Today’s post visits the Daily Post’s Weekly Writing Challenge once again. For my first time visitors, I try to work the challenge into the flow of the narrative I’m currently developing. At the moment I’m working on a short story called “Summers” — this post will include a summary of the story so far.
Sitting on the couch in Jane Summers’ apartment, Wings scratched the side of her head, and stared back at Jane inquisitively. “So — what’s this other thing?”
Jane shifted uncomfortably in the chair across the coffee table from Wings. “It’s . . . not something I really can talk about now.”
“That’s bull.” Jane looked up at Wings. “You can talk about anything, girl, you just don’t want to.”
Jane shrugged, leaned forward in her chair, towards Wings. “All right, you got me. But I still don’t want to talk about it.”
Wings sighed, her lips curling down in frustration. She grabbed the bowl of chili from the coffee table, quickly shoveled two spoonfulls into her mouth. Jane looked down at her bowl, still untouched, and decided that she wasn’t quite hungry yet.
Wings swallowed. “You want some advice, girl?”
“I think you just gave me some.”
“What’s with all the damn secrets?” Wings lifted her arms, hands up to shoulder height, palms up. “You’re telling your story about being from another world — ”
“It’s not another world.” Jane sounded disappointed, like a teacher repeating a lesson to a difficult student. “When I woke up that day, I was in the same world I remembered.”
“Except you didn’t remember smartphones or laptop computers anymore, and you kept looking for this Unirail thing you think we all use.”
“We do all use it.” She jabbed a finger at Wings. “Even you — you love Unirail!”
“OK!” She waved a hand dismissively over the coffee table. “What I was saying was, you’ve been telling that damn story to everybody it seems, and if you ask me there can’t be anything else you could say that would sound more unusual. But this other thing, it’s clearly bothering you, you keep it in, hold on to that secret. I just — don’t get you, girl.”
Jane nodded, looked down at her chili bowl. She still didn’t feel hungry. She thought about the information she was withholding, about Brad’s proposal. She agreed with Wings, that it was dangerous to hold on to this secret, especially with her mother, who thought highly of Brad, coming into town that evening. And yes, she trusted Wings, knew she could be trusted with this secret. But not now. Jane knew she was responding from a foolish sense of pride, but she couldn’t bring herself to seem that she was following Wings’ advice.