Beyond the Surface
Evelyn stood with her arms folded, watching the young man in front of her. He was tall and lean, with rich brown hair that fell across his forehead. Nathan, Evelyn thought, was his name. He looked up and his eyes met hers, and she immediately felt a pang in her chest. He was handsome. Too handsome. His bright blue eyes and easy smile made Evelyn's heart race, a sensation she had never felt before.
"Can I help you?" she croaked, realizing that she had been staring at him for far too long.
"Yes," Nathan said, flashing her that smile again. "I need a haircut."
Evelyn nodded and motioned for him to sit down. She walked over to the counter and picked up her scissors and comb. As she began cutting Nathan's hair, they fell into a comfortable silence. Evelyn tried not to let her mind wander, but she couldn't help but be drawn to him. There was something about him that made her feel alive in a way she hadn't felt in years.
When she had finished with Nathan's haircut, they exchanged numbers. "You should come back soon," Evelyn said, trying not to sound too eager.
Nathan beamed at her. "I definitely will."
And just like that, Evelyn was shaken out of her routine, her safe and predictable life.
Over the next few weeks, Evelyn and Nathan met up several times. They discovered that they had a lot in common: a love for jazz music, a passion for cooking, and a deep appreciation for life itself. Evelyn was thrilled by how easy Nathan was to talk to. With him, she could be herself, without the need to filter or sugarcoat anything about herself.
As they grew closer, Evelyn found herself becoming more and more conflicted. Nathan was extremely sweet and charming, but she couldn't ignore the fact that he came from a wealthy white family. The community they lived in also frowned upon interracial relationships. Evelyn didn't want to upset the order of things, but she couldn't help her growing fondness for Nathan.
One day, Nathan asked Evelyn to meet him at a fancy restaurant outside of their community. She was excited but also nervous about what people would say or think when they saw her with him.
Evelyn was dressed-up for the occasion, wearing a new black dress that hugged her curves perfectly. When she arrived at the restaurant, she saw Nathan standing near the entrance, dressed in a smart black suit. He looked at her, and his blue eyes sparked with appreciation.
As they sat down for dinner, they talked and laughed, enjoying each other's company. But when Evelyn excused herself to go to the restroom, she overheard two men outside the door talking, "What's up with that white man leaving with that black woman? That ain't natural."
Evelyn came back to the table, her heart in her throat. She no longer felt comfortable or relaxed. Her concerns were brought to a head when they were done with their meal, and Nathan's parents walked in. They were shocked to see Nathan with a black woman, especially one as independent as Evelyn.
Evelyn watched as Nathan's parents whispered to each other and then walked over to their table. They greeted her, but their expressions revealed that they were not happy about the situation.
It was chapter and verse about their disapproval of his relationship with a black woman after all, Nathan came from a wealthy and well-known family, he was expected to date within his own circle.
Nathan's family didn't want to see him humiliated and dragged through the mud, but they also realized that he would not be deterred. They knew it would be a battle, but they didn't want to lose him either, so they decided to throw a ball in his honor, inviting all the wealthy and well-connected families from the community. This would give him the opportunity to introduce Evelyn and show everyone that his love was unshakable.
As preparations began in earnest, rumors began to fly. Some people said that it wouldn't happen; Nathan's family would not be able to bear the humiliation of such a match. Others speculated that it would be a charade, and Nathan would eventually leave Evelyn. All of this only served to build the tension that had been brewing all along.
When the ball arrived, Evelyn put on her best black gown. She looked stunning, and Nathan was struck by how gorgeous she was. As they entered the grand ballroom, everyone was taking notice of them. It was as if the air was heavy with anticipation.
They danced, and everyone saw the deep connection between them, the unspoken bond that had grown and strengthened over time. Nathan glowed with an almost unbearable intensity. His love for Evelyn was all-encompassing, and he wanted everyone to see it, to feel the same emotions he was feeling.
Evelyn felt Nathan's love for her as her heart swelled but she was also acutely aware of all the others around them, who looked on with skepticism, with judgment.
And then it happened. Just as they were about to finish their dance, Nathan's father stepped forward and said, "Before our son gets a chance to say a few words, we want to announce something." Nathan's father paused to regather his thoughts, his face a mask of something darker.
"We disapprove of this relationship. Nathan, we have hoped all this time that you would come to your senses and leave her. But it's clear you're not. So we are going to disown you."
Everyone around them gasped in shock. Evelyn's blood ran cold as she watched Nathan's face as he took in his parents' disowning him.
In her heart, she knew that their love was deep and real, but she had never faced outright rejection from another family before. Nathan's father's words hung like a pall over the room, infecting the air, and making the evening unbearable.
Nathan walked out of the ballroom with Evelyn. "I know we can make it work," he said, pleading with her.
Evelyn looked at him, then turned to go. She couldn't be with someone who had no support system, no strong family or community connections at that level. She knew that they could attempt to build those but it would be hard and would take a long time.
Nathan, in turn, knew that he could not be happy without her, but he couldn't bear to see her face the same hatred and ostracism he himself was encountering.
They both went their separate ways, knowing that their love was greater than what they could ever imagine, but also that it had to be nurtured.
The story ends with them both reminiscing about the events that led them to the place of their Unexpected Partnership: how their love had smiled through it all and how they, despite the outside judgments, disagreements, and misunderstandings, would always be together.
Beyond the Surface presents a beautiful love story that takes readers through Evelyn and Nathan's journey from attraction and discovery to conflict and resolution, which in the end pushed them towards an unexpected path. Their love was not a fairytale, and they had to fight for it. This is the story of what happens when love goes Beyond the Surface.