Louise Forster shares her daughter’s story
Karla had endured three long-term relationships, each ended with a broken heart, hers.
Then she met Dan.
An invitation to a birthday party, great, I had just the dress. Long, red stretch velvet with a high bodice, and a back that dipped way low, stopping just below my waist. My self-esteem was at an all time low, but that dress made me feel sexy.
Playing hostess, I opened the door to three guys. “Hi,” I said with a smile and stepped aside to let them in.
Two waltzed past while the third had stumbled back, staring at me, mouth open.
I prompted, “You coming in?”
Hesitantly, he passed, still staring, and with his back up against the wall, he sidled down the hallway. Stunned, I watched as he disappeared into the crowded living room.
Striding into the kitchen I told my friend, “A weird guy just came in and acted as if I had a highly infectious disease.”
She was having none of that and pulled me into the living room, circled me around, calling, “Hey, isn’t Karla gorgeous tonight!”
Mortified and feeling vulnerable, I pulled away and strode off.
I felt a presence at my side—the ‘sidling guy’.
I tensed, my mind alert.
Quietly he said, “I’m Dan, are you okay?”
“Fine,” I muttered, and kept moving.
But Dan followed trying to engage me in chat.
I softened, and to give myself a little boost, I started to flirt to see if I still could. Nevertheless, I was nervous and scared, so held him at a safe distance. A girlfriend walked up and hissed into my face, “When did you decide to stop living?”
That was like a slap in the face with a cold, wet flannel. I went out for some fresh air and found Dan outside. We started talking about jobs, like and dislikes.
He said, “I find you very attractive. I hope you feel the same about me.”
I walked away and over my shoulder, said, “It’s not your looks that I’m interested in, it’s your mind and how you use it that may excite me.” I will always remember the grin he gave me for that statement.
When he asked what star sign I was, and I told him Cancer, he chuckled.
“What’s that for?” I asked.
“I’m Cancerian too.” Dan replied.
I walked away, mumbling, “Well then…I’m fucked.”
Behind me, Dan burst out laughing.
We caught up again later and I told him everything about my life and the personal fight I had to get where I was.
He’d come with friends, they left early, so I agreed to take him home.
Driving along, Dan said, “You’re going the wrong way.”
“No I’m not,” I replied, “but if you like, I can stop and you can walk?”
Our banter continued and Dan grinned, rubbed his hands and said, “This is great!”
He was into me, because I knew my mind and where I was going. I was a survivor. I was strong.
Louise Forster grew up in a Victorian country town. She ran barefoot along dirt roads and loved looking through the leaves of tall eucalypts at the azure summer skies. Eventually, she grew up, and the country town became a suburb of Melbourne. Running barefoot to catch her train to work would have caused more than a few raised eyebrows so she opted for stilettos, of course. At eighteen, Louise travelled through Europe, parts of Africa and the Pacific Islands. These days Louise lives on the far north coast of New South Wales on a small property that includes her extended family, three dogs, three cats and all manner of wildlife.
Finding Elizabeth, Louise’s novel features a retired ballet dancer, a fish-out-of-water Aussie, and a very cold, very snowy Winter Ball.