Thirty Minutes For an Apology MAG

July 4, 2014
By theblondechick GOLD, Kingsport, Tennessee
theblondechick GOLD, Kingsport, Tennessee
14 articles 0 photos 105 comments

Favorite Quote:
I want to live and feel all the shades, tones, and variations of mental and physical experience possible in life.
And I am horribly limited.
-Sylvia Path


You and I rode the paddle boats. We had thirty minutes before they were due back, and you, of course, were determined to make the best of it. As our feet pumped, you tilted your head in a way you thought dreamy.

“God,” you said, “when did you become so beautiful?”

You wanted me to be impressed with you, and I wanted to pretend I wasn't.

“Is that what you say to all the girls you take out on the lake?” I asked in that same dreamy, slightly astonished tone, mocking you.

You laughed. “And when did you become so feisty?”

I have always been. You just never noticed.

“You know, I think it was meant to be that we ended up here, out on this lake,” you said.

I had actually been trying to be a teenager prior to my mom's all-but-blunt encouragement. (“I'm worried about you, sweetie. When I was your age, I was hanging out at the Piggly Wiggly with my friends. You just sit around in your fuzzy socks. Blah blah blah.”) Mason had been talking about going to the lake to fish with you as we idled outside Walgreens in the old, puttering minivan waiting for our mom. He had been drumming his thumbs against the dust-covered steering wheel.

“I want to go.”

He had met my eyes in the rear-view. “We're just fishing,” he had said in a careful tone of boredom.

“I don't care.”

“We're going to be there a while.”

“I'll rent a paddle boat.”

“We're leaving early. Like at eight.”

“So I'll get up at seven. Stop trying to discourage me. I'm going.”

That's how I ended up in the paddle boat with you. Not fate or destiny. You had suggested coming with me, insisted on it. You thought you were so charming. I suppose you are. You're like a puppy that loves too much, licking the hands of everyone you meet. I'm the only one who sees the rangy street dog underneath your skin. The one that begs for affection like food scraps.

I had let you come with me because, in all truth, I didn't want to be alone. I'm weak like that.

“Is that so?” I asked you.

You turned your face up to the sun. The glow played across your nose, your cheek bones. You have a talent of looking like an angel, you know that? “Don't you think so?”

“No, not particularly.”

You frowned. You didn't look so angelic then. “What do you want from me, woman?”

“I want you to be honest with me,” I said. “Be real for once.”

You were so disturbed by my comment that you stopped peddling. We sat in the middle of the burning hot lake. “I am. Always honest.”

Careful now, your street dog was barring its ugly, grayed teeth.

“Then tell me, are you happy?”

“Of course I am.”

“Really?”

“Really.”

“I don't think anyone is completely happy. We're all entitled to our own sadness.”

You frowned again, and it occurred to me that I was being unfair. I have a knack for that. Forgive me.

Shyly now, I asked, “Where do you see yourself in five years?”

I'm a lawyer, you see. I only ask questions I already know the answers to. You had told my parents many times after Mason had already slipped down the steps to his room. You're going to take a class at the local college in your senior year, get a two-year degree, and get hired at the prestigious local factory. Then you'll settle down with a charming wife and have two point five kids, and a golden retriever. The American dream.

You were smiling again. You made happy circles in the water. Maybe you are ultimately unconditionally happy. Maybe you don't see that the boy you are is a long way off from being the man you want to be. Sorry! Sorry!

You didn't ask me where I saw myself in five years. It's okay. I didn't expect you to. But I'll tell you. In five years, I'll be twenty-two. I want to be living in a country where I don't speak the language – France maybe – and be a struggling writer. I'll be poor, lonely, and living in an apartment the size of a shoebox. It'll be hard, but I'll be so very alive.

One day, on a whim, I'll go to a café where I can only afford some kind of dainty pastry. I pick at it, taking my time, because I'm trying to avoid the landlord. The rent is due and I don't have it. The busboy tells me I'm taking up tables. He suggests I apply for a job. I do and become the official dishwasher. I go back to my ratty apartment with blistered red hands each night, but I'll be so alive.

I'll be so very alive!

There's more to it than that. (An epic but tragic love story between busboy and me!) Maybe you'll ask for the rest one day. Ha! Doubtful.

When our thirty minutes were up, we peddled back to the docks. You helped me out, and your hand lingered on mine.

“God,” you said, “when did I start to love you?”

You moved in then. I shoved you. You fell into the lake. Sorry about that, but I wasn't about to let you kiss me.

I will not be your charming wife, have two point five kids, or adopt a golden retriever.


The author's comments:
My daydream of a day that should have happened.

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This article has 12 comments.


on Aug. 30 2015 at 1:24 pm
SomeoneMagical PLATINUM, Durham, New Hampshire
22 articles 1 photo 260 comments
Thank you for the wonderful comment you left on my work...:) this is excellent by the way ^_^ ~

on Oct. 22 2014 at 5:18 pm
Creative-Writer BRONZE, Mesa, Arizona
4 articles 0 photos 37 comments

Favorite Quote:
We know what we are, but know not what we may be. -William Shakespeare

Wonderful work! you asked me a while ago to read you stuff, sorry it took me so long to get around to it.  This piece is great.  It was confusing at first, but then it was understandable. I loved it, and couldn't peel my eyes from the screen! brilliant job.

on Sep. 30 2014 at 10:46 pm
Wordlover255 SILVER, Bountiful, Utah
6 articles 0 photos 3 comments
I just wanted to tell you this is absolutely beautiful. Thank you for sharing your talent, it's encouraging to the rest of us. :) 

on Sep. 28 2014 at 1:49 pm
theblondechick GOLD, Kingsport, Tennessee
14 articles 0 photos 105 comments

Favorite Quote:
I want to live and feel all the shades, tones, and variations of mental and physical experience possible in life.
And I am horribly limited.
-Sylvia Path

Thank you!

JRaye PLATINUM said...
on Sep. 28 2014 at 12:22 pm
JRaye PLATINUM, Dorr, Michigan
43 articles 10 photos 527 comments

Favorite Quote:
"If you build your house far enough away from Trouble, then Trouble will never find you."

"Have you ever looked fear in the face and said, 'I just don't care.'?"

I can't handle how amazing this is...

on Sep. 26 2014 at 10:53 pm
theblondechick GOLD, Kingsport, Tennessee
14 articles 0 photos 105 comments

Favorite Quote:
I want to live and feel all the shades, tones, and variations of mental and physical experience possible in life.
And I am horribly limited.
-Sylvia Path

Thank you for your feedback! (I had to look up who Vonnegut was.) I have another horrible habit (see comment below) of making all my characters pretentious because I am myself. I shall work on that. I'm thrilled you liked it!

ZealousHeart said...
on Sep. 26 2014 at 10:33 pm
ZealousHeart, St. Joseph, Missouri
0 articles 0 photos 11 comments

Favorite Quote:
Here we are, trapped in the amber of the moment. There is no why.

I am totally blown away by this. I can usually find flaws very quickly in absolutely anything, but this one was hard. It's well written, well constructed and quite clever. I especially like the line "You have a talent for looking like an angel." Aslo, the line "I'll be so very alive!" is very Vonnegut-esque to me, which I mean as a compliment.  The story has a very strong, clear voice. I think the choice to leave the narrator and the boy nameless and faceless is quite good. Al in all, your story is fantastic, and I fell in love with your writing style immediatly.    Now for the flaws, which there are few of. The conversation bewteen the two characters borders on pretentious or slightly ridiculous.  They are supposed to be teenagers, right? How many teenagers do you know that would say "Stop trying to discourage me," or "When did you become so feisty." Also the line "What do you want from me, woman?" seems slightly out of place for his character, which is a ridiculous thing to say considering that this story is only a page long, but I'm saying it. The words in bold are the words that I think are out of place in the vocabulary of a sevetneen year old. There are some very, very minor grammatical errors that aren't worth mentioning, but that's about it for flaws in the story.  

on Sep. 25 2014 at 10:08 am
theblondechick GOLD, Kingsport, Tennessee
14 articles 0 photos 105 comments

Favorite Quote:
I want to live and feel all the shades, tones, and variations of mental and physical experience possible in life.
And I am horribly limited.
-Sylvia Path

Thank you for the comment!! I am glad you liked it. You should see the smile on my face! I really really really try to put a lot of depth in any of my characters, so it's rewarding when someone notices. You understood what I was trying to say perfectly! And don't worry about picking out my mistakes. I have the horrible habit of posting things without proofreading it and the writing always suffers. Thank you pointing them out to me. And thank you for taking the time to comment!                                                                                                                              

on Sep. 25 2014 at 9:41 am
Extraterrestrial SILVER, Singapore, Other
9 articles 4 photos 66 comments

Favorite Quote:
"Do what I do. Hold tight and pretend it's a plan!"

I am absolutely blown away by the sheer amount of personality you've managed to stuff into your characters, all in the span of a short story! There is so much complexity revolving around your main character that I could just pick her apart and write an essay about her (my English teacher would have a field day). I love how she is somewhat attracted to the boy but ultimately refuses to be his "charming wife." And yet she still keeps him around because she can't bear to be alone. And that is, I think, the fundamental core that will make your story speak to so many people -- because we are all afraid of being alone, and we do selfish things to prevent that. I love the comparison between the boy and the dog -- it's really something that speaks volumes! So I think this is a very beautifully written piece of work! You've got a few minor mistakes (forgive me for being nitpicky). For instance, it's paddle, not peddle, and baring, not barring. Nevertheless, I greatly enjoyed reading this. Thank you for sharing!

on Aug. 1 2014 at 11:28 am
the-unrehearsed GOLD, Calgary, Other
18 articles 2 photos 34 comments

Favorite Quote:
All the world's a stage and most of us are desperately unrehearsed.

It was my pleasure :)

on Jul. 31 2014 at 1:47 pm
theblondechick GOLD, Kingsport, Tennessee
14 articles 0 photos 105 comments

Favorite Quote:
I want to live and feel all the shades, tones, and variations of mental and physical experience possible in life.
And I am horribly limited.
-Sylvia Path

Thank you for taking the time! It means soooo much to me!

on Jul. 16 2014 at 6:35 pm
the-unrehearsed GOLD, Calgary, Other
18 articles 2 photos 34 comments

Favorite Quote:
All the world's a stage and most of us are desperately unrehearsed.

I took the liberty of stalking your writing after seeing your comment on my story.  Wow.  I love "I only ask the questions I already know the answers to," because it speaks so much to how I am myself xD


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