Saturday, August 07, 2010

Reborn - Magpie #26, Saturday, August 7, 2010

It had been a painful divorce.  Fran had discovered that her husband's business trips had necessitated his secretary's services and that did not include taking dictation.  Her
friends had warned her that the wealthy young CEO was a "player" but she had ignored
them, even when he had insisted on a prenuptial agreement which left her little, should
the marriage end.

For the first year, life had seemed blissful to her.  David worked hard but he was very
attentive.  Their life was a round of social events, parties, season's tickets to the opera,
symphony, theatre, sports events.  They often got away with friends for long weekends
to Mexico, Hawaii, and Canada but, slowly, that began to change.  David pleaded
increasingly demanding international clientele and, if they managed dinner together
twice a week, it was a major happening. 

The night of their second anniversary, they had reservations for the weekend at Napa's
Silverado Country Club.  David had their driver take her early on Friday, explaining he had
a business meeting at 5PM but would join her in the dining room at 7PM.  She took great
care to dress exquisitely, in a new gown she had gotten at Neiman Marcus the week
before.  The waiter had a bottle of Kristal champagne chilling and, as the maître d'hôtel,
 walked her to her seat, he quickly opened it and poured her a glass.  She smiled as he
handed her the menu, inquiring if she was dining alone.  Fran exlained that Mr. Devries
should be arriving in ten minutes.

Half an hour later, as she was quietly seething, the maître d'hôtel returned and handed her
an envelope with the country club letter head.  "It was delivered by your husband's driver,"
he explained.  Fran took it and walked out of the dining room and back to their suite.

Inside the envelope, David had written a terse note, stating only that he no longer wished
to remain married to her, had filed for divorce and was enclosing a check for $50,000 
to help her begin life on her own.  He expected her to vacate the house in a week.  She
could keep her clothing and personal belongings and all the jewelry he had given her, and
her car, but nothing more. 

In between fits of tears, Fran plunged into a frenzy of house hunting.  Her $50,000
wouldn't go far, even augmented by her savings of $25,000.  When her realtor finally
called with a little cottage in the Sierra foothills, "a bit rundown but with potential", she
agreed to make the 130 mile drive.  It was love at first sight.  Armed with her camera,
Fran took a hundred photos. 

The cottage was seventy years old, with a magnificent view of the mountains.  A porch
wrapped around the entire front of the house and an awning  kept out the bright evening
sun.  A brook gurgled on part of the two acres of land belonging to the house.  There was
a huge living room and kitchen, two bedrooms and a large bathroom and a screened
porch on the back of the house.  Daisies and poppies grew in profusion and tangles
of rambling rose bushes grew in disarray all along the drive leading up to the house.  
The yard was bone dry, desperately in need of water, and large planters of shriveled
vegetation filled the back porch and yard.  An old rusted watering can sat near the steps.

Her mother was horrified when she drove up to see it but Fran had already put $25,000
down on the house.  She explained that the quiet and solitude were just what she needed
right now and she planned to finish the novel she had begun right before she met David.
She found a handyman advertised at the market in town and, within two weeks, the
entire place had been painted inside and out.  The blue paint and white shutters gave
the place a cheerful facade and Fran was busily at work on window planters and flowers.

In the back, she found some boxes full of bulbs.  She had no idea what they were so
she planted them in the yard along the back porch.  There was no faucet back there so
she cleaned up the old watering can, painted it with dark green paint, and used it to
water her bulbs.  It served its purpose very well!  In April, before Easter, she was
rewarded with a glorious display of tulips of yellows, pinks, and reds.  As they poked
their heads heavenward, her heart began to open up to the sun as well.


  1. Quite a story, covering lots of ground in its brevity.

    Thanks.I hope we all keep watering our "flowers".


  2. Sad story but fantastic ending! I guess there is gold at the end of the rainbow. Wonderful read Carmen!

  3. Fran made a new life for herself, seeing possibilities all around her; and she was rewarded with nature's bounty. Lovely, bittersweet story we can believe in.

  4. Me! Me! I want this place!
    Of course if *I* had signed a pre-nup it would have been for half the guy's fortune. My mama didn't raise any stupid children. ;o)

    Loved your description of the place. So peaceful. Just right.

  5. Dear Carmen, I so enjoy your story telling, you write so well. An inclusive writing that has me coming back often to read more of your work. Sending care and huggles, Michelle and Zebby (feline), xxx and deep purrrrumbling

  6. beautiful magpie...i am glad she opened her heart...seeing hte new life in flowers can do that at times...

  7. Very nice. Rebirth in the foothills of the mountainous Sierra's. Opening that envelope opened doors to her.

  8. Wonderful story, with a happy ending! A friend of mine had a very similar experience.

  9. Your Magpie is uplifting and life affirming ....

  10. Well, she's better off without him! Some men are heartless. Your writing is lovely and so real!

  11. love the happy ending.
    well done!

  12. I'm glad she seemed happy at the end. Sadness still hangs over the story. I felt angry that someone would do that to another person.

  13. Love the ending. I am a sucker for happy endings:)

  14. a wonderful example of how positive thinking helps in moving on... very well narrated

  15. It's not what you have that counts its how you cope with what you have lost. That is when the real core of a person is revealed.

  16. Well good ridence to a bad husband! I loved your delightful ending.

  17. Beautiful magpie tale!

  18. tulips of yellows ....delightful ending


  19. sometimes it takes pain to get to where you need to be...well done

  20. She's better off without him, but why would anyone sign a pre-nup that was so obviously designed to screw her over?

  21. Anonymous2:29 AM

    Although sad, it was a fascinating read!
    Besides, all is well that ends well...
    And good for her, her didn't plead before that shmuckhead! The tulips will give her better and more peaceful company anyway...

  22. steveroni -
    I enjoyed writing this magpie and it was fun doing a story instead of poetry for a change!

    Icy BC -
    I'm pleased you liked my foray into short fiction - a little break for the poet!

    lakeviewer -
    I knew someone who was "so in love" she signed away everything in a prenup! She got nothing, really, when they divorced and she was really very bitter. It's nice when you're wielding the pen, you can make it turn out however you wish!

    AngelMay -
    You made me seems like Fran should have held out for a little more in her prenup!

    Mickle in NZ -
    I'm glad my little short stories have kept you entertained. I've always wanted to do a novel but can't seem to get started on many distractions. I'll have to go to a mountaintop.

    Brian Miller -
    It's nice to be able to write a positive outcome in a magpie. Wish I could write a happy ending for myself!

  23. Tumblewords -
    I am so pleased that you liked my magpie. This one was fun for me.

    Tattered and Lost -
    That area of the Sierras is so beautiful - a lovely place to start over. I've often thought of going there myself and doing just that!!

    Marguerite -
    Most of my friends haven't been so lucky that they could start over so easily.

    Helen -
    Wow, I am so glad my magpie was meaningful for you. That makes me feel terrific.

    Angie Muresan -
    I am so happy to see you visit my blog and, especially, that you liked my magpie tale.

    At 65, I've done it! My poetry book - Life's Journey by Carmen Henesy - is out on Amazon!
    ( Poems about the things that have been important to me in my journey through life, some humorous, some sad, some that may have meaning to you as well )

    Jingle -
    I wanted my heroine to have a happy ending even if she didn't get the guy ( he was definitely a loser even if he was wealthy! )

    Ratty -
    You know, in my 21 years as a forensic nurse, daily I was confronted with the horrors of what people do to others, especially to children. We did a lot of debriefing with each other, believe me!

    Shiju Sugunan -
    I had you pegged for a romantic early on...and, you know, we need a lot more men like you. I've been so fortunate to know quite a few.

    magiceye -
    Unfortunately, so many people can't move on when relationships end. It's easier to write about it than to do it - I'm a good example!

    Retiredandcrazy -
    You are a shining example of the words you wrote - It's not what you have that counts its how you cope with what you have lost. That is when the real core of a person is revealed. I know how hard it was to lose Davy but you have been amazing through it all, an example to all of us. You have such strength and determination.

    Felicitas -
    She was certainly better off without the scoundrel and I couldn't let her shrivel up and die!

    Merisi -
    I figured I needed to make our heroine come out a winner!

    Patricia 333 -
    Alone but happy in the end but there is nothing wrong with that!

    kathew -
    Thank you, I was so happy that many people liked this magpie.

    secret agent woman -
    I agree with you, I wouldn't have signed a prenup like that. If he hadn't given her the money, she would have had nothing!

  24. Flowers do have a way of healing the heart.