Wednesday, January 06, 2010

Entry #2

Other Places
by Chris Eldin


Track practice is over.

I pretend to look for the coach. A friend. Some flyers about an upcoming meet. I go to the water fountain and drink until my stomach hurts.

I wander outside and sit on an equipment storage bin. No sign of Tom. Anywhere. I’m beginning to feel…. ummm. I’m feeling Ummmm.

People wave ‘bye’ as their parents pick them up. I’m one of the last to leave. I pull the ponytail holder out and shake my hair loose.

Tom walks out of the school, surrounded by friends. He laughs and jokes and teases and is so full of life and he makes living seem so easy. That’s why I love him.

My daydreams make me blush. I get ready to leave, but…

But…

TOM IS STANDING IN FRONT OF ME!

“Your parents late?” he asks. There is sweat in his brown hair. I want to touch it.

“Yeah,” I lie. I always walk home.

“Mine too.” He hops on the storage bin and sits next to me. His leg is about two and a half inches from mine. I freeze. My toes curl inside my shoes.

He talks about yearbook photos. He talks about cars and drivers’ licenses and what he wants to do when he’s a senior. My heart won’t slow down.

Tom asks me something. His face is close. His eyes are looking at my lips.

I can’t help

staring

He

tilts his head and

very

slowly

closes his eyes

and

takes my breath away.

63 comments:

Bernita said...

Oh Chris, this is lovely.

Four Dinners said...

Magical stuff. Really really good story telling mate

Amias said...

Was that a kiss or my imagination? Oh this feels familiar. Sweet.

Tara said...

Nice and breezy. And so, so sweet.

Missy said...

I remember this moment - you capture it so well!

Leatherdykeuk said...

aww!

Aniket said...

Nicely played Chris. All the ladies would be swooning now. :)

On a serious note - Loved the pacing of the piece. I could feel her anticipation. I was waiting for a twist of some kind but this is way better. Perfect. :D

Chris Eldin said...

Thanks everyone!
This was my first kiss, in 250 words...ACK! I could've gone on for pages...
:-)

Sarah Laurenson said...

Luscious!

Wavemancali said...

I love the story and the style, it's fantastic.

As much as I want to though, I can't link it to the picture.

Michelle H. said...

The style at the end captures the character's emotions quite succintly. Nice!

Meghan said...

Very sweet. I love the image of toes curling in shoes. Very nice.

Craig said...

You can practically hear her heart pounding when Tom sits next to her. I really enjoyed the imagery.

SzélsőFa said...

just plain lovely, Chris. Stirring in a most uplifting way.
have my congratulations for a job well done.

J.C. Montgomery said...

I love writing that has my imagination jumping for joy for is it being manipulated and thrilled endlessly.

This is one of those pieces.

Great work Chris!

pjd said...

OK, you know I love this. I especially love how it builds from the banal track practice to the poetry-like form and pacing at the end. I'm not sure if you meant it to be symbolic, or if you just plucked track practice out of the air, but it works so well. She's been running circles in her daydreams, but finally practice is over and it's time for the "meet", so to speak. (Let's not take the metaphor too far and start talking about pole vaulting, though.)

Chris, this is lovely. Nicely done. I hope you will share with us how the photo inspired it. Is it as straightforward as the feeling of soaring?

Chris Eldin said...

I love these gatherings over here at CoN! Thank you for all the kind remarks!

PJD, you made me smile and I think I won't be able to stop.
:-)

See?
:-)


The photo reminded me of the feeling of going anywhere, so I went back in time, to a happy moment. If you're soaring so high, where else would you go?

:-)

Kartik said...

Amazing piece and the pacing is breathtaking to say the least! And I can now see the soaring connection :)

Tessa said...

Delightfully smile inducing! Ahh, the memories it evokes.

Lena said...

wonderfully sweet :)
Really made me smile.

catvibe said...

Oh those beautiful moments of falling for someone for the very first time. I'm glad I read the comments so I could see how the image inspired you. Beautifully written.

JaneyV said...

Oh Chris it's like you've built a time machine and transported me back to 1983. Every tummy flutter, every look - so incredibly evocative and delicious.

Terrific.

Jared Culpepper said...

that gave the ol' ticker an extra palpitation or two.

Jimmie Vee said...

Great. My daughter is turning 12 this year and headed for the Junior High. I've already got the car warmed up in case she decides to run track.

Seriously, thanks for providing a reminder of those so uncomfortable times from so long ago, even if it was just for a moment.

Sarah Laurenson said...

Had to come back for another read down memory lane.

*sigh*

Terri said...

Aah, that's so lovely, so perfect. And I'm SO glad there wasn't a nasty twist at the end!

Yep, 5 minutes reading all the comments and I'm still smiling :-)

laughingwolf said...

a winner, chris!

PEOPLE, PLACES, VOICES, FACES... said...

Mmmmm..mmmmmm. Delicious!
You took me soaring too! This is one of my very favourite pieces.
Ranee

Aimee Laine said...

I want Tom to do that to me! :) Good job!

Preeti said...

:-)

In 250 words you have enunciated an entire feeling. I wonder how you've done it. What absolutely amazes me is the fact that you've captured a girl's deepest emotions and gone into such intricate, accurate detail. and i am so so glad that Tom reacted the way he did. Honestly i was expecting an anti-climax. Gosh i'm so relieved and i just can't stop smiling.
:-)
:-)
:-)
..........

Preeti said...

Forgot to add...

excellently written. :-)

Ayodele Morocco-Clarke said...

Really sweet!

kashers said...

Was slightly confused about the plural in the title seeing as it centred upon one particular time and place. However, I enjoyed the story.

Contrary to everyone else though, I found the layout of the ending contrived. Instead of being fulfilled I became conscious that I was reading. To me, it interrupted the flow. Still, that said, on that score I'm clearly in a minority of one.

Overall though, a good story.

Lee Hughes said...

Flowed easily and oozed real emotions, nice work.

Kurt Hendricks said...

The curling toes are a nice touch. Really liked this one.

Chris Eldin said...

Thank you, everyone!
:-)

Laurel said...

Chris, this is one of my favorite pieces I've read in ANY of the CoN contests. I had butterflies in my stomach waiting for him to kiss her.

It was real, poignant, not saccharine, perfect. One of life's glittering realities.

You knocked the cover off the ball with this one!

peggy said...

You captured perfectly the teenage girl's wistful anticipation for magic. I remember hoping every day for scenarios to play out as this one did.

I too, though, wondered about the picture connection. The soaring suggestion satisfies, and I'm all for inspiration over exact connections.

foolishwriter said...

Very nice story - Great Last line. and to echo Leatherdykeuk's comment... "Aww".

stacy said...

Lovely! I still remember my teenage crushes and they felt just like this.

Selestial said...

That was beautiful and so true to life. Well done :)

illyriataylor said...

"took my breath away" is one of my favorite phrases

sylvia said...

Oh, you made my heart race.

Wonderful!

Anonymous said...

Now why can't I write stories full of innocence and youth? I guess that's why I like your stories. --JR

Blodeuedd said...

Aww this was very sweet :=)
I like it, and I have sure felt like that too

Merry Monteleone said...

Awe, Chris, this was awesome... and I so remember that feeling, it's the only reason anyone ever misses that age, I think

Great how you ended it, too, the poetry form, it really worked so well.

Have you thought about switching up to YA for novel-length? You've definitely nailed the voice.

Harish said...

Simple and beautiful! :) Nice one Chris!

Jean Ann Williams said...

This is sweet and so true!

Jean Ann

Rabid Fox said...

A nice tale with a very good ending, but it took me a while--relatively speaking--to figure out the protagonist was a girl. Mind you, I'm only assuming that last bit. Otherwise, good job.

Drama said...

Lovely, and so true. Great story!

My Blog 2.0 (Dottie) said...

Lovely entry, ah, young love.

Dottie :)

Beth said...

You definitely took me back, Chris!

McKoala said...

Oh my, you took my breath away too. Hyperventilating here. You captured that teen longing and awkwardness so well. And than your use of structure at the end to show the key moment was sooooo effective.

*staggers off for a little lie-down*

Chris Eldin said...

I can't tell you how much these comments are boosting my spirits! I hope everyone's entries get the same amount of read-through.
It's so much fun being in this electronic reading circle!!!
:-)

Michael Solender said...

you capture the high school innocence and emotion effortlessly - perfect.

Harper said...

Yes, this was a breath of fresh air from the Pine-Sol & gym locker rank of yesteryear: The practiced subterfuge for a chance meeting; a human love ritual. We can't just leave everything up to the
Fates now can we? Love it.

Deb Smythe said...

Ah, the first kiss from That Guy. Sigh. Nice job.

Jane said...

reminds me of my first crush...i couldn't breath when he spoke to me for the first time and asked me to lend him 5p..never did get it back..you captured a young girls heart perfectly

BernardL said...

A spectacularly described moment of romantic angst and yearning.

Aerin said...

Dear Entrants #1-105,

I have read your pieces so that I can fairly participate in the Readers' Choice vote. (I read all of them through last week, before I started commenting.) I will be coming back around to offer my keep/tweak comment, but I didn't want anyone to snark.

Cheers,
Aerin (#236)

BTW, it's perfectly fine if you still want to snark, but this way you can choose a more appropriate subject, like the merits of Mafia Wars or whether Katie Holmes should demand a divorce

JaneyV said...

Chris - Honorable mention Woo Hoo! You deserve it - I loved this. Happy Birthday!

Chris Eldin said...

LOL! Thanks Janey! This was the bestest birthday present ever! :-)

Dottie (My Blog 2.0) said...

Congrats on the H/M, well deserved I must say!

Dottie :)