Tuesday, June 30, 2009


In the Thrilled anthology from Midnight Showcase... Silver Lining is about always having hope somewhere inside you... always looking for that Silver Lining...

by Lex Valentine
Suffering from the loss of the only man she’d ever loved, Maris tries to fill her life with other things, only to find that it doesn’t work. Even after 15 years, she misses the man she left behind. Aching with despair and loneliness, she leaves all the online communities she belongs to. Alex suffers from the loss of a woman he let walk away. Determined not to let that happen again, he sends Maris an email asking her not to leave the forum. A flurry of escalating emails leads to a meeting where both Maris and Alex receive the surprise of their lives… and a past love is rediscovered.
Maris didn’t know what the next phase of her life would bring. Perhaps it was time to quit her job and take her nest-egg on the road. After all, she hadn’t seen much of the world. She stared at her computer, contemplating typing her resignation and walking away from her job. As she pondered her choices, a tiny ding let her know she had email. Absently, she clicked on the little envelope.
“Silver Lining,
I’m sorry you’ve chosen to quit the forum. I wish you would reconsider leaving. If you’re unhappy and lonely, I understand. I feel the same way. It’s the reason I try to connect with people online. My life is good, but it’s solitary. I often feel as if life is zooming past me while I’m walking in slow motion. But then, I go to the forum and your posts are there, shining with humor and intelligence, passion and verve. Your words make my day, my life, better, and I will miss you.
It goes against the grain for me to ask you to stay simply because I enjoy your posts so much, but I know the forum will never be the same for me once you’re gone. I just want you to know that you’re right, no matter how dark life gets, there is a silver lining to every cloud. You’ve been mine.
Wall of Thunder”
Her breath caught in her throat, her heart raced. Emotion overwhelmed her, and she began to shake. She reread the words, feeling a strange connection. A single tear streaked down her cheek as pain and hope spiked inside her.
Why couldn’t this man be real, she thought frantically, trying to hold herself together when she just wanted to throw herself down on the couch screaming and crying.
She couldn’t reply to him yet. With her heart in her throat and her feelings so close to the surface, nothing she typed would make any sense. She stood up and backed away from the desk, her eyes on the email that had so rocked her emotions.
Finally, she turned and took shaky steps to the kitchen. She poured herself a glass of juice; maybe she just needed some sugar. The email had caught her at a low moment. When she read it again, she was sure she’d feel differently.
Twenty minutes later, after a snack and the nightly news, she returned to her desk. The flicker of the screensaver beckoned. She hit escape and the open email returned. She reread it. Again, her emotions overcame her. Who was this man? He’d used the word ‘verve’. Who used that word anymore?
She went back to the forum and searched for his posts. Wall of Thunder had posted in every thread she’d commented on. Mostly, he agreed with her point of view. A few times he hadn’t, but he’d been respectful in his disagreement. His responses had been so low-key that she’d never really noticed him. That surprised her a little and she decided to do something that, in all her months on the board, she’d never done. She looked up his profile.
He was younger than her. He lived halfway across the state and worked in advertising. He had dark hair, dark eyes, and an athletic build. He had no photo posted. He liked strong, opinionated people, the beach but not the sand, driving with the top down, and loud music. His hobbies included: playing guitar, going to concerts, and reading biographies. He couldn’t resist pet stores because he loved kittens and puppies.
Her breath caught in her throat as she read his last statement…,he loved women who could put him in his place with a word, but who melted in his arms at his touch.
She bit her lip. Why had she never read his profile? And, more importantly, how the hell had she missed this man?
Lex Valentine

No comments:

Post a Comment