Friday, February 08, 2008

3WW: Crossing Over

(This is something I wrote for this week's Three Word Wednesday. The words were: bridge, disturbed, still.)

Christine crossed the bridge into Carrollton five times a week. Ten, if you counted the trip back. It was the trips back when she felt the most alone.

Crossing over into Nebo, the sleepy town lay quiet and still. The streets all but deserted. As she passed the darkened houses, she would think about her friends, all married now. Why wasn't that her?

All she had ever truly aspired to be was a faithful partner and loving mother. Instead, she was driving in from work at 11 o'clock on a Thursday night, to an empty apartment where the appliances and furniture seemed to take on more of a human personality with each passing day.

She had promised herself she'd stop waiting tables before she turned thirty. When thirty came and went, she amended it to thirty-five. Now, forty didn't seem so bad.

The prospect of changing jobs seemed too intimidating. It was easier to just keep doing what she had always done. Tips were decent, and she knew she couldn't make this much money doing anything else she was qualified to do.

Most of the time, the only people she spoke to all day were people at work. That had disturbed her at some point years ago, but by now she had grown used to it. Friends were busy with their families. She never made an effort to get to know her neighbors. And her mother hadn't uttered a word to anyone in over three years.

Christine felt like she had missed some very important lesson or step somewhere along the way. Each day felt like the world was speeding by, leaving her farther behind.

No one cared if she slept until 3. No one noticed when she came home late at night. Would anyone notice if she wasn't there at all? She wondered that often.

Her phone rang. She recognized the number. Her heart sank into her stomach.

"Hello."
"Miss Grant?"
"Yes?"
"This is Lydia with Lakeshore Assisted Living."
"Yes?"
"It's your mother. I... think you should come right over."
"My mother? What happened!"
"Your mother... just asked to see you."

"We may lose our focus. There's just too many words we're never meant to learn. And we don't feel so alive..."

26 comments:

  1. I think we've all felt like Christine a time or two (or ten). Or maybe it's just me, but I felt like she could have easily been describing a lot of us.

    I loved that whole first paragraph, Bone: you really pulled me in. Excellent job.

    The ending totally caught me unaware - in a good way. You could have gone with the obvious "she just died," but instead, you took us somewhere else. I enjoy going off course from time to time :)

    ReplyDelete
  2. You have known me too long. Admit it--you do a great job of capturing a woman's POV
    This is all too familiar
    Christine felt like she had missed some very important lesson or step somewhere along the way. Each day felt like the world was speeding by, leaving her farther behind.

    No one cared if she slept until 3. No one noticed when she came home late at night. Would anyone notice if she wasn't there at all? She wondered that often.

    And this is my favorite sentence
    to an empty apartment where the appliances and furniture seemed to take on more of a human personality with each passing day.

    You know I name my computers and stuff :)

    ReplyDelete
  3. So very fine! Burning bridges and then finding... Descriptive and tense!

    ReplyDelete
  4. Well when a woman who hasn't spoken to you in 3 years suddenly asks to see you...something is up!

    Very good story.

    ReplyDelete
  5. hmmm.. sad, lonely story... crossing the bridge back and forth... some days it's just nice to hear the quiet voices... the end was the best... lights up the dark... thank you for the weekly prompts...

    ReplyDelete
  6. I can identify with so many of those emotions-- I'e had to journey through so much-- but there is another side of that kind of pain.

    ReplyDelete
  7. TC: Thanks! I've always found bridges inspiring. And I'm glad the ending caught you unaware. That's always good to hear :)

    Oh, by the way, just noticed you have a new profile pic! When did that happen?

    Pia: Thank you. It's always a challenge for me to write from a woman's POV. I never want to be presumptious. I guess it helped that I could relate to her in some ways, such as the living alone and the being left behind parts.

    And yes, I knew about the computers, but um, "and stuff?" :)

    Tumblewords: I never think my writing is descriptive enough. So thank you :)

    Renee: Thank you. I was gonna have her say, "Bosco!" But it seemed to upset the mood of the story.

    Littlewing: Thanks. The whole thing felt so lonely, and although that was the idea, I wanted to add a little hope at the end.

    Cami: I guess as a writer, you always hope to capture emotions and make your story relatable.

    ReplyDelete
  8. very nicely done bone.. ya just never know do ya.... at any moment any of us could be called upon,, and who is to say it wont be the most important call you ever get....

    ReplyDelete
  9. nicely done--I need to get back to writing 3WWs

    ReplyDelete
  10. yeah, "Bosco" would have totally killed the mood...but it would have had me cracking up...BIG TIME!

    ReplyDelete
  11. Um... a couple of weeks ago. Sometime in the middle of the Bone-hiatus I guess you could say :)

    ReplyDelete
  12. Paisley: Thank you. Yeah, and I thought she needed to be reminded of that in that moment.

    Sage. Thanks. Yeah, me too. This was my first 3WW effort in awhile.

    Renee: Yeah, plus probably only me, you, and maybe a couple other people would have gotten it.

    TC: So since you didn't have my blog to read, you had time for other things. Well, that makes sense :)

    ReplyDelete
  13. It's all about you, isn't it?

    8-) 8-) 8-) 8-)

    ReplyDelete
  14. I enjoyed reading this story, I am sure there are many Christine's out there that feel the same loneliness. Liked the way you used the bridge here, and loved the ending.

    ReplyDelete
  15. This is very well written.

    I could sense her loneliness I also wondered why she had taken the easy route in one way, but a sad, hard route in another. I'm curious about what her mother is going to say to her, and how it will change the story.

    ReplyDelete
  16. You know I like such ending. Far from the expected. So positive.

    There are many like Christine. Then there are many who are very unlike her. It is important what we truly focus on. If we think we have missed something then we have. Each one of us, be it single, married or otherwise, miss something.One must not measure life in terms loss or gain.

    Just my two penny.

    ReplyDelete
  17. Hi Bone,
    I really liked this, including the ending, although I didn't want it to end, you had hooked me in so well.

    Thanks for dropping by my blog. I've only been doing 3WW for three weeks but I think your prompt words are excellent.

    ReplyDelete
  18. Shelby: Thank you.

    TC: No, it's not all about me. But that's very nice of you to say :)

    Christy: Thanks. I'm glad you enjoyed reading it.

    Mariacristina: Thank you. I guess the idea I had was that she never really desired a career.

    Gautami: Thanks. I did want to leave it on a bit of a positive note. Yes, what makes one person happy might not make another happy.

    Watermaid: Thank you. It's always better to hear you didn't want it to end rather than you were ready for it to be over :)

    Glad you're enjoying the prompt.

    ReplyDelete
  19. Such a sad story, made me think of Eleanor Rigby! How old am I? Its interesting that you can write from a female perspective. I haven't managed to do that.

    ReplyDelete
  20. This is wonderful, Bone. And yes, I SO identified.

    ReplyDelete
  21. Lives of quiet desperation...

    ReplyDelete
  22. It was a nice smooth interesting read.

    ReplyDelete
  23. Truefaith: Wow, that is a sad song. I'm not sure how well I did that, but it's always good to practice.

    Actonbell: Thank you :)

    Richard: Indeed. A fitting quote.

    Jujee: Thanks.

    ReplyDelete
  24. Oh this is so well done, Bone. Moving from one day to then ext without any change kills focus doesnt it? Thank you.

    ReplyDelete
  25. UL: Yeah, it's easy to get in that rut. Thank you for the comment.

    ReplyDelete