PROMPTuesday, Exercise #4: My First Love

No intro today.


Just this: Write about your first love. Work the phrase, “Beauty in the shadows,” into the piece. This one can go to 250 words.


Other “rules” (air quotes implied and used ironically):


You must write your entry in 10 minutes. This encourages top-of-mind, primal thinking before the ego and judgmental brain kicks in. Just set a timer, make your kid count to 600 slowly, whatever. It’s an honor system. And I trust you.


Keep to 250 words or less.
Use Mr. Linky to post your entry, so everyone can read them. If you don’t have a blog, please post your entry in the comments section.


A new PROMPTuesday post will appear here every Tuesday morning and writers/just having funners will have until 11:59PM Pacific Standard Time to participate.


Please have fun. Don’t put pressure on yourself. We’re all in this together.


Now I’m off to flush my eyes for 15 minutes as I just accidentally doused them with spot remover.


p.s. PROMPTuesday background is here.


Previous PROMPTuesday exercises can be found here.



14 Responses to “PROMPTuesday, Exercise #4: My First Love”

  1. aaryn b. says:

    She pressed the gas pedal, speeding faster than she should have up the winding driveway, nearly rear-ending her rival’s blue and white 1960-something Mustang. It was a hardtop. She knew it would be parked there. What a lame car, she thought. She yanked the emergency brake hard like she’d seen her mother do once. She shut off the engine, stepped from the car, slammed the door behind her.

    She didn’t bother to knock. She walked in like always. And there he stood with the beauty in the shadows, acting like it was any normal Friday. Except, this wasn’t a normal Friday was it, asshole? No, it wasn’t. This was the Friday that you got caught. Pep rally, my ass.

    She stormed past them both, the lying popular son of a drug dealer and his cheerleading girlfriend. But wait, she thought. Wasn’t she the girlfriend? Quietly furious, she made her way down to his bedroom two stairs at a time. She passed his bed where they’d fucked so many times and where—by the looks of it—he’d just fucked the cheerleader. Happy Friday, she thought.

    On the credenza was the picture of him and the cheerleader. From prom. She opened the drawer directly beneath it. There was the framed picture her. She grabbed the photo. She raced upstairs, three stairs at a time, to find him hugging her. She tossed the photo between them. You deserve each other, she said.

    He sells used cars now.
    She and the cheerleader are friends.

  2. Mommyrella says:

    It started with pregnancy. I was up all night sorting out the linen cupboards, then catching up with photo albums. Labor took eleven days. The contractions were maddening and every time we went to the hospital, we were sent away. Exhausted and in pain, I cried and pleaded with my OBGYN to just induce me. I felt like I was going crazy. When my baby boy was born, I didn’t get more than two hours of sleep at a stretch for three months. The first night he slept four hours in a row, I awoke in a panic thinking something was terribly wrong. I stared at him and then finally woke him up because my breasts were exploding. After two and a half years, he still wasn’t sleeping through the night. We would let him cry, he would vomit all over himself, cry some more and never sleep. There was always some excuse; teething, developmental milestones, nightmares, colds and weird childhood illnesses. After his baby sister was born, I spent the first three weeks up with either of them alternatively and never sleeping at all. She started sleeping six to eight hours at a stretch after four weeks. He was still waking up. Finally, after three long years of not sleeping at all, I could get the sleep I needed. Except I found that I can’t. It’s 11:51 and I’m writing, because now my mind works best late at night. I look in the mirror and I’m shocked. I’ve aged ten years in the past six. I have wrinkles, dull hair, bags under my eyes and the darkest circles you’ve ever seen. I look like I have two black eyes, unless I wear concealer. I wish I could say that it doesn’t matter, but that’s not entirely true. I feel like I lost something in me. It’s nothing as trite or shallow as my youth or beauty, but something deeper…like my luster. I grew up. I don’t glow or sparkle anymore. I just look tired and serious. Sometimes, when I laugh, I accidentally glance at myself in a reflection and for a moment, I see a shadow of my vitality. There is nothing admirable in the wear-and-tear. The aging in my face isn’t something I wear proudly, like a motherly battle scar. There is no beauty in the shadows. Maybe the girl I once was lurks behind those shadows, but she has been replaced with a spectre who worries and watches, late at night.

  3. […] Word count: 250 or less. Topic: First love. Use the phrase: “Beauty in the shadows.” […]

  4. Cheri says:

    Well he was just seventeen. You know what I mean? His eyes were brilliant blue, his nose was ever so slightly crooked, and his brown hair was perfectly feathered. He sauntered when he walked, and it played out even if he didn’t wear Levis and did wear button down shirts with an understated pinstripe to school. He was new to the school, from Des Moines, Iowa. He was cool because he wasn’t a surfer, or a stoner, or a soc, or a jock, or a nerd. He was cool because he was just a guy from Iowa. With perfectly feathered hair and brilliant blue, staring eyes. He stared at me in Beginning Guitar in first period. He stared at me in U.S. History in sixth period. His staring blue eyes were a pair of bookends in my school day. I wondered whom he stared at in periods two through five. But one day at the end of period six, he told me he like my gold, heart-shaped Monet earrings. He said they glowed from across the room when we watched films in class. We became high school sweethearts. But I knew one thing that none of the other girls knew. Feathered Hair McBlue Eyes was a mama’s boy. And mama didn’t want her boy to have a girlfriend. Just like my earrings glowed in the darkened classroom when we watched history films, our love glowed like beauty in the shadows of his mother’s watchful eye.

  5. Tony says:

    Beauty. In the shadows of my mind there is still only her. She doesn’t know who she is, but I do.

  6. Tony says:

    (I kind of cheated with the interstitial punctuation. Sorry.)

  7. […] be back to writing soon, and hopefully i’ll still be allowed to post in this week’s prompt tuesday. i really want to do this […]

  8. San Diego Momma says:

    As usual, you gals and guys rock the PROMPT.

    Thanks for your beautiful, funny, heartbreaking, interstitially punctuated submissions.

    I’m so glad you’re here.

  9. i have failed you yet again… honestly, it’s the whole “10 minutes” thing. i can’t do it at work, and i can’t do anything for 10 minutes without being interrupted by the children (when they’re awake)… and i was tired last night.

    i know, boohoohoo…

    will participate again soon. swear.

  10. Myra says:

    i did it! thanks for the inspiration! i just loved doing this one. honestly, i think it was 15 minutes, but the cute one i wrote about with the curly hair was talking to me as i wrote…

  11. Cocktail Maven says:

    Belated post due to hellish week, but here you go (12 Minutes):

    Sweet 16 and never been kissed, but I was determined. The first time I saw the tall, wavy-haired, dark-eyed boy at that church in Carlsbad. I remember thinking to myself, “He’s the one! He is going to be my first boyfriend.” Until then, I felt like I had been hiding my beauty in the shadows, unwilling to risk revealing myself in sunlight for fear I should be found wanting, undesirable, ugly. The preacher’s daughter had known Tall Dark and his brother most of her life. She introduced us. Now, six months later I had just turned 16, and the boy asks me after youth group if he can talk to me alone for a minute. I follow him into one of the small Sunday school classrooms off of the main fellowship hall and shyly, timidly, he gives me a gift, not knowing how I will react. Not knowing whether I would “get it”, and understand the significance of the gesture. I did, and it must have shown in my face enough to bolster his courage. He asked me to “go with him”, and I of course said yes. It was then that he kissed me. My first kiss! Apparently his first kiss too. I distinctly remember our teeth colliding. Even in my inexperience, somehow I knew that wasn’t supposed to happen. Regardless, I was thrilled! I was validated! I was all over goose bumps to be viewed in the light, and welcomed, and loved. I had grabbed the brass ring and now I didn’t have to get off the Merry-go-round. MY ride was just starting. . .

  12. OK I was late to the game – new to blogging and just found this. So here’s my late entry. Completely off the cuff.

    “First baby on the street” I wore the title loud and proud. Ours was a neighborhood of new houses and new (or in my case growing) families. He was second. I reminded him every chance I got. I was first. He was a mere second. but I reminded him and teased him and taunted him, sigh, because I adored him. The swagger. the brown wavy hair. The voice. He finally saw through my meanness to my heart, realizing at long last that I really did have it bad for the boy. There was beauty in the shadows of the bushes the day he kissed me. We thought we were well hidden. Didn’t know that mothers of 5 year olds always know where we are….

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