Romantic Friday Writers: Coming Home

Romantic Friday Writers: Coming Home This blog has a challenge for writers of romance/love stories to write 400 words on a theme each Friday.   Today’s theme is “Coming Home.”  My entry is a 471 word excerpt of a story (I couldn’t find anything to cut!) that is available for free at and also as part of my collection of short love stories: Dev Dreams Volume One.  It’s stretching the theme a bit as this is Priyanka settling into a new home after being sent from her home in India to America for an arranged marriage with someone she met only days before they wed.  This is the moment she starts to feel at home in America for the first time…



One night Deepak told her, “We need to go to this fancy function at the hospital where I work. I’ll take you shopping for a dress tomorrow. We’ll take the subway, you’ll like it.”

He was right, she loved the subway. The mass of people pushing against each other felt like home. When they got on the train, someone moved out of a seat marked with a wheelchair symbol. Deepak folded the seat out of the way and rolled into its place. There was no where to sit and Priyanka was preparing to hold onto the pole next to the door when Deepak grazed the back of her arm with his fingers, then patted his lap. Gingerly she climbed on and he wrapped his arms around her waist. It felt surprisingly nice, like they fit together as puzzle pieces.

At the store, the sale’s girl tried to ignore Deepak’s input, but he knew the event and Priyanka did not, so he selected the dresses for her to try on. The sale’s girl absolutely refused to allow him in the changing area, so he sat in the store and waited for her to come out in each dress. Priyanka modeled dresses and twirled in front of him and he told her she was beautiful. She couldn’t remember the last time she had so much fun.

Then she came out of the changing room and a couple of girls were standing behind Deepak and speaking in French. He was oblivious to them, since he didn’t understand what they were saying, but Priyanka did and she frowned. She walked past her husband and said to the girls, “Je peux vous comprendre.”

Deepak pushed his chair around and stared at her as the girls rolled their eyes and walked away.

Priyanka looked down at her shoes and said, “They were speaking about you.”

“You can speak French?”

“A little. I’ve been studying.”

“You already speak Tamil, Hindi, Kanada and English and you’re learning French too. I’m impressed, I can only speak English and bad Hindi. Why didn’t you say you were fluent in so many languages?”

Priyanka looked at him and he was gazing at her with such pride that she blushed. “Daksha Auntie didn’t think it sounded right, I have the wrong kind of skills. I do cook, though, I like cooking.”

“Yes, and you’re very good at it. I like to cook too.”


“I’ll make you a lasagna tomorrow, you’ll love it.”

She smiled. She never thought she’d have so much fun with her husband, it almost made up for the lack of touch. Her skin sometimes seemed to ache from the desire to be touched and there were times she longed to just be held. She always pushed those thoughts aside.


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  1. Paula Martin
    Jul 22, 2011

    Love this, you;ve captured her thoughts and feelings. Do hope she will eventually get what she needs.

  2. Beverly Diehl
    Jul 22, 2011

    I like the story, very, very much. I like the characters, and I love Deepak’s competence and comfort level with being differently-abled. We need more stories about people like him. 🙂

    IMO, while you might not be able to squeeze it to 400 words, you might get it closer, if you tightened it up a bit.

    Take this sentence: “Priyanka looked at him and he was gazing at her with such pride that she blushed.” 16 words.

    It’s not necessary to SAY she looked at him. Since this story is told from her POV, the only way we’d know he gazed at her is if she/narrator told us.

    Edit: He gazed at Priyanka with such pride that her cheeks grew warm. 12 words

    We generally should beware describe ourselves as blushing, (which is something* I* was thoroughly schooled on in crit group just a few months ago, since it’s a mistake I’ve committed over and over again). We can observe someone ELSE blushing, but unless we are looking in a mirror, we don’t SEE ourselves blush (and probably wouldn’t comment on it if we did). We can feel our face get hot, our ears, etc., or someone else can make an observation, “hey, you’re sure turning red!” but as writers, we need to make sure our narrator characters don’t slip into omniscient POV unless that’s intentional. If it can’t be SEEN out of the eyes of the character telling the story, it has to be brought in a different way. Through another sense: hearing, smell, taste, touch; through memory, OR through another character remarking upon it.

    That said that the last paragraph was so beautifully sensual that I felt myself, uh, growing warm in the cheek area. 😉

  3. Andy
    Jul 23, 2011

    This was beautiful albeit it a little sad. I felt her aching and longing in the end.
    Somehow, though, I think these two will work through things.

    Lovely entry.

  4. J.L. Campbell
    Jul 23, 2011

    Two thoughtful characters.
    the sale’s girl should be ‘sales girl’
    I agree you stretched the theme a bit. 🙂

  5. Donna Hole
    Jul 23, 2011

    This was sweet. She seems lonely, a bit lost. But I can see things looking up for her as she gets more comfortable with Deepak and her new environment.


  6. Francine Howarth
    Jul 23, 2011


    So sorry about your bad news. Sincere commiserations!

    I love the descriptions in this piece, and feel sure you’ll be editing this at some time, as we all do. None of us post up perfected work, and can always, with several re-reads see niggling words that can and will be binned. 😉


  7. Kiru Taye
    Jul 23, 2011

    Sweet love… I enjoyed reading this. I hope her desires are fulfilled too.

    I guess it’s a kind of home coming if they both find love. Well done.

  8. Andy
    Jul 23, 2011

    Ruth, I’m just popping by again to offer you my condolences.
    My prayers are with you and your family.

  9. L'Aussie
    Jul 24, 2011

    Hi Ruth! Welcome to RFWers. It is great to read your work. Also I offer my condolences on your bad news.

    I enjoy reading this piece, rich in emotion. I love how Deepak is so gracious, not asking what the French girls were saying about him, rather his amazement at Priyanka’s grasp of language. What a lovely man!

    We can always cut our work to a required limit. It is a good lesson to ‘lose our darlings’ as I’ve been taught. I’m verbose, but really enjoy editing to the correct word limit. It’s one of the skills you can learn in RFWers. Some struggle at the beginning, then proudly say they edited from 500 to 398!

    Great piece. Thoroughly enjoyed. Looking forward to reading more of your work.

  10. Margo Benson
    Jul 25, 2011

    Such kindness in your characters and wonderful descriptions of feelings. It wish lovely things for these two.

    My condolences to you and your family.

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