Frog by Mary Calmes
There’s more than one way to be abandoned. There’s abandonment with intention, and then there’s the sort of abandonment that the universe, fate, bad luck, whatever name you give it, delivers on a whim. It’s called death and that sort is the permanent kind, the kind that leaves a man unanchored because he has no one to ground himself to, and he’s maybe a little scared to believe it’s possible to belong to someone, somewhere, because to invest in a dream like that leaves him vulnerable. If he belongs to no one and no one belongs to him, then there’s nothing that matters to him that can be taken away from him.
But like the song says, “Your prison is walking through this world all alone,” and there’s a difference between being alone and being lonely.
There’ve been songs sung and odes written to the lonesome cowboy, the man who drifts through life looking for the next rodeo, the next ranch, the man whose bright lights aren’t the kind found in the big city but the ones found in the open sky above him, the sky that’s sometimes the only roof he has over his head. Weber Yates is the consummate drifter, the desperado who’s gotta let somebody love him before it’s too late. Web has found someone he’d like to be able to call home but can’t seem to fathom why that person would want to build a home around him.
Dr. Cyrus Benning, brilliant neurosurgeon, meets Web on a Texas vacation, the kind of vacation where a group of city slickers play cowboy for a weekend, and what happens the moment they meet will change both of their lives forever. Over the course of three years, they get together just a few more than a dozen times, but that’s enough for Cyrus to know he wants more, and it’s enough for Cyrus to become Weber’s lodestar, the bright point in an otherwise empty life that keeps guiding him back to a place that he keeps trying to run away from because the final ultimatum is too much for him to believe in. But Web is branded, not a visible mark on his skin but an indelible mark on his heart, and once you’re imprinted you belong, whether you like it or not.
Frog is a sweet and subtle story about perspective and how those perspectives can shift when you allow yourself to believe in something and someone who doesn’t love you for the myth but loves you for the honorable man you are. Web discovers that belonging to someone doesn’t mean giving up who he is but is about gaining a part of himself he didn’t realize was missing until it was gifted to him. And when he transforms, whether it’s from sleeping on the prince’s pillow every night or with a kiss or by being thrown up against the wall and being told there’s no other way, the fairy tale is complete, and it’s a beautiful thing.
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