Sunday, August 12, 2012

SPE/FFF: "My Moon"

[For the Scriptic prompt exchange this week, Cheney gave me this prompt: "I'm so glad to see that you thought of me." I gave Laura this prompt: ​'No one ever does, and there is no final judgment, and we never reach the end of the marble bridge.' - Glenn Carle]
{I'm also double dipping this week, submitting this as my Flash Fiction Friday piece, this week centering on the moon.}

Shari brought the popcorn into the living room, placing the big bowl in the middle of the couch. I sat on one side of it, curling my legs underneath me, and Shari sat on the other side, sitting on one foot and sticking the other leg straight out. I could see the bright pink polish on her toenails as she flexed her foot in front of me. Shari had already started the DVD, and we were waiting for the previews to cycle through before putting the sound on and watching the movie itself.

"I'm so glad you thought of me," she said. She was fingering the necklace I had gotten her, which I had fastened around her perfect long neck before we changed into pajamas to watch the movie. The full moon was behind us, shining through the picture window, big and fat and white.

"It was your birthday!," I said with mock exasperation. "Of course I thought of you!"

"But you didn't have to," she said, looking out at the way the moonlight glistened on her parents' pool. They were out, but they made sure we understood they could be home at any time to discourage us from inviting company over. It was a little ironic- they thought I would do that, but I knew better, that it was their daughter, of the two of us, who might try it. Shari had a look in her eye, a look that was part I don't care and part I care too much.

Her phone trilled, and she shot her hand into her pocket. I had my phone, too, but it hadn't gone off all day.

"Hey......Stefan?, just hangin' here with Jenna........oh, yes, totally. We're absolutely sitting here in our underwear," she said, rolling her eyes at me. I thought about the way she looked when she turned her back to me as we changed, sliding the soft night clothes over trim hips and large, full breasts that I would never have. Her body made men, not just boys, turn their heads.

"Yeah? What? Here?.......No, no way........No......My parents would FREAK if they came home and you were here.........No, Stefan. You can't. " She covered the phone and mouthed unnecessarily, "he wants to come over," and rolled her eyes again. Stefan, a blonde forward on the basketball team, tall and firm and very popular, liked her. Heck, everybody liked her. I was just a speed bump to them, an extra player, the third wheel. I watched enough standup comedy to know what "wingman" meant.

"We have our pajamas on and our hair up anyway. You wouldn't like to see us like this." That was laughable. Shari could wear a potato sack and boys would come crawling. I stared at her face. She came alive when she was talking to him, sitting up straighter, smiling, crossing her legs and bobbing the top one incessantly.

"Oh, shut up. You would not," she said. I stared out the window at the moon. I remember my father telling me when I was real little that everyone else in the country saw the same moon I did, and it made me mad. I wanted it to be my moon, nobody else's. I hated sharing anything with anybody.

"Yeah....Aw!.....You're so sweet!.......No. We're just going to watch a movie and talk. Girl stuff......Yeah, you'd be bored." It seemed like Shari was a totally different species sometimes. She heard things I didn't hear, saw things I didn't see. It felt like I was in a play, and I didn't know my lines.

The previews had ended, and the menu for the movie was playing, repeating the same couple of scenes over and over. A woman in a white dress sipped from a cup and looked off screen. A handsome guy with some stubble smiled. Two people were dancing in a big, empty hall, moonlight coming through enormous windows. I looked back outside. The moon was still there, ominous and steady.

"No way, Stefan. Nope..........There's no way...........No.......I know, but Jenna is here........she would TOO care.........You're so crazy!.......... No," she said. Why was she letting him keep arguing? No was no, right? There was a magazine article in her bathroom that said you should always let boys think they are winning an argument, but I thought that was stupid. Why let someone think something that isn't true?

"No," she said in a high voice, bringing both hands to her mouth and starting to flush. I tried to imagine what he could have said. She smiled wide and giggled. There was a patch of red skin, like someone was painting her, right above where her cleavage plunged into the thin tank top she had on. Just do it, I wanted to say. Tell him to come over, and take him up to your room, and I'll just sit here and watch the movie and eat the popcorn. I wanted to apologize for even being there.

"Good BYE, Stefan," she said finally, and disconnected the call, smiling and shaking her head gently. She looked at me. I didn't know what to say. I didn't understand what she was thinking at all. Her leg stopped swinging.

"I'm going to close the drapes, so we can see," she said, and she got up and went behind the couch. I watched her move, her top riding up when she reached up high. I looked at the oval of perfect, flat, bare skin that showed above the waist of her pants, the moonlight shining off it. I wanted to know what it felt like to be Shari, perfect and elegant and long and smooth and desired, even if it was only for five minutes. She closed my moon off from us, the TV now glowing brightly, filling the room with shadows as the beautiful people moved back and forth, acting out the same sequence, over and over, living their perfect lives the same way, again and again. Did they see the same moon I did?

I watched Shari sit down again in the dark.

"Push play," she said, and I did.


  1. Those awkward teen years could be so confusing sometimes. You captured that angst very well.

  2. Lovely slice of life. So awkward and wonderful at the same time. Well done!

  3. I enjoyed this one! Nice take on the prompt and quite tense, in a unique way. Good job!

  4. Nice story, portrayed that poor young girl so well. Liked the scene repeating over and over, waiting for them to push play. Maybe she will speak up too.

  5. It's really easy to relate to the main character, I automatically felt like I could understand and sympathize with her. Great job

  6. That took me right back to high school and beyond.. I've always been a Jenna.

  7. It is so difficult to write something that's actually enjoyable to read. This was great. Not too flowery, believable characters and a story that sucks you in. It reminded me of one of my favorite movies (American Beauty), and one of my favorite books (Prep). Great job!

    On another note - thank you for such a wonderful prompt this week. As soon as I read it I knew what I wanted to write about. Except for the marble part. It took me almost all week to figure out how to work marble into my story. It was a nice challenge. And it pushed me to write about something personal. So thanks!

  8. What an incredible story. Wow, this takes me back. You've captured all the insecurity, all the envy, all the admiration, all the crazy, mixed up feelings from the Jennas of the world (me having been one of them). Superb!


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