Today I’m linking up with the Red Dress Club! Here’s today’s prompt, courtesy of Katie / @Ksluiter:
Hemingway was famous for his super sparse writing. He used almost only dialogue in many of his works. Write a piece in which you use ONLY dialogue. (I’m bending the rules because, well, I can.)
“Let’s go someplace where we can talk,” Jessie said as I got into her car.
“What about P.J.’s? I’m seriously craving an iced mocha,” I suggested.
“Nah, I was thinking of someplace quieter. I just really need to tell you something,” she said.
“Okay. Well, wherever you wanna go is fine, you’re the one driving,” I said, as I reached over to switch on the radio. I started humming along with Dave Matthews.
“So how are you? Are you going back up to school next week?” she asked.
“Yes! I’m so ready. I’m sick of talking to my shrink, sick of thinking about it all, and I really just want to get back to normal. Whatever that is. You know?”
“You’re not going to hurt yourself again, are you? Because I gotta tell ya, that scared the shit out of me Erin. You just can’t do that,” Jessie said. “It’s fucked up.”
“Honestly, I can’t promise I won’t do it again ’cause I still think about it. It’s like the urges come on so suddenly sometimes and I can’t stop myself. Nobody gets it. But the Prozac and Klonopin are helping,” I added.
“I’m worried about you. I mean, you’re my friend and I love you and I don’t know what I would’ve done if I’d been the one to find you with blood everywhere,” she said as she pulled her car into a spot at The Point on the Lakefront. Then she turned off the music.
My stomach lurched. The Point was where people went to make out. I saw a few other cars, most of them with foggy windows. I leaned the side of my head on the glass and looked out at the waves. Jessie took the keys out of the ignition and tossed them into the cup holder. It got quiet. My stomach gurgled and I clamped my hands down over it instinctively.
“I’m not sure how to say this,” she began. “We’ve been friends for a long time and I don’t want to lose that. But lately…” she trailed off. “Lately I’ve been thinking about you. Like, a lot.” She stopped and took a deep breath, then exhaled.
“I’ve got feelings for you,” she blurted out.
“Feelings? What kind of feelings?” I asked, staring hard at the whitecaps, blurring the edges of her in my peripheral vision.
“Why can’t you look at me? Can you look at me, please?” she asked.
Reluctantly I lifted my head and slowly shifted to face her.
“I’m in love with you,” she said simply. “I just am.”
“So you’re telling me this now. When you know about Lauren, my dad, and everything I’ve been dealing with. You know I have feelings for her and I’m a mess dealing with all that crap, plus the cutting, my parents. And you do this now?”
“I know, I know. But I had to tell you. I had to get it out,” she said, shrugging her shoulders.
I sighed and rubbed my temples.
“What do you want me to say, Jessie?” I asked. “I’m sorry I don’t feel that way about you. And even though I don’t really know who I am or what this thing with Lauren is all about, I know my heart belongs to her for now. I may be a freakin’ train wreck, but I know that much.”
“So why can’t you just look me in the eye and say it?” she asked.
“You know I’m terrible about the eye contact. Get off my case,” I snapped. “Besides, this is the last thing I need right now. I’m not trying to hurt your feelings or anything, but I just can’t deal.”
I began unraveling. Looking out at the waves, I thought of Edna Pontellier. I longed to be in the Gulf, giving up, handing myself over to the rough waves. Salty, swirling water sucking me under, drifting down into the dark, cool deep. It would be so much easier.
“Jessie, I’m sorry. I really am. But can you please just take me home?” I plead.
Inwardly, I’m stuffing down the sudden overwhelming desire to cut myself, to offer up my blood to some unknown God.