This week author Linda Bennett Pennell tells us about her first love . . .
First Love by Linda Bennett Pennell
We met in class as so often happens with first loves. I felt someone’s eyes on me and turned to see who it was. Wow! I was bowled over. He was so cute in that scruffy, cowboy sort of way that we now find so appealing, but at the time was generally frowned upon. I didn’t care that his jeans were torn and his shirt was faded. Or that he had a reputation. John was interested in me. That was all that mattered. We got to know each other over a meal, and then another. Pretty soon, we were an item. He wasn’t afraid to show his affection in public and didn’t seem to care that his friends thought our relationship was silly. He took their teasing with the amused indulgence the noble sometimes bestow on lesser beings. His family wasn’t so pleased. They considered me an uppity city girl.
My friends were at once thrilled and appalled. John was known to be something of a bad boy, but they all agreed he was the best looking guy they knew. Whenever one of my friends decried his lack of suitability, I quietly reminded her that no one else had a boyfriend. The girl would usually sigh meaningfully and nod. John and I became something of a minor celebrity couple among the female population.
I would like to be able to say that the relationship lasted for many years, but alas, it went the way of so many young romances. For a while we were deeply in “like” as we called it in those days, but with the passage of time, the pressures from friends and family became too great. We began to argue and drifted apart.
I occasionally think about John with a touch of nostalgia, but my older, wiser self knows it was not meant to be. We were seven and my mother, who taught John’s first grade brother in the classroom next door, was not amused!
BIO and Links to Buy . . .
I have been in love with the past for as long as I can remember. Anything with a history, whether shabby or majestic, recent or ancient, instantly draws me in. I suppose it comes from being part of a large extended family that spanned several generations. Long summer afternoons on my grandmother’s porch or winter evenings gathered around her fireplace were filled with stories both entertaining and poignant. Of course being set in the South, those stories were also peopled by some very interesting characters, some of whom have found their way into my work.
As for my venture in writing, it has allowed me to reinvent myself. We humans are truly multifaceted creatures, but unfortunately we tend to sort and categorize each other into neat, easily understood packages that rarely reveal the whole person. Perhaps you, too, want to step out of the box in which you find yourself. I encourage you to look at the possibilities and imagine. Be filled with childlike wonder in your mental wanderings. Envision what might be, not simply what is. Let us never forget, all good fiction begins when someone says to herself or himself, “Let’s pretend.”
I reside in the Houston area with one sweet husband, one German Shorthaired Pointer who thinks she’s a little girl, and one striped yellow cat who knows she’s queen of the house.
Favorite quote regarding my professional passion: “History is filled with the sound of silken slippers going downstairs and wooden shoes coming up.” Voltaire
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