Fiction Friday – Friday 18th Feb

Today’s prompt from the good fellows over at Write Anything is: Its late on Feb 14th. Your character has just realised that they have forgotten Valentines Day and the affiliated expectations surrounding it. What excuse or reason are they going to give to their partner? And my unedited story goes like this…

Jess slumped into the chair almost the second the old man got up. He turned to give her a dirty look, but she ignored it. There was no way she was letting one of those spikey haired, acne ridden teenagers get the only seat when they’d only got on at Birmingham and she’d been standing since Manchester.

Just as she pressed play on her ipod her phone rang. How typical. Tom. Her heart sank a little as she remembered they were supposed to be going for dinner that night – all she wanted after a day of trying on stupid bridesmaids dresses was a hot bath and night in front of the TV.

‘Hey you,’ she answered, deciding it would be better to put him off now than when she got home.’

‘Hey you. How was your day?’

‘Yeah, not too bad.’

‘You got the dress?’ She pulled a face.

‘Yeah.’

‘Oh dear, that bad?’

‘Lets just say I won’t be wearing it again.’

‘Oh no. Well I’m sure you’ll look sexy as hell however bad it is.’

Jess laughed. ‘You haven’t seen it!’

Tom laughed. ‘So tonight. I somehow managed to get us into Al Fornios. We’ve got a 9pm reservation, I thought you’d appreciate later rather than earlier so you can go home and get changed and ready.’

She didn’t know what to say. Tom had been talking all weekend about going to their favourite restaurant tonight. Usually she’d be really excited, they usually only went there on special occasions like birthdays, anniversaries and… Shit. Jess looked round. No it couldn’t be. Was it? What was the date. Then she saw it. At the table opposite one of the teenagers who had managed to get a seat was showing her still standing friend a card. A huge red card with a teddy holding a heart on the front.

Damn, damn, damn.

‘Jess? Have I lost you? Bloody train signals.’

‘No, no I’m still here.’ She’d have to go out. She could suggest staying in, but then she’d have to cook. She’d have to go out. ‘That sounds great,’ she continued, hoping he wouldn’t pick up the **** she said it with. Maybe?

‘Are you sure?’ He didn’t give her a chance to answer before he carried on, and she knew she had to be sure. ‘We don’t have to, if you don’t want to.’ She hated the way he made he feel guilty with that voice. Like a sodding little lost puppy.

‘Yeah, course. Wouldn’t miss it for the world. Once I get home and have a shower and change, I’ll feel better. Nine is a great time, I’ll be fine by then.’

‘Excellent.’ Phew, she’d convinced him. Maybe if she could convince him, she could convince herself. Maybe. ‘Tell you what baby, why don’t I come round and help you shower?’

She smiled despite herself. Yes, that would be great. They may even decide to stay in after all.

Jess is a character I invented the other day when I did a little  random writing. In that writing she’d woken up late on the day she was supposed to be going bridesmaid dress shopping with her sister and Mum. When I read this prompt I realised how well it would fit in with the story, if it was valentines day they went shopping then she went home knackered.

I changed the ending a couple of times. I originally thought he would say that last line, but then I got shy, and worried about putting anything related to sex in a story. I saved it and went away, but it kept gnawing at me – it wasn’t the right ending, so I had to go back and change it. I’m shy about posting it, but I think it’s more plausible than what I wrote the first time.

So, please let me know what you think. As I’m getting back into writing and posting online, any words or wisdom or comments would be greatly appreciated. Have a good weekend everyone.

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8 thoughts on “Fiction Friday – Friday 18th Feb

  1. Hey! I’m getting back in the swing of things, too. I liked your story. You did a good job capturing the fatigue, the nuances in navigating relationships. I liked the ending, too.

    My own is a bit of a darker take on Valentine’s Day. Looks like we both chose Italian, though!

    • I think Italian and Valentines go really well 🙂

      Thank you, I’m glad you liked the ending, maybe I’ll stop shying away from things like this (it’s not like I’ve not mentioned sex anywhere before in my writing, I think I’m just wary cause I’ve not written anything for ages, so wasn’t sure of the boundaries).

      I did read your story at the weekend, but didn’t have time to comment. I loved it, it was so realistic. My other half, who never reads anything like this, read it over my shoulder and thought it was really good too – you may have a new reader in him! I’ll go and comment on the story when I get a chance. Can’t wait to see what you come up with this week.

  2. Great work here. I wouldn’t shy away from the ending. It’s a very tame hint at an intimate relationship. It also fits in well with the “feel” of the piece. It all comes off very natural.

    Great to see you that you’re back writing. I on the other hand am taking a little hiatus. Your return is encouraging. Maybe I’ll try for next week.

    • Thank you, I think from all these positive comments I’ll stop shying away from what I think I should write.

      You have a brilliant reason to be taking a break (I don’t think I’ve mentioned how gorgeous he is by the way). Hope you do manage to get something this week. I wouldn’t beat yourself up about it if you can’t – a new born baby must be more than enough to cope with, without thinking about writing too!

    • Thanks Annie – it’s so encouraging having so many people backing me. And I think I’ll definitely stop shying away from where I think the story should go.

      I’ll check out your story when I get a spare moment, and see you on Friday for another Fiction Friday 🙂

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