Edit: I wrote this to practice telling a story starting at the present and telling what happened in the past through the characters.
It also happens to be from a dream that I had a week or two ago. :) me and dreams...
Loretta Morgan (or as her loved ones called her, Lori) looked down at her cream-colored lace dress to make sure that every layer and ruffle was in place before she descended the staircase into the ballroom. Her dark brown hair was settled into its waves and puffs, twisted into a loose bun with curls framing her face and neck. Her lips and cheeks were pink with excitement and anticipation. Her brown eyes sparkled with excitement yet her hand trembled with that dread that was lurking in the back of her mind and her foot hesitated to take the first step. What will I say to him? Will he even be here? With these thoughts she almost turned around but her mother nodded to her reassuringly. Lori sent up a silent prayer. "Lord, please help me find him, please! In Jesus' holy name, amen."
After praying she felt a new courage, so she drew up the front of her skirts and began her descent. Many eyes turned to watch Lori walk down the stairs for her gracefulness was shown in every movement, and she looked a pretty picture in her dress of lace and pearls.
Lori scanned the faces below her, and her face fell as she missed the one face that she wanted to see. But she smiled again, knowing that he might still be there, or that he might not have arrived yet. She chatted pleasantly with some old acquaintances, keeping an eye out for him all the while.
It was the first ball of the season in a well-known sea resort in Galveston, but Lori had been there the year before so she already knew many of the people and places there.
Lori sat out of the first three dances, closely watching all of the people, looking for him. Finally at the beginning of the fourth waltz she consented to dance with her young cousin, Charles, but she watched the other people, still looking. The knot in her stomach tightened as she watched the faces whirl by, one by one, and not one of the faces belonged to him. Oh, how she wanted to see him, to ask him if he still loved her, to feel the pressure of his hand in hers! She swallowed her tears and smiled gayly at Charles, hoping he would think that the extra brightness in her eyes was from excitement, not tears. The waltz that they were dancing drew to a close and as she stood up from her curtsey and looked over her lacy fan she locked eyes with Carl Milton. Without a word they made their way to each other, meeting in the middle of the room with people parted on either side, just like they do in fairytales. When Lori reached Carl she held out her hand and said uncertainly, "Carl! I have been looking all over for you since I arrived. I knew I would find you here!"
His eyes lit up and he smiled joyfully at her as he grasped her hand, and then the light in his eyes smoldered while he said in an almost cold, hard voice, "I must say that it is a surprise to me that you would be looking for me."
Lori looked puzzled. "What do you mean, Carl? Can we go somewhere a little more private and talk?"
"Would the beach suit you?"
"Yes" and Lori took Carl's arm as they strolled towards the beach. Before they got to the door Lori turned and smiled at her mother to let her know that she had found him.
On the beach they waited to talk until they had walked far enough away from the verandas that surrounded the dance-floor. When they were far enough away Carl started with, "Why didn't you ever write to me after I left?"
"Oh Carl! I tried every way I could to find you, but everywhere I went was a dead end!"
"But I gave you my address!"
"I know you did, but I didn't have time to read it before I got on the train, and then right after the train started somebody snatched my purse and jumped off."
"Oh, well that explains your silence over the last year. When you never wrote to me I tried to write you, but every letter came back unread and marked 'return to sender'"
"But I never received a letter from you! May I see the address that you sent the letters to?"
He pulled a worn little piece of paper out of his pocketbook and handed it to her. She took it and eagerly looked at it and then broke into a rather strained laugh, and laughed on hysterically for several minutes. Carl turned his head away until she had gotten control over herself and then he asked her sarcastically what she had seen that was so funny.
"I'm sorry Carl, you must think me an awful beast to go on so. I must have been nervous, or in a hurry when I wrote that down because I gave the wrong zip-code, and so your letters were going to someone three or four counties away from me! I am so sorry! I don't know what to say."
"Never mind. I must confess that after those letters came back unopened I began to think that maybe you had just been playing with me. Will you forgive me for mistrusting you, darling?"
"Of course, Carl! You had every reason to believe me to be nothing more than a coquet."
"When that thief snatched your purse did he take your ring?"
"No, I have it on under my glove. Here it is all safe! But how funny fate is, that my purse was snatched and that I gave you the wrong address!"
"Never mind all that, Lori. God works in mysterious ways, and we found each other at last. That is all that really matters, isn't it?"
Lori agreed with him, and they walked on happily together, remembering how they had met the year before, and reliving the day that they had gotten married.
*****Several hours later at the dinner table enter Mrs. Morgan*****
"How long do you have until you must go back to your ship, Mr. Milton?"
"Actually, Mrs. Morgan, that is what I wanted to tell you. I retired last month and have come into my fathers estate here in Galveston. If you and Mr. Morgan would rather not have Lori so far away from you, I can sell it and find a place closer to your home."
"I don't think that will be necessary, Carl, but I will run it by my husband. Oh, did Lori tell you about when we got home last year?"
"Yes, she did. I still wish that there was a way for us to get married after we asked for Mr. Morgan's consent, but thinking it over there really was no way unless we waited for (what we thought would be) four years. But by God's grace everything worked out."
Loretta beamed at him and said, "Oh Carl! God has been so good to us! And I am thankful that Mamma and Papa have been so understanding. I am especially thankful that you, Mamma, were here with me when I met Carl, and helped me to make the right decisions."
Her mother smiled her welcome and Carl turned to Loretta with a question.
"Lori, earlier you said that you knew I would be here this year; how did you know?"
"Before you went on your ship last year you told me that you came to this resort every time you came home, and that I would find you here in the summer season after you returned.
Carl, did I tell you that Papa's telegram came a quarter of an hour after you sailed?"
"No, you didn't! That is so odd. But I am still glad that we at least tried to get his consent before we married."
"Yes, I just wish that you could have seen the telegram before you sailed so that you wouldn't have had to feel guilty about it for a year."
"Well, it didn't hurt me, and 'All's well that ends well' We are back together and your father is perfectly happy with our marriage, so I would say that we should let go of our regrets and start again where we are."
And they did. Carl and Loretta wound up moving into Carl's estate in Galveston, where they lived "Happily ever after" just like they do in fairytales.
Their "affair" was talked about in social circles for several months and then was dropped when a visiting Duke from England eloped with Betty Harris.
this is still pretty rough since I am my own editor, so please point out any mistakes that you find! And I'm not sure if I like this title, so please share any ideas that you may have. Thanks so much for reading!