by Harriett V. Bennett
Straight from the author, your special peak into the novel A Love Derferred? This is the prologue:
Her Story (Ronni)
What happens to a love deferred? Does it keep its aromatic beginnings or does it take on the pungent decay that happens to most living things when left unattended over time? I have asked myself that question dozens, no, hundreds of times over these many years – smitten, infatuated, love struck. I can’t pick just one because they all apply to how I felt, and still feel about a certain someone whom I have carried in my heart, although maybe not always in the forefront, for as long as I can remember those first real feelings of warmth that a young girl gets when she knows that she has met her first love, someone she thinks could be her forever love.
Of course, there are some who know me who have told me that I must have a screw loose somewhere, to carry a torch, or maybe more appropriately, a bonfire, for someone who has never committed himself totally to me. And deep down, in the far reaches of my educated, sophisticated, otherwise level-headed mind, I know that for most of these years I have melded him in the aortic canal which is my heart, what they say rings true.
Now, I’m not looking for justification, empathy, or absolution in telling this story, but I thought it might help someone else, woman or man, who can relate in some way to what I have been, and am still, going through, to some degree, to come to grips with a bittersweet romance.
His Story (Eric)
I know what happens to a dream deferred. But what happens to a love deferred? I think it finds a warm, quiet place in your heart and lives there, passing judgment on any semblance of love that passes by. Mine sits in my heart and speaks constantly to my mind. It says things like, “Yeah, she’ll pass for now, but what about later? She’s not her you know? Will this one pass the test of time? Are you going to settle for this? You can do better. Why don’t you just give up? You know it’s not going to work out – again!”
Sometimes I wish it would just let me have my peace. Sometimes when it’s silent for a while, and I think about letting someone new into my life, my mind takes over and asks, “Well, what about that thing in your heart? You know, that thing that keeps asking those questions? Go on, answer it! Because if you don’t, you are making a big mistake.”
I know what happens to a love deferred. It always comes back to her. That thing in the warm, quiet place in my heart. The love of my life.
Gloria Naylor once wrote that there are four sides to each story: his side, her side, the inside and the outside. Truer words have never been spoken or written. However, the years have taught us that there are two other sides as well: the side we remember and the side we wish could be. What happens to A Love Deferred? We invite you to find out what happens to Ronni and Eric.
Prologue, A Love Deferred? by Harriett V. Bennett, © May 2009. Reprinted by permission.
Harriett Veronica (H.V.) Bennett is also a psalmist on The Experience Praise Team. She is a member of Carolina Missionary Baptist Church in Fort Washington, MD.
Question for Comment: What should Ronni’s next logical step be? Can you recall a time when you were in a similar situation? What did you do?