Friday, August 1, 2008

Short Story: [Untitled]

My Dear Reader,

As you may have guessed by now, I love writing letters, which explains why all of my posts are in letter form. The truth is that any time I write in the first person, I tend to make it a letter. It makes it easier to justify why the narrator is speaking and who the intended audience is. It also lets me speak through the character, which is pretty fun. So I hope you enjoy the following story in letter format. I wrote it yesterday morning after a stroke of genius, and I was originally going to call it "I Will Not Marry You, Mr. Brown." That was before I actually wrote it, and it was going to be a letter from an old spinster refusing some middle-aged Romeo or something. I liked the story it turned out to be a lot better. The problem is that I came up with this great title which no longer fits the story, and I can't get it out of my head long enough to think of something else. Thus, the task has fallen to you, Gentle Reader. After you've read the story, give me a title suggestion in the form of a comment. I'll choose the one I like the best. Good luck and happy reading!


Dear Jason,

First of all, I did no such thing.

Second, how dare you think that I would do something like that? How could you think she would do something like that?

Third, are you seriously so afraid of talking to me directly that you had to send me a letter about this?

I have told you before that you are a coward; you’ve proved me right again. You’ve known me for how long, four years? You really could have just asked me in person. Now I have to respond to you in kind, and you know how much I hate writing letters. You really need to stop being this melodramatic, or she’ll never marry you.

Sorry, that was a bit harsh. It was also the opposite of the point that I was trying to make. I don’t blame you for being upset, after all, I would probably feel the same way in your situation, but what you heard was absolutely not true. Would it help you if you heard what really happened from someone who was actually there? Fine, I’ll tell you. I’m not going to write pages and pages, so don’t ask me for more details after you’ve finished reading this. This whole thing isn’t any of my business anyway, and I’d prefer to stay out of it as much as possible.

Yes, we did go to New York, but your “facts” are all wrong. There were at least ten people who went with us, and if your grandmother was feeling better, we would have invited you, too. In fact, Christine didn’t want to go at first because you weren’t coming, but when I told her that she could either be in Philadelphia without you or New York without you, she agreed to come. It’s not like she should lock herself in her closet just because you’re away. Besides, she needed something to get her mind off of everything. Anyway, I wasn’t the one who invited Greg, and it wasn’t Christine, either. He invited himself, and since he had a car, we let him come. Maybe that was a bad idea, but we are all adults and we should be able to handle ourselves by now.

We did all of the things people usually do there. We saw some shows, we visited a few restaurants, and we saw some of the sights. Amy hadn’t been there before, and you know how Lucas is always trying to impress her, so we spent most of the time being dragged around by Lucas while he tried to sound knowledgeable about everything. It wasn’t that bad, since we were in good company, but I promise that I was with Christine nearly every second, and she barely even said two words to him during the whole trip. I don’t blame her, either, because he was trying to seduce just about every teenaged tourist he could find. In fact, I remember very clearly that Christine called him repulsive. Does that make you feel better?

On the last night we were there, we ended up in a bar. I don’t even know where it was. Now, I realize that this is the part where you think that I didn’t see what was going on, but I was there. Yes, I planned the trip, but I wasn’t driving, and if I didn’t have a choice about climbing up and down the Statue of Liberty, I definitely didn’t have a say as to how we should finish the evening. I was so tired by that point that I ordered my milkshake and sat in a booth in the corner. I could see everything from there. I suppose that Lucas’s mountains of facts were really starting to work on Amy, because they were all over each other. Across the room, I saw Greg and Christine talking. She had a glass in her hand, but I never saw her take a drink; she just stared at it with a guilty look in her eyes. I bet that he ordered it for her, and I bet that he knew why he shouldn’t. I think that he wanted to make her vulnerable, so I watched them closely so I could swoop in and save her if need be.

Don’t blame me for letting it get this far; she’s my best friend and I have to accept that she needs to make her own decisions. I was not, however, going to let this guy ruin everything, and you should know that I wouldn’t. I’ve gone to too many AA meetings with Christine already, and I wasn’t going to watch while she threw away everything she’d worked so hard for. For the record, I didn’t see her raise the glass to her lips even once, and you can imagine how proud I was of her. Instead, she was crying. I hope you realize that it was probably about you. He had his hand on her shoulder, and it seemed to help. I guess she’s sick of me telling her that it will be happily ever after. I noticed that Greg was drinking, but he didn’t try anything, and eventually the others got tired and wanted to go home. They asked Christine to drive and she declined, not because she was drunk, but because she was still upset. I drove. Greg said that he wasn’t ready to go yet, and let us take the car without him. He promised to take a taxi.

So, you see? They weren’t even in the same room together after that. I know that for a fact because we shared a room, and she was so drained that she went straight to bed when we got to the hotel. I read a chapter or two from my book until my head cleared from the smoke and alcohol, and I followed suit. It wasn’t until we woke up that we knew that Greg was in jail. He called his hotel room with his one phone call, and Lucas was unfortunate enough to answer it. He was so hysterical that I still don’t understand what Greg was accused of, exactly. I didn’t really want to know. It makes sense that he would say that Christine was with him so he could get out of it. Christine denied her part of it and refused to go with the others to get him, and I stayed with her. She was a mess, and she could use your support right now. Did you think of that? Anyway, the story ends with us piling in the two cars and having a silent and very awkward drive home. Of course he would ruin everything. We were just lucky that he didn’t do anything too stupid, and that he was released after twenty-four hours.

Now that you’ve read what happened, I want you to take a deep breath and think about all of this. Do you really think that she’d chose a jerk like Greg over a guy who drops everything to nurse his sick grandmother? Of course not. You should get on your knees apologize to her for even thinking such things of her, and when you’re done groveling to her, you should apologize to me for accusing me of putting her up to it. And don’t you dare write me another letter; you have my phone number and I want you to use it.

The next time you write me a letter like this again, I will personally go over to your apartment and slap you.

Your friend,


-Cecily Jane


Mollie said...

Good one. I had these flashbacks of the same emotions Wendy has about "letters" or "notes" being used to do dirty work. Anyways... I was trying to think of something clever so that I could win your little contest! My idea is some kind of spin off of the common (well, according to television, I guess) AA meeting greeting, "Hi, my name is so-and-so and I'm an alcoholic." I just couldn't figure out whose name to put in and what they were. :( I'll leave that to you if you so desire! : )

Mollie said...

I don't know if that made enough sense. I was thinking of not using the word "alcoholic" and coming up with something else to describe whichever character.

Molly said...

I love the beginninng. I like not knowing what she's responding to. As you know, I'm terrible with titles, so I don't have any suggestions yet, but I just love the first line.

mjh said...

I think I missed something. Why did he go to jail? Title--Claws and Friendship

Anonymous said...