This week’s sentence prompt, provided by last week’s winner, Janna, must be used as the FIRST line in your piece. The media prompt is a photograph, by Czintos Ödön, that captures some of those beautiful colours I can’t wait to see again.
Life had once been defined by linears and absolutes. But that was when Elise had her career in front of her. Four years at Mary Washington, another two at Rutgers and she began her dream career. Even from the beginning she knew she was in the right place. Her ascension to the top of the fashion merchandising ranks was meteoric.
She loved the travel, especially the long trips through Europe. Paris, Rome, London, Frankfurt, Geneva and more stops were always highlights she anticipated with a childlike enthusiasm. Her attention to learning the languages of other nations made her popular with the hosts that had not yet mastered her native language.
Many of her friends urged her to strike out on her own, create her own brand, but Elise resisted, knowing the administration of such an enterprise would consume so much of her creative energy. What5 she loved was creating the looks, anything that took away from that could only be a distraction. That was the reason she always gave for not allowing a man into her life.
But here she was looking for Henri, the French manager of Capri Fashions. He was similar in age as well as his passion for their work. In truth he was the one man in her life that could level the playing field and even pry her laser focus loose. She had lost herself in moments of daydreaming about Henri.
It wasn’t the famed French accent, or the mystery of a European, it was the way he attended to her. No one really had done this since she was a child. Her father had been her hero growing up and gave her the security to dream of whatever she wanted. While Henri’s attentions were much different than her father, it was the way he approached her that captivated her mind and heart.
Elise was blessed with a natural beauty and the list of men wanting to snag her heart was long, including numerous suitors at Rutgers. But her focus then was singular and the collection of frustrated suitors was large. Now she was celebrating her third decade of life and thinking about her future. She did not want to be alone when her career finally drew to a close.
“Elise, it is so good to see you,” Henri said as he drew near.
“My favorite Frechman,” Elise greeted him.
“How was the flight?”
“Long as always, but worth the effort.”
“I have something to show you, a new line. I want you to partner with me. I think we could make a great combo,” he said as he gently touched her hand.
Elise felt the energy course through her body from the touch and it took her breath. Henri had embraced her before, but it was merely a customary embrace, including the traditional cheek to cheek European kisses. But this was much different. This touch seemed to have a different connotation to her.
She lifted her eyes from his hand to meet his deep blue eyes and she saw something new. Was she imagining this? She could feel her breathing become shallow and she knew she had to regain her composure. Luckily Henri was caught up in the explanation of the enterprise he wanted her to join and had no idea of the condition she was experiencing.
Elise pursed her lips while she drew in deep breaths to try to right her emotions. But then Henri squeezed her hand gently and she realized he had spoken and she was distracted.
A smile and quick apology drew an even larger response on Henri’s face.
“We should order,” he repeated.
“Of course!” Elise replied.
Unlike other times when Henri offered simple gestures of affection, this time Elise took it a step further, grasping his hand to maintain contact. The expression on his face was a knowing and appreciative one. He understood the meaning and continued accordingly.
For Elise the linears and absolutes were about to change and she was euphoric about the whole adventure.