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Tiaras and Trucks

Friday, September 16, 2011

Fourteen Hours

Fourteen hours and eleven minutes separated elation and anxiety.

Tangled together in bed this morning, limbs and sheets and hair twisted into a comfortable cocoon, Drew had leaned over her.

“Move in with me?”

Her eyebrows drew together for a brief instant before smoothing perfectly back into her creamy brow.  Bright eyes danced as she drew his lips down to her own, answering his question with a teasing kiss that quickly turned urgent.

“Going to the gym, babe!” Corrine yelled in the general direction of the bathroom, almost an hour later.  “I’ve got meetings all day, but I’ll see you around six.”

The door slammed before he had a chance to say he loved her.

Before he realized she had never really answered him.

Shampoo stung his eyes as he stared at the tiled wall, dispassionately analyzing what had seemed recklessly passionate moments before.

Fourteen hours and twelve minutes later, it was after six, and she still hadn’t returned.

Drew paced.

His small loft wasn’t built for pacing.  The view of the water and proximity to his favorite restaurants had meant more than square footage.  After all, a single guy didn’t take up much room, and he’d never been a dog person.

Back and forth and back and forth.

From the sliding balcony door to the stainless steel kitchen sink and back took less than twenty seconds.

He should have gone for a run after work, killed some time, cleared his mind.  His running shoes were by the closed door, always waiting to envelop his feet and take whatever beating he was willing to give them.

Back and forth.

Nervously, he picked up a framed photo of the two of them, taken on some ski trip with her friends.  She loved the candid shot, their foreheads touching, her eyes discovering the camera at the last moment, laughter spilling from her eyes before it reached the rest of her features.

Fourteen hours and thirteen minutes.

Unable to stop himself, he glanced down at his watch, the chrome face mocking him with its unmoving numbers.

Anxious eyes carried to the door, fading almost to grey each time he realized the knob hadn’t begun to twist open.

He forced himself to stop pacing and instead leaned his forehead against the wall of eastward facing windows, willing the rhythmic waves to lull him back to the serenity he had felt that morning, wrapped in her warmth, before he had said anything about their future.

The door opened.

He turned.

Relief washed over him the moment he saw her face, light sparkling the amber of her eyes into gold, richly telling him everything he needed to know. 

In seconds, he crossed from the windows to where she stood, offering her mouth to him with a sigh.

She danced away a moment later.  Another sigh.

“I can’t Drew.  I just can’t,” she finally answered.

Fourteen hours and twenty-one minutes after he had realized he was utterly, inescapably in love, he realized she wasn’t.

He discovered that sometimes eyes lied.

For those of you following Greta's story, I thought we could find out a little more about the new man in her life.  If you don't "know" Greta, you can catch up or take this as a stand-alone piece.

 
the prompt:
This week we’d like you to explore romantic heartbreak. For you fiction writers, here’s a chance to really delve into the psyche of your character. For you non-fiction folk, well, maybe it’s into your psyche you must delve. We all remember that first love, just like we all remember when our hearts broke for the first time.
Write a piece – 600 word limit – about the first heartbreak your character or you experienced.

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24 Comments:

  • At September 16, 2011 at 7:08 AM , Anonymous Galit Breen said...

    Go you! The heartbreak here is so touchable, it hurts. And how much do I love that you turned traditional roles upsidedown?

    One more time: Go you!

    XO

     
  • At September 16, 2011 at 9:36 AM , Anonymous Kir said...

    OH Ang, first I loved the descriptions, I felt the hurried Morning sex, her heading out and him wondering if she had really answered him. Wow.

    Plus that last line, "sometimes eyes lied" just slayed me, oh my. The words were just perfect, your writing getting better, deeper with every piece. Poor Drew, his heart shattered right in front of us.

     
  • At September 16, 2011 at 11:27 AM , Anonymous shellthings said...

    Oh, such heartbreak! And why won't she???

     
  • At September 16, 2011 at 12:36 PM , Anonymous AwayWeGoNancy said...

    I love the masterful and consistent way that you bring emotion to the reader's mind. Her expression of surprise with the eyebrows was especially well done.

    I really like the setting here. I can see that loft, feel the coldness of the stainless steel. It's a bit of a symbol of life out of love, and becomes another character in his heartbreak.

    I like the framing device, although I confess I stumbled a bit over the first line.

     
  • At September 16, 2011 at 1:40 PM , Anonymous Pepca said...

    I liked the steady pout of feelings escalating to the end. Well done! 

     
  • At September 16, 2011 at 3:24 PM , Anonymous Carrie said...

    Qucik question: the woman is Greta, correct? She's in a new relationship with Drew but doesn't think it is serious? Because at one point you refer to the woamn as Corinne so I just want to make sure I'm not completely confused :)

    Beyond that, I love the repetition of the time and his pacing and waiting for her answer. It's such a switch to see this from a male POV.

     
  • At September 16, 2011 at 3:43 PM , Anonymous Angela said...

    No, it's not Greta :)  This happens before he meets Greta; I guess I didn't qualify it enough, and I apologize. 

    Thanks for your comments about the time.  I worried that was a little too much in such a short piece.

     
  • At September 16, 2011 at 4:14 PM , Anonymous Emily @ My Pajama Days said...

    Aack! Poor Drew. I liked this line: "Shampoo
    stung his eyes as he stared at the tiled wall, dispassionately
    analyzing what had seemed recklessly passionate moments before." Perhaps he is already questioning asking her to move in? You made her body language loud and clear to the reader. Too bad Drew didn't catch on sooner.

     
  • At September 16, 2011 at 5:28 PM , Anonymous Stacey said...

    I love that this is from a guy's perspective. I think when most people think heartbreak they think about a woman. I especially loved the line at the end when he realizes she's not in love with him.

     
  • At September 17, 2011 at 6:45 AM , Anonymous dosweatthesmallstuff said...

    Reading this gave me a mini-heartbreak of my own!  I could 'sense' Drew's growing panic, desperation, and anxiety while he was waiting for Corrine.  I found myself worried, along with his character, unsure about what would happen.  

    Then your writing took me to new heights when the door opened and it was Corrine!  But it was short-lived, and when she broke his heart, my heart felt a little broken too!  

    That's how amazing your writing is!  You took me on a roller-coaster ride with this one!

     
  • At September 17, 2011 at 4:01 PM , Anonymous Angela said...

    Guys have their hearts broken, too, right?

    Thanks Galit :)

     
  • At September 17, 2011 at 4:01 PM , Anonymous Angela said...

    Thanks Kir!  I'm enjoying the piecing together of their story.  It's taking me to a different place than I expected, but that's ok.

     
  • At September 17, 2011 at 4:03 PM , Anonymous Angela said...

    Well, if she did, he wouldn't be able to later date my main character :)  LOLOL

    I think she isn't ready for the commitment he desires, but I don't know how much of Corrine's story I'll write.  I needed his background more than anything :)

     
  • At September 17, 2011 at 4:04 PM , Anonymous Angela said...

    You're right; the first line is awkward.  I'll work on that before putting it up with the rest of the links on my "Greta" page.

    Thank you for the lovely compliment.  

    Also, I have always wanted to live somewhere like that.  It will have to be my retirement loft now, and the young people in the building will roll their eyes and wish I would move out.

     
  • At September 17, 2011 at 4:05 PM , Anonymous Angela said...

    Thank you so much.  

     
  • At September 17, 2011 at 4:05 PM , Anonymous Angela said...

    Poor Drew, right?  He'll be happy in the end; I just know it :)

     
  • At September 17, 2011 at 4:06 PM , Anonymous Angela said...

    I think there are certain guys that are ready for commitment before their partners, but I guess they're probably in the minority?  I've never dated one, that's for sure :)

     
  • At September 17, 2011 at 4:07 PM , Anonymous Angela said...

    Yay!!  I wanted that door-opening moment to feel climactic, like it did for him.  Poor guy :)

     
  • At September 18, 2011 at 5:02 PM , Anonymous Tomekha said...

     after heI love that it's from a man's perspective-that was unexpected.

    I felt his anxiety and worry and his heartbreak - what is it you said - fourteen hours and twenty one minutes after he realised he was utterly, inescapably in love, he realised she wasn't. #devastating

     
  • At September 18, 2011 at 7:07 PM , Anonymous CDG said...

    I've got nothing to critique except I think the word "seemed" was supposed to be pulled from your first line.

    I love how the geography of his loft is almost a character in this. He seems to be projecting an assumed inadequacy onto his space, when clearly the trouble lies with Corinne and her feelings. Or lack thereof.

    Poor guy.

     
  • At September 19, 2011 at 7:53 PM , Anonymous Cheryl said...

    At first I thought this was about Greta! Phew! I like that he has some heartache. And it'll be interesting to see how his life changes with Greta.

     
  • At September 20, 2011 at 11:57 AM , Anonymous Angela said...

    He needs heartache, right?  If he comes to her undamaged, that won't work!

     
  • At September 20, 2011 at 11:57 AM , Anonymous Angela said...

    You're right.  Off to fix that right now :)

    Poor guy.  It's not the size of your loft, it's the magic in it...or something like that ;)

     
  • At September 20, 2011 at 11:58 AM , Anonymous Angela said...

    I know, poor guy.  It's hard to face that moment, when you realize your feelings aren't reciprocated in the way you want :(

     

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