In literature class in school there’s always talk of how this author and that author use symbolism and metaphor. You dissect stories and find meaning in them and talk about why the author did these things. But I can honestly say that any symbolism in my book was completely by accident.
I grew up in the country, though I may have never been your typical “country girl”, I did spent a fair share of my time crawling around in places I probably shouldn’t have. I suppose its kind if fitting that the most symbolic thing in my novel, Tears in the Rubble, is an old barn. It wasn’t intentional at all. It just happened to be the setting for the first scene I wrote. It grew from there. It became a place a relationship was built, a relationship grew, and the place a relationship began to fall apart.
It’s funny how things stick with you. And they can become something huge and they mean something even if you’re not meaning for them to.
Shoving his hands in the pockets of his jeans, he tried to take his time. He was early and he was nervous. Looking up from the drab gray concrete below his black shoes, Taylor saw Layla pacing in front of the theater. He chuckled to himself as he paused to watch her for a moment. She checked her phone, paced, smoothed her long blonde hair, paced some more, and finally smoothed her purple dress. A smile stretched wide across his face. Layla reached for her phone again and Taylor saw her glance up in his direction. She tucked her phone in the pocket of her brown leather blazer and waved. Taylor took in everything about her in that moment, what she was wearing, how her hair was styled, and especially the grin curling up the corners of her pretty pink mouth. Taylor especially liked the last part, maybe a little too much. She looked nervous. And Taylor liked that too. He couldn’t help it. Her nervousness sparked something inside him. Butterflies took flight in Taylor’s stomach as he waved back, a feeling he was unfamiliar with. When he reached Layla she leaned in to hug him, a move he hadn’t seen coming, causing their hug to turn into an awkward back pat, half embrace. Taylor could feel the heat rising in his cheeks at the thought of their awkwardness. Layla laughed and stepped back, erasing some of the awkwardness with her smile alone.
"So, the movie doesn’t start for about forty-five minutes. I thought maybe we could grab some food. Unless you aren’t hungry." Layla looked unsure.
"Sure, that’s fine. I can always eat," Taylor reassured her, patting his flat stomach.
Taylor and Layla headed across the street to Giovanni’s, a small pizza place that was never very busy. Taylor held the door open and waited for Layla to enter in front of him, loving the way she brushed by him and the way her perfume lingered after she was gone. Tonight is dangerous, he told himself. Layla led the way to a booth tucked in the corner and Taylor followed closely behind, trying not to stare, not to notice the way her hips swayed with each step she took, the fabric of her purple dress brushing her thighs and clinging there slightly.
Once they were settled in the booth and their order was placed with the waitress, they were quiet for a few minutes. Taylor looked around the small restaurant taking in the gold fixtures and the red and white checkered table cloths. The silence felt uncomfortable and he started to regret asking Layla to hang out. They’d been friends once but maybe they were beyond that now. Maybe it had been too long. He wasn’t really sure what he expected, but it hadn’t been an awkward silence.
Across the table, Layla cleared her throat and shrugged off her brown jacket revealing her golden shoulders barely covered by the thin purple straps of her dress.
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