Catching Frogs

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Status: Finished  |  Genre: Romance  |  House: Booksie Classic
You know the old saying "You have to kiss a lot of frogs to find your prince?" But what if, you weren't searching for a prince this whole time, but your princess? This is a short story that I entered in a contest, that I am going to turn into a novel about finding unexpected love and how it knows no boundaries.

Submitted: September 14, 2012

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Submitted: September 14, 2012

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How many times have I uttered those words?  Marnie thought to herself, staring with a half-smile at her date sitting across from her at the  table.  A quiet cafe,  romantic dinner, a ridiculously good looking man, red wine, intelligent conversation. What could possibly be wrong with this?  She tapped her newly french tipped manicured nails on her water goblet, clenching her teeth.  He wiped the black silk cloth across his mouth, then put it back on his lap.

"Darling, something on your mind?"  Liam asked, reaching out to touch her hand.  Marnie hung her head and flared her nostrils.  What a cliche! ran through her mind over and over, like a ticker tape on a newscast.  She slid her hand out from under his and ran her fingers through her curled hair, then rested her hand on her neck and cleared her throat.

"Liam,"  she began, "You're a really great guy."  

He exhaled loudly,  leaned back into his chair and crossed his long arms defensively.  She clasped her hands and rested them on her lap.  She stared at him for a moment.His straw-colored hair sat lazily on his head, like blades of tall grass.  The man was damn sexy.

"But I'm sorry, I don't think this is going to work out."

Liam rested an arm behind him on the back of the chair and shook his head.

"It's not you.  It's me.  Truly."  There, she said it.

Liam pursed and smacked his delicious looking lips and ran a hand through the meadow on his head.  "We've been seeing each other for what, four months now?  We've been talking about you moving in with me."

"I know."  She lowered her head.

He rested his elbows on the table and leaned in towards her.  "We don't have to move in together, is that it?  Do you think we're moving too fast?"  He said in a husky tone.

"I just..."  She paused trying to find the right parting words.  "I don't see this going anywhere and don't want to waste your time.  You deserve a woman who will love you completely, and I'm not that woman."  And with that, Marnie scooted the chair out from under her, walked over to Liam and planted a goodbye kiss on his cheek.  She closed her eyes and inhaled.  His aftershave smelled so good, so musky.  I must be completely out of my mind,  she thought to herself as she walked away, not turning to look back.

 

"Hows that handsome man of yours?"  Kendra asked Marnie  with a wink while getting fitted for her wedding dress.

"I uh, we broke up." Marnie said, biting her lower lip and fidgiting with her hands on her lap. 

Kendra slumped her shoulders and smacked her hands against the chiffon of her dress.  "Marnie, Marnie, Marnie! Why?" She said with disappointment and escalation in her voice.

"I know, I know!"  Said Marnie, closing her eyes and putting her hands to her ears.

"He was gorgeous, like, he could have been a doppleganger for Alexander Skaarsgard!"  

"I know."

"He was rich.  Uber rich!"  Kendra said, arms skyward.

"That doesn't matter."  Exhaled Marnie, running her hands up and down the top of her leather covered legs.  She loved leather pants even though the early fall weather in "Hell-A", as she called it, was molten-like and made her pants stick to her skin.   The familiar ping of a cell phone sounded.  Kendra carefully crouched down as to not wrinkle the fabric , picked hers up and answered.

"Lo?  Hey are you coming?"  Kendra asked.  A beat as she listened,  pouted, while slowly standing back up.  "Ok, sorry to hear that, I really wanted you to meet my best friend Marnie."  She said as she looked over and smiled at her.  "Ok, see you at the rehearsal dinner."  She snapped her phone shut like a castanet.  Marnie hung her head and smiled that her friend was still clinging to archaic technology.

"Everything okay?"  Asked Marnie.

"Yeah, that was Drake's sister Lauren.  She was supposed to meet us here to help me decide on a dress along with you."  Kendra said, turning to look in the mirror and tugging at her dress.  "I thought she was already in town but she has to work late and can't fly out from New York till the morning."  She tilted her head back and forth and squinted her eyes, making a face that Marnie couldn't register if it was approval or not.   Kendra put her hands on her hips.  "She's a buyer for Saks and has great taste."

"Hmm."  Said Marnie, twitching her nose, nodding her head and raising her brows as she picked up an edition of Bridal Magazine.  "Well, I think you in that dress is absolutely perfect!"  More facial scrunching from Kendra and she tampered with the halter straps.Marnie went back to flipping through the magazine.  Then she looked up from a picture of a bridesmaid dress similar to the one that Kendra had picked out.  "Why did you tell her you wanted her to meet me?"  She asked.

Kendra was still making faces in the mirror while twirling in her dress.  "Well, you're my best friend, she's my future sister in law, and you're both going stag to the wedding."

"Oh."

"Yeah, and she's a lesbian."

Marnie froze for a few seconds, then set the magazine next to her on the couch with a thump and looked up at Kendra.  "And that matters because?"  Marnie asked, a hint of irritation in her voice.

"It doesn't.  Geez, so touchy!"  Kendra said, twisting her mouth.

"I'm sorry, I just..."

"What is it?"  Kendra's face softened.

"Just a little sad is all.  Sitting here, watching you get fitted for your wedding dress.  I thought I'd find the perfect man by now and be married."

"Well honey, you've had a lot of great men!  But you always sabotage it by finding something wrong with them!"

"I do not!"

"You do!  Remember Rex?" 

Marnie nodded and rolled her eyes.

"What was it about him you said?  You didn't like the way he smacked and slurped his food when he ate."

"Well, it was annoying.  I pictured myself tolerating that in five years and I couldn't."

"And Joe."

"He laughed like a cackling bottle nosed dolphin..."

"Dylan?  He had a weird phobia, right?"  Kendra was rolling her eyes now.

"Yeah, he didn't like styrofoam!  Who's afraid of styrofoam!"  Marnie said exasperated.

"My point is, no one is perfect.  And you keep dumping these guys because you expect complete perfection."

"I just want to feel those butterflies in my stomach, the heart racing, the feeling of 'I can't be without this person', like you found with Drake."  Marnie sighed, throwing her head  back, tears pooling in her eyes.  "I just haven't found that yet."

"Oh honey, I know."  Kendra said, coming down from the platform and plopping down next to her best friend.  "Your prince will come soon, I'm sure of it."  She lifted up Marnie's chin and smiled.  "I'm sure of it."

Marnie clasped Kendra's hand.  "You think?"  She asked, looking down at the sizable pear shaped rock on her friends ring finger.  The thing was huge.

"Yeah but, damn, Liam was as close to perfect as they come!" Kendra laughed.

"I feel like I've just been chasing and kissing a lot of frogs."  Said Marnie through tears.  

"Well, there will be plenty of frogs at our wedding.  Drake has a few single friends from college that are coming."  Kendra winked, then added,

"Hey watch the dress, I haven't decided on it yet and don't want your mascara tears staining it!"

"I love you."  Marnie smiled at her best friend.  "And I am so happy for you."

"I love you too."  Kendra kissed Marnie's forehead.  

"That really is a great dress."  Marnie said, wiping away a tear with the back of her index finger.  "I think you have a winner!"

Kendra stood back up and walked over to the mirror smiling.  "If you say it is, then this is the one!"

"I'm glad."  Marnie said, standing up and stretching.  "Because we've been here for three and a half hours already!"

Kendra looked over her shoulder.  "Go home, sweetie.  I'll see you at the rehearsal dinner tomorrow night."

"See you then."

 

Just as  promised, there was a gaggle of gorgeous single men  inside the dimly lit club.  Marnie made sure she wore her sexiest, knock 'em off their socks, knockout of an outfit when she made her entrance.  An ivory colored lace bustier  to show off her tan, with a black pencil skirt that sat just above the knees.She had pulled up her dark hair in a loose knot to show off her toned shoulders and back.  All her boyfriends told her that was the sexiest part of her body.   After grabbing a glass of bubbly off the tray from a passing waiter, she scanned the room and found her friend who was waving enthusiastically to her.  Drake had a loving and protective arm around Kendra, and they were talking to a tall woman, who's back was to Marnie.  Then she turned around.  Marnie's shoes suddenly felt like they were in a bucket of wet cement.

Marnie swallowed the lump in her throat.  Why were here hands so sweaty?  The woman peeked up at her from under blonde  side swept bangs and smiled. Kendra was motioning her over with her hand, but Marnie stood frozen.Her breathing became more shallow as the woman approached to greet her.  What was this and why was she feeling this way? 

Calm down Marnie.  She thought to herself, closing her eyes and clearing her throat.

"You must be Marnie!"  Lauren said enthusiastically while reaching out for a hug.  "I'm Drake's  sister!"  Marnie's hands began to shake and she spilled her champagne all over the front of Lauren's purple silk dress, her flute slipping through her shaking fingers and crashing to the floor.

"I, um, oh my gosh, I'm terribly sorry!"  Marnie said, fumbling over her words, and nervously wiping down the front of Lauren's dress with the cocktail napkin that still clung to her sweaty palm.  Touching Lauren made her hands tremble even more, as a funny feeling churned in the pit of her stomach. She retracted and exhaled, trying to compose herself.  She took a step back, looking down careful not to step on the broken glass beneath her six hundred dollar Manolo Blahnik slingback pumps she bought especially for the occasion.

"Hell of a rehearsal dinner, huh?"  Laughed Lauren.  Marnie's eyes slowly worked their way up from the floor, to Lauren's well-toned calves and stopped.  She was so tone, so tan.  Marnie swallowed the lump in her throat.  Her eyes worked their way up and Marnie noticed how the silk accentuated every perfect curve. She had a dancers physique.   Maybe from walking, she surmised, since she lives in New York.  Her butterscotch colored hair cascaded in long loose waves around her face and rested on her shoulders.   Her eyes almost matched her hair, with some green and gold flecks.  Flecks which extended just below the corners of her eyes and onto her nose.  Lauren was absolutely stunning.  "Do lesbians make you nervous?" Lauren smiled,  breaking the silence. 

 Marnie was horrified, was she just caught ogling a woman?   A beautiful woman no doubt, but still.  What is  going on   here?  She thought to herself as she cleared her throat, keeping her gaze locked on Lauren's golden eyes.  "No, of course not!  I'm just, I'm sorry I can't help but notice how beautiful you are."  

Lauren slowly parted her lips, tilted her head and blushed.  Marnie redirected her eyes and met with Kendra's across the room, who then sashayed her way over giddily.  Clearly she had already consumed too much champagne.

"You ladies getting along?  I knew you would!"  Kendra squealed.  

Marnie nodded.  "We just met, but yeah, we're getting along."

"Another champagne Marnie?"  Lauren asked.

"Yes, thank you.  I would love that."  She replied.

"I'll get it for you."  Lauren's fingers slowly grazed Marnie's bare shoulder as she walked past her towards the bar.  She felt that sensation in the pit of her stomach again.

"You know,"  Kendra grabbed her friends elbow, getting closer to Marnie's ear,  "I think she likes you.  I can tell."  Marnie whipped her neck to face her friend.  "And maybe all this time it wasn't a prince that you were looking for..."

Marnie cut her off.  "I was looking for my princess."  She  surprised herself that she said it with such conviction.  She turned to look at the gorgeous woman at the bar getting the champagne.  "And I think I may have found her."


© Copyright 2017 Tania Penn. All rights reserved.

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