princess: typwriter and caption: writer (writer)
[personal profile] princess posting in [community profile] authors_anonymous
My response below the fold.

--

She'd watched "Empire Records" more than a hundred times. She knew all the lines by heart, applied them to various times in her life. What's with today, Today, she'd ask herself when something seemed particularly improbably. She thought about the last time she'd worn that faded cornflower blue sweater, and pulled it on again, inhaling the scent of lavender that she'd packed it with when she headed off to college in the first place. That had been in the days just after the accident, when Bobby'd stopped talking to her, and Corinna decided she'd had just about enough of that girl's attitude passed to her third hand from gossipy schoolgirls who couldn't mind their own business.

Then she'd packed a suitcase and disappeared to New York, where no one knew her and they didn't have any idea of the mistakes she'd made. She could leave the nineties behind her like a bad dream, a speed bump of the road of self-actualization. She took classes in Neruda and Picasso, and tried not to notice when professors who smelled like red wine and pot told her she was beautiful and sat too close and looked deep in her eyes and saw their own pathetic egos reflected back from behind her not quite thick enough lenses. She dyed her hair and took up chain-smoking and watching old men play chess in the park, and rose the bus like it was just a thing you did.

Meanwhile, at home, in Small Town, Anystate, they investigated the accident, only now it had taken on the appellation of Accident with a capital A, and because she'd been the only kid from their graduating class to leave for the big city, they treated it like it was her fault. Like because she told Chad the high school football king that she was leaving, he'd gotten liquored up and tried to race a semi and lost. The Accident became a thing that no one talked about when she was home for Christmas break, a thing they swept under the rug until she left, only to bring it out again and gossip with each other about.

Eventually she graduated, and she got a job on the west coast, as far away from Small Town, Anystate as she could manage, and she lived on the coast, walking along the beach, and every so often she'd wear that sweater and think about the people she didn't miss.

And they thought about her, way more than they should, and no one talked but everyone thought it was a tragedy. They thought it was a tragedy when she had kids with a man from the west coast, before she even married him, and they figured that Chad the high school football king would never have been that dishonorable. They thought it was a bigger tragedy when she told her mother (and this was food for gossip for months) that she wasn't getting married, not to this man who reminded her of Lucas, who made her smile, who never asked her for anything, or anyone else.

They thought it was a tragedy, but she was happy.
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A support group for Vocabulaholics

August 2010

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