Romance

Amorous Greed

Female Charleston dance

EPISODE 1 – PRUDENCE

A budding romance develops during a post-war era, blossoming to fulfill mutual desires for love and happiness.

This mysterious drama, loosely based on factual events, centers around sibling reactions to inheritance while facing mental and physical health issues.

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New Horizons

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As the sun rises on the cool valley, Brent Donovan pulls back the curtain of his tent to drink in the sunlight like fresh amber juice. With a deep breath of crisp air beneath the flutter of a flock of geese, he arches his back.

The outstretching of his arms parts a satisfying smile as wide as the nearby river teaming with fish. In every direction his eyes focus, blooming flowers, buzzing insects, grazing bison, and multicolored trees boast of nature’s magnificent beauty.

He whispers to himself while walking over to another tent, “It’s time to awaken young men. The fish won’t get fried unless we catch ’em.”

Two preteens emerge with much less enthusiasm.

“Grab your gear. We need to get breakfast for the ladies.”

The exhilaration of exploring national parks is a regular summer activity for the Donovan family.

Life Rewind

Born during World War I, before Brent was 16 years old, he began working in a restaurant. He was bussing tables, washing dishes, and mopping floors for a dollar per week.

Later, he began building bridges and expanding roads after the Great Depression. It was hard manual labor that built strong muscles. Paying three times as much as his prior job, it also stimulated an interest in woodworking.

A quarter of the population was out of work. Year after year, Brent applied for a job with the city. Finally, with favorable recommendations, he became a carpenter, repairing desks and cabinets.

With this job, he was able to begin saving money for the future. In the 1940s, he was earning 67 cents per hour, taking home 13 hundred dollars per year, with health benefits.

Favorable Distraction

It’s a cool autumn morning with crowds of unemployed lining the streets. Brent is performing on-site repairs during his second year as a city worker. It’s when he meets the most beautiful young lady he’s ever seen.

He vocalizes his feelings. “I’ve done quite a few repairs. But I don’t think I can ever repair my heart if I don’t get your name.”

“Is that how you speak to all the girls?”

“No, just the ones with your name. What’s that again?”

“It’s Ruby Mae. Now, how long is it gonna take to fix what you came here for?”

“Well, I reckon it’ll take a few days till I get your phone number. Then I’ll be finished with my work here.”

He lingers on the repair until his flirtations win the desires of his heart.

“Do you stay with your folks?”

“That I do.”

“Do they let you court responsible young men?”

“No, not men. Only one at a time. Make your case to my father wearing your best clothes.”

With her father’s approval, phone conversations lead to a rendezvous. Their first date is in a malt shop. So is their third, and sixth. Automobiles are luxury items, so most people just walk where they need to go.

“Ruby Mae, it is my fervent desire to transport you to your first drive-in movie show.”

“As wonderful as that sounds, I don’t think they’ll let us in without a car. Besides, the only drive-in I heard of is Camden in Pennsauken, New Jersey.”

“I guess you missed the news. There’s also Shankweiler’s in Pennsylvania.”

“Both of them are miles away. I’d sure ’nuff be happy with a double feature at a regular picture show.”

Within local movie theaters, they witness some of the greatest classics of the 1940s. Joan Crawford in The Women (1939) and Joan Fontaine in Rebecca (1940) make Ruby Mae wish her name was Joan. Casablanca (1942) and Double Indemnity (1944) are other movie favorites of hers.

The female stars of the silver screen inspire Ruby Mae’s dress and demeanor without realizing that her own life would someday play out like a film noir.

The couple also go dancing. Although the Charleston is out of date, Ruby Mae playfully imitates the moves. The effort endears her to the amused Brent, with his two left feet.

During the budding relationship, this couple begins talking about family prospects. Brent posits, “I can’t imagine a world without your progeny. Would you like to have children someday?”

“With a wonderful man, it would be my pleasure.”

Brent learns to drive so he can save up 800 dollars to buy a car and take Ruby Mae to a drive-in movie. But his next big purchase is not a vehicle; it’s an engagement ring.

At the nicest restaurant in town, he drops to one knee and proposes, “Ruby Mae, would you mind becoming a carpenter’s wife?”

Before they can marry, Brent answers the draft into World War II. “I’ll wait for you,” she promises. In the meantime, she hones her kitchen skills.

Homeward Bound

When The War ends in 1945, a brawny man with large calloused hands returns to his hometown. Veteran’s benefits allow him to purchase a small house for 18 thousand dollars with no money down, and affordable monthly payments. He resumes his city job with seniority and a salary increase. So he marries Ruby Mae, and they begin raising a family.

For her part, Ruby Mae bakes pies and treats to satisfy her husband. With a fertile citrus tree in the backyard, lemon bars and lemon meringue pie frequently follow evening meals. She also utilizes a set of china dishes, entertaining guests several times throughout each year.

With striking attire and an alluring face, she turns heads wherever they go in public. Brent, proud to have her on his arm, pokes his chest out like a Hollywood celebrity, grinning from ear to ear.

Soon, the carpenter is expanding their home with an extra bedroom. His manicured perennial flora makes this house the most immaculate on the block. Neighbors enjoy gift bouquets of seasonal flowers from his garden, which makes the family popular in the community.

Amorous Greed

Despite being a journeyman of modest means, Brent invests wisely for the future. Over the years, he inherits his father’s home, purchases some inexpensive land, and also another nearby house as income property.

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Return twice weekly for miniseries. Any relation to actual persons or events is coincidental. Login provides the most immersive experience. About 5000 total words. Audio may include sound effects that alter reading time.

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