1 December 2011

Jilted! Elaine Cantrell explains...

Have you ever been jilted? Once upon a time I was, but even though he didn’t mean to do me a favor, he did anyway. If he hadn’t wanted to date that silly little girl… Well, if he hadn’t wanted to date someone else, I never would have met my husband, the love of my life. I always thought that term was probably invented by romance writers who wore rose colored glasses, but I was wrong. I found my soul-mate, and I can truthfully say I love him more today than I did the day we got married.
It’s interesting to see how people cope with being jilted. This picture was taken in China when a jilted bride tried to jump out of a window. Notice that she’s wearing her wedding dress. Lucky for her the guy who caught her had plenty of strength in his arms.

And what about this? The Farmers Almanac tells the story of one jilted woman who invited people to her wedding reception (She couldn’t get her money back.) and asked them to contribute to a couple of charities she had selected.

In my new Christmas short The Table in the Window, my heroine, Marley Matthews, also gets jilted. The skunk called her and asked him to meet her in their favorite restaurant. Here’s what happened...

“Hey, there,” she called, even before she reached the table. “Seeing you makes up for the lousy weather.” She smiled as she took her seat and busied herself with removing her wet coat.

Michael, who wore the wheat‑colored sweater she’d bought him last month, stared out the window as if he saw something far more fascinating than rain and fog. He hadn’t met her eyes once, and he didn’t have the hint of a smile on his face. “Hello, Marley.”

The waiter, a guy whose name tag identified him as Robert, approached to take their order. “What’ll it be?” he asked with a smile. “Hot chocolate? Coffee? Or do you need something stronger to warm you up?”

“Coffee,” Marley answered.

Robert offered them a menu, but Michael waved it away. “I’m not having lunch.”

Marley’s eyebrows shot up. As the waiter left the table, she said, “I thought you wanted to have lunch.”

“No, I said I wanted to talk to you.”

“Okay, talk.” Marley reached for his hand, but he drew it away and put it in his lap.

“Uh…Marley…I have something to tell you.” He cleared his throat, and this time he stared at some point right behind her left shoulder.

Marley’s heart thumped. “What is it, Michael? What’s wrong?” Was he ill? Had he lost his job?

He stared at a burned spot on the rustic table as if it had come to life and tried to bite him. “I…I’ve met someone.”

Marley cocked her head. “Who did you meet?”

He’d pitched his voice so low she had a hard time hearing him. “Her name is Heather.”

Everything clicked. He wouldn’t hold hands with her. He wouldn’t look at her. Cold more intense than that outside settled into her veins and almost took her breath away, but she clung to the hope that she was wrong. “I...I don’t understand.”

His eyes met hers briefly before they slid away. “Yes, you do. I’m sorry, Marley, but I can’t marry you after all.”

Pretty tacky to do it in public, wouldn’t you say?

If you’d like to find out how Marley copes, check back tomorrow.

The Table in the Window is published by Astraea Press, and available at

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