Tales of the Heart

by Dennis K. Hausker

Tales of the Heart is an anthology centered on romance as a consistent theme. The stories vary widely to provide snapshots at different ages, stages of life, and circumstances. Some dreams come true in life and others do not. People are faced with hardships and challenges seemingly as a consequence of being born into this world. What they do with those challenges differs a great deal. Usually it doesn't come down to clearly delineated choices between right and wrong, rather it seems there are shades of gray with 'in between' options where a person makes their unique choices based on their personal lives and experiences. There are ample poignant moments, compelling story lines, and some blood pumping adventures.



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Dennis K. Hausker -


Heart Throb

Julie Brown felt excited but also nervous as she sat at her vanity combing her long brown hair again for the third time. She could hear her younger sisters arguing in the hallway near her bedroom door. She put her face in her hands.

“This is going to be a disaster,” she uttered. “Why did I agree to let him meet my   family?”

She stood up and went to the closet to select her clothes. She stared critically at the line of dresses, blouses, skirts, and slacks hung neatly in a row.

“I don’t have a thing to wear,” she complained.

She stood for a time trying to overcome her indecision. Her anxious feelings were starting to crescendo.

“You’ve got to wear something,” she said finally and picked a light colored print dress. It was white with floral patterns of multiple bright colors. It hung to just above her knees.

She went to the mirror to inspect the final choice. She shook her head with discouragement. “He’s going to take one look, turn right around and run out the door.”

Julie reluctantly turned and walked out of her room. Her sisters eyed her mischievously. She scowled at them.

“You guys better not screw this up,” she threatened. Both of them stuck out their tongues at her.

Julie walked to the kitchen where her parents were drinking coffee and talking.

“You look very nice, dear,” said her mother.

Julie looked sternly at her father.

“Dad, none of your lame jokes, okay?”

He merely smiled at her.

“Relax, honey. Everything is going to be fine. Tell me again about him.”

“Tyler Crane is a star linebacker on the college football team. I met him when I was volunteering as a tutor at the football study building. He didn’t need tutoring—he is brilliant. Actually, Tyler is a pre-med major. I was helping his roommate and he struck up a conversation one evening. I was shocked later when he asked me out on a date. He has every hot girl on campus after him and he picks a plain girl like me for a date.”

“Julie, you’re nice looking,” said her father.

“Right,” she replied dismissively. “I’m a real stunner all right. He looks like a movie star. I look like the nerdy tutor I am. I wish I had started that diet.”

“Julie, stop with that talk,” her mother corrected her. “He chose to ask you out. That has got to tell you something.”

“Yeah, it tells me he was looking to slum it for a while.”

The doorbell rang.

“Oh no,” Julie cried in panic. Her little sisters hurried into the living room when Julie went to answer the door. She pointed her finger at them crossly.

“Do not say a word.”

They giggled.