Writers’ Retreat 5 – “Where’d You Go?” (A Short Story)

Writers Retreat’ is a new exercise I’m doing with Nive Gajiwala and Shachi Nelli, two aspiring writers who happen to be friends of mine.

Every day, one of us will suggest a brief to the group. The challenge is to produce 500-750 words, on that day, on the assigned topic.

Day 5’s brief is an essay suggestion that Nive found online:

While on a trip to another city, your spouse/lover meets and spends a night with an exciting stranger. Given that they will never meet again, and could never otherwise learn of the incident, would you want your partner to tell you about it?

HE: Where’d you go?

SHE: We stayed out for a bit. We hit this one bar, in Shoreditch. It was packed but… it felt friendly. The vibe was friendly and warm. And drunk. And then another one, a bit further up the street. And another one. And then we walked. We did a lot of walking. And  then we did breakfast at 7. I’m dead.

HE: Are you OK?

SHE: I’m fine. I’m great, babe. I don’t really want to talk about it, right now. But it was… it was everything we’d hoped it would be. I’m… I’m… I can’t explain how I feel. More real. Like I did something that most people don’t do, most people won’t ever do. And it feels so real.

HE: I want to know. I want to know everything.

SHE: I know you do. And I will. I’ll tell you everything. Just let me take a shower first, OK?

HE: OK. I’ll be here. Do you want some coffee?

SHE: Coffee would be great

*           *            *

HE: Tell me about it. I want to know everything.

SHE: It was exciting. It was… it was exciting.

HE: You look excited.

SHE: I am. I feel good. I feel… I dunno how to explain it. I feel… good. I feel good.

HE: I can’t believe you did that!

SHE: I can’t believe it either.

HE: I mean, when we talked about, it seemed… uhh. I dunno. It seemed like something you really wanted to do. And when you admitted it to me, I guess I felt like you owed it, to yourself, and to me, to try it. I just want you to be happy, and I want you to continue discovering who you are, always. Every second.

SHE: Can you just kiss me, please?

HE: You know, when we agreed that it was something you should do, it excited me too. It did. But while it was happening… when you walked away. It was terrifying. Uhh…  I don’t know. I was nervous. I couldn’t be there with you, I didn’t know where you were, or if you were OK.

SHE: You know that if anything had gone wrong, if anything had even sort of suggested that it might go in a less than perfect direction, that I’d have called you, even before it happened.

HE: I know. But, when you left… it felt weird. You were so flushed, and happy, and I was so proud of you, but I felt powerless. I felt alone.

SHE: You know as I walked away, I couldn’t help but think about how sexy you are, how strong you are, that you just stood there, and let me try this, because you wanted to make happy, and to let me try things.

HE: It was. I guess, I dunno. I haven’t seen you that excited in a while. And… it was. It was great. Like the old you was back.

SHE: The old me was a mess.

HE: She was a lot less stressed out.

SHE: She was a bit of a douche.

HE: Maybe a bit.

SHE: The old me would never have married you.

HE: Still regretting that, aren’t you!

SHE: Not once. Not one day, not one second, darling.

HE: I love you.

SHE: I love you.

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