The Victorian #3

The Victorian

“A house doesn’t make for a happy life, Libby. A happy heart does.”

She looked at him thoughtfully. “I don’t know what you mean.”

“I mean you can’t expect happiness to come to you in a new home, or in a new car, or with the ringing of a new year.” He looked up to the sky as if looking for help from above. “You have to decide to be happy and live it. Don’t wait around for life to happen. Live it now before it’s over. Life’s too short for you to constantly look for validation in objects and validation in the approval of the world around you.” He stopped talking abruptly as if someone had hushed him. “I’m sorry, I know you didn’t ask for my advice but I see it in your eyes.”

“What do you see?” She asked earnestly.

“I see the journey you’re on. You’re lost and looking for something but you don’t seem sure yet what that something is. Libby, dear, property will not fill your heart.”

“You’re right, of course.” Libby nodded, “I do love your home.” She sat silently for a while looking out at the view. The ocean seemed calm and she thought maybe it was the calm before the storm.

“Well, ma’am, if you don’t mind I’ll be on my way.” Philip slowly stood from his chair and smiled down at her. “Good luck to you, whatever you decide.”

Libby stood up too, “Thank you so much, Philip. I appreciate the advice. I’ll keep it in mind.”

“I don’t want to talk you out of your purchase if it’s what you want, but please don’t expect a house to fill your heart or your life. It takes heart and life to fill a home, not the other way around.”

“I understand, thank you again.” She said and stepped back into the house.

“Ms. Hunt—Ms. Hunt, I have the contract ready.” Ann said brightly. Her heels  clicking on the hardwood as she  hurried back into the kitchen. Libby watched Philip leave through the open door and knew he was right, she had hoped for exactly that. She thought she could move into a beautiful home and the family would follow.

“Ann…” Libby smiled sadly. “I’m sorry but this isn’t going to workout. Thank you so much for all your time and patience.”

“But—I thought you wanted…” Libby shook her head and slowly left the house feeling the weight of her decision and the weight of her empty life as she went.

© Dayner’s non-blog, 2009

9 thoughts on “The Victorian #3

  • This is good! I’m thinking if you put it down for a couple of weeks and then come back to it with your red pen or delete key or whatever you use to slice and dice, you will be able to tighten it up just a tad and make it even more powerful.

    BTW, at your suggestion I read a Jennifer Crusie book (Manhunting?) and thought it was a lot of fun. Thanks!

    • Thanks! I was just playing around with this story. I have trouble writing shorts so this is me practicing. 🙂 I’ll print it out and spend some more time editing one of these days. I’d love to hear any critiques.

      Did you read the forward in Manhunting? That was her first book. Her books are like brain candy. My favorite is Bet Me.

      • Funny you said you have trouble with shorts. I have the same problem. In fact, I am beginning to believe that noveling is more my calling. But, just as you, I’ll keep practicing in hopes that I master it some day.

      • I did read the forward. I’m trying to read a bunch of people’s first novels. But I’ll also read something else by her as well sometime. I’ll try to remember Bet Me.

        And I thought that this was the ending of your story. There’s more? Looking forward to it!

  • I love a story with a lesson! You go girl.

  • kathanink

    I really like this! And to answer your Q, I don’t think it sounds preachy at all. I enjoyed it. I sort of wish it went on a bit more…

    I am excited to see you practicing with shorts. It’s fun to challenge yourself to do something new (like I did with a novel!). I think you should let it sit a bit and come back to it, it’s worth editing.

    • Tomorrow I’ll post the ending. I think it has a nice twist but I curious what you all think. Thanks, Kathan, I will let it sit for a while before I hack it with my red pen.
      I’m ear deep in editing Dangerous Embrace and it’s still 30,000 words too many *sigh*

  • I’m loving it! If there is one thing I hold dear to my heart, it is sage advice from someone more experienced at life than me. I think most people can relate to an older person giving words of wisdom than someone with less experience. You chose a great character to portray that portion of the story. Kudos!

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