In The Beginning…

Why on earth did I start this adventure with you?

Well, I fell in love with you. It wasn’t love at first sight. It wasn’t even a smouldering and deliciously submersive or visceral thing. It sort of grew as I got to know you. It was this developing love affair and your ultimate unveiling that had me staring wide-eyed at every facet of your nature. Things are never how they seem, something didn’t quite fit. I wanted to see how this thing would unfold.

I knew you long before I met you, the 42 year old fighter. A brave, passionate and focused woman. I guess you’re around 5’10” (1.78m) and 146Lbs (66Kg). Toned and tall as I often described you to my friends. I know you majored in Psychology at Princeton, you’re lean and mean a real athlete. I found out that one of your many achievements was to captain the college Taekwondo team. You led them to the USA Taekwondo and National Collegiate Taekwondo Association finals, two years in a row. You’re a real winner, Leila, in every sense of the word. You won’t know this but I stumbled into you whilst out walking. I have been completely captivated by you ever since.

“Leila loves all forms of physical contact. Whether it’s in competition or the more earthly and sometimes gentler pursuits as a lover. She excels in all fields.” I love how knowing this makes me feel about her. I love that she never knew how I felt. I love that this was my very first thought about her.

When you walk it’s as though time slows, the sun grows warmer, the leaves around you flutter more softly and the colours shine more intensely. Your long legs flow like they’re passing through deep cool water and with the graceful expression of an assured athlete. Everything looks in place and your hips link the confident stride with the lyrical sway of a woman in her prime. I see you, Leila, as you look straight ahead, oblivious to all around you. Your Titian coloured shock of hair bobs with each step, your skin, tinged with midwestern colour, glows like an oil painting. It shows above your pale blue shorts and your almost bare midriff below your cropped Princeton T-shirt. Your neck is long but not too long. Your ears sit almost flat against your head and they have small turquoise studs in each lobe.

Leila, you really know yourself. You understand yourself and you are dissatisfied with the mundane or the ordinary. It is this that attracts me to you the most. Well, this and the fact that you are the most beautiful woman I have ever known.

I knew Leila was destined to fall in love with Finn. I knew it would take her away from me. I knew that she was prepared to sacrifice everything to be with Finn. And she did…I couldn’t prevent it. I couldn’t change it. But I love her right up to the very day it all came crashing down and her world caved in. I love her.

My Thought Progression

As a writer trying to establish the nature, psychology and person characteristics of the protagonist, I first had to decide whether I liked Leila or not. It could have gone either way. It still can. I wanted to understand her voice and what made her tick. 1,000 words hand written and flowing onto my notepad, without pause, describing what I knew about her deep inside. It was from this that I had to craft her into a person and into the story. Leila was formed in a hundred fantasies, 100 meetings of people from all walks of life and 100 walks in the hills with her on my mind. I knew I had to give her voice to narrate this story and act out her role. She’s still a work in progress.