Thursday, 20 September 2012

Romantic Friday Writers Challenge #45 : Oh how I hate my beautiful friend!


It’s time to go back to RFW for the fortnightly challenge.  You can read more about that here.  Membership isn’t a requirement for participation, so do go over and see if you want to give it a shot. 

If I weighed up all the prose and poetry that I have written in word counts, then I have probably written more fiction than poetry.  But I have never put any fiction on this blog, how odd is that?  Anyways, this challenge felt like the perfect opportunity, so I am heading back to RFW with a flash and not a rhyme this time. What do you think? Let me know.


 

Myra isn’t beautiful in the conventional sense, she doesn’t fit the mould.  Her real beauty lies in things no-one notices, in the shape of her ears, for instance, behind which she tucks in her hair with a two-fingered movement, breathtaking in its grace.  In the slant of her collarbones, from where her honey warm skin falls away in the most absurdly tender plane.  And her eyes, those great wide hazel eyes with their thick fringe of lashes.  Looking as though she can look right through me, but of course she can’t.  Above all, her beauty lies in her unaffected ignorance of her own charm.
We met at the clinic, she came in with Widget, an absurd name I had thought, for such a large dog.  Widget was the last patient, and afterwards we got chatting and I was surprised how easily we both slipped into this friendship. She was lonely, and I was new here, so a few coffees and walks later, I felt I had known her all my life. 
Things transformed when Ravi came.  I had never believed in this love-at-first-sight caper till then, I have had to change my mind since. I sat there that evening in agony, desperate, maddened with the unbearable turmoil in my heart, but he and Myra seemed to have a sizzling chemistry that left me tongue tied.  They kept the conversation going, I remained a bystander.  I willed Myra to sense my feelings, but she sat through it all, unseeing.
“Why are you so quiet, Babs?” she had ventured once. 
“Oh, nothing, just a headache,” I had surprised myself with the steadiness of my voice.
That has become the pattern of our evenings at the cafe now, their attention fixed on each other, and me nursing my misery beside them, the evenings peppered with meaningless small talk, punctuated with anguish.  Have you helplessly watched the man you love slowly fall in love with someone sitting next to you?  Oh, how I hate my beautiful friend!
No, I don’t.  Most times I just feel wrung out with love – for Ravi, for Myra.  I had thought that people like her have keener perceptions, an evolved understanding way beyond physical senses.  Another one busted.  It is not her fault that she does not fit the mould.  Not her fault that those exquisite hazel eyes are sightless.  That they cannot see through me.

WC - 400
FCA

32 comments:

  1. Beautiful!
    Can't help but wonder will Myra ever know the truth of Babs love?
    So well done.

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    1. Most probably not...and not sure what kind of a character this guy is either :) thanks for reading!

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  2. Ooh I wasn't expecting that twist although you did give us some clues on re-reading it and knowing the ending. Wonderful writing and a great story.

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  3. Dear Nilanjana,

    Thank you for your interesting questions about my text. You have given me some ideas to work with.

    Your story has an unusual twist that appears at the end. It took three readings for me to understand in what way Myra was so special.
    Your story is not only about jealousy, but the shattering of preconceived ideas.

    Well done!

    Best wishes,
    Anna
    For the benefit of other readers:
    RFW No. 45 - 'Oh how I hate my beautiful friend'

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    1. Wow, Anna! Thank you for that detailed and very cogent critique. You really have summed up this story brilliantly..you bring to it an angle that hadn't ocurred to me before...made me see my own creation in a different light....
      Glad you found my comments/questions helpful. Have a great weekend.

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  4. Hi Nilanjana
    Oh I'm in love with your story. How poignant that your main mc can be so perceptive and your other character so clueless. Well written. The entire piece is, "breathtaking in its grace." To quote you.
    Nancy

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    1. Hi Nancy,
      Thank you for the feedback....very pleased you enjoyed it.

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  5. Love the line about being 'wrung out with love' and very clever to hint at her blindness throughout. How honest to say you 'hate' her. It's the sighted person in this story who has the keen extra senses. Well done.

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    1. Thank you. Not all blind/disabled people can be extra sensitive...that's also a stereotype, a standard we hold the disabled upto all the time...which probably is unpleasant and uncomfortable for at least some people if not all....

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  6. This is a nice little story, but it took a few re-reads to figure out who was who. I think it would be clearer if you established the relationship between Babs and Ravi before you move on to Ravi and Myra.

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    1. Thank you for reading, and especially for the re-reads...value the suggestion..

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  7. Interesting that you chose prose over poetry, and I chose poetry over prose! Well, I don't even know if what I wrote for the challenge would be considered a poem, but it certainly is not a fleshed out story. Mine also has to do with jealousy.

    I really enjoyed your writing. Even though you've written in prose, it has a poetic flow and your descriptions are beautiful. Well done. :)

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    1. Thank you...most times the format chooses me rather than the other way around :) n personally i find bare bones poems more attractive :) great to have you here..

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  8. Once a poet always a poet I think. The best prose to me is always replete with poetic descripive turn of phrase of which you have plenty, such as: '...the evenings peppered with meaningless small talk, punctuated with anguish.' I enjoyed your characters and yes, it does take more than one reading to feel you understand who's who, but it is worth it. You don't often come across disability in fiction, which is a shame, as there is so much in real life.
    That was an unexpected ending, which is what I love about flash fiction.

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    1. Thanks much for your feedback Denise...agreed that its difficult for poets to change their spots...your (and several others) comments abt the re-reads make me think there should be a who's who and what's what in some kind of a preface before launching into the story...next time...thanks..

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  9. 'Evenings peppered with meaningless talk'...love the expression. You certainly brought your poetic skills to this story, Nilanjana.

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    1. Thank you, Adura.. glad you enjoyed it!

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  10. Hi, Nilanjana,

    I love the whole set up of this story. How they met. How their friendship developed instantly, and how is deteriorated almost as quickly.

    Definitely enjoyed your poetic prose.

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    1. Hi Michael,

      Many thanks for the visit and comments...very pleased you enjoyed the prose.

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  11. Babs is in quite the predicament. I wonder how long their friendship can last while she watches suffering

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    1. That's difficult to predict, isn't it? It will depend on what Ravi turns out to be like, whether Myra and Ravi's relationship moves forward..so many variables at play....thank you for stopping by..

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  12. I remember when being gay was sooo taboo.. and now it's like, "No big deal." The haters, they say things like, it's a matter of choice, and the supporters say, "They can't help it!" Well regardless of what it is and what it isn't, they're still people and people have feelings! You captured the moment right down to a t! Years ago, I had a friend and after being friends for a while, she finally came out of the closet to me.. I didn't freak out or anything. The reason she came out to me was because she trusted that I wouldn't pass any unfair judgement towards her. I was not the object of her affection. There was another girl she really liked who was bi as well but she didn't want the world knowing about it. It was hard on my friend. So once again, this is very different, original. I like how you portrayed the characters and I like the irony! "Oh how I hate my beautiful friend," but Babs doesn't really hate her beautiful friend at all. Brilliant Nilanjana!

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    1. Thank you, Crystal! And you've started off another story in my head with that!! :) Seriously tho, being gay is still a big deal in many parts of the world...just the other day there was a TV programme on gays being systematically murdered in Iraq, but it could apply as well to many places in Africa n Asia, tho maybe not as extreme...intolerance in its myriad forms....very sad, very scary

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  13. These two characters are nicely developed, and I love the relationship. I grew nicely, naturally, and just as naturally interrupted by a third person. I liked how Babs nursed her jealousy, just waiting for it to be acknowledged. Well done with the friendship, the jealousy, and the unresolved expectations.

    ......dhole

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    1. One of the markers in the prompt was about how alike love and hate are and at the endpoint of this story Babs really doesn't know what she feels...thank you for reading and the critique..

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  14. Hi,

    Unrequited love and secret adoration! Oh lordy, trouble lies ahead. Beautifully written. ;)

    best
    F

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    1. Hi,

      love is, isn't it? totally a recipe for trouble :) thank you!

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  15. Lovely narration!

    Loved the name Myra..:)

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  16. Loved your story, so real, so sad. I am following you and
    that should tell you how much i loved it :D

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