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18+ Language

Exit monologue (for a situationship)

by shima


Warning: This work has been rated 18+ for language.

YOU HAVE THREE NEW MESSAGES

Yes, hallo…it’s me.

I just wrote you a message on my pager but you didn’t answer and on ICQ you’re offline as well…finally, install that stupid thing and you can’t even be bothered to answer.

By the time that you finally get back to your apartment I will be already gone, I guess…wanted to say you something, like right now, ‘cause you know in a short while we won’t have any time left and you are once more busy with your fucking Claire Danes look-a-like or who might be even popular with you guys…you know the fact that she comes from god-knows-where California and wears a blue shirt with white flowers on it does not yet mean she’s your damned Romeo, y’ know? And Romeo was male, not some butch with short hair and a nose-piercing. Well, anyways, when we went shopping Liselotte told me that she saw you guys hanging out with some folks that no-one knows about…like she saw you guys breaking into some kinda factory… wait, what? Is my minute already up?

BEEP - END OF MESSAGE

PLAY NEXT MESSAGE?

Beep

Where was I…oh yeah, the breaking and entering…doesn’t matter anyway.

I wanted to tell you something or confess, or I dunno…remember what I told you at the party we were both at? Something like two months ago? Probably not, with the amount you drank that evening, my god. I wasn’t feeling well myself, heh. Well, y’know, if you don’t remember it…that’s maybe for the best, I guess, maybe…to be honest I don’t know. Look, since the first moment we met I knew we were gonna be very good friends. You know, like forever? But for the last couple of years, mostly since the university, we started to lose contact. And that’s sad. Remember when we were like 17 and went to our first party together? Man, was that awesome… But yeah, it is a bit normal that we separated with like different friend groups and me never having time with all my hobby’s…heh, I don’t know what I have to say right now…man, this would be a lot easier if you just were home ‘cause now I am standing here and the rain is beating against the roof of my phonebox and I haven’t got any money left…shit.

BEEP – END OF MESSAGE

PLAY NEXT MESSAGE?

Beep

Damned phone…why can’t messages be any longer? Freaking limit of one minute.

Anyways…gotta be quick before I don’t have any time left…listen, so we started drifting apart…I was being difficult, I was trying to be popular, I focused on the boys and the relationships, didn’t notice you and you remained stuck in the past. A past that was actually far better than the present that I chose, a past where I was still free to hang out with you.…but I didn’t know it then. And then you went away, for the whole summer, to your uncle in Oregon and then you returned all flannel shirts and tattoo’s and posters of Kurt Cobain and my circle of friends looks at you as that weird kid that‘s always late and we can’t hang out together at all…

And now, it has come so far that I am leaving tomorrow, far away from Belgium and it’s unlikely at all that I will return so I want to tell you this right now, ‘cause y’know, then it will be just like in that song, the one you like…from Lost Girls: “Life is not like a movie, he won’t chase you through the airport, disregarding laws and security, she won’t suddenly come back after all those years to run into you.Mary’s in India, someone that you used to know and you’re left wondering whatsername has been." So, what I actually wanted to say is that I…

BEEP – END MESSAGE;


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Mon Feb 05, 2018 12:10 pm
Megrim wrote a review...



Helloooo... So I definitely read this back in Nov or Dec, but apparently didn't actually... leave a review? So ahem. Hello.

I like the structure of this story, with the phone messages, and the povc getting cut off repeatedly. The dialogue has some good voice to it--it sounds like a real character speaking out of the emotions she's feeling. I also think the way you showed us that both the characters are female and in love with each other was very subtle and cleverly done.

One tiny thing is that it would probably improve flow and pacing to break up the messages into multiple paragraphs. Right now they are big blocks, and though that does fit with the stream-of-consciousness thought train that she's pouring into her words, it makes it harder to read when it doesn't have to. I think you can still maintain that words-tumbling-out feel, but divide the thoughts into some paragraphs for the reader's benefit.

Another small thing is that the ending is so cliche it made me wince :( I just picture David Tennant looking all sad as he says goodbye to Rose, and it feels a little bit like you wanted to just copy that :P Trouble is, it's so overdone. It's sad when David Tennant did it, because his acting is magic and he makes your heart break just by looking at you the right way. But when it comes to a flash piece like this, and a thousand other flash pieces have tried to do and say the same thing, the ending comes off more eye-rolly. I LIKE that she gets cut off. I DON'T like that she gets off just shy of saying "I love you." Let it be something more unique, more character-specific. Show off what makes her HER, and not a copy of David Tennant.

Writing-wise, the biggest area that could improve, in my opinion, is the exposition. Showing rather than telling, really. In many places, the povc flat-out states or explains something about the past, in a way that alllllmost could maybe sound like how someone would talk about it, except that it happens so many times:

Probably not, with the amount you drank that evening, my god.

But for the last couple of years, mostly since the university, we started to lose contact.

Remember when we were like 17 and went to our first party together?

But yeah, it is a bit normal that we separated with like different friend groups and me never having time with all my hobby’s

I was being difficult, I was trying to be popular, I focused on the boys and the relationships, didn’t notice you and you remained stuck in the past.

And then you went away, for the whole summer, to your uncle in Oregon


She knows she went to visit her uncle in Oregon. I usually define "As you know, Bob" dialogue as characters stating things they both know that they both know. This definitely applies to several of those. But also... hmm, how to describe it. It's too... direct? Stating things so explicitly isn't how these conversations tend to go. When you remember something, you think about details, not the overall "our first party when we were 17." Like if I think about specific party memories, I come up with things like, Steven making a bunch of lewd jokes while we were all sitting in a circle trying to play Never Have I Ever, or trying to go down a slide at the playground with my Scrumpy Hands buddy, or looking for firewood along the beach while also waiting for people to show up with pizza because I was super hungry. When talking to someone else who was at those parties, I might say, "remember after exams in third year when xyz" but I wouldn't say, "wasn't that party after third year exams nuts?" Just something about how people talk, and remember, and interact. Too much of this story feels like straight up exposition that's meant to explain things to the reader.

All righty, that's all for now! Good luck and happy writing!




shima says...


Okay, wow, thanks. Yeah, some of the critiques you gave were also addressed at this story when I discussed it irl in a writing group, but still thanks. Never thought about the 10/Rose connection but it is interesting you noticed that, 'cause before it was like that people were actually saying it was original as seven hells, so you put it in perspective which is nice. About the exposition, yeah, I know. Writing people like actual people ain't my strongest side and I need to work on that. Thanks for the review.



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Sun Jan 28, 2018 11:36 pm
zaminami wrote a review...



Hello, shima! It’s Kara here for a (hopefully) quick review as requested! Sorry I didn't get to this earlier. I completely forgot about my WRFF forum :|

Give me your soul.

With that aside... I'm going to try a new style of reviewing where I go over each section as a whole. Grammar fixes will be in red and any comments of mine will be after the quote.

Spoiler! :
YOU HAVE THREE NEW MESSAGES

Yes, hallo... it’s me.

I just wrote you a message on my pager but you didn’t answer and on ICQ you’re offline as well... finally, you install that stupid thing and you can’t even be bothered to answer.

By the time that you finally get back to your apartment I will be already gone, I guess... Iwanted to tell you something, like right now, ‘cause you know in a short while we won’t have any time left and you are once more busy with your fucking Claire Danes look-a-like or who might be even popular with you guys... you know the fact that she comes from god-knows-where California and wears a blue shirt with white flowers on it does not yet mean she’s your damned Romeo, y’ know? And Romeo was male, not some bitch with short hair and a nose-piercing. Well, anyways, when we went shopping Liselotte told me that she saw you guys hanging out with some folks that no one knows about... like she saw you guys breaking into some kinda factory…? Wait, what? Is my minute already up?


Comments:



and you can’t even be bothered to answer.


This is me on FaceBook XD

not some bitch with short hair and a nose-piercing.


;-; b-but I'm a b*tch with short hair and a nose-piercing.

butch


I assumed that you meant b*tch so I fixed it.

Spoiler! :
Where was I... oh yeah, the breaking and entering... doesn’t matter anyway.

I wanted to tell you something or confess, or I dunno... remember what I told you at the party where we were both at? Something like two months ago? Probably not, with the amount you drank that evening, my god. I wasn’t feeling well myself, heh. Well, y’know, if you don’t remember it... maybe that's for the best, I guess, maybe... to be honest I don’t know. Look, since the first moment we met I knew we were gonna be very good friends. You know, like forever? But for the last couple of years, mostly since the university, we started to lose contact. And that’s sad. Remember when we were like 17 and went to our first party together? Man, was that awesome… but yeah, it is a bit normal that we separated with like different friend groups and me never having time with all my hobbies... heh, I don’t know what I have to say right now... man, this would be a lot easier if you just were home ‘cause now I am standing here and the rain is beating against the roof of my phonebox and I haven’t got any money left... shit.


Comments:



breaking and entering


bREAKING AND ENTERING DOESN'T MATTER?! That isn't freaking legal. So how does it not matter?!

I haven't got any money left


r.i.p. message sender

Spoiler! :
Beep

Damned phone... why can’t messages be any longer? Freaking limit of one minute.

Anyways... gotta be quick before I don’t have any time left... listen, so we started drifting apart... I was being difficult, I was trying to be popular, I focused on the boys and the relationships, I didn’t notice you and you remained stuck in the past. A past that was actually far better than the present that I chose, a past where I was still free to hang out with you... but I didn’t know it then. And then you went away, for the whole summer, to your uncle in Oregon and then you returned all flannel shirts and tattoos and posters of Kurt Cobain and my circle of friends looks at you as that weird kid that‘s always late and we couldn't hang out together at all…

And now, it has come so far that I am leaving tomorrow, far away from Belgium and it’s unlikely at all that I will return so I want to tell you this right now, ‘cause y’know, then it will be just like in that song, the one you like... from Lost Girls: “Life is not like a movie, he won’t chase you through the airport, disregarding laws and security -- she won’t suddenly come back after all those years to run into you. Mary's in India, someone that you used to know and you’re left wondering whats-her-name has been." So, what I actually wanted to say is that I-


Comments:



Freaking limit of one minute


I don't think that the messenger's personality would say "freaking." I would think that the person (he, she, I don't know) would say the stronger word instead...?

Kurt Cobain


I like this person :D

So, what I actually wanted to say is that I...


If you didn't notice, I changed it to a hyphen in the grammar paragraph to make it seem more sudden.

Overall:



Actually, I truly liked this. There are a few grammatical issues, however, that took away from the piece. First off, you had a lot of comma splices -- a few in which I probably missed/was too lazy to find (it's 8:00 here, give me a break). Second off, your ellipses were wrongly used. Use this to help you with proper use :D

Give me your soul --

Kara

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Thu Dec 14, 2017 12:41 pm
BlueAfrica wrote a review...



Here I am!

So first of all

like she saw you guys breaking into some kinda factory


what??? Like I'm so intrigued by this, but then when the message ends and the next message begins, the character's just like "breaking and entering, never mind though, doesn't matter" and I was like, "BUT IT DOES THOUGH, tell me about the breaking and entering!" Which, I mean, I get that the main focus is the ending friendship or whatever, but this was such an intriguing nugget that never got explored any further.

I like the style, where it's told through phone messages - especially since it kind of gives the whole thing extra drama, because the narrator keeps getting cut off. It also gives us slight clues to how regretful the listener might be; she (she? I assume so) keeps choosing to play the next message even though she could get annoyed that the narrator has left so many messages (including some we didn't see, on her pager), and she plays each new message without first deleting the old one.

In answer to your query about the characters, I think we get a decent enough sense of each character. The narrator at some point became kind of a boy-crazy, popularity-obsessed girly girl, while the listener is a lesbian who at some point got more into the kind of music and style the popular people the narrator started hanging out with probably don't like. I think I have more sympathy for the listener than the narrator, since the narrator comes right out and says that the listener "became that weird kid" and that's when they really stopped hanging out.

(Plus the narrator refers to the listener's girlfriend as "some butch," which made her sound not very accepting of lesbians.)

Although frankly, I think it's probably fine that this girl isn't the listener's "Romeo," because Romeo was dumb and you probably want a relationship that's based on more than looks and hormones and also one that doesn't end so badly.

ANYWAY.

However, I do appreciate the fact that the narrator also obviously regrets her past behavior, alienating her friend and ultimately losing her, even though it's now her choice to leave Belgium, which means they likely won't see each other again. We're left uncertain as to what she has to actually say, although it sounds like she was heading toward an apology of some sort, although based on some of her language probably not a very good or complete one, since sometimes she seems to be making excuses for her behavior. Like when she mentions her friend going to her uncle's house in Oregon, it almost sounds like she blames her friend for coming back with newfound interests and style.

I think that's all I have to say for now, so let me know if you have any questions!




shima says...


Thanks for the criticism! Yeah, you were right - the listener is female too. It wasn't an apology...she was trying to tell her she loves her, but the message got cut short before she could the three small words. Guess that wasn't clear enough.



BlueAfrica says...


Well, that's okay though, because the drama stems from the fact that she keeps getting cut off and her message gets lost. I assumed it would be an apology because it sounded like what she ought to do, based on past behavior, but other people might come up with something else.



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Fri Dec 08, 2017 8:58 pm
liehart wrote a review...



I automatically clicked on this for the title, I'm not going to lie. I love the idea of changing the name of the song a little and therefore changing its meaning.
My favourite part of the story is the structure. It's quite unconventional and really creative, I just love it a lot. The story felt a little bit short, and could benefit from a bit more development, especially as what it there is is so authentic and compelling. The last sentence is absolutely heartbreaking.
The narrator and the love interest being ambiguously gendered makes the story really interesting. The reader is forced to look past any preconceptions they might have had about the relationship based on gender. This is a great story, and I'm glad I clicked on it!




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Wed Dec 06, 2017 12:39 am
BlueAfrica says...



Hey, I saw this in the general request repository but I'm not up to reviewing right now. Poke me in a day or two if you don't get a review and I'll make sure I get back to it, if I don't remember before then!




shima says...


Yeah, if you have time - would you be so kind to give me a review? Thanks in advance! :-)



BlueAfrica says...


Whoops, sorry, here I go at last. It's been pretty hectic with work, but today the kids had a snow day so I only have to go to one job! Needless to say, I'm much more motivated. First I'm just going to look back at your message in my WRFF thread to make sure I know what needs to be talked about most!



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Mon Dec 04, 2017 10:38 pm
Trashcan wrote a review...



Hey! I'm not very good with introductions so let's jump right in.
Ok, this is less of a review and more some things I really like about your story because I'm bad at critiquing and I'm inexperienced in writing.
1. I like that the narrator talks like someone would talk when sending a message. Most of the time when people are sending messages they're a little awkward and don't really know what to say, I like the way you've portrayed this through your writing.
2. I love that you ended it on a cliffhanger. A lot of times, people over the phone will get caught up in tiny details and will forget they wanted to say in the first place. Your story is very realistic and I like that.
3. I assume this person is around 22-23, considering they mentioned drinking. I like that they act like an actual person of that age group likely would.
Looks like I'm out of time. I really like this story, and I'm sorry I wasn't really able to give a very helpful review like I said, I don't really know how to critique properly.





Keep your face always toward the sunshine - and the shadows will fall beyond you.
— Walt Whitman