Monday, January 26, 2009

Creative Writing Assignment #1: Point of View

For my first Creative Writing assignment, I was to write a one-page story, and then re-write it from two other points of view. This is the result.

Point of View #1 – The girlfriend

I can't believe he broke up with me. There we were, at our favorite restaurant, and in the middle of a conversation about the food he just casually slips in, "I think we should break up.” I thought he was kidding at first, but then he said I was too clingy, and he couldn't take it anymore.

"Clingy?” I said, feeling tears forming. "What...I love you!”

"Exactly,” he told me. So he really didn't love me. I was afraid of that; every time I told him I loved him he would look away and say nothing. I was just hoping he was afraid of being in love, something he would get over, something I would help him get over. I guess not.

"What an asshole,” Amber says from the other side of her couch. It's the next day, and I'm telling my best friend all about what happened. We've been friends since elementary school, and she's always there for me, no matter what.

"I... love... him,” I manage to say between sobs, as Amber hands me another tissue.

"I know you do,” she says, "but you just have to remember that there are always other fish in the sea.”

There are other fish in the sea for him, sure. He doesn't love me, so he'll have no trouble moving on. But I love him. With everything in me. I'm not the sort of person who can just forget about that, and leave this relationship behind like it never even happened. At least I have such a good best friend, though. I lean against her on the couch and drift off to sleep.

Point of View #2 – The boyfriend

I'm so glad I finally got rid of that bitch. I never really liked her. Don't get me wrong; there are always benefits to having a girlfriend, even if you hate her. We had plenty of fun, if you know what I mean. It's just that the girl was too damn clingy. She would get this stupid adoring look in her eyes, whisper "I love you”, and look at me like she expected a response. How on earth was I supposed to respond to something like that? I never knew what to say, so there would always be these awkward silences for a few moments that felt like ages. Now I'll never have to deal with that again.

I'm not much a fan of being single, though. All my friends have girlfriends they've been with for months. Hanging out with the guys just isn't the same when they all feel sorry for you, or when they think you're a loser; it's even worse if you can't tell which.

So now it's the day after I broke up with my girlfriend, and I'm calling Amber. She's my ex-girlfriend's best friend, which will probably make things weird for a while if we get together; but she's hot, and available, so I'll find a way to make it work. "Hello?” she says.

"Hi, Amber,” I reply. "Look, I'm sure you know by now what happened last night. I just want to let you know that I don't think this has to keep the two of us from being friends. Or more than friends, if you want.”

She doesn't say anything, but I can hear her breathing get deeper, and I know I have her, so I go in for the kill. "Can I take you out for dinner tonight?”

"Yes” is all she can say. I've always had this sort of effect on girls. I don't think I'll ever have much trouble getting laid.

"Great. I'll pick you up at six.”

I call all my friends and tell them I have a new girl. My ex-girlfriend's best friend, no less. And it only took 16 hours. A few hours less and this would have been a new record.

Point of View #3 – Amber

I don't know what I'm going to do.

Yesterday, my best friend called me and told me she needed to talk to me, so I told her to come over. She sat down on the couch next to me and told me her boyfriend broke up with her the night before. They were together for five months, and apparently it never meant much to him. "What an asshole,” I said. I didn't really think he was wrong to break up with her. She loved him, and he didn't love her back, so it would have been more cruel to keep it going. But sometimes you have to say bad things about someone to your best friend even if you don't believe it, to try to make her feel better. It's an unwritten rule, but that doesn't make it any less universal.

Later, when she was fast asleep on my couch, exhausted from all the crying, he called me. Now, I know what you're thinking – time to tell the bastard off. The problem is that I like him. A lot. And he was asking me out. For a moment, I forgot all about my friend, and all I could think was that this guy was asking if I'd like to go on a date with him. I said yes. He said he'd pick me up at six.

Now it's 5:59, my best friend is still asleep, and the guy who broke her heart last night is knocking on my door, ready to take me to dinner. If I go with him, it'll hurt my friend even more, but I'm sure he and I can be happy together. I feel like I'm in a soap opera, and this is one of those moments when a character faces a moral dilemma at just the right time for a commercial break. The audience is glued to the screen through the advertisements, not wanting to miss a single second of the show, and everyone knows this is what makes for good television. But that poor character is stuck on pause in the middle of an excruciating thought process. And this time, it's not a soap opera, it's real life, it's me, and there's no audience getting pleasure out of it to make it worthwhile.

Oh God damn it, I know what I have to do. I have to open that door, tell him that I can't go out with him because of what he did to my friend, and come back inside. I walk to the door, and swing it open just as he's about to knock again. He's so cute, standing there, frozen for a second, his fist up in the middle of the motion. Then his arm drops, and he says, "Hi. Are you ready?”

"Yes,” I say, helpless in his gaze. "I'm ready.” Ready to betray my friend, for the chance to be with this guy. I didn't remember my friend was there until she was chasing after us on foot, screaming, as we drove away.

1 comment:

Rainier96 said...

The nameless (?) girlfriend needs some new friends! What a couple of jerks.

Thanks for publishing your assignment. You do a good job of showing how some people actually talk and think. I've never done this kind of writing because (a) I don't really understand what goes on in peoples' heads, and (2) I can't write dialogue that sounds the way people really talk. You seem to have a good feel for both.

I'm not going to say more about this one, because that's what your teacher is paid (and is infinitely more competent)to do! But I'm definitely looking forward to reading more as you put them up on this page.

Taking this class sounds like a great idea, and fun, too.