Wednesday, July 21, 2010

Forties Club Finalist #13

by Lena

It was one of the last august days. Summer was fading into autumn.

“Well, it is time, my flight is at midnight,” he said.

“I know.”

“I’ll go then,” he suggested.

“I’ll drive you,” she picked the keys and headed to the door.

He followed her silently.

In the car they did not exchange a word. He - because he was afraid his voice would betray him. She – because she knew her voice would.

In the airport he wished he had stopped her from coming. It was too awkward.

“I promise to call you every day,” he said not quite meeting her eye.

She knew he would not but still nodded.

“I’ll come to visit you on Christmas,” she lied.

“Sure,” he turned his gaze away from her yet again.

Half an hour later the clock chimed midnight and an hour after that she still was looking into the dark sky that had hidden his plane.
When she reached home, she threw herself on the bed, sobs shaking her body. She didn’t know if hours or just minutes had passed before her phone beeped. The message contained two words. Under pillow. She found there a small box with a note and a diamond necklace. Ignoring the necklace she unfolded the note with her shaking hands.

“I am sorry I had not met you before I married her. I will always love you. –N.”

It was one of the last august days. Summer was fading into autumn.

Another summer romance ended.


Aimee Laine said...

'Twas not a summer romance, but a summer affair. ;)

Anonymous said...

I love this one, Lena. I can't point to anything specific, it would be like separating the peanut butter and chocolate in a Reese's cup. But I love it.

Aniket Thakkar said...

You've portrayed the awkwardness and the tension between the characters perfectly. The repetition in the end creates magic. Very neat Lena.

Did you write this while you are on vacation or before going?

Jade L Blackwater said...

I think you use just the right hesitation in your prose to communicate those emotions and tensions of love and separation.

Oddyoddyo13 said...

What a twist! Excellent. I expected it to be love faded...but far different!

PJD said...

Well twisted at the end. Is the downcasing of "august" near the end intentional?

Poetically, I like ending this without the final sentence. But the final sentence makes me wonder if the MC has a new summer romance every year. I kind of like that thought because it deepens the MC for me. So after some gnawing on it, I actually like the last line. Very much.

JR's Thumbprints said...

For whatever reason, I have difficulty with that last line: "Another summer romance ended." If the main character has a love affair every summer, then I start wondering about her sincerity. But then again, if the last line is meant to show that summer flings, summer affairs happen all the time, then the main character becomes much more authentic, much more genuine.

Kathleen A. Ryan said...

I enjoyed your story, Lena ~ well done.

pegjet said...

Your portrayal of your characters feels authentic. The story pulled me in and allowed me to feel their pain.

I'm on the fence about the last sentence. It did stop me on my first read, so I'm leaning towards dropping it.

sea minor said...

'looking into the dark sky that had hidden his plane.'

It's a lovely turn of phrase, rather poetic and worthy of comment. Thanks.

Katherine Tomlinson said...

Great dialogue--as much for the negative space between the words as for the words themselves. And nice twist indeed.

Sarah Laurenson said...

Great story. I feel for her and him.

I think the dialogue would flow better with more contractions. Like this line:
Well, it is time, my flight is at midnight
made me think robot dialogue when I read it. A little too stilted even if you want him to be stilted.

Maybe it's only that line, but it threw me off too close to the beginning.

Lena said...

@ Aimee: it probably was :)

@ Aerin: thanks for the kind words :)

@ Aniket: Thanks! Yup, I wrote the story on vacation itself, one of the friends I planned to meet in Delhi had a sudden change of plans and I had some time to write a story, while it is not perfect I am glad I made it to Forties Club this time again :)
Am still on vacation, did not have yet time to read or comment on other stories, but once back home will surely do this.

@ Jade: thank you, that was exactly what I wanted to portray, glad that it shows :)

@ Oddyoddy13: I am glad you enjoyed the story.

@ Peter: I actually have added this last sentence after a lot of thought. Personally I meant this sentence as a general statement. I believe if the MC had such affairs each summer, she might not have reacted that emotionally about this particular one.

@ JR's Thumbprints: I meant to show the latter in your comment, it was rather a general statement about the casuality of such affairs.

@ Kathleen: thank you very much :)

@ pegjet: now, when so many people advise to get rid of the last sentence it makes me wonder if I should have stopped one sentence before this.

@ sea minor: thank you :)

@ Katherine: thanks, dialogues are really tough to master. I am just learning.

@ Sarah: I guess you are right, I could have made a dialogue better. When I finished the story it seemed good enough to me, now I see where I could have improved.

Unknown said...

Hi Lena!

Great starter piece! Read it several times. N's dialogue is a little stilted, but maybe it needs to be, it helps remove the emotion on N's part when he heads back to real life.

Nicely done!

Dottie :)

Vincent Kale said...

Dialogue is a little clunky in some places, but that's an easy fix.

Definitely resonated with me, sadly because it hit a little close to home. Thanks for opening up old wounds! :-)

JaneyV said...

A lovely piece Lena. I think you managed the awkward texture of their separating with great skill. Personally I would have left out the last line but I see what you were going for; the message that these affairs are a dime a dozen contrasts beautifully with the deep emotion of the piece.

Catherine Vibert said...

I loved it. It has a very Bogie and Bergman feel to it, very black and white old movie. You captured her emotions very sweetly, a kind of acceptance that things will never be as she would like with the married lover, and she girds herself by passing it off as 'just another fling'. You have a very distinctive voice in your romantic writing, I have noticed from reading your blog. Like a signature. I see that voice in this piece, very Lenaesque writing. :-)

Laurel said...

There was a lot to like here. I knew it was a break-up, the cowardly kind where no one will admit it, but I was leaning toward high school couple parting for college until the end of the piece.

I like that she ignored the bauble in favor of the note.

Didn't like him. Didn't feel sorry for him, either. Cheating creep. I might not feel sorry for her, either, if it turns out she knew he was hitched when the whole thing started.

And buying somebody jewelry to go with their Dear Jane letter is just TACKY. grumble grumble grumble.

Michelle D. Argyle said...

Oh, I didn't see that end coming. Nice!

Rachana Shakyawar said...

@ Lena

It was so so adorable...with so much of apt suspence, latter emotions and that ultra romance in one line!!

Simply love the narrations and someone said correct...big,amazing and beautiful things comes in thing small packets..perhaps small posts!!

Beautiful...I felt it all in each and every word and phone beep!!

~ Keep the Spark ALive..