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  1. #1
    Amy Lou
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    Husband has walked out, Realistic? - Gone

    Hi Friends,
    This is a scene I have written right after Chloe's husband has left her the night before, Valentine's night. I was wondering if this is realistic. I've never been left before by the man I love, thank God, so I hope I handled this right and made it believable. Is there too much before we get to the dialogue? Thanks, your comments on here have truly benefited me!
    Amy


    The house was empty, so quiet and abandoned. This morning, Gavin was not downstairs making coffee and reading the paper like on a usual Saturday. Instead, he was waking up in the embrace of another woman, happy to be free of me. He was being held in the adoring arms of his new lover, a lover that met his needs and made him feel like the man he wanted to be. Something I was not able to do. I barely made it to the bathroom before throwing up my dinner. Crawling back into bed, I slept, unable break free of sleeps grasp. Floating in and out of consciousness, I felt nothing, which frightened me. As evening approached and darkness filled the house, I realized that the phone never rang out of concern for me. Gavin never called.

    Hope of him returning is what carried me through the night and into the next day. And just as slowly as Saturday passed, Sunday was approaching. It proved to be identical, as it came and went without me ever noticing the rising and setting of the sun. I did however, notice that my phone sat quietly. It was at that moment, I realized he didn’t care, yet I could not pick the moment in time when he stopped.

    I called in sick for work on Sunday night, so that I would be forced to leave Maggie a voicemail, instead of hearing her sweet voice. A friendly voice like hers would cause me to confess everything. I made up a story about being deathly ill, and there was no chance of me showing up on Monday, and for good measure, Tuesday either.

    I had not eaten since the last super, our Valentine’s Day dinner, and I was starting to feel weak, but not from hunger. At some point, I think I may have wandered into the kitchen, munched on a cracker that I could't finish and found my way back to bed. I noticed my reflection in the microwave door, and my silhouette was terrifying. I needed a shower, but I had misplaced my motivation.

    That night, I tossed and turned, for my mind had now gone there, to that dark place where I could picture him touching her, making love to her, kissing her. She had no face, but that didn't stop me. She had a body and he was making love to it. Did he touch her the same way he touched me, or was he so inspired by his new lover that he created new ways to make love? Would he miss the way I felt, or had that faded with the newness of feeling someone different underneath him?

    Sunlight shown through my window, gently touching my face as Monday arrived like the mornings that came before it. Why hadn’t the world around me stopped? After all, my world had. Yet the days kept coming and going as usual. In my mind, time should have been more respectful and honored my pain by ceasing to move forward. But time was not thoughtful, and here I was facing another day lying around in my own filth, starving with no appetite. I checked my phone every hour, but it had nothing to offer. The television was void of anything interesting, except for the realization that the world kept turning even if Gavin and I were no longer together. How could that be?

    Days became duplicates of one another like twins, created to appear just alike. More television watching, sleeping, and barely eating. By Wednesday, I decided that I must show my face at work before I was fired and had nothing to get up for. At least at work people were expecting me, and it gave me an ounce of purpose ---- a reason to take a shower. The warmness of the water on my body brought my pain rushing to the surface. It seemed to be seeping out from every pore. My tears mixed with the water. I neglected the hair on my legs, and didn't give a damn about shampoo or soap.

    My teeth were fuzzy after four days of not brushing, and flossing never felt so fulfilling. Makeup was out of the question. My jeans felt loose for the first time ever, but I was too devastated to bask in the glory. On the way out the door, I tied my hair back in the old familiar way. I was officially on my way to work.

    I had several goals for myself today, and the most important one being, don't run into Gavin. I felt certain that he would stay on his side of town, all things considered. The other goal, was to keep my devastation to myself, no sharing secrets with Maggie. Not this one anyway. My disheveled appearance could easily be blamed on my mysterious illness. After taking one look at me, no one would come near for fear of catching my dreadful disease, however a broken heart was not contagious. It seemed as though getting out of the house was taking my mind off of the selfish man that I had given most of my life to.

    Okay, stay focused on what you need to accomplish, just get through today without anyone finding out, I coached myself. The elevator doors predictably opened onto the 28th floor. I made my way down the hall with the glass doors to my office standing before me, inviting me in for the first time as a woman whose husband had just abandoned her. I thought about myself on Friday, as I exited the office through these very doors. I was optimistic and hopeful about what Valentine's would hold for us. It was going to be a chance to reconnect. That's not what I received. Focus, Chloe, focus.

    My focus scattered when I saw Carmen already sitting at her post, happily working away. I did my best to greet her with a smile, but her perky voice frightened my efforts.

    “Good morning Chloe. I am so glad you're feeling better,” she chirped.

    “Not really,” I managed a cough. At my desk I found 150 emails and fifteen voicemails waiting for my arrival. None were from Gavin.

    “Hey girlfriend.” I heard Maggie’s voice sing over the cubical. I loved her, but I dreaded seeing her face-to-face.

    "Hey.”

    "I brought you this, thought it might help." She placed a coffee on my desk. The smell made me sick. “Are you feeling better? You sounded terrible in your message ---- you look terrible, sweetie,” she said. I thought of the pathetic voicemail I left her Sunday night.

    "A little better, I guess.” I coughed for good measure.

    “Well you don’t sound it, so stay over there, because I sure as hell don’t want it.” She was buying my performance. “I have to know ---- how was Friday night? Don't tell me you got sick?” She had asked me the most dreaded question of all.

    “I started feeling sick after dinner so we came home."

    “Awe, that’s too bad. ----- Oh, did you tell him about your appointment?”

    I was confused, my brain felt cluttered and fuzzy. I had an appointment?
    “What appointment?”

    “The specialist. You know, to have a baby.” She was thrilled that she had remembered to ask.

    I spoke to myself, Keep it together Chloe, just get through today. You can do this.
    “Oh, yeah, he was excited.”

    “That’s so sweet, I can’t wait. You’ll be walking around with your baby bump soon.” She beamed.

    It was as if she was patronizing me, but of course that was not the case. Maggie had no idea what I was dealing with, or how her words were causing me such pain. On a normal day I would be thrilled by her enthusiasm, delighted by her thoughtfulness. But today, her words were unintentionally cruel.

    “So what did you and Alastor end up doing?” I asked.

    “It was so romantic, we ordered Chinese food and ate by candle light, feeding it to each other. He pretended like I was his little egg roll and ate me for dinner, if you know what I mean,” she giggled and raised an eyebrow. I knew exactly what she meant.

    I smiled for the first time in days; I actually smiled. She was easy to be with, never shy about intimate details. Of anyone in my life, I knew I could confide in her. If he didn’t come back to me soon, Maggie would be the first person I would share it with.



  2. #2
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    Aug 2010
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    6,016

    Re: Husband has walked out, Realistic? - Gone

    JUST MY OPINION, FEEL FREE TO IGNORE

    The house was empty, so quiet and abandoned. This morning, Gavin was not downstairs making coffee and reading the paper like on a usual Saturday. Instead, he was waking up in the embrace of another woman, happy to be free of me. He was being held in the adoring arms of his new lover, a lover that met his needs and made him feel like the man he wanted to be. Something I was not able to do. I barely made it to the bathroom before throwing up my dinner. Crawling back into bed, I slept, unable break free of sleeps grasp. Floating in and out of consciousness, I felt nothing, which frightened me. As evening approached and darkness filled the house, I realized that the phone never rang out of concern for me. Gavin never called.

    Okay, let's just look at your opening paragraph. Did you read it aloud? You might have caught some things if you had.

    For starters, the empty house is so obvious. You've got to start with something a little more interesting, even if the empty house makes sense. Maybe she tries not to notice the empty house, jumps out of bed and attempts to act like it's all perfectly fine until she pukes and gets weepy.

    "waking up in the embrace of another woman
    held in the adoring arms of his new lover"


    The repetition doesn't help. In the embrace, in the arms, it's the same thing. And to follow each other in one paragraph? No.

    Is it morning? Why is she throwing up dinner? That's a whole lot of hours of digestion, and unless she ate very heavy food late at night, she would probably not be throwing up dinner. How about having her eat something and then throw up. Maybe she goes to the kitchen, makes her own coffee and toast, pukes and goes back to bed.

    I slept, unable break free of sleeps grasp

    sleep's.

    "I realized that the phone never rang out of concern for me"

    It reads like the phone was supposed to have concern for her. Unlikely.

  3. #3
    Amy Lou
    Guest

    Re: Husband has walked out, Realistic? - Gone

    Hi leslee, LOVE YOUR DISCLAIMER LOL

    Thanks for your comments on my first paragraph. And I won't ignore your comments. You make some valid points and perhaps some more pruning needs to be done. She did eat a late dinner and it was a big meal, but again there would probably be nothing left the next morning. Perhaps she could drive heave? Just thinking.... I still like the "the phone never rang out of concern for me" LOL I know the phone has no feelings, I hope the reader would too.

    Did you finish the rest? Was there anything redeeming? Or any more problems?

    Thanks again for your help, it means a lot, and it helps.
    Amy

  4. #4
    Member
    Join Date
    Oct 2010
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    33

    Re: Husband has walked out, Realistic? - Gone

    There's too much telling and there's no focus. It doesn't sound realistic to me. I know women who've gone through this.

    I'd like you to imagine a husband dumping you for someone else. I know I'd be freakin' angry, and sad, and angry. I'd probably rip up his photos and toss the tiny pieces in the bin and walk away only to come back and stick my hand in the rubbish to rescue the pieces so I could glue them together. One minute, I'd be trying to work out a way getting back at him and the next, I'd be trying to get him back. Freaking upset. Irrational. Crazy. I wouldn't even call work. I just wouldn't show up!

  5. #5
    Senior Member
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    Aug 2010
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    Re: Husband has walked out, Realistic? - Gone

    Perhaps she could drive heave?

    If you mean dry heave, sure she could.

  6. #6
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    Jan 2011
    Posts
    593

    Re: Husband has walked out, Realistic? - Gone

    Amy, this is one area that I actually DO feel qualified to comment on, sadly. I think for a person not having gone through it, you gave it a valiant effort, but to me it sounds a little too clichee. If you want to I can point out some of what I find clichee, or I can just tell you how I might describe it :

    The constant gut-wrenching pain in the pit of your stomach, the kind that takes your breath away and makes you double over in agony, that is missing for instance. The hysterical crying and sobbing which sounds almost like screaming, and lasts until you have no tears left and until your voice is raw - which is after about 30 - 45 minutes in my experience. Then the bouts of frantically thinking of all the things you could have done differently to have made him stay. Maybe things you know she has done or does, and swearing to yourself that if you get one more chance you WILL do (or not do) any and all of those things. You may get so angry that you want to rip up all his books, take an ad out on the newspaper and tell the whole town what a freaking low-life cheater he is, but another five minutes from then you would want to kiss every inch of his body and promise to never say a harsh word again to him, ever, if only he'd come back.
    And one of the cruelest of ironies, how when you wake up in the morning, are those blessed 1-2 seconds before you realize that he is gone. Two precious seconds of feeling like your old self, where the world is once more a safe and happy place Right before the wave of pain hits you with such force that a tortured groan escapes your mouth, in a voice filled with such agony that you don't even recognize it as your own.



    ....and so on. You get the picture?

  7. #7
    Amy Lou
    Guest

    Re: Husband has walked out, Realistic? - Gone

    Yes of course I meant dry heave, but drive heaving sounds like fun LOL Sorry about that

  8. #8
    Amy Lou
    Guest

    Re: Husband has walked out, Realistic? - Gone

    Mar quesa and Sabina,
    You both are showing me wonderful perspective. The chapter before this one deals with more of the anger, crying and devastation on the night he confesses to an affair and leaves because he needs time. Chloe's character is not one to go crazy but perhaps I need to make her a little more so. She is insecure, overweight and crushed and hoping that he will change his mind. Thank you so much for your ideas and insight. I never thought of asking for help with this scene from someone that has experienced it first hand. It really helps, thanks! Sabina and leslee I love the idea of her waking up and for a split second she doesn't remember that he's gone. Thanks again for your time and suggestions.
    Amy

  9. #9
    Shaun .
    Guest

    Re: Husband has walked out, Realistic? - Gone

    Amy

    I love anything depressing! I especially love writing about an individual's emotion or train of thought. Ya did well! Leslee brought up some valid points though. Repetition is it's downfall.

    However, I disagree with mar in one area. I don't see Chloe as a strong character. To me, she's very self-conscious. I don't see anger as a necessity. For Chloe, I see anger as just a side thought. I like her crumbling in sadness. I don't want to see her in a tantrum.

    Too much telling! Mar's right on that. I have the same problem with my work.

    Just a rookie's thoughts

  10. #10
    Amy Lou
    Guest

    Re: Husband has walked out, Realistic? - Gone

    Thanks rookie I never envisioned Chloe as a woman to throw a fit, that's not her character. Thank you so much for your comments and for looking this over. I have received some wonderful tips to make this better. I appreciate it!
    Amy

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