Friday, February 8, 2013


In keeping with “changing it up,” when I asked Carrie for a line from a novel, I asked her to give me the last line. That’s right class, this week, you have to END on the prompt, not begin with it. Carrie chose Judy Blume’s Tiger Eyes, which ends with:
Maybe that’s the way it’s supposed to be.

Maybe that's the way it's supposed to be, Elena thought, maybe I was meant to be alone.  She lay on her back, staring in the direction of the ceiling.  The dawn was slowly creeping into the room, inserting its light into the smallest of crevices.  Soon she could see muzzy details of the room.   She sat up with a sigh, looking around for her clothes.  The man next to her stirred with the movement of the bed, and she hung suspended with a silent prayer on her lips.  As he drifted off once more, Elena slowly slid her body off the edge of the bed and onto the floor, where her movements would now pass unnoticed.  She gathered her clothes into a ball, along with her shoes and purse, and made her way out of the room, down the hall, and into the bathroom, closing the door as quietly as she could manage.  

Elena had always believed that love would be a bolt of lightning, striking her down suddenly, elevating her heart and filling it with the passion of an electrical charge.  And yet, in all this time, all these men, she had only felt a cold numbness, as if she were frozen.  Elena stared at herself in the bathroom mirror, her eye makeup smeary, her hair flattened on one side.  She dimly noted the rawness of a bite mark on her shoulder, but she felt nothing.  Except a blossoming anger at herself.

What are you doing, Elena-girl?  Her father used to call her that, and the admonitions seemed more appropriate coming in his voice.  She needed him more than ever and sudden grief pierced her numbness like a stiletto.   Every night, you're waking up in a different bed, and the next day you just toss them aside.  What are you looking for?   

Love, Daddy.  I'm looking for love.  A single tear pulled the last of her mascara off of her lashes, leaving a black trail down her cheek. I've been looking for so long.

And have you found it yet?  No.  Whoever told you that love was to be found between the sheets with strange men?  And how can you find love when you run off so quickly every time?

How, indeed?  Elena turned on the faucet and began to scrub at her face as if she could erase all of her sins along with her ravaged makeup.  Her lip quivered then, her eyes shining back at her.

Maybe I'm just supposed to be alone, Daddy, she admitted. Maybe I'm never meant to find love.  Her tears fell freely now, and Elena shakily sat down on the edge of the tub and let them come.  All the tears she had never cried were allowed to come.  When she calmed down enough, she blew her nose, finished dressing, then faced herself in the mirror with new resolve.

Stop feeling sorry for yourself and acting the fool.  Your Daddy raised you better than that. Love doesn't come on command, Elena-girl.  It has its own timetable.  It will be here when it is time, and not a moment before. And if you're meant to be alone, well, you're a smart girl.  Surely you'll be able to find something else to do. 

Elena nodded and smiled at her reflection before throwing her purse over one shoulder and hurrying out the door.  She ran smack into a man's hard chest, knocking them both over in her hurry to get to her new life.  She heard his voice just before she slammed into him. "Maybe that's the way it's supposed to be."


  1. I like that she uses her father's voice to chastise herself. Id like to know more of why the lover made his comment. Was he thinking he was supposed to be always alone as well?

  2. There is so much emptiness here, filled with so much want and desire and longing. Excellent.

  3. Omg. I used to be Elena. These days, it amazes me how so many women feel that they "need" a man, like they aren't able to love themselves unless someone else loves them. I'd love to read more.

    Like Renee, I was wondering why the man made that comment, as well.

  4. This was a good story. The internal dialogue is well written, though I too wonder how the man knew what to say at the end. Nice writing, Tina!

  5. I loved how you portrayed her torment. The use of the father as a conscious was well done. I wasn't sure about the ending though. It felt a bit abrupt.


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