Monday Meanders?

Actually, we will not meander much, today.  There's been something on my mind - a chance, perhaps, to revivify the "Inferno", the writer's site that I once wrote for, and supervised, for a while.  On the other hand, nothing has been said yet, by anybody, anywhere - so it's just speculation at this point.

But it's been on my mind.  So I went back there and re-read some of the things I wrote there.  And I thought I might reprint one of my stories.  One I like.

What follows was written for a challenge entitled "Illusions" - and though it wasn't titled at the time it was first published, I guess "Illusions" is good enough as a title.

They sat side by side, as they had for some time - head down, arms folded across the chest, feet crossed at the ankle.

The strain - the tension - between them was palpable.

"I thought we had something special", he said, "I thought you loved me."

"I do. I do love you. You don't understand."

"What don't I understand? Help me out here, because I'm really trying. Tell me what it is I don't understand."

"I ... I don't know if I can. I don't know if I can put it in terms you'll understand."

"There's that word again. Understand. I hate that word. What IS there that I can't understand?"


"You're right - I don't understand you. I love you more than life itself, but that ain't good enough. And I don't understand why."

"I can't be what you want me to be - I'm not what you think I am."

"You see? You keep on saying that, but you say no more. What do you mean?"

"You. You don't understand us. You have all these illusions about women - about who we are and what we are supposed to be. You think we're capable of all these high and mighty things and I can't live up to that - I can't be the woman you think I'm supposed to be able to be. What I don't understand is where you get this stuff - where does all this crap come from?"

He unfolded his arms.

"I don't know ... from here?"

His hand covered his heart.

"Or maybe ... from here?"

His hand went to his head.

"Okay ... wherever they come from, there isn't a woman in the world who can live up to your ideals. Or if there is, I don't know who she would be. It's certainly not me."

"So, what do we do? Do we just call it quits? Do you want me to go?"

She unfolded her arms and reached out, placing her hand on the back of his neck.

"No, silly. I don't want you to go. I love you, too. I just want you to lose those illusions about me. There's this person you expect me to be and I can't be her - and I won't try. I don't want to disappoint you, but there's just no way."

"So? Do we work on this? We CAN work on this, right?"

He reached out and pulled her close. He kissed her forehead. She looked up at him.

"I suppose. But I mean it. You have GOT to cut it out."

"Okay. I will. Promise. I'll try really, really hard."

"Starting now? Right now?"

"Okay. Right now."

They stood, embraced, kissed, then looked each other in the eye.

"You see?", he asked. "You're better than you think you are."

She stomped his foot, uttered an exasperated yell, turned around and stalked away.

"What?", he asked. 


Big Mark 243 said...

This was great! A little editing and Nebraska and I could have played this scene..! Shoot, we may HAVE and did not realize it..!

PattiKen said...

It's clearly a Venus and Mars thing.

Hey, if you revive the Inferno, let me know. I participated a few times. It was after you'd left, I think.

Rusty said...

This was the right one to bring out of the archives. You always write great conversations between the characters. Its hard to imagine that you can see both characters so clearly and get their point of view and convey it so well.