Prose throwback

Today I dug up this old short story I had written and it made me miss creative writing. Advertising is creative but in a completely different way.

I used to write stuff like this all the time but these days, after typing away on my computer for hours, I come home with zero motivation to write. I'm hoping that'll change eventually. 

circa 2011 

On the Tuesday before the first day of fall, Miles asked if he could take me for a drive along the Blue Ridge Parkway. We hadn’t talked in over three weeks, but I’d said I’d go to break the cycle of silence.

When we arrived at Price Lake, it was nearly dark and the autumn sun was setting behind our backs. Our breath came out in puffs of chilled humidity, floating in the air like the unspoken words we both knew existed. He’d told me to buckle my seatbelt as we winded around the foliage-covered roads, even though I always did, and the rest of the ride had continued quietly. We walked to the edge of the water, arms crossed, standing on the rocks; we were both waiting for the other to start conversation.

“It’s colder than I thought it’d be” He spoke without looking in my direction, eyes on his feet.

Small talk, I was never a fan. I snuggled into my sweatshirt and stretched the fuzzy sleeves down past my wrists and gripped them in my hands. “Yeah,” I said, “guess you should’ve brought a jacket”.

He turned around to face me but I bent down, found a sturdy place to land and sat Indian style away from his gaze.

“So this is how it’s going to be?” He said, “You’re acting like I’m not even here.”

I answered his question with no response, picked up a flat pebble and threw it full force into the placid blue where it skipped three times over and then vanished. The sky was now littered with stars and yet I didn’t move.

“Ignoring me’s not gonna solve anything.” He said.

I could tell I was getting to him, but I didn’t care. Whatever I was about to say, I knew he could handle it, and if he couldn’t, that was his problem.

I let the words spill out of my mouth and even though I said them quietly, I knew they’d piss him off, “there’d be nothing to solve if it weren’t for you, Miles.”

His face was flushed with confusion. “Look, I don’t even know what I did wrong! You just started giving me the cold shoulder out of the blue! One second we’re great and the next it’s like we’re complete strangers, I just don’t get it!”

I was starting to feel nauseous. The guilt was eating away at my insides, at… it. At the reason why I hated Miles so much, the reason why I hated myself, the reason why I’d ignored him for over 20 days, when all I really wanted to do was crawl into his arms and lay there forever.

“I’m just mad at you, okay?” It sounded juvenile even to my own ears but the words I needed to say were stuck behind the tears in my throat and they weren’t moving.

“Baby, what’s wrong, can’t you just tell me?” Miles spoke with sadness about him and crouched down next to me near the lake.

“That’s…” I said. “Please don’t.” I hunched over and brought my knees to my chest as tears began to run down my face in the moonlight.

“Baby, just talk to me, please?” He pushed back my hair, took my chin in his hands and at his touch the irretrievable truth came crashing down.

“Miles… I’m pregnant.”

Laura MaddoxComment