That Time I Dressed Up As Princess Leia… By Ripley Proserpina

That Time I Dressed Up as  Princess Leia because My BF Loved Star Wars…

… Not really. But what do you think of grand gestures? Jealousy-inducing? Creepy? Naive? One of my favorite things about fiction is the way a grand gesture always works out. The boy standing in the dark, holding the boombox (remember those?) over his head outside the girl’s window, wins her back. Generally, the grand gesture is so heartfelt, so genuine, it doesn’t come across as stalkerish. Stubborn, yes. Illegal? No.

In Finding Valor, my recently released book, one character, Matisse, goes for broke with his grand gesture after a huge foot-in-mouth instance.

Here’s his moment.

“Cher, forgive me.” Matisse clung to a thick tree limb sticking out over the lawn. He was close enough Nora could see his expression but far enough away he wouldn’t be able to come into her room.

“I do. Now get down from there!” Worriedly, she calculated the fall from their height. “You’ll kill yourself! Ryan!” 

“What?” He stuck his head out. “Son of a bitch. Really, Tisse?” 

“Shut up, Valore. Nora. It doesn’t matter what happens to me if you don’t forgive me. I can’t live with you being angry with me.” 

“Are you serious right now?” Her voice came out shrill. “You’re being crazy!” 

“Nora.” Reaching behind him, he pulled out his phone and, one-handed, thumbed across the screen. His face was bathed in blue light, but all she saw was how he wobbled from side to side and held himself on the branch with one hand. 

“Matisse, I swear to God…” 

“I found this song.” Something in French played from his phone. “It made me think of you.” 

“Matisse,” Ryan groaned. 

“I said, shut up. Listen to the words, Nora.”

Dropping her head to the frame, her forehead pounded against the wood. All she could hear was her blood whooshing in her ears. Fear for Matisse overshadowing everything else. 

“Apollo!” Pushing away from the window, Ryan left the room. “Get the ladder!” he yelled when he got to the hall. 

“Matisse…” Raising her head, she pinned him with her eyes. “What are you doing?” 

Moonlight struck his face; his pale skin was white and his dark eyes black. His lips trembled, and she saw how his hand shook. This wasn’t some adolescent gesture he believed he had to make in order to impress her. His upset was real. 

So real, he’d decided the only way to make her listen was to climb the tree outside her window. 

Finding Valor is available for purchase.

Share your favorite grand gestures— real and fictional! ~ Ripley

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