Friday Fictioneers – How can I say no?

Bjorn contributed an excellent story to Friday Fictioneers this week. When I commented that it was the woman’s silence that made the story special, Bjorn replied “… I wonder how someone would write her story from her point of view.”

So – here’s my attempt in 100 words!

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PHOTO PROMPT © Yvette Prior

How can I say no?

“Another coffee?”, smiled the waitress. Richard, perhaps embarrassed, accepted, but I shook my head. The jewellers’ box sat between us like a small grenade.

“Why?” I wanted to scream. “Why spoil our friendship with romance?”

It was my fault. I must have sent him the wrong message. I tried to say so, but the words wouldn’t come out, so I looked through the window at the rain instead.

We’d had great times, cheering on Manchester City, moshing at rock concerts, and – huge adrenaline blast! – rallying in his souped-up Mini.

But romance. I didn’t want that. My heart was still Deborah’s.

39 thoughts on “Friday Fictioneers – How can I say no?

    • Dear Neil
      Thank you for your generous comments on my second story of the week. I agree about the reader bringing their own experience to stretch out the story. It’s almost essential for this particular story, because without that we have two people sitting in a café not speaking to each other. I’m delighted you liked the image of the ring box like a grenade. I had a mental picture of the two of them throwing surreptitious glances at it from time to time, wondering what emotional carnage it would wreak if one of them said the wrong thing…
      With very best wishes
      Penny

      Liked by 2 people

    • Dear Bjorn
      I agree – writing the same scene from different view-points can be very illuminating as well as fun. Making this whole thing into a book? Wow! It could have quite an innovative structure I guess. It’s a very intriguing thought, I must say!
      With very best wishes
      Penny

      Liked by 1 person

    • Dear Lish
      Thank you for reading and commenting. I think she was so startled by Richard’s proposal that she’s just a seething mass of conflicting emotions. There’s a quite irrational fury against him, mingled with guilt that she must have ‘led him on’, there’s a feeling that she must be honest with him, there’s a desire to let him down gently. I think it’s time Richard used whatever emotional insight he has to help her. For a start, he could put the bloody jewellers’ box away!
      With very best wishes
      Penny

      Liked by 1 person

    • Dear Jo
      Thank you for reading and commenting. Bjorn’s story has particularly merit because of the way he uses silence without explanation. Any reader who is taking the story seriously will be compelled to think about the dynamics of the situation between the two characters.
      And, although my story puts some physical explanations for the situation, it also leaves silences. In my backstory I think she was so startled by Richard’s proposal that she’s just a seething mass of conflicting emotions. There’s a quite irrational fury against him, mingled with guilt that she must have ‘led him on’, there’s a feeling that she must be honest with him, there’s a desire to let him down gently. I think it’s time Richard used whatever emotional insight he has to help her. For a start, he could put the bloody jewellers’ box away!
      With very best wishes
      Penny

      Liked by 1 person

      • LOL yes he could put the bloody box away.

        Having been in a similar situation I well know the flood of emotions that run through your head. Thankfully, in my case it was a less public location. Still, there is no good way to handle such a surprise and the inevitable “no” response.
        I enjoyed both stories very much. 😊

        Liked by 1 person

    • Dear Abhijit
      Thank you for reading and commenting. The pair haven’t known each other very long, and Richard has allowed romantic feelings to run away with him. Not all young people look for sex before they’re married – and poor Richard is very naïve…
      With best wishes
      Penny

      Liked by 1 person

  1. I have always thought public proposals are a bit arrogant but you describe Richard as young and inexperienced, so maybe it is just that. Your description of the box is so clever. I wonder why she isn’t with Deborah or maybe she is, just not all the time.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Dear Jilly
      Thank you for reading and for your very helpful comment. You’ve identified an omission in my story. Re-reading, I think the last line should probably read “Deborah had broken my heart.” I hope that explains why she wasn’t with Deborah.
      With very best wishes
      Penny

      Like

    • Dear Russell
      Thank you for reading and commenting. You’re right – it’s very easy for emotions to be misread, and misunderstandings to occur. And indeed that can lead to broken hearts. But they mend in time!
      With very best wishes
      Penny

      Like

    • Dear Righteousbruin
      I’m so glad that your late wife was your best friend for thirty years. That must have added both strength and joy to your marriage. You’re very gracious sharing that with your fellow FF writers – thank you!
      With very best wishes
      Penny

      Liked by 1 person

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