Story! (?)

So, I have an actual short story to share!  This is an older one from some time last semester, but I just felt like sharing it.  As of right now, it doesn’t actually have a title…but I thought it was a cute little story (Especially with Valentine’s Day right around the corner!)   Tell me what you think!   Also, ignore the weird paragraphing and lack of indentions.  That’s the blog’s fault, not mine. :)

Gwen:  Scents of crêpes and fruit wafted through the cool morning air while I listened to the chatter of conversations float by.  Slowly, I drifted into a world of my own.  Brunch with my friends at the Corvét Museum had gradually become more and more of an obligation, and less of a treat.  Although I loved the scrumptious food that the French chef served, I felt like I was only coming out of habit, not pleasure.  My friends from school all had exciting jobs and boyfriends, while I was merely a journalist for the local newspaper, living alone in my little house with my dog.

A breeze blew my bangs across my face, and I quickly came back to real life.  Coming into the restaurant from outside was a group of friends that often had brunch at Corvét’s when we did.  A tall brunette from the group caught my eye; he looked vaguely familiar, as if I had once known him.  Today, he looked as bored as I felt.  Neat, polished, and handsome, he was easily the best-looking man in the group, and yet I had never seen him come in to brunch with anyone.  Maybe he’s obnoxious, I mused, drifting back into my own world.

“Darling, what are you doing?” I glanced up at my best friend, Lea, who had shot the question at me from across the table.

“Oh….uh…” I looked at her helplessly.

“Aren’t you feeling well?  You know, darling, you shouldn’t be out and about if you’re sick.” Although Lea often put on airs, I knew that she truly cared for me.

“Oh! I’m fine.  I just got distracted.  You know me, never where I should be.”

“Mentally, at least. Physically, you’re just right.” Lea grinned at me, and I smiled weakly in return.  “Really, Gwen, I don’t know where you go sometimes!”

 

Andrew:   I followed my friends listlessly as the hostess led us to a table.  Arrangements of flowers, cleverly positioned to divide the large room, were dangerous obstacles to my unobservant mind.  The old greenhouse, which was attached to the old Corvét mansion, was nearly full with neatly dressed guests.

“Come on, mate.  Where are you going?” I turned to my oldest friend, Daniel, as his question slowly processed through my  brain.

“Sorry, Dan.  Just out of it today.”

“It’s fine, just don’t run into anything!  Now come on, or we’ll be stuck on the edge of the booth!”

Predictably, Dan and I were the last ones to get to the table, and were thus stuck on the outside.  I was always on the outside.

Across from our table sat a group of friends, similar to our own.  I had seen them here a couple of times before; it seemed like they liked the chef’s crêpes as much as we did.  One of the girls in the group, a slender blonde, had caught my eye every time I saw her.  She looked so familiar.  I knew that I knew her from somewhere, I just couldn’t think of where.  So every time I saw her, I must admit that I stared rather shamelessly.  The way that she constantly played with her hair and sang under her breath seemed so…original, I was sure that whoever she was, I knew her from somewhere.  Whoever she may have been though, it had been a long time since I had seen her last.

As I was wracking my brain, her group got up and left.  I allowed a small sigh to escape me as her slight figure walked away.

 

Gwen:  Two weeks after brunch at Corvét’s, after I had already gone to bed for the night, Lea called me.

“Hello dear.  How would you feel about some brunch on Saturday?  I haven’t seen you in weeks, you know, and you need to get out.  Don’t tell me you’re busy.  I know that you aren’t.  So you must come.  We’ll be there at our usual time.  Don’t be late!”

“All right…if you insist…” Too late for me to be functioning properly, I stupidly accepted Lea’s demand.

“Excellent.”  With a click, Lea ended the call, and I went back to bed.

Two days later, I arrived at the museum at exactly eleven o’ four.  Four minutes late.  I knew that Lea would be miffed; she’s big on promptness, but right then, I didn’t care.

“Hello! Welcome to the Corvét Café.  Is it just you?”  The hostess looked over me contemptuously, scorning me for my loneliness.

“Oh, no.  I’m with a group.  They’re probably already seated.  I’m just a tad late…oh! There they are! Thank you!”  I hurriedly walked away from the hostess to join my friends.  “Hey guys, sorry I’m late.  Traffic was bad.”  In this, I was straight-up lying.  The streets had been perfectly clear.  In actuality, I had left my house four minutes late.

“Bad traffic?  In Merrytown?  How odd.” Lea gave me a scrounging look.

“Well, there was a train.”

“Now that sounds more like Merrytown!” Lea’s boyfriend, Josh, cut in.  “I swear, more trains pass through this town than the rest of the U.S. put together!”

I slid into the booth.  The table was cramped; Corvét’s had been getting really busy recently.  For the Saturday morning brunches, the staff had even added extra tables.

“Gosh, it’s crowded in here.  I hope the Fire Marshal doesn’t come in!” I remarked to the world at large.  As I scanned the menu, I noticed that the group of friends that had sat near us last time were seated beside us again.

“Darling,” Lea called.  I rolled my eyes at her attempted grandeur.

“Yes, Lea?”

“Would you like to go shopping after this?  I need a dress for Josh’s work’s

Christmas party, and I would love your opinion.  I know that you aren’t going (obviously), but for a girl with such a small salary, you have a great style.”  Lea’s invitations were never optional.  They were commands.  However, I really didn’t want to go dress shopping with Lea, and this time, I had an excuse.  After taking a swallow of my ice-cold lemonade, I replied.

“Sorry Lea, but I can’t.  I have to review the Corvét’s new exhibit.  Nature Photography.  My review is due on Monday, and they’re closed tomorrow.  Since I’m already here, I was thinking about going right after brunch.”

“Ugh.  Work over the weekend?  Your boss sucks.  Well, I guess it will just have to been Sara and I then!”  Lea grinned at her friend, Sara, a girl that I had never liked.  She was rude and condescending to all but a select few; of whom I had never been included.

Slowly, everyone finished their brunches and floated away to enjoy their exciting lives.  Eventually, I was the only one left at the table, stuck waiting for my check.  Once it finally came, I paid and stood up to go, ready to write my review and go home, when I accidentally ran right into the tall brunette from the group of friends beside me.  Like the idiot that I am, I also managed to trip over my own two feet.

“Whoa, there.  Are you all right?” He smiled as he steadied me.

“Oh, gosh, yes, I’m fine.  Thanks.  I’m so sorry, I wasn’t watching where I was going.”  Blushing horribly, I was sure that he could hear my heartbeat.

“Don’t worry about it.” The man turned to walk away, but then he caught my eye, and paused.  “Wait…is your name Gwen…?”

“Yes…” I responded, curious.  He grabbed my hand.

“Do you remember me?  My name’s Andrew.  We were friends when we were little.  We used to be neighbors, but then you moved away…” He gazed at me achingly.  I furrowed my brow, searching through my brain, wanting it to be true, yet thinking it probably wasn’t.

“No…but I moved around a lot when I was a kid.”

“Just…try to remember,” he begged me, “I’m sure that I know you.  I’ve thought so since I first saw you, but I couldn’t think of where I knew you from until now.”

“No…I really don’t think I know you.  I’m sorry.”  I squinted.  “Wait…” I leaned in toward him, trying to see his face through my nearsighted eyes.  “Wait…I think I do know you! Andrew! Yes!” I cried as the memories came flooding back to me.  “You had a dog named…Dot?  And…we would go to the pool together…and then you would come back to my house and eat all the ice cream. Oh my gosh!  I do remember you! Why are you here?”  Through all of this, Andrew had kept hold of my hand.  Suddenly, he swept me into his arms.  Even though I hadn’t seen Andrew in years, I relaxed in his hug.  Some part of me still knew him, trusted him, wanted“I’m sorry, that was probably inappropriate.  I just…I felt…” Andrew had finally let me go, but when he did, I found that I missed his presence.

“It’s fine.  Don’t worry about it.”  I smiled, “I know how you feel.”  I didn’t want to leave Andrew, but I knew that a parting was inevitable.  Please, don’t go, I thought to him.  I just got you back.

“Hey! Andy! Let’s go!” One of Andrew’s friends yelled at him from across the room.  Andrew smiled shamefacedly.

“I better go,” he said.  “My friends are waiting.  I’m sorry.  Maybe I’ll see you around?  Next time you see me, don’t be afraid to come and say ‘hi.’”

“Okay,” I managed. “‘Bye Andrew…”

“‘Bye Gwen,” Andrew smiled gently, then turned around and walked away.

I watched him go, standing all alone by my deserted table, wishing that I was brave enough to stop him.

“Third time’s the charm…” I whispered to myself.

 

Thanks for bothering to read this!

Claire Marie

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