22 comments

Feb 20, 2021

Contemporary Romance Friendship

Billy:

Hi…

Hello there!

Hey, Lilly!

seen

It’s me…

Billy

seen

How are you?

seen

OK, no need to be rude…

Yeah, I know it’s been a long time…

Yep, I’m an asshole…

I’m sorry I haven’t been in touch. You have every right not to talk to me if you don’t want to. I just hope you’re doing well.

I’m back in town…


Lilly:

You’re what?

So, you remember me only if things go bad…

I haven’t heard from you in years. You didn’t even text me for my birthday…

Hi, Billy!

Believe it or not, community college professors can also be busy.

Sorry for taking a bit longer to reply.

Although not as long as you, obviously

What do you mean you’re back? Just visiting or back-back?


Billy:

I arrived a couple of days ago.

Catching up with my folks and scouting for a place and an office to rent for now.

But, hopefully, it should become permanent as of next month.🙂


Lilly:

How come Mr. Hot Shot Big City Financial Consultant

decided to go back to the Midwest?

Don’t tell me Mrs. Billy Jones, a.k.a. stick-in-the-butt corporate lawyer agreed to this…

Permanent? Well, that’s a surprise!

Beth’s OK with you leaving New York?


Billy:

I have no idea how she feels.

For all I know, she’s thrilled.

We’ve split up a few months ago…


Lilly:

Oh?

I’m sorry.🙁

Is that why you’re moving back?


Billy:

It’s more like the other way around.

Moving back was something I’ve had on my mind for a while.

She didn’t think it was a great idea.

And there was that other thing…


Lilly:

As a lawyer she must’ve been open to discussion at least?

It just sounds a bit strange...

splitting over something like that.🤔


Billy:

I know your perceptivity meter is always tuned to the max but I’m shocked at how fast you got me…

Well, we did discuss it. Or more like, she tried to make me stay and win her case with some strong arguments… the way she always does.


Lilly:

You mean TWO very special strong arguments? 😝


Billy:

Haha! 😂

Yeah, eventually, she tried those too.

Couldn’t say it worked.


Lilly:

I’m glad. Never really liked her.

Seriously, Billy.

Joking aside, I’m sorry it didn’t work out.


Billy:

Thank you!

And thanks for making me laugh!

You’ve always known how to do that.


Lilly:

Haha

At your service!

You’re welcome!

So, how come you decided to abandon the Big Apple?

I thought it was your dream


Billy:

It was more like Beth’s dream.

I just tagged along.

Pretty soon I realized that corporate life wasn’t for me.

But I tried. For her.

When it was her turn, she didn’t try for me…

I guess it wasn’t meant to be. And I don’t really blame her. We’ve always wanted different things.

I was just too blind to see it.


Lilly:

I see…

You still haven’t replied to my question.

Picked up some lawyer tactics on the way, huh?

Moving back home?

New place, new office?

What’s the deal?


Billy:

Yep. I got tired of serving the big sharks.

Decided to channel my skills into something useful for a change.

I’m starting an NGO to help provide free financial advice to small local businesses.


Lilly:

I should say I’m impressed

Honestly, I thought you must have your head up your ass

nose up in the air by now…


Billy:

Yeah, right… Thanks for the honesty. I deserved that.

I think I did get lost for a while,

so you’re not completely wrong.


Lilly:

Seems like you’re trying to make it right at least.

Good for you!😊


Billy:

Thanks! I didn’t mean to brag…

You tend to make me loosen my tongue more than expected. 😉

So, forget about me. How are you doing?

Still teaching Marketing I guess?

Is there a Mr. Miller also?


Lilly:

No, no Mr. Miller.

Thank you very much! Single life is not half as bad as they try to make you believe.

Jobwise, you’ve guessed right

And, well, I already kind of confirmed it.

I’m still at the old school.

Although the department is expanding.

Now we have a 20-year-old

teaching an Instagram Marketing class…


Billy:

Hahaha. Really? There’s such a thing?

Whaddya know!🤯


Lilly:

Yep, my marketing knowledge is slowly going obsolete.

But at least I try to keep up with the new stuff.

Poor Professor Jackson though… He’s completely lost 😁


Billy:

Jackson?! Wow! He’s still kicking?

He must be ancient by now. During our time in college he was like over 60 already.

It must be strange… Working with someone who used to teach you the basics of SWAT analysis just 10 years ago?


Lilly:

At first, maybe. Over time, you get used to it.

Although… if I happen to walk into the teachers’ lounge sleepy and he’s there, I get a sudden urge to apologize for being late… 😅


Billy:

😂😂😂

Yeah, he does have this ability to make you feel uncomfortable

Remember the “wine” incident?


Lilly:

Haha…

“Miss Miller, if we wanted to have a wine tasting, we wouldn’t have called this class Marketing Strategy!”

👴🏽


Billy:

Haha, the bottles rolling out of your bag right in the middle of class!


Lilly:

The funny thing is… You wouldn’t believe me…

But now Jackson is teaching a Wine Marketing class! 🍷🍷🍷🤣🤣


Billy:

NO! You’re shitting me!


Lilly:

I’m not. Dead serious!

You could come back and enroll 🤣


Billy:

Hahaha

Well, maybe it was you that thought him a thing or two then.

If I remember well, we didn’t spare those bottles their faith.

And, come to think of it… that night, you kind of thought me how to drink, young lady…


Lilly:

Yeah… that night


Billy:

We almost…

You were trying to get me drunk and take advantage of me I reckon…

I almost told you I…

You know, I would gladly repeat it. I miss those times.


Lilly:

Please, don’t go there…

I've just remembered I’m still trying to be mad at you…

It won’t be the same. We are no longer young and stupid.


Billy:

I’m glad we aren’t

typing…

typing…

typing…

Maybe this time it could end differently 🙊


Lilly:

🙄

I know where this is going…

Billy, you can’t swoop back in all of a sudden and try to use me as a rebound after your failed marriage.

It’s not fair.


Billy:

I’m not…

I didn’t mean it like that.

I’ve always felt like we… you know

typing...

typing...

Don’t you regret at least a bit we’ve never even tried?


Lilly:

Tried what?

typing...

typing...

Having sex?


Billy:

Always so blunt 🙃

No… have something serious.


Lilly:

Are you seriously starting this conversation with me over text??

I’m afraid it’d have to wait. Someone’s at the door.


Billy:

It’s me…


🚪


“Hey, Lilly!”






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22 comments

A.dot Ram
00:44 Feb 20, 2021

I love how you played with the strike-out text! I'm so interested in that space between what we think and what we say, and this was a cool way to explore it. I also approached this prompt as a text conversation.

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Bianka Nova
01:10 Feb 20, 2021

Thank you! You are too kind. This looked much better with its original formatting, but even so, there's a lot of room for improvement. Which one is your "text conversation" story? I'd love to read it. I'd love to do some catching up with Reedsy stories in general... I've been too busy lately :(

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A.dot Ram
01:14 Feb 20, 2021

My texting story is "You Can Call Me Bob". I wrote it for the dialog-only prompt. It's good to see you back.

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Lily Kingston
14:54 Feb 22, 2021

I like how you added the text with a line through it to represent their true thoughts/deleted texts. I feel like we've all be there. It was pretty clever to slowly wan out how many deleted texts there were towards the end as they grew more comfortable with each other and stopped playing it safe/polite. Keep up the good work and keep writing!!

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Bianka Nova
17:24 Feb 22, 2021

Thank you, Lily! :)

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Rayhan Hidayat
14:49 Feb 20, 2021

I'm pretty sure you can upload images, so, in theory, if you REALLY wanted to take this text format to the next level, you can just type out this story using two phones, take screenshots, and use those. Though obviously that's a huge hassle and I doubt anyone would go that far. Still, welcome back!!! I took a month off from writing as well to be honest. My favorite thing about this piece is the way the unsent messages reveal their inner thoughts, which is realistic and relatable. It's clever and good use of an unconventional format. The en...

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Bianka Nova
13:41 Feb 21, 2021

Thanks! I'm glad people didn't think it was that bad. The formatting just killed me. First, the indentation didn't work. Then, I tried making half of the dialogue bold. For some reason, it didn't work either. Then I added name tags. They didn't help, because they blended with the text. So, I underlined them. Didn't make it clearer. And this is how I finally was forced to have them as big headings. Aaargh, the frustration! :D Had I known that I can have it as a picture, I would've indeed done it like that and lost less time XD At least, I'...

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Elizabeth Inkim
03:51 Feb 20, 2021

Hey Bianka! You know, the format of strike-out text reminded me a lot of Tahereh Mafi's writing style in the Shatter Me series (I highly recommend btw it's one of my favourites), a do you know it made for an exciting read; with great pacing. Also, I read it as a text conversation before I even saw your comment; I think the style inferred it. My favourite part was when you wrote "typing, typing, typing", aka the most stressful part of any text conversation when your not sure where you stand with each other.

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Bianka Nova
11:22 Feb 20, 2021

Thank you, Elizabeth! I haven't heard of Tahereh Mafi, her books seem to have really good reviews. Also, she's part Iranian, so that's interesting. Lately, I've been trying to expand the variety of authors I'm reading. I've used the strike-out text to represent texts that were written but not send. As Anne said, a way to explore the things that cross our minds but were never said. Also, my intention was to start heavily with deleted text and show how they gradually start to hold less and less back and be more open. There might be a better...

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Elizabeth Inkim
11:45 Feb 20, 2021

Yeah, I understand about the writing form or Reedsy, sometimes I wish we could alternate the text with left and right alignment. But if you Tahereh Mafi’s Shatter Me series you won’t regret is; it’s so good. She uses strike outs more for thoughts and character voice. I actually used this same prompt for this week, it called "Lighting in a Bottle", and I'd love to know what you think about how the romance unravels.

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Bianka Nova
11:58 Feb 20, 2021

I'll make sure to read it. I've followed you so that I could be reminded ;)

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Elizabeth Inkim
12:16 Feb 20, 2021

Happy to share my love of books!

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Bianka Nova
00:26 Feb 20, 2021

It's not much of a story, but: 1 - I missed writing 2 - I missed the dialogue prompt, so I'm doing a bit of catching up 3 - I wanted to play a bit with the format Last was a complete failure and is so not what I intended.😭 It's so ugly, but I had to put the name tags for (some) clarity. Please imagine this story as a text exchange where the respective parts are aligned right and left. 🙃

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Sue Marsh
22:58 Mar 01, 2021

Bianka, this is so unique the way you have written this. I truly enjoyed it. Very well done. Keep writing you have a great deal of talent. Sue PS if you have a moment please read and comment on my story I Married My Droid. Thank you.

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Kristin Neubauer
15:24 Feb 25, 2021

Welcome back, Bianka! I'm sorry it's taken me so long to read. I have been far behind in my reading for the past six weeks or so. Now that I'm in the advanced year at school, they are coming down hard. But anyway, you have come roaring back. I LOVE THIS! It's so creative, so insightful, so much fun and so sweet...but without being sentimental. And it's witty too...I was laughing throughout. Looking forward to reading more from you!

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Heather Mcquaid
16:13 Feb 22, 2021

I liked it, and very in-the-moment way that people communicate now. Only a few things that I had a question about. I'm familiar with the phrase, someone having a 'stick up their butt,' but not familiar with them having 'a stick in their butt.' Maybe it's a regional thing? Also, for me, 'nose up in the air' means someone who thinks they're better than others, turning their noses up (away from them). In the context you've used it, it seems like it's meant to mean 'self-absorbed' or selfish. Again, maybe it's a regional/cultural difference....

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Bianka Nova
17:34 Feb 22, 2021

Hi, Heather, very well spotted! The stick up the butt is the correct one. I wanted for Lilly to try to come up with a metaphor of her own, but wasn't feeling too creative, so it ended up being a bad rendition of the original. And I know that nose in the air and head up one's butt are also not the same thing, but in terms of phrasing they fit well, and the nose one is also kind of fitting anyway. In this case, those were intentional mistakes. But if you spot something like that in my writing, it's definitely not cultural or regional since...

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Heather Mcquaid
17:56 Feb 22, 2021

Ah, okay, I didn't realise that you wanted the main characters to make mistakes. My bad, haha. I'd never guess English was not your native language! Even among native English speakers there a loads of different ways of saying things (like people from India have similar phrases to American, but not quite the same, and the British use some prepositions differently than Americans.). That's why I like to ask if people meant to say something in a certain way, because, hey, maybe that's the way they say it. :)

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Bianka Nova
18:35 Feb 22, 2021

When I started writing my dialogues were too polite and formal it seems. That's why I've gotten into the habit of making them somehow imperfect in order for them to be more believable. Because it's true that it doesn't even matter if you're native or not. Informal speech is always messy. :)))

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Amel Parvez
15:58 Feb 21, 2021

WOW! I really loved it and enjoyed reading it. Just A W E S O M E. :)

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Bianka Nova
18:30 Feb 21, 2021

Thank you, dear! :)

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Amel Parvez
07:34 Feb 22, 2021

you're welcome! <3

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