So, I sat down and wrote a story, which I will be posting in a minute. But this story was supposed to be for my writers group (which I’m going back to on Tuesday) and for this week’s Chrysalis prompt, but I didn’t something stupid. When I went through on the 1st to get all the prompts that I missed from the Chrysalis Experiment, I read this weeks wrong. I thought the prompt was ‘In honor of Memorial Day…’ instead of the poem-like thing it actually was. This is what I get for not reading the whole thing.
I am so smart, right? So, besides the fact that this is too late to go for this weeks prompt, because it’s the wrong prompt (or rather, not even the prompt) it’s just going to be for the writers group prompts.
Those prompts are:
- Dark window
And now, without further ado:
Bryan sighed as he looked up at the dark window. She was mad at him and he hated that. But he’d had to walk off, he’d had to leave her behind. It was for her own good, even if she didn’t believe him. He’d just turned away from her house, about to walk off and leave her alone like he should be when a voice caught him in his tracks.
“She’s worried about you, you know.”
Bryan turned back around, brown hair flopping into his eyes. Standing by the front porch, bathed in the light from the little lamp by the door, was Mrs. Taylor, Lauren’s adopted mom. Her graying hair was pulled away from her face that hid her age very well.
“What’re you talking about?” he asked, trying to sound nonchalant, as if pretending he didn’t care about Lauren any more didn’t shatter his soul and break his heart.
Mrs. Taylor gave him a small smile, one that Bryan knew well from his childhood, the smile the grownups at the adoption agency used to give him when a family visited him but didn’t want him. It was kind of sad, kind of knowing, and it hurt his heart. “Don’t pretend you don’t know, Bryan.” She looked up towards Lauren’s window then back at Bryan. She held his gaze for a moment, then turned and opened the screen door. “Her windows unlocked, if you want to go up,” she said then disappeared into the house. The porch light flipped off and left Bryan in darkness again.
He stared at the spot Mrs. Taylor had been standing in for what seemed like forever. There was something she wasn’t telling him, something she expected him to already know. But he had no clue, and it just left his brain in a state of derangement. He startled when he heard a car coming up the long road behind him. He turned and saw the headlights bouncing his way. There was only one person it could be, and only one way he could go: up the tree. He shouldered his bag, making sure it wouldn’t flop as he quickly climbed.
Bryan watched from inside the window as the car pulled up next to the house and the lights went out. Lauren’s blonde head emerged and headed inside. He heard the muffled voices down stairs through the floorboards then the soft thud of someone coming up the stairs. He held his breath as he waited for the door to open. There were two ways this could go, good or bad. He knew Lauren well enough to know that this was going to go badly.
The door opened and the lights flicked on with a small click. Lauren started as she saw him sitting in the middle of her floor. She opened her mouth to speak then quickly closed it. She shut the door, walked across the room and set her bag on the bed before she decided to give him her attention again.
“What’re you doing here, Bryan? You made it clear you wanted nothing to do with me anymore.” She put her hands on her hips and Bryan couldn’t help but smile. “Don’t smile at me, this isn’t funny.” He quickly dropped his smile.
“It’s your favorite holiday,” he said and reached for his bag.
He paused, then grabbed it and opened it. He pulled out a bottle and sparkling grape cider and two orange juice cups. “Can we just pretend everything is all right, for one last night? We’ll celebrate everything we’ve been through up till now, then I’ll leave you alone and we’ll forget each other.” He was relieved to hear that he sounded normal despite the pain tearing him apart in the inside.
Lauren studied him, the seconds beating on like hours. “It’s not much of a celebration without the others here.”
Bryan gave a small laugh. “They didn’t think they could do this,” he said sadly, eyes on the ground. “So we’ll drink in their stead. Think of it this way: it’s more drink for us.”Lauren nodded softly. “All right.” She took a seat on the floor across from him, leaning back against the side of her bed.
He poured the bubbly purple liquid into the two glasses and handed her one. Once she took it, he held his up, clearing his throat. “In honor of Memorial Day.”
Lauren lifted her glass. “In memory of everything we’ve been through together as a group of friends, the only family we’ll ever know or need.”
They clinked glasses then sipped.
They were quiet for a while, sitting on their opposite sides of the rooms, the feeling of their lost friendship weighing heavily on Bryan. Their Memorial Day celebrations used to be such wondrous things. Though it was all his fault that they weren’t together with the rest of the group in some dank warehouse with a few stolen bottles of cider. He’d told her to leave, to get lost, that she was no good for their operation anymore.
“I’m going to miss this,” Lauren finally said softly, tracing the lip of her glass with her finger.
Bryan smiled sadly. “Aren’t we supposed to be remembering the past tonight?”
“Remembering the past and looking forward to the future.” She nodded. “But it’s like we’re two riparian people, on opposite sides on the river, travelling in opposite directions now.”
They lapsed back into silence, Bryan not sure what to say to her and Lauren unable to speak as she fought back tears.
Finally, Bryan couldn’t take the silence any more. It was eating away at his conviction. He had to get out of there. He stuffed both cups into his bag and stood. “I’ve got to get going,” he said, not looking at her. He couldn’t. He didn’t want his last memory to be of her curled up in a sad little ball; he wanted to remember her smile and at least pretend that she was happier now. He pushed the window open and slipped out onto the tree limb. He was about to move down to the next limb when he paused then stuck his head back into her room. “Things are better on your side of the river, Lauren. I promise.”
Lauren looked up, eyes shining with tears, but he was gone already. She stood and crossed the room in just enough time to watch him darting off into the darkness. “I’ll make your side better, Bryan, no matter what I have to do.” She pulled the glass down and got ready for bed.
It’s a touch sad, I know. The characters are from a YA I’m working on. The YA itself is supposed to be from Lauren’s POV, but this story is to help me understand the characters and other pieces of the story better. So what’dya think?
Hmm… can’t think of anything else to report.