Jake, Ruby, and the Vintage Love Letters
Ruby is an artist; when something makes an impression on the blank canvas of her mind she becomes restless to paint it. On Valentines day she presents Jake with a small but stunning canvas of the two of them, and is pleased that he loves it. He examines it, and professes that it captures something extraordinary.
Jake gives Ruby a book of historical love letters, and they read some of them aloud together. They become intrigued with the letters of love and anguish between a twelfth century Monk, Abelard, and his lover, Abigail. The letters are full of amore, shame, arguments, incrimination, and allusions to sex. Over a period of days, they discuss the book passionately, they also argue, but they laugh too.
Ruby’s parents spend the day in separate parts of the house, not celebrating Valentines day. Spurred on because of her mother’s not so hidden affairs, and the ripples of injury she can see in her father’s eyes, Ruby assured Jake from the beginning that there had to be a ring involved before she would sleep with him. He was surprised at first, but he warmed to both the logic and romance of a future promise of exclusiveness. They are seventeen, so anything involving a ring was a long way off.
Jake has an embarrassing secret of sexual harassment in reverse. Through prodding, more arguments and even tears, he begins to open up about the unwanted attention from a woman his mother’s age, the disgust, lies and gossip. As they read through pages of letters, Jake begins to trust Ruby for the loving and clear perspective she can give him. Hopefully, he will tell her the whole story.
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