time for mature men to sleep!  In truth if I were there,  I would keep you awake with tiny kisses but alas the sun shines here and the phone rings and it is still busy times.  And so our compromise,  one hour of “us” to send you to bed to enjoy sweetest dreams.  To wake healthy and still loving me.

Joseph:

Well we do touch often during the day and send voice messages.  I believe the voice messages brought you closer to my heart than any of our written words.  I can hear you breathe and the intake of your breath tells me you are real,  you sound close,  I hear no ocean between us. I love that we call them velvet hugs!

June: 

When I coined the phrase “velvet hug” I wanted special words only we knew.  It made us more mysterious but even more, it made me feel closer to you.  Yes velvet hugs are lovely and personal.  I think you have heard me speak when I was hiking and out of breath,  when I was discouraged and close to tears and even when my voice broke as I tried to tell you how much you mean to me.  I love our velvet hugs!

And now my sweetest lover, I will tuck you into your bed.  Kiss you lightly on the forehead, wish you sweetest dreams and please wake healthy and loving me?

Joseph:

I will send you a “velvet” on my morning walk telling you about my weather and how things are here.   When you wake it will be waiting!  Never fear,  I will never stop loving “us”!  How we are together!    I have never experienced a love like ours!  

Goodnight,  when it comes time for you to go to your rest,  know I am dreaming of you!   Goodnight!    Byeeeee!  ❤️ 

~~~~~

June closes the cover on her laptop.  It always feels like she has just lost a best friend or something very valuable.  She runs her hands over the cover and imagines Joseph there under her hands.   Her rubbing his tired shoulders and allowing her touch to soothe him.   

They are quarantine lovers in the truest sense but they began long before the medical directives and June knows they will still be  practicing long distance love long after the crisis has passed! 

It is true!  It is real!

August 01, 2020 23:40

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26 comments

Ryan Lieb
19:37 Aug 02, 2020

This was a very pleasant story! If only more couples still talked to each other like this. Much more lovely than "wyd..."

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P. Jean
19:47 Aug 02, 2020

Thank you for reading....it was my intention to put some age on these two by the formal way they chat. Values and habits of times past!

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Charles Stucker
19:32 Aug 02, 2020

It's a good thing you have woodworking to fall back on... For private chat or IM, these two are incredibly formal. No L33T, no shorthand, no typos or anything. Not even contractions, though those shorten speech more than typed words. Get rid of "It is true! It is real!" at the end. It adds nothing. You start with June in first person, then shift to third at the end. When Joseph mentions the fog rising and how lovely it is, he should say something like, "Check the vid attach." Because you have roughly zero tension, there is...

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P. Jean
19:44 Aug 02, 2020

Wow ! Amazing the depth of your comments. The consideration you have given to your response. Not every prompt deserves a total commitment and please don’t read the story about the two burley guys. You know what you did! Your comment blows the premise of that story right out of the water. But beware!! Most of my stories are yawners! Thank you so much for your expertise and time...time is so valuable! I did enjoy writing The Ultimate Reward!

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Kathleen March
01:32 Aug 06, 2020

I am replying to Charles above: It was a bit of a surprise to read the rejection of the communication style of the lovers. Maybe I'm old-fashioned, but I really hate the telegraphic text style and find it annoying to read in fiction. Typos bug me, too, and even more when I make them. We don't need them in fiction. Try to think about what a gentle feelin these two peopl share. Do I like the names chosen for them? Not so much, but that is hardly the point and the author has the rgiht to choose.

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18:13 Aug 08, 2020

I agree with Kathleen. I think the more formal language between them reveals the maturity in their age. I hate shorthand and text abbreviations! I would rather read full words with vivid descriptions. I actually felt the tension of their distance and the fact that even after quarantine it would remain. Nice story! I will read your others too!

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Kathleen March
19:43 Aug 08, 2020

Bravo, Karlynn. I don't like characters who are dumbed down!

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P. Jean
22:32 Sep 18, 2020

Many just like stories. I hope they really read them before liking! I hope you do! Thank you for the likes!

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This story was so cute!! They are a little formal (I don't know if you meant to do that) but it added personality and made this story more unique. Nothing really happened in this story but the way you made it flow, you didn't have to add a bunch of action. Overall you did an amazing job! I will be back to check out more of your works later!!

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P. Jean
15:35 Sep 08, 2020

Thank you. You will usually find simple stories from me. I am moved by the heart not space or gore! Thanks again. Critique fuels my fire! Am I at all worthy?

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No problem! And yes!! You have an amazing style.

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P. Jean
15:52 Sep 08, 2020

Deep thanks!

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P. Jean
18:20 Sep 08, 2020

You thought my style formal. I meant it to reflect the style or behavior of a middle age couple, him a Brit, in which The cool distant approach is normal, or so I thought!

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Lisa Sedley
04:16 Aug 13, 2020

Very sweet and romantic. I like your style!

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P. Jean
04:25 Aug 13, 2020

Thanks. No action but felt right to me!

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Jessie Nice
17:07 Aug 12, 2020

I love this. Gosh, I wish more people spoke to each other like this, haha! A heartwarming story of two long-distance lovers. A pleasure to read.

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P. Jean
18:27 Aug 12, 2020

It is fiction. Lol lol! Thanks for reading, the female readers seemed to like it more than a male Reader but that is why I love comments. To see how I can improve.

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Jessie Nice
19:20 Aug 13, 2020

Interesting! Glad I could help contribute positively to your writing. I can be a romantic who is a sucker for ‘story-book love’ and a happy ending for sure. :)

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P. Jean
19:23 Aug 13, 2020

I personally would like my romance a bit more up close and personal but it was just imagination. It is often the way to good writing..imagine something outside your reality then you really reach for new understanding.....maybe? Perhaps?

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Roshna Rusiniya
08:37 Aug 12, 2020

This was beautiful. Poignant and realistic. Great job!

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P. Jean
10:23 Aug 12, 2020

Thank you, I tried to make them more formal older lovers. I enjoyed writing it!

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Roshna Rusiniya
10:27 Aug 12, 2020

I think ‘making them formal’ really worked. I loved how you portrayed them. If you have time, would you mind looking at my story too? Thanks!

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P. Jean
11:11 Aug 12, 2020

Of course. Thanks again for commenting and reading!

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P. Jean
11:20 Aug 12, 2020

I see you’ve written more than 20 do you have a fav among them? One more fun to write? I will be happy to read a couple!

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Kathleen March
01:26 Aug 06, 2020

This story is subtle yet not, loving yet calm. I had a non-quarantined lon distance relationship for years! It really is different, deeper, then the ones with daily hugs and kisses, because so much life is allowed to seep in. The only thing I would change would be to leave off the last line. Keep writing. You have a keen eye for words (pun intended)! We need words like yours in our relationships.

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P. Jean
01:30 Aug 06, 2020

I was trying to put some age on this couple. Thus the stiff and formal and yet hopefully loving sounding words. She a bit freer and more expressive and he from over the pond with built in reserve. Thanks for reading. Most of what I read here contains the tension necessary to hold the readers interest, not sure about mine. Thanks again for commenting!

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