Monday, April 18, 2011

All Things Considered

This is my entry for the Indie Ink Writing Challenge. This is my first time and I feel a little nervous because the other writers are just awesome (for the lack of a better superlative). The challenge I received is at the bottom of the post. Here goes

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Her heart was beating faster with every step she took to her son's room. She had made that trip a million times and yet had never realized there were so many steps from the living room to his bedroom.
He was lying on his bed with a sullen look on his face.
Hi sweetie, how was school today?
Don't "how was school today" me!
She felt a little cheered up. At least it was not the silent treatment. She thought about asking about homework, but wisely decided not to.
I want to talk to you about something. I know I should have checked with you before doing anything. It's not like I am the only person who is affected by this.
Well duh!
She could see his mind churn furiously, searching for a better response.
I know, I know! I screwed up this time. But you should think about this from my perpective too. It's hard for a woman like me to get out there.
The minute she became a little defensive, the anger came back flushing into his hot cheeks.
No no, that is not a reason! If I trash the house tomorrow because I feel upset, would you consider that from MY perspective? Or the next time I fail an English class and tell you it's because I hate reading, would you let me off without bringing the roof down with your high pitched shrieks? So to answer your question, no, I refuse to consider anything from your perspective. If anything, you should have thought about me. I don't know how I am going to face my friends tomorrow. How about thinking about that for a change?
She blinked back her tears after the eloquent tirade. She agreed with everything he said. What was she thinking!
I am sorry.
She said the words she came to say and said it again.
I am sorry. I really am. I know this is a difficult transition for you. Your father left less than six months ago and I know it must feel awful to see your mother out on a date with your classmate's father. But it has been hard after your father left and it's been a while since anyone made me feel pretty. But obviously it is too soon and at any rate I should have talked to you before I did anything. I didn't mean for you to find out this way, when you spotted us at the restaurant yesterday. I will call him tonight and tell him that I can't see him again. You are the most important person in my life.
She felt a wave of relief washing over her entire being the minute the words were out. She had really struggled with alternating feelings of guilt and romance pulsing through her mind the entire time on the date. She wondered how her ex husband had managed to cheat on her for more than a year and claimed to have enjoyed it.
Oh you wanted to feel pretty! Is that why you bust out my Halo:Reach out of the XBox without saving my campaign and put in your stupid Biggest Loser Kinect game? You know I was playing that campaign with my friends on Live. How many times do I have to tell you that you do not just pop out a game from the Xbox without hitting save? Do you know how long it's going to take for me to get to where I was? Why couldn't you have used the Wii Fit instead?
She stared him, hearing but not comprehending what he was saying.
Did you even hear what I said?
Oh that, yeah whatever. I mean, don't make me be nice to his kid or anything. Or let me see anything that will make me throw up.
She looked at him trying to hold back a different kind of tears this time. He had been a Daddy's boy ever since he was a baby and this could not be as easy as he made it out to be. She remembered the look of surprise on his face when he had seen her yesterday and it had broken her heart into a million pieces. She knew that he had done a lot of soul searching, after all the light in his room had been on until after midnight yesterday. She was being let off easy only because he wanted to and she was grateful for that. Sometimes, wise men take refuge under video games.
So let's make it a rule. The XBox is off limits to you. Or if you want to use it, send me a text asking if it is ok. You know we should just move the big TV and the XBox into my room. The Wii does not do HD, so you can make do with my TV.
She gathered him, despite his protests and gave him a big hug and after a few seconds he hugged her back too. Sometimes, the best conversations happen when people don't say out loud exactly what they are thinking.
She skipped down the stairs, humming a tune. They were going to be alright.

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My prompt:
Dialogue between a parent and child over a serious mistake the parent has made.
My prompt was from Joelyn. Thank you for this prompt. It was hard to do dialogue only and I hope you don't mind the narratives I sneaked in between.

14 comments:

Jody Morgan said...

I loved it! You did a great job and I give you props for it being only your first time!!

Thank you so much for giving the prompt such thought and design!!

janani said...

Wow thank you so much. Glad that you liked how I handled it. It was a good prompt, it gave me direction, but let me roam where I wanted to.

Debra Ann Elliott said...

Great take on the chllenge. Enjoyed reading it!

Marian said...

i love how the child sounds like the parent at the end, on the subject of game systems. i like your style & look forward to more! welcome to the challenge.

Dafeenah said...

Great job! You are way more awesome than you give yourself credit for!

Stef said...

HA! I knew you could shadow kick that prompt into submission.

Great job!

supermaren said...

I think you did a fine job with the dialogue. Why's interesting is that the italics made it seem like all these words were being thought, rather than spoken out loud, which gives the conversation another dimension. Welcome to the challenge!

janani said...

Thanks Debra, Dafeenah, Stef and supermaren. Your comments are very encouraging.

@supermaren, Yes I thought about how switching the italics, but I thought this would place the emphasis on her thoughts. I need more practice in writing a dialogue without using a narrative as a crutch

Elanchezhiyan Elango said...

I started following you thinking it was one of my friend's Janani. :P Relaised longtime back that I didn't know you. Still kept reading your blog. This one was totally worth it. More than the writing, I felt, the emotional content of the material was very good! All the best.. :)

janani said...

Wow Elango, thanks for your comment. I am so glad that I have a common name since that brought you to my blog. :) I was very doubtful about this, your comment really made my day.

Kat said...

I loved the narrative. I don't think the story would have the same intensity without it. Well done!

janani said...

Thanks Kat! I am looking forward to your entry :)

Karla said...

Ha, this was great! THIS is life, THIS is parenting, we are all parties to the same dramas but come at them from such different perspectives. In a way, I guess that's what makes it so challenging. You captured this sentiment brilliantly!

Sasi said...

Good one ! Looks like the universe listened to ur previous post ...