Cynthia L. Simmons – Real life Romance – Part 1 of 1

Shannon here: WinePress author, Cynthia L. Simmons shares her real life romance and a chance to win her book: Struggles & Triumphs. Comment on any post dated Jan 10 – 14. Deadline Midnight, Central time Jan 15. Here’s Cynthia:

“Hey, why is everyone studying?” The long-haired student in the row beside mine wore a frown.

I glanced his direction and decided not to answer. Grubby! The guy wore a ragged army jacket, and a beat up pair of jeans. His hair looked like he hadn’t combed it in years.  Nor did his face impress me, or at least what face I could see. He wore bushy sideburns down to his jaw line and a mustache.  With a sigh, I returned to my psychology text and to my comfortable world.

My friends and I attended the nursing program in downtown Chattanooga. Our school scheduled certain core classes at the university, but our nursing classes took place on our own campus.  Since we lived together in the dorm, we came to class together. We didn’t often mingle with students outside the school, and we dressed much nicer than the average college student. That day I was one of six immaculate nurses who sat in psychology class at the university. The professor had scheduled a test, and each of us had prepared.

Karen, one of my friends, looked up from her book.  “We have a test today.”

His eyes widened. “A test? ”

“Yes, Dr. Cross announced a test at the last class.” She brushed a bit of lint off her stylish sweater. “You didn’t hear?”

The lines on student’s face deepened. “No! What chapter?”

            Karen tapped her book. “Dr. Cross told us to study chapters 14 to 18.”

            He opened his textbook and thumbed through.

            Out of the corner of my eye, I watched him flip page after page. Did he actually think he could cram with only a few minutes before class? At least Karen had been kind enough to let him know what was going on. She was the most outgoing of my friends. I seldom spoke to strangers, and I wouldn’t have spoken to this one.

            Bang! He slammed his book and ran out of the room.

            I shuddered. He’s a loser. I knew the moment I saw him.

            Eight years later, I sat in the kitchen with my husband, Ray. We’d been married five years and had three children.  He and I met when I attended a friend’s church. His brilliant mind and his kindness swept me off my feet. Even after kids, I loved him more than the day we married.

            Ray looked at me over his teacup. “Cindy, didn’t you attend the university in your first year of nursing school?”

             “Yes, I did.”

            “I spent my first year of college there too. What classes did you take?”

            I scooped some sugar into my tea and stirred while I thought. “I had several science classes like biology and microbiology, but we also had to take psychology classes. I think our first one was Introduction to Psychology.”

            “I had that one too. What semester did you have your class?”

            I didn’t have to think long. “I took my first psychology class the spring semester of 1975.”

            Ray’s eyebrows went up. “So did I. What teacher did you have?”

            Memories of my professor brought a chuckle. “Dr. Cross.”
            “You had Dr. Cross too?” He scooted closer to the table. “What time of day was your class?”

            “It was two in the afternoon.”
            “So was mine.” He laughed. “Do you remember a guy who didn’t know Dr. Cross had scheduled a test?”

            “Yes, I do. He sat in the row beside me.”
            “That was me.”
            “No! You’re kidding.” I squealed with laughter. “I thought that guy was a loser.”

            “You what?” His mouth fell open.

            “Well, you didn’t know there was a test. Besides you looked awful.”

            “Mother got my clothes at a garage sale because we had no money.” He sat a little taller. “And when I asked Dr. Cross to make up the test, he told me I didn’t have to. He said I already had an A in the class, and he also exempted me from the final.”

            “I didn’t know that. Obviously I made a mistake. You’re incredible.” I covered my mouth.

            “I knew there were nurses in my class, and I noticed how nice you all looked.” His eyes twinkled. “I never thought I’d marry one. You seemed out of my class.”

            “Well, everything I saw of you screamed failure.”

            “I didn’t value dressing up, nor could my family afford nice clothes. I dressed for comfort.” A mischievous frown crossed his face. “Do you still think I’m a loser?”

            I answered without hesitation. “Of course not.”

            Ray came behind my chair and put his arms around me. “I’m really glad.”

About Cynthia: Cynthia L Simmons and her husband, Ray, have five children and reside in Atlanta. She has taught for over twenty years as a homeschool mother and Bible teacher. Active in Christian Authors Guild (CAG), she served as past president and taught writing workshops. In December 2009 the membership granted her Life Time Membership for her numerous contributions to writers.  “Cindy” is fond of history and writes both historical fiction and nonfiction. Her writing appeared in CAG publications, NATHHAN NEWS, Chattanooga Regional Historical Magazine, Georgia Right to Life Newsletter, Chattanooga Times Free Press, Catholic Exchange, and Christian Devotions.com. Her first book, Struggles and Triumphs came out in 2008. While promoting her book, she had interviews on radio and TV across the nation and was nominated for 2008 Georgia Author of the year. She also conducts monthly podcasts called CAG Spotlight in which she interviews authors and VIPs in the writing industry. At present she is completing a twelve week Bible study using the stories in Struggles and Triumphs.

Come back Jan 17 for more into my ( Shannon Taylor Vannatter) real life romance, a romantic interview featuring the hero & heroine from Book 3, White Pearls, an excerpt from the book, and a chance to win a copy.

12 Responses to “Cynthia L. Simmons – Real life Romance – Part 1 of 1”

  • Marianne says:

    Wow…have you ever used this setting in a novel? Truth is stranger than fiction! Loved it.

  • Kim F says:

    What a great story – and what a great lesson in not passing judgement on someone too quickly!

  • Thanks ladies. I had fun remembering and writing my story.

  • Patti says:

    What a neat story! Can’t judge a book or person by its cover! Just like in your story, it’s easy to observe people and think they have everything altogether, everything going fine or even very well and yet on the inside they are falling apart.

  • Sharon Rakness says:

    What a special story! I have to share this with Fred. I can just see you in that class. Both of you!
    God is so good and what a sense of humor He has!!

  • Audrey Stout says:

    I loved hearing this. I cannot imagine Ray looking anything but clean cut and tidy. Yes, God has a sense of humor in teaching us amazing lessons about people and their insides and not outsides.

  • Glad everyone’s enjoying the story. I couldn’t believe they didn’t recognize each other when they met–the second time.

  • Rosemary Travis says:

    good story. would love to win this book.

  • Stephanie Curtis says:

    Cindy, that is an amazing story! And like one of the other people who commented, I can’t imagine Ray ever looking like that!! ha. But, I sure CAN imagine him having an A in the class already!! If I didn’t know you, I would surely think this was a fiction. Sounds like a good start for the next great chick flick! Or more…

  • Heather C says:

    Thanks so much for sharing. I love a good example of God’s sense of humor. 🙂

  • gabixler says:

    What a wonderful story! I would love to have seen your face when he announced he was that guy!

  • stvannatter says:

    I have winners. Marianne won the copy of James L. Rubart’s Book of Days and Rosemary won the copy of Cynthia L. Simmons Struggles and Triumphs. I appreciate the authors and readers of my blog.

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