Log in

I forgot my password

Word Counter



Who is online?
In total there is 1 user online :: 0 Registered, 0 Hidden and 1 Guest

None

[ View the whole list ]


Most users ever online was 16 on Thu Jun 06, 2013 9:22 am
Statistics
We have 54 registered users
The newest registered user is kaylmarn

Our users have posted a total of 1892 messages in 473 subjects
AFFILIATES



Listed At:
RPGCollection RPG-Directory Seductive Supernatural Shadowplay redcarpet&&rebellion. Blank Pages The GLITTER Web Directory
Affiliates:
Shelpey Alley Bittersweet Forever Nuages du Monde GATHERING SOULS HL2 The Hammel Institute Souls on Fire Mystical Realms Role Playing Chat * Action * Fantasy * Historical Fiction * Horror * Sci Fi * Steampunk * Western Bonsoir

The Solo Picnic

View previous topic View next topic Go down

The Solo Picnic

Post by Juliette Valdez on Mon Aug 15, 2011 5:25 pm

Julie was lonely, she had been at Green Ridge Island for a while and she hadn’t made too terribly many solid connections with many people. Honestly she never really saw herself as a social butterfly but she didn’t like feeling as though she were a social outcast either. However if there was one thing Julie knew how to do it was to keep herself busy, she kept her house clean and tended to her plants in the garden, she worked and she tried to find various other things to do whilst, for the most part, staying indoors.

The scent of sugar, flour and baking was heavy in the air. Julie wiped at the patch of flour in her face only succeeding in adding more sticky dough onto it, which caused a frustrated sigh to come from the woman as she grabbed a kitchen towel and wiped her face off. Baking was something that Julie had thoroughly enjoyed from young and had shown a natural flare for. She did have quite the sweet tooth and being able to bake her own goods certainly helped that out, plus she liked to share out her creations, sometimes with complete and utter strangers, she tended to make a lot and she wasn’t actually that big of an eater. Pulling her her cooling chocolate cupcakes from the window sill she licked her lips as she looked down at them before setting the rack down and wrapping her cupcakes up in cling film and placing them into her picnic basket. Yes, Julie fully intended to have a solo picnic out in Heron Park, it was a lovely day out and she didn’t see any rule book saying that it was mandatory to have someone with you at a picnic. She had made herself some chicken salad and a couple of sandwiches to go with the cupcakes as well as some raspberry lemonade. It very much but Julie doubted that she would eat it all anyway, she was just one little person after all and she didn’t have a very big appetite unless it was for cake or pie or the like. Once she was all packed up she set off out of the door to walk over to Heron Park, since it was such a nice day out some people appeared to have the same idea as her.

She walked through the groups of people and found herself a nice spot on the grass where she opened up her blanket and spread it out before kneeling down and pulling out her food. Her mind cast over to the girl who had been shot in this very park not so long ago and decided she wasn’t going to stay out very late, it was around the afternoon already so she still had plenty of time. She went for the cupcakes first and unwrapped one to take a large bite out of it. Then she brought out a glass and poured herself a glass of raspberry lemonade and began sipping it when she felt a shadow cast over her. A smile flirted with her lips as she gave the person a nod “hello... lovely day out isn’t it?” She brought her cupcake up to her lips and took another bite out of it. She was tempted to ask if the person wanted to join her partly out of politeness and partly out of desiring another person’s company, but she did no such things for now.
avatar
Juliette Valdez

Posts : 22
Reward Points : 330
Age : 36

View user profile

Back to top Go down

Re: The Solo Picnic

Post by Cameron Novak on Tue Aug 16, 2011 12:52 pm

Summer in Green Ridge had been a little more interesting for Cam than it had been for Julie, namely because he had spent a large chunk of his time off the island. Cam had just flown back into Oregon from Hawaii the night before, following a two-week visit to his parents, who were once again living in the state of his birth. He wouldn't have thought to visit them if they hadn't contacted him first - he hadn't even known where they were living - but his mother had called nearly three weeks ago asking Cam to be there for her knee surgery, which wasn't life threatening but still proved a scary thing for her, as the last time she'd had an extended stay in the hospital, it had been to give birth to her only son. Cam was happy to oblige the request and have an excuse to escape the mundane on Green Ridge for awhile. He wasn't particularly looking forward to seeing his father, since that relationship had always been strained, but considering his mother's health was on the line, he hoped they could get along for her sake. Besides, maybe things didn't have to be so tense between them now that Cam was grown up and doing well for himself. One would think, anyway.

The trip had been, for the most part, a success. Mr. Novak's displeasure was expressed only in subtle hints and jabs that his wife couldn't pick up on in her medicated stupor the first few days following the surgery. As Cam and his father had stood by her bedside, the elder Novak criticized Cam for not being married, not having children. Cam supposed he shouldn't have expected anything less.

"I'm not a young man anymore, Cameron. I'd like to have a grandchild to impart some wisdom to before I leave this world, and who knows when that will be. When are you going to give me one?"

A muscle jumped in Cam's jaw as he squeezed his hands together behind his back. "Hopefully soon. I'm still waiting to meet the right woman."

"Yes, I can imagine that's easier said than done on that godforsaken spit of an island you're living on. Is there no one you have your eye on, at least?"

"There's someone, a woman I've seen a few times, but it's...complicated. I don't know if I want to talk about this right now, Dad."

"Why the hell not? Still horribly inept with the opposite sex, are you? Son, women are simple creatures. They want to marry a man who can support them, take care of them, and if they have any sense they want to bear that man's children too. You come from good stock. You don't have to be Don Juan to nab any woman you want. You'll have handsome children, and that counts for something."


Mr. Novak ran on at the mouth for what felt like hours to Cam, but what was in reality only a few short minutes before he fell silent again, casting off that ever-present air of disapproval that surrounded him like a fog. Cam had never been able to cut through to the shores on the other side. He didn't agree with his father's assessment about women, but maybe there was some value in what he had to say. Perhaps he was letting his own inadequacies get the best of him. He thought of these things on the return trip home. It couldn't hurt, at least, to get in touch with Julie and see how she was doing. It had been a long time, but then they were both so busy with their careers that it was hard to find a moment for pleasurable pursuits. He still couldn't tell if there was something mutual there, but if he never saw her, how else was he going to find out?

The day following his return to Green Ridge dawned bright and beautiful. Hawaii was the superior island by far, but this one wasn't without its own charms. After two weeks of being away, Cam was glad to be back in his own home. He felt like a stranger anywhere else. Julie lived only a few doors down from him, but he couldn't muster the necessary courage to knock on her door. Whenever he considered the idea, he convinced himself that he would be intruding and turned away, his heart sinking into his stomach. How was he ever going to make his father proud, how was he ever going to have a family - and more importantly, a woman to love - if he couldn't get past his fear of... everything?

The park beckoned. Julie's windows looked dark anyway, and so he paced the sidewalk in silence until it opened up onto a great expanse of grass and flowers and the overhanging branches of trees that provided cool shade from the glare of the hot August sun. Heron Park was an oasis of children playing, dogs running to catch frisbees, couples laughing together on checkered picnic blankets. As Cam lifted a hand to his forehead to further shade his eyes, he caught sight of a dark, solitary head of hair bent over a glass of something pink and sweet, and before he realized his feet were moving again, he was standing closer to the figure, looking down at a tray of chocolate cupcakes with frosting that looked like it would stick to your ribs after one bite. The lone woman looked up, testing out that very theory as she greeted him. It was Julie, and it didn't seem as though she'd recognized him yet, silhouetted against the sun. Cam took a deep breath and smiled, threading his fingers through his hair, making it stand up in a way that looked fashionably mussed instead of hopelessly messy. "Good afternoon, Julie. It is. The food looks delicious, but don't you have anyone to share it with? I'm having a hard time believing that you're here alone." He didn't expect an invitation to join her, but it was a curiosity to think that she'd done this all for herself, and that some better man hadn't managed to claim the privilege yet.
avatar
Cameron Novak

Posts : 9
Reward Points : 48

View user profile

Back to top Go down

Re: The Solo Picnic

Post by Juliette Valdez on Tue Aug 16, 2011 5:24 pm

The thought of going on holiday had merit to it but Julie wasn’t terribly sure where she would go in such a case. All the places that she wanted to see and experience tended to be... well romantic cities and the last thing she needed was to walk around amongst couples holding hands in the summer and seeming even more depressing and pathetic than she probably already did eating alone in a park. But yes, she did often dream of going to Paris, Venice, Rome and London... all those types of cities that were so immersed with culture and rich with history and music and art. America was wonderful but Europe provided so much promise that she had yet to experience.

Her own family had never really gone past Brazil and she missed that country a lot too, it also surprised her when her grandmother of all people began to phone her up and ask her very personal questions. The typical if she was seeing someone, if she was pregnant yet, why wasn’t she pregnant, did she ever plan on getting married in the future... there was a stereotype about elderly Hispanic Roman Catholic women that Julie had often fought against but her grandmother phoning her up out of the blue made her wonder if that stereotype had some truth to it. Perhaps they were always focused on babies... she wondered if she would be that way when she got old, oh hell she was sort of that way already but she realized that her body clock was ticking and had almost given up on the idea. Plus having a miscarriage had terrified Julie out of her wits and the thought of going through that again only to be another failure as a woman... as for marriage well the hopeless romantic in Julie had been dormant for quite some time now, almost fading. Cynicism was slowly creeping up on her and tainting her views on the world, she didn’t realize just how much she was beginning to lose faith in humanity and herself until she reached this point; she was a thirty year old woman with very few friends and slowly becoming a hermit in her own home. Things had to change otherwise Julie feared that she was just going to collapse into herself entirely.

As the brunette looked up at the person, it took a while for her eyes to take in who it really was as her eyelashes fluttered a few times and she went to brush a dark curtain of hair out of her face. As soon as she realized it was Cam though her eyes widened in shock and surprise before a radiant grin broke out across her features. “Hello Cam and thank you but... yes... I’m afraid that I am flying solo this afternoon,” a light blush coloured her cheeks as she wondered how ridiculous she must look in front of him right now. Here Cam was, someone whom she hadn’t seen in a while and had always appeared to think more of her than she ever did and she was sitting alone on a picnic blanket, she didn’t understand why he appeared to find it so hard to believe she would be here alone but she also didn’t understand why she was so desperate to impress him all of a sudden. “I-um... you could join me, I mean... if you like. I’m sure you had a reason for coming to the park and I don’t want to keep you...” goodness Julie was it really so difficult to ask the man to sit with you? “So how have you been Cam, it’s been a while... I quite missed your company,” the light blush on her cheeks darkened and she slightly bowed her head to make sure her dark hair was masking the telltale signs of her embarrassment.
avatar
Juliette Valdez

Posts : 22
Reward Points : 330
Age : 36

View user profile

Back to top Go down

Re: The Solo Picnic

Post by Cameron Novak on Wed Aug 17, 2011 5:48 pm

Julie had a face that was hard to forget. Then again, it was hard for Cam to forget anything. He'd never known whether his photographic memory could be called a blessing or a curse - either or depending on the circumstance, he supposed now. As a child, he hadn't known how to be selective with his memories. As an adult, he could be a little more choosy, decide which ones should stand out more than the others. Julie had made an impression on him; he had no choice in that, but fortunately for them both, he didn't view it as an inconvenience. The thought of her was like a song that found your ear and invaded it for days, but the melody was sweet, and one that he didn't particularly care to replace with another. Most people, when they didn't see an acquaintance for a few weeks, started to forget details of that person's appearance. Nothing drastic, like the color of their hair or eyes, but minor details, like the shape of their lips, the highlights in their hair when the sun hit it, the tiny scar partially hidden behind the left eyebrow - things you wouldn't notice about someone unless you looked close enough. Cam noticed these things and didn't forget them. He'd let figures from his past fade into obscurity, people he'd never see again- his teachers, his father's colleagues and friends - but he could recall them and all the particulars and peculiarities of their personal appearance with startling clarity should he ever need to. He hadn't forgotten anything about Julie since the last time their paths had crossed, nor did he want to. The way her eyelashes fluttered, the way she brushed her hair out of her face...these things were as familiar to him as the sun rising over the horizon in the morning, or retreating at night, followed by the slow, steady ascent of the moon over the trees and rocks of their isolated island home.

Cam's recent trip to Hawaii was the first vacation he'd taken in years. He didn't often feel the need to travel, having already seen so much of the world on account of being a Navy brat. There were still some places he hadn't seen yet; unbeknownst to him, these were the same places Julie had in mind, European cities renowned for their history, architecture and culture. He hadn't considered that these were romantic cities he might not want to visit alone, so it wasn't that that was holding him back from visiting, rather it was his focus on his career. Cam had tunnel vision. It wasn't that he didn't want to do other things with his life, it was just that, when focused on one particular aspect of it, he could acknowledge little else. The importance of a good career was the first thing that had been drilled into his head by authority figures seeking to impress upon him the importance of escaping his little bubble of anxiety and paranoid self-indulgence. Get a good job, and all the rest will follow. That seemed to be the general idea, but he was still waiting for those other, promised rewards. How fulfilled could a man be when the only thing he had to show for himself was a well-paying position? It wasn't as if he could rise any higher in the ranks than he already was. Cam was content to be an assistant, especially to such a great man as Gunner Bjorgen, and he wouldn't wish for their roles to be reversed, but sometimes, when he looked at his life, he yearned for something more.

What was that something more? Was it the wife and kids his parents were eagerly awaiting? Was that what Cam really wanted? He'd never been able to make his mind up about the kids, but the love of a woman...that was something he wanted to experience at least once. He had never thought himself capable of marriage, or, more accurately, had never thought that a woman could love him enough to marry him, but that had been the PPD talking. It was under control now, mostly. He still felt the reverberations from time to time, especially in social situations, but when Julie looked at him the way she was looking at him now - with genuine affection in her smile - he started to believe that maybe he wasn't such a hopeless case after all. Nevertheless, he wouldn't get ahead of himself. They'd had some nice times together, but as far as he knew, he couldn't call those encounters "dates", and he had no right to consider her more than a friend at this point. She might not like it very much if she knew the way he was thinking about her now. Would she? Why was it so hard to tell? Cam damned his lack of experience for making things so difficult, so endlessly frustrating. Most men his age wouldn't be having the same problem.

Wanting to be a gentleman, in thought as well as deed, Cam resolved to stop thinking for the moment. Sometimes, thought was the enemy, and the only thing that mattered was what you could or couldn't do. What he could do was accept her invitation to join him or go on his way, and it didn't take a genius to realize that he'd be a fool to choose the latter. He hadn't been fishing for the invitation, but he was glad for it. He only hoped she didn't offer because she felt sorry for him, noticing that he was alone too, because maybe she wanted to be left alone. Some people were like that. He was, most of the time. Perhaps she'd fashioned this picnic in the hopes of pampering herself for an afternoon, without obligation to anyone or anything. Cam would feel awful if that was the case. "Are you sure?" He offered, the slightest hint of hesitation in his voice. "I don't want to disturb you. We can agree to get together another time, if that would be better for you." Had she missed his company? Really? Her soft confession made him smile sheepishly, and he lowered his eyes to the ground demurely, feeling a strange mix of flattered and unsure. He knew she was telling the truth, but it was so hard for his mind to accept it; it seemed perpetually biased against him. "I'm not meeting anyone myself. It couldn't hurt to rest for awhile. I've been on the go constantly lately." After mentally berating himself into action, and flashing a smile that looked more confident than he was, he finally crouched so that they could talk on an even level. Letting his hands dangle across his knees, he reminded himself not to stare and swept a look across the picnic spread so that she wouldn't feel the effects of his helpless scrutiny too much. "I've missed seeing you around too. Now that we no longer work in the same building, it's not as easy to run into each other. I just came back from a two-week vacation to see my parents in Hawaii. I would have liked to tell you before I left, but I didn't see you." He shrugged. "Maybe in the future we shouldn't leave it up to fate when we see each other."
avatar
Cameron Novak

Posts : 9
Reward Points : 48

View user profile

Back to top Go down

Re: The Solo Picnic

Post by Juliette Valdez on Thu Aug 18, 2011 2:54 pm

It was rare that Julie would ever forget a friend, especially since the woman had so few of them in her lifetime. It had been a few years since she had seen Bea but she had missed her and she had loved the opportunity to catch up with the woman again during her trip to the bar on karaoke night. With Cam, she doubted she would forget him either for he had made an impression on her too. She wasn’t lying when she said she missed his company, no matter how little of it she had received in the past. In fact Julie had often thought of just going over and knocking on Cam’s door and asking if she could come in for a visit or if he could come over and she could cook for him this time. But, Julie kept letting the opportunity pass her by as she spontaneously found something she had to do around the house and then when she finally managed to muster up the necessary courage to knock on his door it appeared that he was gone. But still, he was here in front of her now and she couldn’t help but notice how handsome he looked with his tousled dark hair. The brunette caught her bottom lip in her teeth softly as she diverted her thoughts to ones that were not of a star struck schoolgirl.

Much like Cam, Julie had experienced things being drilled into her head from a very young age. But unlike Cam, Julie had it drilled into her head that she was nothing if she wasn’t a wife and a mother, she was less of a woman or she couldn’t be fulfilled or accomplished in her life if she didn’t have a man or children to slave over. Such things were sexist in most people’s eyes but Julie had never seen it as so, what could be more empowering for a woman than being in charge of her own home? Of course there was the term “man of the house” but in the end, who really made most of the decisions when it came to domestic matters? Julie didn’t really see cooking and cleaning and taking care of children as slaving as these things were very essential and basic jobs and they were harder than most people thought, in fact, she admired stay at home mothers because they had a very difficult job indeed. Plus if you enjoyed the job than why was it less empowering or less feministic than if you were a female businesswoman? As for being loved, Julie couldn’t imagine a soul in the world who didn’t yearn for being loved for once in their life. However any fairytale notion she had on love and relationships had been inevitably knocked from her head after her two and only disastrous relationships. Had anyone ever loved Julie? That was a question she tended to ask herself a lot of the time. As a teenager she had been naive and excited to have a boy want to be with her. Of course she did take it into consideration that the boy had been much older than her and could get into a lot of trouble if it were found out that they were together but you couldn’t put an age on love as far as Julie was concerned. So she tried to make him love her, she had given him what he wanted and once he had gotten his use out of her he cast her to the side and left her alone and pregnant. Julie had thought she had come close to marriage the second time, she had even been engaged... it was so many years ago but sometimes it still felt like yesterday. This one another user, but he was different and he was worse for he hid behind the perfect facade of charm, wit and politeness but then the facade fizzled into suds and the ugly man lurking underneath was finally visible. The worst part is that he had never raised his hand, what he could do to her physically wouldn’t even compare to what he did to her mind. At least from a beating, she would heal, but the scars that had been left on her mind and heart... she still felt them as acutely as if they had been done recently.

Where Cam was concerned it was a confusing topic for Julie, she could admit to herself that she had probably developed a bit of a crush on him but she was sure that he didn’t see her as anything more than a friend. After all, he had invited her for dinner but it had been a kind gesture between friends and nothing more as far as they both appeared to be concerned. And Julie wasn’t about to ask for the moon, for the longest time she had been afraid of the thought of getting into another relationship. Now she wasn’t sure what she wanted, she was getting older and she was lonely, so how was she sure that any feelings she had were not ones of a desperate, lonely woman? Any feelings on Cam’s part were completely oblivious to the woman; at this point someone would have to knock her over the head for her to get even a tiny bit of a clue. Perhaps even twice.

A look of confusion flickered across her face when Cam asked her if she was sure. “Of course,” she said, setting down her cupcake before she reached into her basket and brought out her steel flask and another glass. She twisted the flask open and poured some raspberry lemonade into the glass and then held it up to him with a sweet smile, if he refused then she would put it down. The blanket was large enough to seat four people at the most and so there was plenty of room for Cam to join her. At his further suggestion Julie shook her dark mane before reaching up one hand a flicking her hair over one shoulder. “Don’t be silly, you’re not disturbing me at all, in fact I’m glad you stopped in on me.” Retrieving her cupcake she finished it off and took another sip of her lemonade. Chewing softly she caught Cam’s sheepish smile as he broke eye contact with her, his shyness was another one of his endearing traits in her mind. “Oh well, that’s good I don’t like the idea of you being constantly on the go without a break. Though I’m sure you’re probably used to it,” it was just like Julie to be naturally concerned for another human being, it was simply something she couldn’t really help. As Cam smiled Julie found her own lips turning up to return it, he had a lovely smile and she liked to see it and she almost told him as such. Clear blue orbs watched as he crouched down to her level, a wide toothy grin lit up Julie’s face when he mentioned he missed her and explained that he had been in Hawaii for two weeks visiting his parents. “Oh, that sounds lovely Hawaii’s such a beautiful place, how did it go?” Cam had never spoken about his parents to Julie but then Julie had never spoken to Cam about her own. At his next words she nodded in agreement “I agree, I mean the island doesn’t exactly have a wide variety of places to go but... I enjoyed our dinner the last time, perhaps I could return the favour? Unless, you had anything in particular you wanted to do?”
avatar
Juliette Valdez

Posts : 22
Reward Points : 330
Age : 36

View user profile

Back to top Go down

Re: The Solo Picnic

Post by Cameron Novak on Mon Aug 22, 2011 1:11 pm

Cam and Julie were more alike than they realized, raised with the expectation of living up to their respective gender norms. Men were expected to be strong, to raise and support a family and be the primary breadwinner in the household, while women were celebrated for their submission and role as caregiver and housekeeper. Times were changing and those celebrated gender norms were shifting now, but Cam and Julie had been raised as part of a generation on the cusp of social revolution, and they hadn't been lucky enough to be born to forward-thinking parents. It wasn't too surprising that they'd found each other, all things considered. Like was inevitably attracted to like.

Fortunately for her, Julie seemed the maternal sort, and she was most likely raised to be that way, if his assessment of her and his speculation of her youth were correct. He knew a little about her childhood - not much, but enough that he suspected she didn't particularly care to challenge the social norms of what a woman should or shouldn't be, and that was perfectly fine by him so long as it made her happy. They'd talked about a lot over dinner the night he'd invited her over; he couldn't remember the last time he'd revealed so much about himself to another person in a non-therapeutic context. Letting someone close enough to see the real Cam was a leap of faith, and most times he lacked the courage needed to jump, but Julie inspired the kind of warmth and confidence that made him feel safe, and stirred other feelings he wasn't quite sure he knew how to come to terms with. He was trying, but the difficulty was on par with learning a foreign language; he couldn't expect to understand right away, but with enough patience and practice he hoped to eventually become fluent. A good teacher was an invaluable resource as well, and he couldn't think of anyone better than Julie to steer his course through such unfamiliar waters.

However, it was becoming clearer to Cam that Julie was as unsure as he was, though not completely inexperienced. He knew that she enjoyed his company, but so far she seemed as guarded and careful as he was. Obviously she'd been hurt, and didn't know if she could trust him enough to reveal what was going on behind those pretty blue eyes. He didn't blame her; he only hated himself for not knowing how to broach the subject, to ask what held her back and kept her silent when it seemed she wanted to speak, because he could tell when the inclination was there and stifled by fear. Right now, she seemed peaceful enough, if a bit contemplative, but that was to be expected when you caught someone off guard and alone. She only looked confused when he asked if he could join her, and he immediately realized what a silly question that was; they were friends, after all. It was foolish of him to expect rejection when it had been so long since their last meeting. Still, as considerate as ever, Cam didn't have it in him to just assume that anything was okay. He needed confirmation from her first, and felt great reassurance when it came and she set out another glass for him, filling it from the pitcher. "Thank you," he murmured, taking a sip. "Raspberry lemonade? It's perfect." He smiled and finally took a seat, settling more comfortably on the blanket as he crossed his legs in front of him.

"If I didn't know any better I would have said you had something stronger in that flask," he remarked, winking. "If you spiked it with something I wouldn't know any better, and I wouldn't blame you besides." Grinning, he took another generous gulp from his glass and rolled the flavors around on his tongue. "Nope, just sugar, as far as I can tell. I don't know how you feel about margaritas but they're great frozen on days like this. If you'd like I'll make a pitcher for us sometime. I know you don't like to drink a lot, so no pressure. It's just a suggestion." Cam wasn't a big drinker himself, and though he respected an individual's decision to either indulge or abstain as they pleased, he was always a little fascinated by observing people who'd had a few too many down at the tavern. It was amazing to see the kind of change fueled by alcohol in various individuals. Timid women who almost never let out a peep become confident and talkative, and much to his surprise, men who were normally loud and boisterous seemed to close in on themselves and turn melancholy and thoughtful. That wasn't the case with all of them - some people became downright obnoxious, or violent, and that was when Cam didn't stick around - but generally it was interesting to see the changes that occurred in the body and brain when alcohol was introduced into the system. Cam wasn't trying to get Julie drunk, and never would, but he had to admit to himself that he wouldn't mind seeing just how she handled it and what kind of person she became, or rather what side of her came out. He didn't think she could be any less lovely.

"I'm used to being busy, true enough," he agreed, "but it's always nice to get away. Hawaii is beautiful, as always. My father was kind of a..." He frowned, trying to think of a nicer word to say than the multitudinous profanities he currently had in mind, but he couldn't. "...a prick. But he's always that way, so it's not as if it came as much of a surprise. My mother just had knee surgery and wanted me to be there, and I couldn't say no to her. We've always had a good relationship. She's been more understanding and accepting of me than my father's been over the years. He's a Naval officer, so he's a man's man, and I suspect he's disappointed I didn't turn out to be more like him." The lemonade turned sour in his mouth, but that had nothing to do with Julie. He swallowed hard, looking slightly grim, but as soon as he realized the strain he was showing, he wiped his features clean to start over. Luckily, he had a reason to smile as his dark-haired companion approached the idea of another dinner. "I would love that. Dinner at your place then? Just name the day and time and I'll be there."
avatar
Cameron Novak

Posts : 9
Reward Points : 48

View user profile

Back to top Go down

Re: The Solo Picnic

Post by Juliette Valdez on Mon Aug 22, 2011 7:04 pm

As a child Julie lived to make everyone else around her happy, well that pretty much hadn’t changed except for the fact that there was no one that she needed to make happy. She never challenged or rebelled against anything her parents had told her as she never saw any reason to believe that they were wrong. They were her parents, right? Surely they would know what was best? Plus Julie got an enjoyment of playing with dolls and toy kitchens and conducting her own tiny tea parties, she was blind to the obvious social manipulation that was going on there, especially when they told her that certain activities and games were “not for a lady” or “not appropriate for you”. Marissa on the other hand, liked to challenge everything just for the sake of not conforming to social norms to anyone... she hated the fact that Julie was just to accept everything that was thrown at her and often tried bullying her into joining her rebellion. Julie’s response was to be torn between keeping Marissa at bay and not disappointing her parents, it was a slippery slope that was not always easily followed.

The only significant time that Julie could remember going against her father’s wishes was on the subject of her baby, funny that was exactly when Marissa had joined forces with them. Of course Julie’s parents had been supportive... but they were supportive in their own way. They were kind, sympathetic and weren’t merely as cruel or cold as Julie had feared they would be. However limits were put to the test and when Julie refused to agree to some of the terms and choices that her parents were pushing her to make they withdrew from her and left her to it. After her miscarriage one of the first things her father said to her was that she must’ve been relieved. It was something that had been poorly received by Julie and certainly not something she wanted to hear in such a fragile state. For Julie, that was the final straw and thus began the grudge against her parents. The grudge only strengthened after her involvement with Jeremy and the destruction of their relationship. Her father declared he wanted nothing to do with Julie or her issues, he hadn’t the time for her drama and relationships were supposed to be resolved between those involved in the relationship. The worst part was having her sister tell her this because the man refused to speak to her. Julie couldn’t remember feeling so upset and isolated from everyone, she had walked out on a five-year relationship and engagement on account of her sister and when she needed help and support from her family her father rehashed old wounds from their past and refused to help her. Thinking about her father gave her an immeasurable sense of guilt, for their relationship was not the one she had been hoping for. There was once a time when she was daddy’s little princess but once she disobeyed his wishes that all changed for the worst and then he had died without them ever being able to have the reconciliation she often dreamed of having and for that, she would always be left with a sense of shame and hurt when she recalled her father.

It came as a surprise to most that Julie hadn’t been very popular or well-liked in high school. But it was the truth, Julie was sweet and bubbly and warm as a teen and she had plenty of casual acquaintances but real, true friends were hard to come by for her as she was also a very reserved soul on the surface. She never liked drawing too much attention to herself and often remained in areas where she could seek peace and quiet to read. Of course she had childhood friends but then she moved to California and made new friends but once she got to university Jeremy had severed all her past friendships. Since then she was even more cautious and quiet than usual but still warm, friendly and kind she just wasn’t sure how to break out of this glass cage that had been built around her. And she had tried, she had kicked and screamed and pounded and protested but the glass was too thick to get past. Still there was a part of her, a strong part that wanted to be able to let someone in again, to allow herself to be vulnerable around someone, to truly trust someone enough to know that they weren’t going to hurt her. She wanted Cam to be that person and she was already realizing that she was already letting him to an extent. He took the glass that she held out to him and murmured a thanks which was received with a warm smile, then he went onto to mention the raspberry lemonade and Julie nodded her head. “Thank you, it is delicious isn’t it? I’m quite addicted to the stuff,” with that she took another long sip of her drink.

His next comment provoked a quirk of a brow from the brunette as she gave a soft giggle when he winked at her. She wished he wouldn’t do that, it gave her tingles that she didn’t know what to do with. “Oh yes, you’ve caught me, my sweet innocent act is just a front. I really intend to get you drunk so that I may have my wicked way with you,” another giggle escaped her at her words which she was surprised were spilling out of her mouth at that moment. Had Julie been her usual contained, self-conscious self she would’ve been cursing herself for yet another one of her unintentionally suggestive comments, but right now she was just having fun with teasing him. Shaking her head at him she smiled “well of course its sugar, honestly Cam what do you take me for?” The mention of margaritas did sound appealing, especially on a sunny day like this and she supposed if she didn’t consume too much alcohol Cam would never need to be subjected to what happened when she got drunk. “That actually sounds like a good idea... I have a fairly decent tolerance but I’m warning you... alcohol tends to have... interesting affects on me,” like I become a frisky, giggling fool. She then pulled out the container of sandwiches and pulled off the lid and held it out to him “sandwich?”

Julie nodded along to his words about his holiday and then cocked her head to one side as he paused as if in thought of how to describe his father. Her eyes widened at his choice of words as she suddenly laughed softly, she liked listening to him talk about his parents, both the negative and positive about it. She was saddened to know how strained his relationship with his father was but she could understand why it would be that way, though it warmed her to hear him talk about his mother and how close he was to her, it reminded her of the intimacy she had lost with her own mother due to the rocky relationship with her father. “Well, if he can’t see what a wonderful man his son has grown-up to be then he must be a bit of a prick... and I mean that in the least offensive way possible,” she smiled sheepishly and tucked a strand of hair behind her ear, she truly hadn’t meant to offend him or be disrespectful to his father but she noticed the strained look on his face and hoped that her comment would make him smile. “But I hope your mother’s knee surgery went alright, she sounds lovely despite what little you’ve told me about her.” Cam’s acceptance made Julie feel warm inside as she pondered on when she would be able to find an evening to herself. “Shall we say, next Saturday? Eight o’clock?”
avatar
Juliette Valdez

Posts : 22
Reward Points : 330
Age : 36

View user profile

Back to top Go down

Re: The Solo Picnic

Post by Cameron Novak on Thu Aug 25, 2011 1:37 pm

Cam wanted to make others happy, but he thought that it was impossible. He didn't see how he'd ever been particularly successful on that front, except perhaps with his mother, but that wasn't anything to brag about because parents were supposed to love their children no matter what. A different son probably would have made her happier, a son with easy charisma and an extroverted nature, a son who excelled in academics and sports and love, a son who was perfectly normal all the way around, not one who hid in his room paging through National Geographic in between spurts of obsessive cleaning. She would never admit to it, of course, but Cam knew that she probably thought it; she was simply too kind-hearted to express her disappointment in the way her life had turned out, and the difficult husband and son she'd been saddled with. It couldn't have been easy, living with the two of them over the years. She'd always deserved so much better.

There had come a time when he'd realized the only person he was capable of making happy was himself. He still hoped he could do it for another someday, someone outside his own family, but he wasn't counting on it. He was more likely to drive someone crazy than make them happy. It would take a very special sort of person to appreciate - and be able to coexist with - his eccentricities. He supposed he could make a lot of people happy by pretending that side of him didn't exist, by stifling his natural behaviors, but what was life worth living for if he couldn't be true to himself? He hid parts of his nature from most people, but that was usually to protect the business relationship he had with them, and in that sense he didn't feel as if he was being deceitful. In a professional setting, it was easier to pretend to be the man others thought he was. Most individuals were different in the workplace than at home, so it wasn't as if he was doing anything outside the norm there. He liked to think of it as a survival mechanism.

He liked it when something he said made Julie smile, and especially liked knowing that it was genuine. Out all the things Cam was good at, he was skilled at reading faces, picking up on the little nuances in expression that most others missed. Fake smiles weren't hard to come by out in the world; sincere ones were a far more precious commodity, and he got so tired of having to pretend that he didn't notice. It was nice to be with someone and not have to worry what they were really thinking of him behind the polite facade. It wasn't that Julie was transparent, but rather that she seemed to wear her heart on her sleeve. He didn't believe she was capable of deception for a moment. The sound of her laughter, when it escaped her lips, was infectious, bubbly, unrestrained, and he was glad once again to see her in her natural state, where professionalism and stoicism weren't necessary. She seemed just as happy as he was for a chance to let her guard down, even if it was descending slowly. They seemed to grow more and more comfortable with each other at each meeting and he reckoned he valued that more than anything right now. Nothing could quite fill the void left by the absence of true friendship, and that hole was slowly closing by knowing that he'd found that in at least one person.

"I really intend to get you drunk so that I may have my wicked way with you." Cam, in the middle of a sip of lemonade, almost choked on his drink, and sputtered with unexpected laughter as he lowered the glass back down to his knee. Though she was only joking, he wished he knew better how to respond to such a remark. It had taken him completely off-guard, and sent color flooding into his cheeks, perhaps betraying the thought that he wouldn't mind if that really was her intention. It was so out of character for the Julie he knew that he couldn't help but wonder about the sides of her he hadn't seen yet. Having said that, he wondered if she had ever honestly thought about it - not getting him drunk and having her "wicked way" with him, because that was too sneaky and calculated for her, but if she had ever considered what it might be like if the natural course of things directed them into each other's arms. He had. He fancied that perhaps it would be awkward at first, both of them being so naturally shy and hesitant, but once he knew that it was what she wanted, he would be grow more bold and certain - not aggressive so much as confident. She could make him feel more experienced than he actually was, comfortable to the point where he could let go and not worry what he was doing right and what was way off the mark. Of course, it was entirely possible that he was just deluding himself again, but he didn't feel like he was wrong about this.

Realizing that he'd gone quiet, Cam quickly saved face and flashed her a brilliant smile. "I'm a man, Julie. I don't think you'd hear me complaining about that." On the inside, his nerves were a quivering mess, but he fought not to let it appear as if he was contemplating any of this seriously. It might scare her off when all she was looking for was a good laugh. "I don't take you for anything, honestly. Just yourself. And that's enough for me." He raised his eyebrows as the conversation turned back to alcohol. "Don't worry, I won't let you do anything you'd feel bad about in the morning." Another mischievous grin lit up his face. Feeling so relaxed made his wit quicker than usual, and he was grateful that his tongue wasn't tied when he least needed it to be. He was always a bit surprised at just how easy it was to be with Julie without getting too nervous or upset; he wondered if he'd ever get used to it. In a way, he didn't want to. He liked surprises, or at least the good surprises, like this one. "What kind?" He asked, accepting a sandwich. "I suppose it doesn't really matter. I'm famished, and if you made it I'm sure it's delicious."

He paused with the sandwich in his hand while Julie spoke. It made him feel embarrassingly giddy to hear her speak of him so favorably. "Thank you. I appreciate that, really, and I'm not offended at all. I've thought worse things and heard them said about my father, though nobody would ever dare to actually say them to his face." Smirking, he took a bite of his sandwich and chewed slowly, thoughtfully, wondering what her own parents were like and if she'd mind if he asked. "My mother's a lovely woman," he agreed. He reserved his judgment that she would have wished for a better son if possible, already knowing what Julie would say to that, and knowing that made him feel as if he was being foolish about the whole thing anyway. "Next Saturday at eight. It's a date." He forged on before he could overthink and overanalyze the implications of using the word "date", as he wont to do. "What are your parents like, if you don't mind my asking? Are you very close to them?"
avatar
Cameron Novak

Posts : 9
Reward Points : 48

View user profile

Back to top Go down

Re: The Solo Picnic

Post by Juliette Valdez on Fri Aug 26, 2011 5:50 am

Certainly the type to wear her heart on her sleeve, Julie was genuine in all senses of the word. She had a naïveté about her that was often lost with the price of maturity and you’d think that after all she’d been through she’d be a little more cynical than she was. But honestly Julie still retained her optimism and ability to look for the good in people. Most people who are met with such a kind, caring soul often looked for a catch or a hidden intention almost as though they find it hard to believe that Julie can just exist as she is. As someone who actually believed in smiling at strangers and helping out someone in need. However Julie wasn’t as good at reading people as Cam was, she was gullible and easily misled and it didn’t take very much to pluck on her heartstrings. You could say she thought more with her heart than her head. It had never done her any favours, in fact it had lead people to believe that she was rather stupid but Julie found it hard to give up on people. The only time she would truly dislike a person was when they hurt someone she cared about. It was the same in the case of her ex, he could do whatever he wanted to her but when he hurt her sister that was the final straw, in a way it was her only escape. And Julie could be stubborn when she wanted to be; despite her kind nature she wasn’t very good at forgiving and forgetting. Perhaps it was something she inherited from her father.

Once her comment left her lips she couldn’t help but let out a laugh at Cam’s reaction. Perhaps it wasn’t such a wise idea to say that when he had been drinking lemonade. “Sorry,” she said lowly, glancing back down at her own glass. She felt so mortified that she barely noticed that Cam had gone rather silent, which is just as well since had she noticed she would’ve thought all sorts of negative things. She didn’t really think herself capable of anything that underhanded or sneaky but a lot of the time Julie didn’t really know just what she was and wasn’t capable of. Not that she would ever intentionally do something to harm another person unless it was in self-preservation but she certainly wasn’t as merely sweet and innocent as she projected even though she didn’t know too much about that other side of herself. She’d spent too long being repressed in favour of her more subservient nature, rather than the wilder one that only appeared to come out when in the presence of her mother. And now apparently Cam. As for thinking about Cam in that particular way, she’d be lying if she said she’d honestly hadn’t been curious about it, but she was such a shy person that thoughts like that could only make her blush. Though, surprisingly, once they got passed the awkward stage she didn’t think she’d merely be as hesitant about it as expected of her. To Julie, it was just another way of expressing affection only a lot more serious than that and she wasn’t half as mousy once she was able to let loose.

A soft snicker escaped her at his witty comeback before she took another sip of lemonade. “Now you shouldn’t say things like that, I don’t need tempting,” a dazzling grin flashed across her face as she gave him a wink. It was good that Julie wasn’t as skilled at reading people as Cam was as she didn’t know what she would be able to do with half the information that she picked up. Especially in this case it might just scare her off. Shaking her head she slid off of her knees to the side and propped her body up on one hand and the lemonade in the other. “Well, that’s reassuring to know at least,” as the topic steered back to alcohol it was Julie’s turn to almost choke on her drink at Cam’s words. To which Julie flashed a smirk that could only be described as seductive “that doesn’t leave much that I wouldn’t do then, in that case.” Then she giggled, thinking that all this sugar had probably gone straight to her head. It had been a while since she’d been able to have a joke around with someone and not be worried about what she was saying without feeling like she was going to be reprimanded or accused of something. It was odd that she was practically flirting with a man, something she couldn’t remember doing for such a long time and not tripping over herself to apologize afterwards. But she trusted Cam enough that he wasn’t going to read too much into it or take her words and twist them into something else entirely. Lord knows she had that kind of luck. The topic changed over to the sandwiches and Julie smiled “turkey, I hope that’s alright, you’re not a vegetarian or anything are you?” Julie had been, for many reasons, on the top of her list was her father’s cholesterol and the family altered their diets to suit to his needs. Of course Julie being the health nut she was fully gave up meat and gelatine and the like but when he died Julie went into a relapse, almost like it didn’t really matter since the man had died anyway and she was going through a state of mourning. She still wasn’t over it, especially since she still felt partially responsible herself. But as silly as it may sound, letting meat back into her diet almost made Julie feel closer to him. “I don’t mind but I’m glad you think so highly of my cooking,”

While Cam spoke, Julie took a bite out of her own sandwich and savoured the taste. She had forgotten how good turkey could taste and while she hadn’t missed it, it was still nice to be reunited with meat. Julie nodded her head as he spoke and gave him a soft smile “I see, your father sounds... very set in his ways, it’s just sad to me that he can’t look past that and be proud of you,” Julie shrugged her shoulders “I’m glad I didn’t offend you at least, I guess I just prefer to praise someone for their virtues rather than criticize their faults. I try to find something to love in everyone, there’s always something, some more than others and some are more difficult to find.” She took another bite out of her sandwich and chewed softly smiling again when he mentioned his mother. “Great, I’ll have to remember to pencil you in my little black book,” she laughed softly but when Cam’s question was asked, the laughter ceased. Julie’s face changed into one of deep thought as she wondered how on earth she was going to be able to answer this question. Of course she could probably say she did mind as politely as possible and change the topic but that didn’t seem fair, seeing as he had shared so much of his background with her. Julie cleared her throat softly and looked to the ground “I... I was... it’s a complicated story and not a very pleasant one to hear. My father and I used to be inseparable, he was like yours, he was very set in his ways, stubborn, had a view for how he wanted everything and everyone around him to be. He was very stern but, loving, he could always make you laugh and listen when you were upset. He um... he died three months ago, heart attack, he’d had high cholesterol for a long time,” she finally managed to look up at Cam “we were on bad terms when he died and never got the chance to reconcile. I had gotten pregnant when I was sixteen and they wanted me to give the baby away to relatives once it was born, I refused and it left our relationship strained... then I miscarried and that only worsened the relationship as my father saw it... almost like it was a relief. I stopped talking to them after I left for university. I sort of wished I kept in touch with my mother though, we were also close and it wasn’t really her fault we lost contact, my mother rarely liked to go against my father’s wishes. She’s a beautiful person, both in looks and in personality; she’s so vibrant and colourful... I wish I could be half the woman she was. She was always there and always supportive of me, even if she had to do it secretly, my father’s word was law in our household.” Julie shifted so that she was crossing her legs Indian style “and then there’s my little sister Marissa, she was adopted as my mother had fertility problems and they weren’t even expecting me. My sister is very...” Julie paused “difficult, she speaks her mind and is very aggressive with her opinions. I still keep in touch with her, but she’s upset with me because I didn’t come home when my father died.” Julie took a deep breath and wondered if she had scared him off with such a massive revelation of her past. “I’m sorry about that; you probably weren’t looking to hear about my life story,” and yet she’d barely scraped the surface, Julie sighed softly before eating the rest of her sandwich in silence.
avatar
Juliette Valdez

Posts : 22
Reward Points : 330
Age : 36

View user profile

Back to top Go down

Re: The Solo Picnic

Post by Sponsored content


Sponsored content


Back to top Go down

View previous topic View next topic Back to top


 
Permissions in this forum:
You cannot reply to topics in this forum