Friday, November 11, 2011

Red Writing Hood: The Breakup

Prompt: I challenge you to write a conversation. This is fiction, and it was a bit out of my comfort zone!

He approached my locker when the hallway was congested with students struggling to get to class on time. I turned around, and he was there. Over his shoulder, I could see a group of his friends stationed at a discreet distance. For once.

"Hey," he said. He couldn't quite look me in the eye, but he was trying. He finally turned his head toward the exit at the end of the hall, and gave me peripheral eye contact. He seemed to be rocking side to side as he shuffled his feet.

"What's up?" The door to my locker slammed as I turned around, and I stood there stiffly hugging my books to my chest. We both stared at the exit sign for a couple of seconds, then I lifted my chin and faced his profile. I waited.

"Yeah, well..." he trailed off, head moving toward his shoulder in an eloquent shrug as he stared at the ground.

"Just tell me, David." I rolled my eyes. I shuffled my feet impatiently.

"I don't think we should go out anymore." David clamped his lips together. His jaw worked as though he were chewing the bones of his words. He looked over his shoulder at his friends.

I looked up at the ceiling, chewing my lower lip. I breathed in the stale, funky, hallway air. Then I let it all go in a rush, and shrugged.

"Okay. See you around." I walked quickly away from my locker, listening for the sound of the tardy bell.


  1. He seemed to struggle with getting the words out, while she just accepted the verdict, appearing calm and unruffled - almost as if she knew what was coming.
    Was it a sense of: resignation, I-don't-care or relief on her part, when she "let it all go in a rush, and shrugged"?

  2. She had to know it was coming to be so cool and walk away. That kind of detachment is rare in teen girls. Something else must be up with her. What?

  3. For being out of you comfort zone it was like I was there--well done!

  4. I am totally in that hallway, actually standing between them, measuring his discomfort and her lackadaisical response. She seems hurried as if she knew it was coming and she wanted it over already. I really do wonder what happened between them.

    Excellent job for being out of your comfort zone.

  5. Wow. I thought you did an excellent job of creating the dialogue and the tension between teens. All the unspoken words dangling in between the actual words is so typical of this age group.

    I loved the honestly you showed in having the girl just walk away. We both know they'll be tears later, but NOT in front of the crowd!

    Well done:!)

  6. I like this. But I think the girl's deceiving herself about letting go. She knew it was coming, so she could psych herself up for it. And good for her for coming off strong to him when he dropped the bomb. But I bet she'll be crying later.

    Good stuff!

  7. For not liking fiction you did a great job.

    I like how she seemed just fine with it but he didn't. It was like he was doing it but didn't really want to.... peer pressure perhaps?

  8. Oh, I like how she took it so coolly. It made me wonder if she didn't care, or if she was going to retreat to a private place and fall apart. Well done!

  9. Oh, ouch to high school. And another ouch for public break ups.

    I love the awkward of it all- the shuffling feet, and the backward glances.

    This line -as though he were chewing the bones of his words- is perfection.

    Go you!

  10. I'm not sure she did see it coming until his friends weren't with him. I can remember similar conversations, and the ability to, while the guy was watching, hold it all in and be nonchalant.

    Will she fall apart in a bathroom stall later?

    Either way, you captured the essence of such conversations really well.


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