Bedelia Reflects On Romance


Bedelia surfed the cable TV guide for a Friday night movie, and settled on the classic romance, “Love Is a Many-Splendored Thing”, starring William Holden, Jennifer Jones.

She wasn’t crazy for Holden but liked love stories with tragic endings; she’d wished her ex-husband had been hit by a bus and died…widows received sympathy—divorcees, suspicion.

On reflection, having been alone 40 years, she would have traded flash fire of romantic passion for real love’s lantern, long-burning—if she’d had good sense and opportunity to choose differently, wisely, while still youthful.

Time trudged on, the shame of having been a ‘dolt deceived’ clung like a sopping raincoat—and, convinced she was as desirable as a boot-squashed mushroom, the notion of daring another chance at romance nauseated her; neither lonely nor bored, she’d redirected her passions to God, and writing.

As the movie credits rolled, Bedelia picked up the mail she’d forgotten to open; mostly handbills and charities requesting donations…also a small, pale gray envelope with no return address, but local postmark.

Instinctively wary, a frown cut into her forehead and jerked her lips tight, as she pulled forth the note card with neatly penned message:  “Dear Miss Cornell—I know you declined my previous invitation to the Meet & Greet, but someone you might enjoy getting acquainted with will be there…I could fetch you at 4 pm, Saturday, and easily return you home afterward…please reconsider, and call me at the parish office ~ Father James Canter”.

©Rhen Laird/Cobbled Contemplations, 2020 ~ All rights reserved.

24 thoughts on “Bedelia Reflects On Romance

    1. Spoiler alert…I suspect the good priest has a very nice single brother 🙂 ❤ I love your prompts, Denise…and I confess I'm lovin' this serial about dear Bedelia. Are you old enough to recall the old soap operas–where at the end there'd be a surge of organ music, and the host would ask, "will she accept the invitation? will she ever risk happiness again?"


  1. Your descriptive writing is amazing. Poor Bedelia to feel “as desirable as a boot-squashed mushroom.”
    Could it be after 40 years, Bedelia will find true love after all? More to come I hope.


    1. Thank you, Pat! I appreciate you reading, and your lovely compliments–I think we’re all getting rather invested in Bedelia’s life and future happiness 🙂


  2. Your second sentence about widows and divorcees was priceless and made me fall off my chair laughing. Subtle humour, a good story with a cliff hanger and great descriptions, Rhen.


    1. I’m happy to make you laugh so hard, Len–it’s actually from my personal experience:
      after my divorce I continued to attend the church where “ex” and I had gone…I was still young and pretty then–and the wives held a grip on their spouses whenever they saw me. It was crazy–like I’d really be interested in their men when I’d just gotten rid of mine! Glad you’re enjoying Bedelia’s serial–thank you for reading each week 🙂 ❤


  3. My first thought was “good grief, doesn’t that priest know how to take no for an answer?” And yet i hope, for her sake, that she will go, as i get the feeling she needs more in her life and doesn’t see it yet.


  4. Her wish for the ex had me cracking up. Sounds like he would deserve it especially if he left her feeling like this..”… desirable as a boot-squashed mushroom.”
    That Father just does not give up 😊. Sounds like he’s gonna drag her back into “living” no matter how long it takes.



    1. I love your comments 🙂 “Dragging her back into the living”–I love that!! Someone better, or she’ll end up as one of those stories where she dies and nobody notices till she’s become mummified in her little house!


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