Tuesday, July 27, 2010

Forties Club Finalist #59

by Andrea Hickman

I was disappointed. The one person that I expected to understand and respect my decision had done this. The jewels he offered sparkled between us. I stared at them. It was easier than looking at him.

“I could give you everything,” he said.

I sighed, exasperated. “I do not want everything. I have never wanted anything.”

“You don't mean that. We've always been good friends. Marriage is the best solution.”

“Would you respect me if I married you?”

“Of course.”

“I would not. And I cannot respect you.” I looked up at him again. My statement shocked him, I could see it in his eyes. “That you think you can buy me with these,” I indicated his offer, “shows how little you truly know me. It shows how false our friendship is.” I stood, adjusting my skirts.


I turned my back on him. I knew what I needed to do. He pressed the jewels into my hand. I held them up, tilted my hand and watched them tumble onto the sand. I left them there, with the rest of the world.

There was a creak as I went through the gate, and breathed in the peace of the cloister. I was home.


Aerin said...

NICE. Unique take, and great development, and no one dies. Fantastic.

Erratic Thoughts said...

True, No deaths here.
Nicely written n I liked her reasoning, respect is not salable :)

Peter Dudley said...

Nicely brought round full circle while making us forget we were in a circle. This is structured really well, and it feels real.

Dottie (Tink's Place) said...

Hi Andrea

One love exchange for another. Aptly named Disappointment.

Nicely executed!!

Dottie :)

JR's Thumbprints said...

There's nothing better than the comforts of home. Nice slice of life, you've done a good job capturing the narrator's disappointment.

Aimee Laine said...

I'm not sure why she doesn't want 'anything' including marriage, but if she said it and he still pressed, them I'm with her!

akika said...

Thank you all.

The answer to your question, Aimee Laine, is in the last paragraph. I'll admit to aiming to some ambiguity in the use of 'cloister', but not quite that much. She doesn't want 'anything' because she's turning her back on the world and entering a convent.

SzélsőFa said...

yeah, the word cloister pretty much explained the motives to me.
disappointment in both parts - and a great approval from one of the readers.

Oddyoddyo13 said...

I'm glad she didn't accept-honestly, he thought he could buy her?

Precie said...

How could he possibly think she would have said yes to him? He didn't really understand her at all!

Laurel said...

I feel sorry for the poor fellow. As it reads to me, he may not have been trying to "buy" her at all but rather indicate how he felt. Lots of men make that mistake...just give her something shiny and she will know you mean it.

JaneyV said...

I fully understand her disappointment. One hopes that the people you love will understand you enough to 'get' your decisions. That said the decision to enter a cloister can so easily be misinterpreted as trying to escape from something. I think he truly loved her and I think he hoped that by providing an attractive alternative she might stay in his life. Silly man just didn't realise that there's nothing quite as attractive as a friend who allows you the space to fully be yourself.

Did I mention how much I liked this piece?

Well I do.

bekbek said...

I particularly liked that you used the word "skirts," because that one word, alone, made the last sentence work for me. It is terribly tempting in these very short stories to do a "reveal" in the very end, like a punchline, but it doesn't work nearly as often as one might hope. Here, you lay it all out. It's there if one reads closely. I could feel, when I came to "skirts," not so much the cloister, but the stifled other-time/other-placeness of her situation (people wear a skirt now, but not so much skirts!), and that was enough to make your ending work with a sense of clarity, rather than punchline.

Very nice.

Deb Smythe said...

He truly didn't understand her. But I agree with some of the other commenters; maybe she didn't understand him either. In the end, I think they'll both be better off.

Nice job.

Vincent Kale said...

Have to echo the above comments. Sometimes things just don't work out and more often than not it's due to miscommunication or just plain old bad timing.

Good job!

Catherine Vibert said...

I loved this one because I've also been writing about nuns and saints lately so I instantly got the ending. The man was a fool to think that he could tempt her with earthly riches when she felt a higher calling. Clearly he is a hopeless romantic, but actually, so is she, she is just in love with an ideal he could never compare to.

Anyway, nice job!