James and Betty

“I saw that.”

“Saw what?” James asked, confused.

She leaned forward and whispered, “you got an eyeful of the waitress’s bosom.”

“Come on, Betty.  The diner tables are that height.  It’s not like I tried to look.”

She pursed her lips.  “Swell.  So you did look… and then you ordered chicken breast.”

James laughed.  “I only have eyes for you.”

“Whatever you say,” she muttered as she turned her attention to the jukebox play list.


“Who left the toilet seat up again?”

James peeked over his newspaper.  “If it wasn’t you, then I guess it was me.”

“All those years I blamed it on the kids…” Betty said, exasperated.

“Perhaps we have a ghost?”  He raised an eyebrow.

“It’s annoying and I’d appreciate it if you could put it down in the future.”

He chuckled.  “You get that straight from the therapist?”  His grin creased the wrinkles around his eyes.

“Whatever.”  She turned and left the room before he could see her smile.


“The doctor said you had a good day.” Betty clasped his left hand.

“I s’pose so.  But I reckon I won’t be running a marathon.”

Her lip quivered.  “Stop.  You could get better.”

“Honey, emphysema doesn’t get better.”

“I’ll help you with your lunch.”  Betty swung the tray over his lap.  “What did you order?” she asked as she reached for the domed lid covering the plate.

James grinned, a mischievous look in his eye.  “Chicken breast.”  He winked.  “Can you stand right there?”

Tears threatened to fall when she remembered their first date sixty-one years ago.  “Whatever,” she whispered with mock annoyance.  “I only have eyes for you.”


TrifectaPicture11-1This is my response to Trifecta’s weekly challenge, which is to write a piece between 33 and 333 words using the following word/definition:

WHATEVER:  (adverb) to show that something is not important.

The challenge is open to everyone, so if you’re interested in joining in, click on the tricycle image above to view Trifecta’s site and link your post.

I hope you have a beautiful Monday!

87 thoughts on “James and Betty

  1. djmatticus January 6, 2014 / 8:39 AM

    Come on! It’s too early on a Monday for such a touching piece!
    (Also, nicely done, as always.)

    • jannatwrites January 6, 2014 / 6:25 PM

      😛 Thanks, DJ…I appreciate your comment!

  2. grandmalin January 6, 2014 / 8:45 AM

    This is lovely. The little things we toss off as unimportant turn out to be the things we remember best. xx

    • jannatwrites January 6, 2014 / 6:26 PM

      Love is funny that way, Grandmalin. The quirks can either drive us batty, or become even more endearing 🙂

  3. annbennett January 6, 2014 / 9:50 AM

    I loved the progression. It’s funny how quirks and irritants can become a touchstone to the love between people.

    • jannatwrites January 6, 2014 / 6:26 PM

      Exactly! I’m glad it came through in the story. Thanks for reading, Ann!

  4. nrhatch January 6, 2014 / 10:26 AM

    Individual moments create the best life tapestries.

    • jannatwrites January 6, 2014 / 6:27 PM

      “Tapestries” – I like that word to describe it. Thanks for reading, Nancy!

    • jannatwrites January 6, 2014 / 6:29 PM

      So true, Phil! I appreciate you taking time to read the story.

  5. momtheobscure January 6, 2014 / 11:06 AM

    I really enjoyed how you summed up their lfespan in 3 paragraphs. Terrific stuff

    • jannatwrites January 6, 2014 / 6:30 PM

      Thanks, Momo! I’m glad you liked the story. Oh, and congrats on your win this week 🙂

  6. Debbie January 6, 2014 / 11:39 AM

    Well done, Janna! Love how you broke this couple’s life together down into three interrelated segments. Glad we didn’t have to see James die, though!

    • jannatwrites January 6, 2014 / 6:31 PM

      Oh it would’ve been too sad to see him die. We know it’s going to happen, but I feel better leaving that heartache unwritten 🙂 Thanks for reading, Debbie!

    • jannatwrites January 6, 2014 / 6:31 PM

      Thanks so much for reading, HT – glad you stopped to read it 🙂

  7. Lance January 6, 2014 / 1:01 PM

    So tender and deep. I love what wasn’t said, too.

    wonderful writing

    • jannatwrites January 6, 2014 / 6:32 PM

      Thanks so much, Lance! I’d hoped this didn’t end up too “sappy” (fine line between touching and sappy that I don’t want to cross:) )

  8. Lala Rukh January 6, 2014 / 3:12 PM

    Awww that was a sweet one ! Loved the touch of humor and the beautiful emotions. Loved the end lines. You are perfect at expressing the feelings 🙂 xx

    • jannatwrites January 6, 2014 / 6:35 PM

      Thanks so much for your compliment, Lala! I’m glad the emotions came through. As always, thanks for reading 🙂

    • jannatwrites January 6, 2014 / 6:37 PM

      Thanks so much for reading, Bloody Munchkin!

  9. Michael January 6, 2014 / 4:18 PM

    Awwwww….ah, l’amour.

  10. injaynesworld January 6, 2014 / 5:41 PM

    Janna, this is wonderful! Such a creative use of the prompt. Love the episodic structure.

    • jannatwrites January 6, 2014 / 6:40 PM

      Thanks, Jayne – I’m really glad you enjoyed the story 🙂

  11. Eric Alagan January 6, 2014 / 6:22 PM

    Three little moments – what a life it’s been.


    • jannatwrites January 6, 2014 / 6:40 PM

      Whatever 🙂 Thanks for reading, Eric!

  12. Draug419 January 6, 2014 / 7:30 PM

    Really sweet work.

    • jannatwrites January 6, 2014 / 9:00 PM

      Thanks, Kathy! Some moments become something of an inside joke. My husband and I have a few of these 🙂

  13. Renada Styles January 6, 2014 / 8:29 PM

    Awwww, that was so sweet! And such a wonderful use of the prompt word!

    • jannatwrites January 6, 2014 / 9:01 PM

      Thanks, Renada! I’m glad you liked how I used the word… maybe I’ll get extra credit for using it three times? Didn’t think so 🙂

  14. Diane Turner January 6, 2014 / 8:44 PM

    Interesting how some of life’s moments stick. I really like what you left unsaid. Beautifully written piece, Janna. Thanks for sharing.

    • jannatwrites January 6, 2014 / 9:07 PM

      Thank you so much for taking time to read it, Diane. “Whatever” was a theme for this couple 🙂

  15. Kalpana Solsi January 7, 2014 / 8:36 AM

    As life progress from the first date, the little irritants take over but love has to triumph finally.
    lovely depiction of life in 3 paras.

    • jannatwrites January 7, 2014 / 8:42 AM

      Thanks so much for reading, Kalpana!

      I read your story yesterday but couldn’t comment since I don’t have Google+ account. It was a great portrayal of a nightmare boss that no one wants to have. At least the beast was tamed 🙂

  16. Quickstepp January 7, 2014 / 10:52 AM

    Loved this. Nothing sweeter than life and memories shared. Beautifully done.

    • jannatwrites January 7, 2014 / 10:00 PM

      I’m glad you liked it, Mel. Thanks for reading!

    • jannatwrites January 8, 2014 / 8:35 PM

      Thanks for taking time to read it, Kelly. I’m glad you enjoyed the story!

  17. Gina January 8, 2014 / 11:08 AM

    This tugged at my heart…big time! I’m in love with their journey even as I envision it’s bittersweet ending. Beautifully done, janna!!!

    • jannatwrites January 8, 2014 / 8:45 PM

      Thanks so much, Gina! I’m glad you liked the story. I don’t like to think about the inevitable ending 🙂

  18. Sandra January 8, 2014 / 2:02 PM

    Brilliant, how you turned the prompt word into something so opposite, so meaningful. Wonderful short little story, Janna.

    • jannatwrites January 8, 2014 / 8:54 PM

      Thanks for reading it, Sandra! In 24-hours, I went from writing a creepy scene in a mental hospital to a love story…I never know what’s going to happen here 🙂

      • Sandra January 9, 2014 / 6:30 PM

        You’re telling ME! You’re just like a box of choco-lates! 🙂 I love it!

        • jannatwrites January 9, 2014 / 8:19 PM

          Hahaha! I’m glad you keep up, Sandra 🙂

  19. Tina January 8, 2014 / 5:32 PM

    I loved this, but it made me cry. So beautifully tender, their relationship, even at the end.

    • jannatwrites January 8, 2014 / 9:05 PM

      I’m sorry it made you cry, but I’m glad it evoked an emotional response when you read it (if that makes any sense!) Thanks for reading, Tina!

  20. Sun January 8, 2014 / 9:00 PM

    absolutely love this story…the progression over time and how this couple grew so close even remembering a long ago event. perfection. 🙂

    • jannatwrites January 8, 2014 / 9:12 PM

      Thanks, Sun! I’m glad you liked the story. Some memories weave into a relationship, a thread that can be followed until the end.

  21. lexy3587 January 9, 2014 / 8:24 AM

    love the story, and the repeated use of ‘whatever’ 🙂 really tied the parts of their lives three in perfectly

    • jannatwrites January 9, 2014 / 8:20 PM

      Thanks, Lexy! I’m glad you enjoyed reading the story.

  22. Valerie January 9, 2014 / 8:51 AM

    This made me melt Janna! Beautiful told story!

    • jannatwrites January 9, 2014 / 8:23 PM

      I’m so glad you felt the emotion of the story, Valerie!

  23. lumdog January 9, 2014 / 9:34 AM

    Lovely piece of work. The longevity of this relationship is moving.

  24. Archita January 9, 2014 / 3:13 PM

    Amazing , Jannat ! Really wonderful . 🙂

  25. Imelda January 9, 2014 / 3:32 PM

    I love these two characters here. Their interaction is so real. 🙂

    • jannatwrites January 9, 2014 / 8:24 PM

      Thanks, Imelda… I’m glad the characters were likeable!

  26. Anna :o] January 9, 2014 / 4:09 PM

    Wonderful tales of whatever – beautifully composed.
    Anna :o]

  27. Tara R. January 9, 2014 / 4:43 PM

    This was sweet and sentimental. I like how you tied it all together in the end.

  28. Margit Sage January 9, 2014 / 10:27 PM

    Aww… very sweet. I like the structure.

    • jannatwrites January 12, 2014 / 9:47 PM

      Thanks, Margit – I’m glad you enjoyed the story!

  29. Momo January 9, 2014 / 11:12 PM

    These little vignettes tell such a complete story of their love. Touching and sweet. Great job, Janna!

    • jannatwrites January 12, 2014 / 9:49 PM

      Thanks, Momo! I’d hoped it would speak to the stages of their life, their love (and whatever) being the common thread 🙂

  30. Thomas Marlowe January 10, 2014 / 3:26 AM

    That really carried a punch – great to see a love that spans the years

    • jannatwrites January 12, 2014 / 9:49 PM

      Thanks, Thomas. I think many of us hope for this 🙂

  31. KymmInBarcelona January 10, 2014 / 9:25 AM

    Sweet snippets from a long love story. I liked the way the meaning of “whatever” shifted.
    Also, Phil’s comment.

    • jannatwrites January 12, 2014 / 9:51 PM

      Thanks, Kymm! I appreciate you reading it sharing your comment 🙂

  32. Jo-Anne Teal January 11, 2014 / 6:40 AM

    Memories and love through time, very nicely told. Enjoyed this, Janna :)))

    • jannatwrites January 12, 2014 / 9:51 PM

      I’m so glad you enjoyed the story, Jo-Anne – thanks so much for reading!

  33. Linda Vernon January 11, 2014 / 2:19 PM

    Gosh you did this well, Janna! I love the details you chose to show us their relationship through the years. It’s amazing to me how just 333 words ago this couple didn’t even exist and now we know their whole lives!

    • jannatwrites January 12, 2014 / 9:54 PM

      Thanks so much, Linda. I’m glad you feel like you know them.

      Oh, and for once, I didn’t push the word-count limit…this one came in at 272 words. This is quite unusual for me 🙂

  34. pattisj January 11, 2014 / 10:59 PM

    Loved the thread that wove your stories together over the years.

    • jannatwrites January 12, 2014 / 9:54 PM

      Thanks so much for taking time to read the story, Patti!

  35. trifectawriting January 12, 2014 / 10:18 PM

    Aww! What a lovely encapsulation of a lifelong romance.

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