Syndrome of the White Knight

Standard

Shelly was a hot mess, and Robert was in heaven. She was a damsel in distress: tied up in knots over past relationship indiscretions; a dragon sized horror of a boss; bill collectors moving in on her like speeding locomotives; and she was hanging off a cliff waiting for a diagnosis about a medical “female” problem.

Shelly also had mild OCD, was forgetful (“early senility,” he thought, “though she’s only 32.”), appeared to be dyslexic (she had “trouble reading“, she said), had a number of phobias, and a slew of other things. Robert saw it as his right-Man Right!-to not only come to the rescue but to hold all the answers and to TAA DAA! save the day!

Robert could not have been more wrong.

This was Shelly’s pattern. Used to it as she was (for she was a very introspective hot mess) she used Robert as a means to an end. His White Knight symptoms got in his way again, clouding any sound judgment he might have had. He paid her bills, ran interference with Shelly’s ex (who punched Robert in the nose, breaking it), and got himself fired by calling in sick too often to take care of his “damsel” and her ogre of a boss. The Doctor was out of his range, but it amounted to a big case of “nothing much” and it was easily forgotten by Shirley, after a visit to a walk-in clinic.

Once he lost his job, he lost Shelly too. She texted him that she was back with Frankie (the one who broke Rob’s nose). “Thanks for everything, but blah blah blah. Oh, and could you pay one last bill for me?”

He did.

And this was Robert’s pattern. He’d fall head over heels for any woman most would consider damaged goods. Illnesses, ill luck, illogical stories that afterwards made no sense but had Robert riding in on his white charger. He had learned American Sign Language in the hopes of falling in love with a beautiful deaf woman. He volunteered at soup kitchens, hoping to find that love of his life down on her luck.

When alone, Robert lived in his books of King Arthur and felt he was born so out of time that he would always be alone. The moments he was “needed” was when he shined, his inner goodness polished to a brilliance that sparkled. Those moments didn’t last too long, and the chinks in his armor were beginning to wear Robert down. His ideals of love were getting tarnished. It was becoming harder to bounce back with each sounding defeat.

Three months after Shirley’s betrayal (he saw all of the betrayals months later) something different happened to Robert. He met an un-needy woman.

Diane was healthy, intelligent, funny, strong (both emotionally and physically), was her own boss with a healthy income, had no Daddy issues, all ex-boyfriends were out of the picture, she owned her own condo, had solid investments, and the only thing that Robert felt was wrong with her was one huge honking thing: she liked Robert. He was baffled by this concept, and the fact that he liked her too, but he wasn’t sure how to go about dating her. Let alone be in a relationship.

That all changed on their seventh date. They had had a great time at the movies (a little bit of a make out session in the dark that Diane instigated). Dinner was an experience: an Indian meal that almost burned his tongue and mouth lining out due to severe Lamb Vindaloo (Diane plied massive amounts of Raita into Robert’s mouth, not letting him touch the water glass he originally went for). Once he cooled down and the sweat stopped pouring out, he did admit it was the tastiest food he ever had. It didn’t hurt she played footsie with him. They walked hand in hand, arm in arm, leaned against and poked and snuggled and snogged (she loved that English term).

It was while they were walking back to her place that their tickling of each other became an almost Dire Consequence! Laughing so hard while they chased and connected with each other, they started to cross the street. Neither saw the white Chevy Suburban careening down the street towards them. The driver, a platinum haired bimbette from Norwalk, was on her cell phone with her boy toy and  paid only the slightest attention to her so called driving.

This is what happened in a flash: the driver noticed Diane and Robert, braked and honked; Diane heard the honk, saw the behemoth out of the corner of her eye and hip bumped Robert towards safety; and Robert, hip bumped, threw out his arms, caught Diane, and pulled her to safety onto the sidewalk they had just left.

They were left panting and frazzled as the driver just drove off (she did get her head handed to at another time, but that is another story). Diane had her arms wrapped around Robert, and his were around her. His eyes gleamed with pride, saving a woman who really did not need saving, and his curse was thus broken. As long as Diane would have him, he was hers.

Diane’s eyes gleamed with pride too. She saved a man who so needed to be saved, and he was in her arms.

The white knights went up to her condo and rode the night away in glory…

…and they lived happily ever after.

*******************************************************************************

Announcements:

First: I am proud-REALLY PROUD-to announce that I will have a second story published come October 31st, 2011!! My story “Trolling for Loving” will be in a new Paranormal Anthology (title and ordering information TBA). I have a few other submissions out there right now, and I am writing a few more while semi-neglecting my novel (not for long: I have a new burst of energy for that). This is being ebook published by the same wonderful people at Ethics Trading and all proceeds go to charity.

My first published story, “Redhead Riding,”  is in Dawn of Indie Romance, and can be ordered on Amazon US, Amazon UK, or Smashwords.  Please support the very worthy cause…and me, too. Eight stories to whet your romantic whistle.

Second: I am co-hosting an exciting writers challenge in October called The Rule of Three Blogfest (you’ll see the badge on my sidebar). At this moment, on 9/21/2011, YOU  have TWELVE more days to sign up. Over 40 writers who blog have taken this challenge…and there is plenty of room for you.

I really hope that more of my readers take part in this. We have a lot of great writers participating, and there are also prizes!!! If you have any questions, please don’t hesitate to ask.

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16 responses »

  1. I love this story! Sometimes life is easier than we thought and happiness is just around the corner. No need for complicated! I couldn’t help thinking that this story was different than your usual ones…Has this ever happened to you?

    Like

  2. I love the last sentence…up the (black?) humor in this piece a bit I’d say, and the fairytale would read even better! Well done. You have such a strong voice…proud to have a friend who writes like this.

    Like

  3. I found I could sense that it was a bit tongue-in-cheek, and didn’t find the characters stereotypical. I think it’s effective as a short piece–it might not work as well if it was longer and took itself more seriously.

    Congratulations on your story! 🙂

    Like

  4. What a fantastc story. And such a strong message. Life can turn around, you just have to wait for the right moment. I hope this message has been received by your readers some of whom may be in need of ‘hope’ and ‘belief’. Thank you for writing this.

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  5. QUESTION TO MY READERS: on a site I posted the story, someone wrote that she felt both Shelly and Diane were either stereotypical or flat characters. Does anyone else feel that way? For those of you who know me, I honor critiques (as long as they are presented in a professional manner) and I don’t get bent out of shape. I am always trying to hone my craft.

    Just so you know: I wrote this in a tongue-in-cheek vein, not as a dramatic entry. Does that alter the ideas of the piece?

    Like

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