Wednesday, October 21, 2015

France and a Friendship

I didn't participate in Words for Wednesday last week, but today I am adding to the fiction story I have been writing, using the word prompts from last week
To catch up with "The Mindy Story" so far, here are links to all the previous segments: 
When you are ready, here is Part 13  ...

Another chapter in the unpredictable life of Mindy ...

France and a Friendship

"Oh, Mindy - cheer up," said Barb. "It's not like Ryan dumped you or anything. He's just away because of his job. This is a good opportunity. Try to be happy for him."

"I am happy for him, Barb" said Mindy, dabbing her eyes with a tissue. "He's always regretted not being able to
finish school, and fulfill his plan of becoming an architect because of family needs. Being sent to Paris by his boss to learn more about the support structure and facade construction of the Docks of Paris is a huge honor. The company CEOs hope to incorporate these ideas in their next building project, and they want Ryan to help with the plans." 

"I know it is a dream come true for Ryan, b b - but - - he will be gone for three months!" Mindy let out another little sob. "That's so long. What if he meets a pretty Parisian and decides he likes her better than me? I bet there's a long lineup of girls who would like to help him work on his French!"

Mindy sipped at her wine, and continued to look miserable. Barb couldn't help but smile a little at her friends histrionic affect. She could tell how smitten Ryan was by Mindy, and seriously doubted that a three month separation would change that. 

Barb said, "You know Mindy, my grandmother used to remind me that the the old saying 'Absence makes the heart grow fonder' has been proven time and time again."

"Oh Barb - I really hope so. I'm sorry I just came over unannounced tonight. I just couldn't stand the thought of going home to my empty house after taking Ryan to the airport. I won't even hear from him until his plane lands tomorrow morning. I headed straight here, just hoping you were home. You are such a supportive friend."

"I know that you would be there for me any time I needed you, Mindy. That's what friends are for," said Barb. It will be nice for us to have some extra time to spend together. I know you have tried to make time for our friendship, but I've missed you a bit, as most of your time has been spent with Ryan. 

Mindy was crestfallen. She had thought that by continuing their Saturday morning ritual of a run, and then going to coffee together afterwards, that she had managed to include Barb enough in her life. She remembered how it had been for her, during Barb's brief disastrous marriage - how much she had missed doing things with Barb. She vowed to spend more time with Barb, even after Ryan returned. 

"I'm sorry," Mindy apologized. "I guess I have been a bit wrapped up in romance. But, let's use this time to reconnect, and I'm going to learn how to strike a better balance of time spent with all the important people in my life!"

"It's okay, I totally get it, " said Barb. "You know, my grandmother had another saying as well, 'A little of what you fancy does you good.' Maybe you should use the time that Ryan is gone to do something for yourself. What is there that you have always fancied doing, but never had the time?"

"Well... " Mindy thought for a moment, and then slowly replied. "You know, I have been wanting to become a better cook. Also, Ryan is a good dancer and loves to dance, but I have two left feet. I wonder if I could get better at both those things before he gets back?"

"That's perfect!" Barb raised her wine glass in a salute to Mindy. "I happen to know the community college is offering a class on French cooking soon. It is based on the book The French Cook: Sauces by Holly Herrick, and the brochure promises the class will help you "prepare a French feast." Apparently 'five mother sauces' are the foundation of many dishes, and all culinary students should learn to make them. Let's sign up together! 

As for learning to dance - there's a dance studio not far from here. I would love to take dance lessons as well - we could be partners, and just take turns being the lead. What do you think,"  asked Barb?

"Really Barb, you would do those things with me?" Mindy got a little teary again, thinking about how lucky she was to have Barb's friendship. That morning, she had written the day Ryan would be home on a map of France, and propped it against her mirror. December 8th had seemed so far away, and now she was actually wondering if there would be enough time to accomplish these goals!

"Of course," said Barb. "It will be fun. If you stay busy, the months Ryan is gone will go by quickly. When he gets back, you'll be able to cook him such a delicious meal that he will forget all about Paris! And after dinner, you two can dance to soft music on your stereo.  Who knows, Ryan might even bring home a glittery surprise for you from a French jewelry store!"

"Oh Barb," said Mindy, with a giggle.  "You are such a romantic!"

"There's one more thing though, Mindy.  While Ryan is gone, you need to also do something that is just for you. You want to learn to cook and dance, because you want to do those things for Ryan. What is there that would make you - and just you - really happy?"

"Okay - don't laugh," Mindy said, looking sternly at Barb. "Ever since I helped take care of Ryan's parents rabbit, I have been thinking about how I've never had a pet. I would really, really love to have a cat."

Barb grinned, then laughed loudly. "That sort of reminds me of one more saying, 'While the cat's away, the mice will play!' 

Barb pulled out her phone and said, "Let me check my schedule. Oh good -  right after work tomorrow, let's go to the animal shelter.  If you want a cat, Mindy - then you should have a cat!"

The word prompts that I used in this story segment  (from last week's Words for Wednesday challenge) were two phrases:

Absence makes the heart grow fonder
A little of what you fancy does you good

A little information about Words for Wednesday:

Words for Wednesday was a meme originally created by Delores of Under the Porch Light. She used this weekly writing prompt to encouraged others to write something creative. When she could no longer continue to host it, Elephant’s Child took over for a while, and then organized volunteers to share the responsibility. Drifting through Life hosted in July, Randomosity in August. I hosted the challenge on this blog in September, and October's prompts have been created by Margaret Adamson and her friend Sue, but published on the blog Elephant's Child.

Note: Trying to come up with a cooking class idea, I stumbled upon Holly Herrick's book. After reading the reviews about it on Amazon, I think I have to put it on my wish list!

Have you mastered cooking all five French mother sauces?

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  1. So much fun. I love how Mindy has developed through this story. Inspiring!

    1. Thanks Diane. Mindy has grown quite a bit since the first chapter, hasn't she?

  2. Mindy has some very good friends - which are a testament to her good heart - despite her habit of going off half cocked from time to time.
    I love that she is getting a rescue cat and suspect it will very rapidly have Mindy wound round its furry front paw.

    1. I love how well you just summed up Mindy's character. My daughter read this chapter, and told me she totally agrees with Barb ... it took me a minute to realize she was talking about Mindy's friend and her comment, "If you want a cat - then you should have a cat." I needed to convince her that I didn't agree when the circumstance involves a college student!

  3. This story keeps getting better and better, and I love the twists and turns!

    1. THat is the fun of writing from word prompts - you never quite know what direction your writing will go!

  4. Good thing Mindy has a friend like Barb to help her keep her head straight. The three months will pass in no time at all, and Ryan will be right back where he belongs. With Mindy. Hope he isn't allergic to cats.

    1. I think Mindy will stay very busy - and perhaps the cat will be a good test of Ryan's flexibility!

  5. I so await the next chapters of Mindy's life. Good writing, Susan.

  6. Thank you Lynn - you just made my day!

  7. I love this story Susan and always look forward to the next installment. You should make this into a book when you are finished!


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