Elyse’s List

JournalA long while ago, I shared an excerpt (“Let me see your list.”) from my book, PS. In that scene, Brendon and Elyse are having a casual lunch together, when he asks her what her perfect man would be like because he knows she has a list. She doesn’t make it past mentioning her first desired “quality,” however, before Brendon rejects it, shuts down and walks away from her.

In case you were wondering what else was on her list… here it is. 😉

Background music.


It was the New Year now, and I was still being taunted by my ill-fated dreams. But for some reason, I didn’t really mind. My dreams were the only place I could safely exist with Brendon. During the waking hours, we had nothing to do with each other. At night, my subconscious was free to imagine things in a much, much brighter light. Last night I’d entered my latest dream into my journal….

“Wanna go talk somewhere?” Brendon asked, since we hadn’t seen each other in a while.

“Sure,” I told him, following his lead.

We went up to an attic room of an apartment building where he lived. It had been a spacious home at one point and, somewhere over the years, it had been divided into multiple apartments on each floor.

The room’s decor was very bohemian, very 1960s. There was a small kitchenette against the same wall that held the entrance to the room. He had tacked up art posters to all of the walls. There were also fabrics made of various colorful weaves hanging around. They were from all of his travels. Some candles were lit and there was incense burning.

The door remained open the entire time I was there, with stairs immediately leading down from the shallow landing to the floor below. A light was on in the stairwell, which offered the only light in the room, other than the candles.

He turned on some music I didn’t recognize. We sat on the floor across from each other and talked a little, mostly just staring at each other for a very long time, saying nothing out loud.

After a while, I leaned forward and gave him the most awkward hug known to man. The very next moment, we were lying on the floor beside each other. He rolled toward me and kissed me very soulfully, very spiritually. It was sweet and felt honest, open, forgiving. Then he said calmly, looking down by my side, “What’s that?”

I freaked out a little and sat up, “What? Is there a bug on me?!”

He sat up too then and said, “No… that,” and pointed to my left hand. There was a diamond ring on my finger.

I said in total shock, “Oh, no! When did that happen?”

Then, we heard a man’s voice coming up the stairs. It was my husband. I said, “Oh, I’ve… gotta go.” And I stood up to leave.

It figured that even my dream world would be warped by the appearance of another man who had already claimed me.

I tossed my dream journal beside me onto the bed and pulled my other journal out of the drawer. I leafed through its pages, searching for signs of my former life — the life I had before I came to college thinking my real, wonderful life was going to start here. There it was — spelled out in front of me in my own handwriting — the idealistic version of romance I was looking for.

I had written it out at the beginning of summer as a sort of mental exercise for myself, because I hadn’t dated anyone seriously in high school. I never felt like any of those guys would be in my life after graduation. I didn’t want to confine myself — my heart — to a limited selection of boys. I knew the world was a much bigger place than my high school hallways. I had a long romantic life ahead of me, or so I presumed. The possibilities for eternal love seemed endless then. Besides, there was only one man I really wanted.

I read the page:

Elyse’s Perfect Man…

… will be able to make something out of nothing with his hands. Something beautiful that once was only a vision, but is now real because of him.*

… dresses nicely and is clean. He looks good in anything he wears… because it is just so HIM.

… speaks his mind and heart without hesitation.

… is interested in what I feel and think.

… is easy to talk to… and enjoys our silent moments just as much as our conversations.

… likes my cooking and offers to cook stuff for me sometimes, too.

… makes me laugh a lot….

… trusts me implicitly and is someone I can trust implicitly.

… understands my need to feel free and unconfined…

… is there for me UNCONDITIONALLY and ALWAYS, without question and without hesitation.

… argues with me because he wants us to be better together in the end than we are in our worst moments now.

… helps me be the best me I can be.

… sings to me, and dances with me.

… can admit he’s wrong and say he’s sorry.

… believes in something, wholeheartedly, without question.

… understands the brevity AND longevity of life… and that death is not the end.

… holds me when I cry and tells me, “It’s going to be okay.”

… hugs me a lot. And lets me hug him a lot.

… inspires me and helps me grow and learn.

I had no clue if any one man would ever match my impression of what the “perfect man” for me would be… but, it comforted me to know what I was hoping he’d be like… and to remind myself what I had to be for someone else in order to deserve him: I needed to be equally as “perfect” and loving to him as he was to me. Whoever he may be. Brendon. Jon. Some yet unknown man.

*Elyse is trying to say here that she wants to be with someone artistic and creative, who has the same passion and understanding about life as she does.

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