Of All the Gin Joints...

July 13, 2010
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I am a simple girl.

I have always been able to find happiness in small places. It’s easy for me to walk outside, breathe in the fresh air and think of nothing else but how wonderful it smells. Whenever I get the chance, and the weather is just right, I will lie out in the grass and fall asleep to the sun warming my skin. I look forward to swaying back and forth in a hammock on a lazy Sunday afternoon. I’m addicted to the smell of lilacs at first bloom, entranced by the sound of rain pattering against a glass window, and truly in awe of the songs birds sing in the springtime. I am open-minded and I have patience. I love books and the adventures they take me on. I am always so pleased with the world around me. You, on the other hand, are quite different.

You are complicated.

You hate the weather. You won’t spend time outside if the temperature isn’t a reasonable 75 degrees and sunny. You aren’t a follower. If a book, film or album is popular, you refuse to give it a chance. You have no patience, even for important things such as doctor’s appointments. You insist on being original. When the rest of the world calls me Amy, you have to call me Amelia. You are extravagant. You take me to posh restaurants with menus written in French, even though you know I would be perfectly satisfied with a juicy burger at the local Five Guys. If things aren’t just-so, you become visibly annoyed. You are cranky, stubborn and over-the-top.

But, I loved you.

We first met one night at a bar down the street from the college we both attend. I often gravitate towards dimly lit, over-crowded pubs, especially when I want to read. Many people see this as a very strange habit, but barrooms are full of life with all sorts of characters, which, I find, is the perfect setting to start a novel filled with the same. I saw you eyeing me from across the room and I honestly thought nothing of it. After all, I wasn’t there to meet anyone other than those starring in my book. As you walked towards me I smiled politely, but I was hoping the conversation wouldn’t last long—I was never one for small talk. I figured you would ask the usual questions—what’s your name? Do you go to Boston College? Do you have plans for this evening?—but no, instead you started blabbering on about the book I was reading. I was filled with a strange mixture of both shock and awe that such an attractive boy would have any interest in The Great Gatsby, especially in the midst of all those scantily clad women in that old crappy bar, but you were genuinely enthralled in my reading choice. We began talking and I swear we could have talked all night, but the bar had to close sometime. I remember all I could think of was how much I wanted to see you again. You were so interesting back then.

What happened?

Our year long relationship started off great. We spent the first few months going to great restaurants, art museums and concerts. Every time we went out you had something new planned. We had so many of the same interests and you always tried so hard to make me happy. I remember the night you first told me you loved me; you took me to a jazz concert where we had to dress in formal attire. You bought me a dress and told me I looked stunning. You danced with me in front of everyone, even though you hate dancing. You told me how special I was and how there was no one in the world who shined as bright as I did, then you said those three words and I melted. We had something really special back then, but as time moved on things began to change. You stopped doing things with my interests in mind. When we went out, it would be to places where you wanted to go. When I had an idea, you just shut it down without any further discussion. I gave up pushing for my ideas until pretty soon we stopped going out in general. Instead you would just sit in your room and read. You became unhappy, impatient, and anti-social. I tried to fight these changes in you; I tried to force myself to believe they weren’t true. After all, I really loved you. However, soon I realized what was actually happening; you weren’t changing at all—this behavior really was you.

You just stopped trying to impress me.

I asked you to meet me today at the same bar where we first met. I watch you walk through the doors and spot me within seconds. You look tired, grumpy—I can reasonably predict this conversation isn’t going to be as exciting as our first. I begin to speak, and as the words flow through my lips I watch your expression—nothing changes. I tell you how things haven’t been working out and I feel as though I need more independence—you just stare blankly. This angers me, now I just want to hurt you. When I tell you how your miserable soul has been breaking my spirit for the six months, I can tell you are thinking something totally different, something along the lines of ‘I’m too good for this conversation and you.’ That’s fine, maybe you’re right. I just smile sweetly until you finally get frustrated enough to get up and leave. As you walk out of eyesight I feel a huge weight lift off of my shoulders. For the first time in months, I am genuinely happy. A smile paints my face as I pull a book out from my bag, just as I did on that first night, but this time it’s a new book—a new start, a new journey.

I’ve moved on.

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This article has 18 comments. Post your own now!

SecretNonConformist said...
Aug. 6, 2010 at 4:04 pm
You really are an amazing writer. The one tiny little thing you could do is flesh out the boy a little more so the reader could feel the breakup harder. Still, this was so good!
AidanR. said...
Aug. 4, 2010 at 2:53 pm

I liked this a lot too.  It was depressing, but not in a sad way, if that makes any sense.  Just sort of like, "oh, ah well".

Then of course the ending wasn't depressing.

I take it you like classic movies?

wild-free replied...
Aug. 5, 2010 at 1:51 pm
I love classic movies! And classic books.. for example Gatsby and Casablanca haha. 
DeadPeopleKinndaGrl said...
Aug. 4, 2010 at 12:01 pm
I really enjoyed this. I love how you told about how different the two are. It's really good! Give me some feedback plzzzz! (:
Still_Waters26 said...
Aug. 3, 2010 at 7:42 pm
Sad story, but realistic.  Most romance stories on Teenink are about how "he was so perfect and yet he fell in love with me, of all the girls in the world", but this one's more bittersweet.  Did this really happen in real life? Just wonderin.
wild-free replied...
Aug. 3, 2010 at 10:15 pm

No it didn't.. strictly fiction! :)

Thank you for the feedback!

thepreechyteenager said...
Aug. 3, 2010 at 1:21 pm
Aw, a little sad.  I mean, I liked your writing, but sad story.  I guess what had to happen happened though. A very nice story, and the ending was splendid.  I also love the short little statements/questions you made throughout.
iDogrocker said...
Aug. 2, 2010 at 12:28 am
This isn't my favorite piece of yours, but I still enjoyed reading it. I love the first sentence and the recurring theme of words along those lines. I liked that the headings told the story and the blocks played a mental movie with the details. Another job very well done.
TravelWriteLive said...
Jul. 31, 2010 at 6:48 pm
Completely adored this!! The sad thing is, someone I know reminds me of the man. It's not a good quality- fake. Awesome work, and as stated below by many others, I really love how you do a one-liner and then explain it. It's really beautiful, and I feel like I am there.
gymbabe This work has been published in the Teen Ink monthly print magazine. said...
Jul. 28, 2010 at 11:40 am
Again, I have to say this is absolutely awesome, like everyone else, I love the one-liners, and you're very descriptive and vivid.  Everything is realistic and clear.  My favorite is the last line.
HotTeenWriter24x7 said...
Jul. 26, 2010 at 12:13 pm
This is a really cool piece i especially like the one-liners...u can actually read between the lnes with them...as if they are a paragraph...carefully divided by each sentence then explained...awesome work..keep writitng..i like this technique ;]
sleeplessdreamer said...
Jul. 26, 2010 at 10:09 am

So, for the record, this is my kind of story. Straight-forward and easy to read. A simple story with good writing, that pulls you in despite the fact that there's nothing miraculous about the plot.

Ok, I didn't like the first couple paragraphs, though. I could have done without that. And this is not because your descriptions were "cliche". (Honestly, people, get off that kick. You call everything in the world cliche... I think it's because you can't think of anyother criticism. It's ge... (more »)

JohnWallOfTheWizards said...
Jul. 25, 2010 at 10:33 pm
I like the one liners, I can picture them on a book cover surrounding a girls face. it kept me reading. I do not get the title though. hope to read more.
cantfindascreename said...
Jul. 25, 2010 at 7:21 pm
I really liked the one lniers between each part of the relationship, it went really well with the I am a simple girl in the very beginning.  It was straightforward, and so i could picture the character very well.  I really thought the whole thing was great!
sajciesann replied...
Jul. 26, 2010 at 11:32 pm

I agree, the one liners are great. They're simple and easy to read, and really give it impact rather then just explaining that you are simple, stating it first gives it emphasis and i think it is the opposite of chliche because alot of writers worry one-liners ARE cliche, maybe explaining things in detail has become cliche. (sorry for going on so long).

I like that it was straightforward and to the point, but I'm glad you also explained things to really give your readers the image... (more »)

AgnotTheOdd said...
Jul. 24, 2010 at 1:13 am

My primary gripe is the very first line.  "I am a simple girl."

Please don't start writing with phrases like that.  It's cliched.  I think the problem could be easily eliminated by just removing that line altogether.  Voila.

Care to read my "The Waiting Room"?

Whylime replied...
Jul. 24, 2010 at 8:35 am
i disagree. "im a simple girl" is not cliche. it pulls you in. very good and professional sounding, well done. thanks for commenting on my article (:
wild-free replied...
Jul. 24, 2010 at 10:24 am

I wouldn't be able to eliminate that line from the story because I wrote the story so that the one-liners in between each paragraph almost tell a story by themselves. Not all of my writing is like that, I just tried something different with this piece. Sure I will read your story.

I'm glad you liked it, Whylime! And no problem. :)

Thank you both!

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