Daily Prompt – Strut
Write a new post in response to today’s one-word prompt.
Morgan picked up her cell phone again and checked the time, two more minutes and Sam would be eight minutes late. She turned her phone off and put it back in her bag.
There hadn’t been many unoccupied tables in the busy library when Morgan had arrived fifteen minutes earlier. Their usual place at the back had already been taken, and she hoped Sam wouldn’t mind the only other choice. At least from her vantage point Morgan would be able to see Sam approaching, and he wouldn’t be able to sneak back out without her seeing him.
Morgan tapped her fingers on the book she’d picked out. She’d had it turned over so that no one could see the title on the front cover. Their meeting was bittersweet – the beginning of the end.
The door opened and pulled Morgan’s attention pulled away from the book. Sam stepped inside the library and glanced around the room. His strut toward a table full of girls was one of confidence bordering arrogance. His brilliant smile set off a chain reaction from the group of girls as one by one their faces erupted into toothy grins. Sam’s good looks and charm commanded attention. He leaned against the table, something he said made the girls giggle and flip their hair.
Morgan rolled her eyes and tapped the book as she waited for Sam. If she didn’t know him, she’d think he was full of himself. After a few more minutes of chit-chat, Sam headed toward their table, his strut as confident and sure as ever.
“Sorry.” Sam pulled out a chair and sat down.
“That’s okay.” Morgan pulled the book over and held it in her hands. “Are you ready?” She smiled; her eyebrows rose with her questioning voice.
“Do we have to do this today?” Sam looked around the full room. His Adam’s apple bobbed up and down as he swallowed. The confidence he’d shown earlier had disappeared the moment he sat down. He looked more like a little boy than a young man of twenty-four.
Morgan nodded and placed the book in front of Sam. She reached across the table and gave his hands a squeeze. “You have come a long way. You should be proud. Own it. You exuded confidence with those girls back there.” Morgan tilted her head in the direction of the girls.
Sam shrugged. “It’s an act.”
Morgan squeezed Sam’s hands again. “You don’t have to act anymore, though maybe tone it down just a touch. You know – a little less full of yourself.” She smiled.
Sam gave a shy half smile and nodded. “Yeah, okay.” He flipped the book over and stared at the title and then lifted his eyes to meet Morgan’s.
Morgan nodded. “You can read now, Sam. Anything you want. No one will ever know that a year ago you struggled with Dick and Jane.”
“The Old Man and the Sea, by Earnest Hemingway,” Sam whispered the title. “Hemingway?” He looked back at Morgan.
“Yes, Sam, even Hemingway. Now let’s get started, I want you to read to me one last time.”