Friday, 13 July 2012

Romantic Friday Writers: Greener Pastures


Hello readers, welcome back to Romantic Friday Writers. This week's challenge is to write a piece of prose or poetry to the theme 'Greener Pastures.' I've chosen to revise a short story I wrote about 2 years ago. I hope you enjoy this piece of flash fiction.

Word count: 600

Eyes raised, she glanced at the round brushed aluminium clock on the wall. 8.05pm.
Slowly, a frustrated sigh whooshed from Abi’s lungs, her earlier excitement fizzing into the humid summer evening air.


Dinner for Two

Her gaze swept across the sturdy oak dining table set for two; flickering candle lights, scattered rose petals, her best porcelain china crockery, laid out to perfection. Dinner—Fillet Mignon with mushrooms and roasted asparagus—warmed in the oven. Tayo’s favourite.

Their last supper?


Rat-tat-tat...She tapped her gel-coated fingernail tips on the wooden table-top, her rising annoyance seeping from her body into the table with each strike.
You’ll chip your nails!

Disregarding the cautious voice in her head and the fact she’d spent a fortune on a spa manicure and pedicure, she continued the staccato beats. It wasn’t just her hands and feet feeling pampered. A new avant-garde haircut from her award-winning stylist, and a deep-exfoliating facial had her feeling positively revived and ready to face the challenge of the evening--Friday the 13th. It didn't bode well.

Rising, she walked to the coffee table in the living room and picked up her mobile phone. After pressing the call button, it rang for a while before connecting.
“Hello.” It was the same indifferent response every time.

Like you don’t know who is on the line, she thought as she rolled her eyes upwards. Her husband’s phone had caller ID. So Tayo knew it was Abi calling him before he picked his phone.
Most times, she ignored his mildly annoying habit. Tonight, her tolerance level was very low.

“Tayo, where are you?” she asked, the irritation in her voice as loud as a church bell’s toll.
“In the office,” he replied, his resonant voice sounding distracted. “Is there a problem?”
Hell yeah, there’s a problem! She was ready to shout.
Woman in iro and buba

“A good wife never shouts at her husband.” Her grandmother’s careful wisdom reined in her rash actions. A vision of the grey-haired woman in her green floral print iro and buba and kind knowing eyes floated before Abi.

Her skin flushed with embarrassment as if she’d just had a stinging reprimand. Her eyes lids fluttered shut briefly. When she lifted them, her gaze focused on the mantelpiece displaying framed photos of both Tayo and her.
A deep breath passed through her lungs soothing her raw nerves.

“You promised you’d be home by seven-thirty tonight. It’s past eight already.”
The calmness of her voice belied the roiling emotions she wanted to bare. Be a good wife, the voice resounded in her head.

“Oh. I forgot,” he replied as if he didn’t understand the reason for her annoyance. “We had problems with one of our projects here and I’ve been trying to sort it out. I’ll be leaving here in about an hour.”

Words screamed in her head. No, come home now! She should say but that would make her hysterical and pathetic. A good wife didn’t complain—didn’t nag.

“Okay.” Her voice dripped with nonchalance she didn’t feel. This was yet another broken promise. Another indication of their marriage adrift in the high sea, rudderless and masterless. And she was about to jump ship for safe harbour. Greener pastures.
New York

He might’ve detected something in her voice because he asked, “You didn’t prepare anything special, did you? It’s not our anniversary, right?”

At this point, the impulse to scream her frustration overwhelmed her. She could no longer restrain the words that had eaten her up for weeks.

“No...but I have a new job in New York and I’m going in a month,” she muttered before pressing the end call button. 
***

I hope you enjoyed reading this piece. Please leave me a comment. Remember to hop along and read the other entries for this week's RFW Challenge. Have a great weekend!

28 comments:

  1. This is quite different !!I liked this !!
    nicely narrated

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  2. Oh I can relate - I've been there, waiting, always waiting. I like the reference to Friday 13th!

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    1. I think we all can relate to it at some level, Sally. Yes, I managed to get to Friday 13th in and I think it worked well too. :)

      Thanks for stopping by.

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  3. Yay, you added the Friday the 13th bit too :) I feel for this woman, and all her "good wife" recrimination. I'm so glad she see's the greener pastures ahead and is taking the leap to self happiness.

    This was romantic for the dinner and all the special arrangements; but so real also. I liked this character.

    .......dhole

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    1. Thank you, Donna. The scary thing is that a lot of people are in her shoes on a daily basis. Let's hope they know how to seek greener pastures too. :)

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  4. Pathetically real, Kiru! Sometimes it's the reverse happening. It's the husband asking when his executive wife will leave the office. Well written.

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    1. Thank, Stella. I agree that it can happen to men or women and is applicable really to people of all works of life. Neglect is really not nice on the person experiencing it.

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  5. Intense relationship frustration ...Nice

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  6. Skilfully executed flash piece and great use of the RFW prompt, Kiru. Particularly the conveying of emotions and the voice in her head - descriptive, concise and smooth delivery. Loved it from beginning to end. Oh and that bombshell at the end! You should add more flash pieces to your impressive repertoire. Kudos!

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    1. Thank you, Adura for such high praise. I really enjoyed writing this piece and hope to write more, time and commitments permitting. :)

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  7. Great narration. It's intense and very real.

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  8. Very creative piece here.. and I agree with everyone else, the narration and the flow of the writing is superb! Tons of great imagery as well. I can literally see the look on this woman's face.. tapping her long deep red fingernails. Wish I had thought to add the Friday 13th bit but I wasn't quick enough! Well done Kiru!!

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    1. Hi Crystal, I was lucky to get Friday 13th in there. Just added it at the last minute. It's good to see you here. Thank you.

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  9. I love how you captured her annoyance and frustration. Perfect descriptions!

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  10. Dear Kiru,
    Sadly, many women live such lives and cannot get out. You are so talented and creative. Thank you for sharing my dear.

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  11. Kiru, I finally got here. I've been looking forward to reading this piece since you said you had the perfect piece for the prompt, and it is. Also clever addition of the Friday 13th motif. Donna and I are a bit slow. Should have had a whole Friday 13 thingy.

    This is a sad but true story. Roles reversed or not, it is the lot of many a man/woman to be anxiously waiting on a recalcitrant partner to return to family. You added such interest with the manicure, pedicure, facial...those little details make a story. I agree, you should write more flash if you get the time. :D

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    1. Thank you, Denise. I'll certainly write more flash fiction. :)

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  12. This was lovely, Kiru. I adored the fact that she kept her cool, despite her disappointment. She stayed true to her upbringing, well done Abi.

    Enjoyed this. :))

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    1. Thank you, Candilynn. Good to see you here. :)

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  13. Serves him right. Love how you show Abi as so restrained and tied to convention and then having her throw that to the wind at the end and just tell him what would make her satisfied.

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  14. Oh I loved the “You didn’t prepare anything special, did you? It’s not our anniversary, right?” made me smile. I can feel her emotions as she talked to her neglectful hubby. Bravo! I loved this piece.

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