One Page Love Story

"Do you think there are others," she asked, "with love stories just as good as our own?" "Yes," he said, "let me show you."

Finding You, Finding Me

I climbed dirt steps cut into the side of a hill

threatened by a single rainfall to slide away

and I carved your name into an apple tree until

I wandered every path that led me astray.

 

I heard the first cry of a newborn baby girl

and the last breath of a dying old man,

picked through shells but never found a pearl,

stored bits of rocks and you in a coffee can.

 

I saw the ruins where the lonely and tired

before me took their last rest,

I laid my head on the moon inspired

and asked for her sleep in a twilight nest

 

while I went dreaming of you.

I sang aloud hoping for a smile on your face,

squinted my eyes to see through the dust for a clue

But saw my spirit held in the hollows of your embrace.

 

I felt the scrapes on my knees, kissed the scars on my side,

the bruises patterned on my cheek sweetened

and I spoke to the Sun but He never even tried

and there was no light as I crawled through the bones of the beaten,

 

I walked the path leading to all you became,

took a bus all the way to your home on your fears,

A taxicab to that tree in the valley with your name,

rode a train to the beach and swam through your tears.

 

I laid down just to look up as your stars wept

but the hole that you left in my heart was blind,

I saw your Bible and the drawers where your secrets slept

but you were the only one I have ever wanted to find.

 

And now I know I’ve lost you forever,

because I looked everywhere and never

except for the mirror where you still hide

or at all the times that you still tried.  

 

Sarah Robinson is the bestselling author of four novels in the romantic suspense and contemporary romance genre including Tainted Bodies, Book One of The Photographer Trilogy. She has several other novels in the works and is currently negotiating contracts with several publishing houses. She lives outside of Washington, DC with her husband, Justin, and their menagerie of pets. For more information on Sarah and her books, please visit her website.

Listen Up, Baby Girl

When I push those dark curls off her tiny forehead in the middle of the night,

watching her breathe in promises and fairytales about pixies and sprites,

I will tell her the things she will need to know about this world and its sights.

 

I will tell her to find a home that is made up of flesh and bones,

because houses can be built from brick, dirt, and stones,

but the eyes of those who love you are the only place to call home.

 

I’ll say, Baby Girl, I know that life can hurt and will always knock you down,

but you can’t understand the beauty of a smile until you have seen a frown.

So paint a smile on a stranger’s face with kind adjectives and nouns.

 

And don’t let a schedule dictate your every move, but if you do, I’ll say,

pencil in time to walk through a garden or watch the trees sway.

Don’t let your plans make you miss the chance to be led astray.

 

I will tell her not to spend her life counting dough since money is only paper and dye,

instead bake it into a soft, warm bread that melts the glare of gold in any eye,

and give it out to anyone with empty pockets and hunger in their cry.

 

I’ll say, Baby Girl, your hands have the power to hurt and your eyes, the power to heal,

so, never forget that before you learned to stand, you had to kneel.

Give everyone a second chance if you want to be given the same deal.

 

And always stick out your tongue to taste the tiny snowflakes, I’ll tell her,

but even if that first time, it burns your throat like a strong liquor,

don’t be afraid to keep tasting until it’s the cool ice you prefer.

 

I’ll tell her no matter how hard you will try to fix the world and its messes,

and how they pin your worth on failures and disregard your successes,

it will still be broken so pick just one person and mend all their stresses.

 

And when you meet that boy who makes your heart pound so loud,

you would swear he could hear it even from across the largest crowd,

please don’t resist, just give him the chance to make you proud.

 

And, Baby Girl, know that if life is so heavy, you can’t carry it anymore,

if there is a dam of burning tears just threatening to pour,

then just come home because that is what mother’s arms are for.

 

Sarah Robinson is the bestselling author of four novels in the romantic suspense and contemporary romance genre including Tainted Bodies, Book One of The Photographer Trilogy. She has several other novels in the works and is currently negotiating contracts with several publishing houses. She lives outside of Washington, DC with her husband, Justin, and their menagerie of pets. For more information on Sarah and her books, please visit her website.

Excerpt from Tainted Bodies (The Photography Trilogy, #1)

            Kate spotted her favorite hole-in-the-wall coffee shop, and looking at her watch, she decided to reward herself for her timing by stopping in for a tall vanilla latte.  She opened the door to be greeted by the delicious smell of coffee beans and her favorite smiling barista. The Java Jolt was a morning must-have for her and she felt her spirit lifting every time she walked through those front doors.

            “Miss Kate, good to see you this morning, would you like your usual?” asked Jimmy, a high-school student whose favorite days at work were the days that Kate comes in.

            Kate was always surprised at the attention she received from men regarding her looks. At five foot six inches, she wasn’t particularly tall. She was far from stick thin, instead probably a few pounds over what she should be. She had dark brown, curly hair that hung all the way down her back and jumped about in any way it pleased, regardless of what she wanted.

            Her pale skin contrasted her dark, piercing brown eyes, brunette hair color, and ruby red lips causing an almost doll-like look to her. She dressed simply but professionally, going for comfort more than glamour, if you didn’t count her high heel shoes. But even with her striking features, Kate often thought of herself as plain, which made her oblivious to the hints and attempts at flirting from the young barista.

            “Thank you, Jimmy, yes please.” Kate smiles at him.

            “Jimmy, add a large brewed coffee, two creams, and one sugar to that vanilla latte order,” said a deep voice behind her.

            Kate whirled around to see the face that belonged to that deep voice and was struck by the tall, handsome grin staring back at her.

            “Excuse me? Do I know you?” Kate asked, defiantly, stomping her foot on the ground in an attempt to look more confident.

            “Well you should, if you are planning on buying me a drink, or do you just make a habit of buying strange men their coffee?” The tall man jokingly smiled at her.

            Jimmy, awkwardly paused with the two empty cups in his hands, waiting for Kate’s approval before he made the drinks. Kate couldn’t decide whether she was furious at how rude this gentleman was or whether she was charmed by his initiative. Kate finally smiled slightly and nodded her consent, so Jimmy set about making the two drinks while watching out of the corner of his eyes at the interaction between the two jealously.

            “I’m Kate, Kate Jackson,” she said, extending her hand to him.

            “Derrick Kane.” His hand strongly grasped hers and his dark brown eyes pierced into hers, smiling at her with a wide, boyish grin that made her heart beat a little faster. He was definitely over six feet tall with the broadest shoulders that she had ever seen and the muscles on his arms could barely be contained in his collared blue shirt. An expensive black belt neatly held up his slacks while his shoes were recently polished and ready for work. His bright eyes seemed to glow against his dark, black skin as he smiled down at her. Jimmy, awkwardly coughed to interrupt their gaze, handing Kate her latte.

            “Thanks, Jimmy.” Kate handed him some change to pay for the two coffees.

            “Sure, Miss Kate, it’s no problem. Anytime.” Jimmy said, beaming at her, as he stood there waiting, hoping to continue the conversation. Kate just turned around, accidentally ignoring him.

            “Hey, buddy, the coffee?” Derrick reminded the barista. Jimmy glared at him, annoyed, then handed him his coffee.

            “Here you go, sir. One brewed coffee, three creams, two sugar.” Jimmy said bitterly to the man who he felt was stealing his crush.

            “Uh, actually, that was supposed to be two creams, one sugar…” Derrick awkwardly said while Jimmy gave him a look that could kill.

            “You know what, that’s fine, I like it better this way, anyways. Good call.” Derrick grinned and brushed it off while he took a big chug of his coffee to prove his point. Kate, watching this whole interaction, started laughing which only made Jimmy more bitter as he stormed away from the counter into the back of the coffee shop through a swinging door.

            “I don’t think he is my number one fan.” Derrick said to Kate, grinning.

            “I think you are right about that. How’s the coffee?” Kate said, chuckling as Derrick held the door and they exited the coffee shop.

            “Sweet. Really sweet.” Derrick twisted his face to show his disgust, which caused Kate to laugh again.

Sarah Robinson is the bestselling author of four novels in the romantic suspense and contemporary romance genre including Tainted Bodies, Book One of The Photographer Trilogy. She has several other novels in the works and is currently negotiating contracts with several publishing houses. She lives outside of Washington, DC with her husband, Justin, and their menagerie of pets. For more information on Sarah and her books, please visit her website.

To read more of The Photography Trilogy, check it out on Amazon, Barnes & Noble, iTunes, Kobo, Scribd, Goodreads, or on Paperback.

Built For Him

I want to be his secret hiding place,

his passwords scrambled across my face.

 

I want to be the shade under his trees,

the tickling wind of a summer breeze,

to be that first glass of cold iced tea in July,

paired with country fresh apple pie.

 

I want to be in his every curve of ink,

every drop in the water he drinks,

to be the thread that mends his clothes

and the shoes that carry him where he goes.

 

I want to build him a fort as strong as his smile,

beg him to come visit every once in a while,

frame the walls with my fractured love,

and imagine I’m the one that he thinks of.

 

I want to be his secret hiding place,

the goal he sees at the end of his race. 

 

Sarah Robinson is the bestselling author of four novels in the romantic suspense and contemporary romance genre including Tainted Bodies, Book One of The Photographer Trilogy. She has several other novels in the works and is currently negotiating contracts with several publishing houses. She lives outside of Washington, DC with her husband, Justin, and their menagerie of pets. For more information on Sarah and her books, please visit her website.

Hurricane Sandy Versus Sisterhood: Based on A True Story

            “I would go with the four-pack, those are not enough.” Sarah’s boyfriend, Justin, said to her as they browsed the grocery store shelves, perusing the flashlights. 

            “Why would we need four flashlights? There are only two of us.” She responded, placing the single flashlight she had originally picked out back on the shelf. 

            “One of them could break or get lost. You never know.” Justin told her, grabbing a large pack of flashlights and several boxes of batteries. Sarah rolled her eyes, but didn’t try and stop him as they continued stockpiling their cart with water bottles, candles, and canned foods. 

            Most people hear the word hurricane and immediately feel fear, but Sarah never saw them as much of a threat. She lived in northern Virginia and had never experienced the severity of a true storm. The news channels were broadcasting the possible catastrophic outcomes of the imminent Hurricane Sandy. The news was always predicting major disasters that just never seemed to meet reality, but she went along and did her due diligence as a concerned citizen, collecting storm supplies. 

            After waiting in the checkout line for twenty minutes, the couple finally headed back to their home to unpack their supplies. Justin checked that all doors and windows were secured, then the duo cuddled up on the couch to watch a movie while awaiting the storm. Hurricane Sandy was still a few hours south of them, approaching Washington, DC and then it would head up to New York City where Sarah’s sister, Victoria, lived. The sisters had spoken earlier that day and Victoria had assured her that she would be fine, so Sarah wasn’t worried. That was until her phone rang a little before midnight.

            “Hey, Victoria.” Sarah said, picking up her phone.

            “Sarah!” Victoria whispered into the phone through sobs. Static scratched through the phone and then the line went dead. Sarah immediately tried to call her back but the line was down, it wouldn’t even go to voicemail. She tried a few more times, but continued to get the same result. She turned to Justin with a panic-stricken look on her face.

            “Let’s go.” Justin nodded at her and stood up, pulling on his shoes. Sarah smiled at him gratefully and quickly followed him, pulling on her jacket while he grabbed his keys. They headed out the front door to start the drive to New York City from Alexandria, Virginia. 

            Rain from the storm had already started and winds were strong around their car as they traversed the empty highways. Sarah nervously sat in her seat during drive, her mind imagining every worst case scenario of what could have happened to her sister. She had seen Victoria cry maybe twice in her life and she rarely came to her big sister for help anymore. Sarah closed her eyes and tried to push down the feelings of anxiety.

            The duo finally reached the Lincoln Tunnel and were relieved to see that it was still open, even though the radio had been warning of a closure, but as they came out the other side their relief quickly dissipated as they were confronted with a surprising scene. The entire bottom half of the city that never sleeps was pitch black. They drove through a few lit up streets before hitting the line of darkness that split New York in half.

            They slowly drove through the dark streets with only their headlights to lead the way, dodging fallen trees and poles, while listening to the sounds of glass breaking and alarms screaming as well as a terrifying silence that the streets of New York had never known before. They continued to try and figure out detours around flooded streets to get to Victoria’s street. Sarah was relieved to see a huddle of police officers on the corner down the block from Victoria’s apartment. When they pulled up to the apartment building, Sarah jumped out and rushed to the front door.

            She pulled on the door handle, but it didn’t budge. She looked to her left and saw the panel of buzzers to call up to the apartments so she pressed on her sister’s buzzer but nothing happened.

            “What’s wrong?” Justin asked when Sarah turned around looking panicked.

            “There is no power. The door is locked! There’s no way to get in!” Sarah shouted.

            “And her phone is off so you can’t call her to let you in.” Justin finished her thought. They stood on the steps for a few minutes trying to figure out what to do. Sarah suddenly looked up,

            “I have an idea!” She rushed down the steps and ran towards the group of police officers, lit up only by the blue lights from the squad car.

            “Officer! Officer!” Four police officers turned to look at the young woman running towards them on the street.

            “Can you help me? My sister called me, I don’t know what is wrong but I need to get up to her apartment. The door isn’t working.” Sarah rambled, trying to catch her breath as Justin caught up to her.

            “Ma’am, the power is out. No electric lock doors will work.” One of the officers told her, clearly annoyed.

            “I know, but I have to get to her. I don’t know what’s wrong!” She argued with him.

            “Why would you think anything is wrong?” A second officer asked her, looking more concerned than his peer.

      “She called me crying and then the phone went dead, she never cries!” Sarah said, starting to panic thinking that they weren’t going to help her.

            “Which building is she in? Let’s go.” The kind officer asked her and started walking down the street. One of the other officers joined them, while the rest stayed by the squad car. Sarah quickly led them to her sister’s building.

            “We had two break ins in this building earlier this evening. What apartment number does your sister live in?” The officer asked her.

            “5B, all the way at the top.” She replied, her tone dripping with anxiety.

            “That apartment wasn’t involved in any of the reports.” He said and Sarah sighed in relief. The officer walked down the steps and looked up at the windows on the top floor. He walked up and down the sidewalk for a moment, sizing up the building as Sarah and Justin watched him and waited for him to tell them what to do.

            “Alright, do you see that fire escape?” The officer asked them, they nodded yes and looked up at the precarious metal scaffolding that seemed rusted over.

            “We can reach it if we work together and then one of you can climb to the top. Miss, you should probably go up since you are the lightest. Sir, you and I will have to get her up there.” The officer instructed.

            “How? Neither one of us is that tall.” Justin replied. The officer walked over to right under the fire escape ladder and then dropped down onto all fours.

            “Stand on my back then lift her up to reach the ladder.” The officer looked up at them, but there was no need to tell them twice as Justin was already taking off his shoes so he didn’t hurt the officer. He then carefully stepped onto the officer’s back, working hard to balance himself. He then motioned for Sarah to come and she gingerly stepped onto the officer’s back as well. Justin then lifted her by her waist up and Sarah worked with him to climb onto his shoulders. After several attempts and one knee to the face incident, Sarah was finally kneeling on Justin’s shoulders and clutching the bottom rung of the fire escape ladder.

            “I need to be a little closer!” Sarah said, looking down at the two grunting men beneath her apologetically. With all his strength, Justin pushed her legs up further and Sarah was able to reach high enough on the ladder to get her feet on. She quickly scrambled up the rest of the ladder onto the first platform and then scurried up the rest of the floors until she reached her sister’s window. She looked down and gasped, remembering just then that she was terrified of heights. Gulping and taking a deep breath, she started banging on her sister’s window.

            After a few moments, the curtain pushed to the side and her sister’s terrified face appeared on the other side of the glass. Sarah motioned for her to open the window.

            “You’re here!” Victoria gasped, surprised.

            “Are you okay?” Sarah said, climbing in the window. Victoria nodded,

            “I’m afraid.” She squeaked in a little voice, looking for a moment just like a small child. Sarah pulled her in for a hug.

            “Let’s pack you a bag, you’re coming to stay with me.” Sarah said. Victoria nodded and the sisters packed a small bag before heading back out the window, down to the street where Justin and the kind police officer were waiting for them.

Sarah Robinson is the bestselling author of four novels in the romantic suspense and contemporary romance genre including Tainted Bodies, Book One of The Photographer Trilogy. She has several other novels in the works and is currently negotiating contracts with several publishing houses. She lives outside of Washington, DC with her husband, Justin, and their menagerie of pets. For more information on Sarah and her books, please visit her website.

Introducing Sarah Robinson

Thrilled to announce our next author—Sarah Robinson!

Sarah is the bestselling author of four novels in the romantic suspense and contemporary romance genre including Tainted Bodies, Book One of The Photographer Trilogy. She has several other novels in the works and is currently negotiating contracts with several publishing houses. She lives outside of Washington, DC with her husband, Justin, and their menagerie of pets. For more information on Sarah and her books, please visit her website and be sure to check back here for the next two weeks as Sarah shares her own takes on love, one page at a time.

Thirty-one

            The night is over. Karen brushes her teeth while I lie waiting. In the kitchen the dishwasher rumbles. That had felt like a productive enough start for now. We will clean the rest in the morning.

            I am thirty-one tonight, a sort of nondescript number. If I were younger I might have been asked at some point, “Do you feel any older?” I feel exactly as I am. Though maybe now it seems the years serve as lesser markers than other accomplishments.

            I have this apartment. Or, said better, am just recently forty-percent towards being able to say, “I own this apartment.”

            I have a career. That I enjoy. No small feat.

            My friends. Many of whom took the time to surprise me tonight.

            I have Karen.

            Her silhouette appears in the bathroom. Gargling. I could leave it at that and feel rich—I have Karen.

            The bathroom light turns off and I hear her stumble towards me.

            “Made it,” she says, bouldering onto the bed with the full force of a house cat. She snuggles herself within my arms and wraps a leg sideways over mine until she’s comfortably locked in tight.

            “Did you have a good time?” She asks at last.

            I kiss her on the temple before I answer.

            “I had the time of my life.”

Rich Walls is the author of Standby, Chicago and One Page Love Story. He is thankful for all the many good things he has in this extraordinary life.

The Right Mindset

            “Love,” she said, “like anything else, is a mindset. Take your mind off it for a little bit, busy with other things, and it’ll take its mind off of you. But start to think about it again, in all its sweet little variations—romance, plain old kindness, devotion, respect—and love will come tip toeing right on back. Love wants to be on your mind. Give it your time, give it your thoughts. You’ll find it’s a nice mindset. It’s a good place to be.”

Rich Walls is the author of Standby, Chicago and One Page Love Story. He’s starting today off on the right mindset.

L.P.

            Limited Play. When you’ve only got a few songs to show the world you can play. Every note, every hook is crucial.

            I’ve only got this single page to show you I love you. One page to show you I can play.

            So help me.

            Let’s try this together.

            Give me a beat — a little one, two, one, two, beat, beat, boom.

            And let’s play.

            Let’s play.

Rich Walls is the author of Standby, Chicago and One Page Love Story. He hopes you make music today.

Every Time

I see you, with a bouquet of rose

I see you, shuffling down that snowy road

I see you, everywhere I go

I see you, I see gold

 

I see you, it’s 2003

I see you, while the neighborhood’s asleep

I see you, you got a face so clean

I see you, the first time kissing me

 

I see you, living in the great big city

I see you, oh and I see that shimmy

I see you, scared of all of your dreams

I see you, and how you made it look so easy

 

I see you, through that tunneled stare

I see you, and I know you are there

I see you, all the things you’ve bared

I see you, and I know this is rare

 

I see you, from three thousand miles away

I see you, and I know I’m always gonna stay

I see you, now I think know just what you’re gonna say

I see you, then you melt me anyway

 

I see you, one day your hair will be all white

I see you, and you know you still look dynamite

I see you, I know it ain’t just love at first sight

I see you, honey, and I fall in love every time

 

I see you, I know it ain’t just love at first sight

I see you, honey, and I fall in love every time

 

I see you, honey, and I fall in love every time

 

Rich Walls is the author of Standby, Chicago and One Page Love Story. He hopes you fall in love today, and then a little more again tomorrow.