MARINE PARTY

A Party Full of Marines But Only One Claimed Her Heart

 

Summary

Merit is a German guest at her former American student exchange partner Jenny’s who is now married to a Marine. Her husband Jerry has just returned home and they are throwing a party at the house to welcome him and his friends back. When the party is in full swing, Merit meets Jerry’s brother-in-arms Alex who goes under her skin at once. Sparks fly but Merit is shy and careful and then Alex seems to lose interest and disappears from the house altogether.

 

Merit ventures out into the darkness to find the man who has affected her like no other ever has.

Will she work up the courage to tell him how she really feels?

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Creation of The Book

 

For a brief period, I had online contact with a US Marine and during this time, I received a couple of pictures from him. One of those showed him at a party with a beer bottle in his hand. Not that I am fond of men who drink but he didn’t look drunk in the picture and he was quite handsome. I wondered what it would be like to stand there, seeing him like that at the party and when I did, I started to spin a story already.

 

When I was 16 years old, I went on a 4-week student exchange to Snowqualmie, near Seattle, Washington State in the USA. My exchange student Marika, unfortunately, couldn’t come to visit us here as her pony had kicked her jaw and broken in badly. However, I had a great time over there and felt very happy in the family.

 

Because of this, I made up the scenario of two exchange students, now grown up, still being friends. The German visits the American who is married to a US Marine and throws a party to welcome her husband home from deployment while her German friend is there.

 

One of the guests, which seem to consist only of Marines and their spouses, is Alex. He stands there with a bottle in his hand when Merit sees him first, standing beside the person who takes the picture of him.

 

The story starts with her reiterating the events of that night as a memory. Watch out for the surprise at the end!

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An Excerpt

 

Our eyes meet across the crowded room and something happens: electric shockwaves. An atmosphere so thick, you could cut it with a knife! Slowly, you turn towards me. Your gaze is piercing me and you make me feel so terribly shy! I can hardly breathe and feel hot and flushed. My mouth is parched dry. I need a drink! A huge glass of water! Fleeing from the room, I run down the hall and find the kitchen.

 

I take a glass from the cupboard and take water from the tap, downing it at once. My mind is working feverishly. How can I go in there again? Will he notice me again? Will he look at me again? What if he's just turned to some other woman to chat her up as I coward fled the room? What if he looks at me again or even comes towards me?

 

There is an empty bowl beside the sink. A few crumbs at the bottom tell me, it used to be full of crisps. A full bag of crisps is lying beside it. I decide to busy myself with filling up the bowl, stalling.

 

But I cannot be distracted. I remember you so vividly. I recall every line giving that determined warrior's cut to your face, your proud stance, the sinews standing out on your strong forearms, your powerful chest. I try to open the bag of crisps, but I can't tear it open. My hands are shaking and all strength seems to have left them. I mumble a rude word under my breath and try again - to no avail.

 

Suddenly, a hand reaches out from behind me and I recognize those fingers instantly. This strong, self-assured hand belongs to - you! And you stand right behind me! I can feel your breath against my hair and I freeze in panic.

 

"Need some help?" you ask me.

 

Your tone of voice tells me that you don't expect an answer. I let you take the bag from my hands and quickly move to the side, longing to be close to you, yet at the same time terrified of it. I have no idea how I will live this down! I am sure it is more than obvious, but you only open the bag, hand it back to me - all with an ease that makes me feel downright stupid that I had been struggling so hard with that bag for nothing - and stand there. You don't leave and you don't say anything, merely scrutinizing me. And I want the earth to open up and swallow me.

 

"My name is Alex," you say at last.

 

My cheeks are burning and I feel like a complete idiot!

 

"Merit," I croak.

 

My voice is breaking off. My mouth and throat feel as if I hadn't been drinking any water in weeks - at least!

 

"Are you alright?" you ask me.

 

No!!!! I scream in my head.

 

"Sure," I say out loud, glad my voice doesn't falter this time. My eloquence with words only extends to my hands, to writing, not to my voice, to speaking.

 

"Er, I'm Merit. Thanks for helping."

 

I point at the bag, still avoiding your eyes.

 

I can feel your half-smirk, though when you say: "It was nothing."

 

I don't reply and you begin to turn away. You probably think I'm a total idiot, mentally impaired or something.

 

"No, really, I mean... I'm sorry... Thank you!"

 

I spoke because I didn't want you to go, but out of my mouth only comes utter nonsense. You probably think I'm on drugs! This is all going so wrong!

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