Lovers In My Head
I get a lot of compliments about my novelette, To The One I Love. I get a lot of complaints too. One I hear most often is that the book is too short. There is not enough of the story. I thought I’d clear the air once and for all about why the story is so brief and what inspired me to write it.
To The One I Love is about a man who falls instantly for a woman who walks into a coffee shop. He’s a romantic at heart, so to prove to the woman that she’s dealing with someone different and unique in his method of courtship he writes her love letters.
Twelve love letters cover key points in their relationship. When Jonathan asks Emily on their first date and she responds. The second set of love letters finds Jonathan proclaiming his love and passion for Emily. A passion she reciprocates.
In the third set of love letters between the couple, he asks for her hand in marriage. The fourth is their wedding day. Jonathan’s letter is before the wedding and Emily’s response is latter that night. The fifth installment of letters brings us news off the couple’s arrival of twins.
The last set of love letters brings us to a sad conclusion, with the lose of Jonathan and a heartbroken Emily wanting to join her lover.
No violence caused Jonathan’s demise, as one reviewer claims. There are no blatant sex scenes, and no details beyond what is mentioned in the letters. Why? Sometimes less is more. I wanted to leave the reader to draw their own conclusions about Jonathan’s and Emily’s life. How long did they date? What caused their mothers to slug it out at the couple’s engagement party? Did their mothers ever learn to get along? Were their lives successful? How long were they married? Everything is left up to the reader and a Chinese Zodiac Calendar.
Jonathan and Emily’s relationship could have been a burning torch, snuffed out before their path was fully lit. It could have lasted for decades, the couple’s children grown with children of their own. Or the story could lie somewhere in between. No matter how long you live, there is always a fight for one more day. I’m not fond of expiration dates myself. I’ll admit, the letters are rather verbose and not for everyone, but there are women and men like me, who would love for the one they love to pour out their hearts in a love letter to them.
I can’t remember his name these days, I think it was John. We dated briefly and though his name is often lost to me, the one thing he did every time he showed up at my door is not. He’d hand me a slip of paper as he kissed me on my forehead or cheek. Sometimes the paper he passed to me was torn from a notebook, the back of a store receipt or, I kid you not, black magic marker written on a brick. Very rarely were his words ever written on anything as formal as a card or stationary. Yet, it goes down in my book at one of the most romantic things a man has ever done for me. What did he write? Definitions. Straight from the dictionary. Words that defined how he felt about us.
Words always have power. Spoken or written, they open doors, hearts, lives…
Maybe one day I’ll write a book to fill in the blanks about my love birds in To The One I Love. Until then, use your imagination. It will take you places I could possibly never dream of.