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Friendship Romance Teens & Young Adult

You laugh as they wheel them out to the car. They’re your best friend and you love them to death, maybe even beyond it, but that doesn’t excuse the fact that they remind you of Alvin the Chipmunk right now. You guys are at the Maxillofacial surgeon’s office in town today, and they’ve just been released from surgery. Wisdom teeth. It’s funny because a month earlier you got your wisdom teeth out and your mom drove. Your best friend was busy. They had practice, and heaven forbid you come between them and their extracurriculars. Now you’re in the parking lot, though, and you feel like you’ve done your part so far. The nurse comes around to the window after helping your friend into the car and you roll down the window. It sticks, because your car is old, but the nurse doesn’t mind. She’s super pretty, with bright red shellacked nails and thick eyelashes. You can’t see the rest of her face because of her mask, but you can fill in the blanks. Slowly, you’re getting better at mentally adding the details you can’t see behind the masks everyone (should be or) is wearing. 

“Here’s the checklist.” She hands you the paper and you thank her while reading over the rules for the next few days. “Make sure you follow it! You don’t want any infections or excess swelling. Is this,” she points at the address on the bottom of the paper, “The correct pharmacy?”

“Mmm hm, yeah.” Your hand is resting on your friend’s leg because they’re shaking, faster than a jackhammer on the Fourth of July. “Thank you so much!” You know the nurse’ll think you mean for taking care of your friend, but you mean in general. The nurses… man, you can’t compute how hard they’re working right now. It’s been a rough year, but it’s helped your gratitude levels skyrocket. 

“Alright. You guys have a good day!” The nurse walks back into the office and your turn to the passenger’s side of the car. Ky looks sleepy. They don’t say anything, not yet, and you promised you wouldn’t record after the surgery so your phone stays in your pocket. 

“How’re you feeling?” You ask, relocating both hands back to the steering wheel. 

Ky’s head bounces off the back of the headrest. “Ugly. My face hurts.” 

“You’re never ugly, Ky.” You aren’t lying. You don’t lie. “Just a little swollen around the edges today.” You’d never tell them, but the way their usually sharp angles are softened today makes you smile, wonder what they were like as a baby. “Want to stop by the store and get yogurt?” 

“No. I want a hamburger.” 

“That’s not on the checklist.” 

Ky’s eyes roll. It’s good to see no IV could ever erase the prevalent sarcasm running through their veins. “You aren’t on the checklist either and you’re still here.” Ky leans over in the seat and sighs, focused on the side of your face. With light fingers, their fingers trace your jawline. You don’t move. It’s the same thing you would do for a butterfly. You stay still when it lands and wait till it’s gone to wonder why it chose you, at least for a moment. “You’re always here.” 

“And, God willing, I always will be.” You pat their fingers with your free hand. They’re cold, like left out overnight cheese sticks. “Why are your hands always so cold?” 

“Dunno.” Ky moves their hand and presses it up against their lips. “Am I okayyy? Where are my lips?” Their fingers slide back to their cheeks and you can sense the panic rising. “My face is gone. My mouth is full but I was never eating.” Ky turns to you, stricken. “I don’t think I’ve eaten since last night.” 

“That’s right. You had to fast for a while so they could take your teeth out.” 

“Who took my teeth? Where’d they take them to?” 

“The doctor took them and probably put them in the trash. That was why you were in surgery. Those teeth- well, those were your wisdom teeth. They’re supposed to come out.” 

“But why?” Ky starts to cry. You reach over and they grab your hand, sharp bones cracking into your palm. “Why did you let them take my teeth? They’re mine. I want them back.” 

“You can’t have them back. You don’t need them. Hey, look, I bet your mouth is starting to hurt. Let’s get home so we can take that gauze out and then you can have some ice cream. What flavor do you want?”

“Guess. You’re my best friend. You know. You know everything.” Ky stares at the ceiling. “But there’s actually one thing you don’t know.” 

You know you shouldn’t ask what it is. Ky’s in a vulnerable state. It wouldn’t be fair and yet, you’re curious by tendency. You ask, “What could that be?” 

“I just like you, is all.” 

You think about pulling the car over and jumping in the nearest ditch. Did you hear that correctly? Dang. This is why you should never have asked. They wouldn’t have told you if you didn’t ask but you did and now… now you know. Over seven years and they never told you. Just to verify, you ask again. “Repeat that?” 

Ky leans over again and you’re suddenly very aware of space. Specifically how little of your own you have in the moment. “I said, I like you,” Ky repeats, “And it’s okay you know that now, I think. You know me best and I never know if I know you at all.” They lower their glasses at you. “I still like what you let me know, though. And I always listen. You think I don’t because I seem distracted but I make time for you. I do.” 

“Yeah.” You don’t know what else to say. You don’t pull over but you’re not sure how you’re driving in a straight line anymore either. “Ky,” you start, “Ky, you don’t like me. It’s just the medicine. It’ll make you say funny things for a while. But we’re, um, we’re friends. Alright? You and me? We’re friends. Best friends.”

“My mom says my dad is her best friend. Can’t we be like that? Can’t I love you,” you jump at the l word, “and be your best friend too? Let’s buy a house, okay? And you can decorate the yard and I’ll do the kitchen and it’ll be so nice.” Ky still has your hand in theirs. You’re frozen. It reminds you that you need to be getting ice cream. “It’ll be so nice, won’t it?” 

“We can’t do that. Friends don’t decorate houses together. What kind of ice cream do you want?” The subject changing weighs heavy on your chest. You remember you’re wearing Ky’s jacket. It smells like lavender and Cool Whip and Ky’s mom’s laundry detergent. You want to take it off. But it’s warm. You keep it on. “Chocolate? Vanilla? Strawberry?” You know Ky lives for Rocky Road. You don’t say it because you don’t want to dig the hole further. You don’t want them to think you keep a list of their favorites in your wallet. “Lemon?” 

“I hate lemon.” Ky is wounded by your ineffective suggestions. 

“Kiwi, then?” 

“I’m allergic to kiwi!” 

Maybe that was a step too far. You don’t want Ky to hate you. “Sorry, I’ll get Rocky Road.” Ky shoots finger guns in your direction. “But it may be hard to eat with your mouth like that.” You couldn’t eat anything but chicken broth when you got your wisdom teeth out. 

“Like what?” Ky’s already forgotten about the surgery. Again. If only they’d forget what they said to you minutes earlier, too. “What’s wrong with my mouth?” 

“It’s swollen. You just got your wisdom teeth out. Remember?” 

“No. I don’t. Well, kind of. Doesn’t that make you say weird crap sometimes, though? You’re not recording. You said you wouldn’t.” 

And you still aren’t, thank goodness. The only thing that would make this worse is if you’d gotten Ky saying the dreaded words on permanent display. Then when someone asked to see the video, you’d have to say it’d been deleted. You wouldn’t have gotten rid of it though, because you’d be playing it late at night. Like a broken record until your phone died and your housemates yelled at you to go to bed, you’d listen to Ky saying, “I just like you, is all.” You’d spin out. You’d crash. Ah, but you can’t think of crashing now. Not while you’re driving. How stupid would that be? 

“No, I’m not recording. I’ll tell you some of the things you said later, if you want.” 

“That’s okay. I already know I said what mattered most. Are we going to get ice cream, though? My head hurts.” Ky pokes their eye. “Ow. Not numb.” You laugh, of course their eyes aren’t numb. What kind of surgeon would numb your eyes to yank teeth from your skull? That would be weird. Not as weird, you think, as Ky practically confessing that they love you in the passenger seat of your mom’s old truck. The floor of the vehicle is still sticky with melted Jolly Ranchers, from when Ky left their bag of them over three days last summer. That’s one of the reasons your mom wouldn’t sell the car. It wasn’t in good shape, but at least it was in good hands. 

“Yeah, we’re going to your house first, though. Then I’ll go get the ice cream and you can rest awhile. Sounds like a plan?” You don’t want to take the gauze out of their mouth. You hate blood. Blood is slick and gross and you know in the back of your mind that it’s one of the most important things ever, but that doesn’t mean you like it. You can appreciate the existence of something without liking it, you figure. 

Ky’s bleary smile jolts you. Your best friend is so pretty even now, with a face full of bloody cotton and dark circles forming around their eyes. And to be smiling through it all, well, it just reminds you that for whatever reason, you make them happy. You can’t imagine why, but you actually can, and that makes everything more complicated. You’re worthy of love and stuff. It’s. Just. You can’t take it from Ky. Especially not on a medication induced whim. Especially not three days after a wild holiday party in which you almost ended up bailing Ky out of a cold jail cell. 

“Sounds like a wonderful plan.” Ky’s lips are dabbed with droplets of rosy, pearling blood but you hand them a paper towel. 

“Um, maybe wipe the corners of your mouth. There’s some blood,” you point to the corners of your own mouth with your pinky, “There.” Ky grabs your hand. “Let go of my hand, please, I’m driving.” 

“I can’t feel my face.” 

“Well,” you reach up and pull the car mirror down, “Look up there and then you won’t have to feel it. You can see it.” 

“But I want you to help me. Please? I’m so tired. My head hurts and I kinda want my mom… Isn’t that weird?” You take the paper towel from Ky, swipe at the blood dripping from their stitched up gums, and then shake your head. 

“It’s not weird to want your mom when you’re sick. That’s pretty normal. Moms are super good at taking care of us when we’re sick.” 

“Mmm yeah, but so are you. Else why would you have come with me? You’re so good. The best.” Ky starts to sing something soft under their breath. You don’t, this time, ask what it is. “What do you want to name our kids?” 

“What?” Your car bounces into the next lane over and you have to whip it back into the right one quicker than succotash on a summer’s sweet Sunday. “We aren’t having kids.” You may be having kids on your own, and you figure if Ky wants kids they’ll find someone eventually, but it won’t be a joint- you don’t even want to think about that. Here is your best friend, your precious partner in crime who you would undeniably die for, and they’re confessing that they love you but, like, love love. 

You wish you couldn’t say the exact same thing and it be 100% true. 

As you pull into Ky’s driveway and hop out of the car to help them inside, you hope they forget all about the ride home; what they said and what you couldn’t say, not even with the anaesthesia fumes crawling up your nose. 

Ky’s body is warm against yours as the two of you make your way inside the house. Their hands are still frosty, but yours have been tucked in the pockets of their jacket for so long they’ve pretty much forgotten what winter is. The door swings open and Ky’s mom is there. She takes your friend by the arm, gentle as only mothers can be, and you watch them disappear around the bend to Ky’s room. Their mom pops her head back around the corner, “Did you want to come in, sweetheart? I’m sure Ky won’t mind the company.” 

You aren’t about to say no to this woman. She practically raised you alongside your own parents. “Sure, I’ll be right there.” You shove your keys into your, well, Ky’s jacket and then start down the hall. As you do, you smell cookies and your nose follows the aroma straight to the oven. Ky’s mom grins and puts her hands on her hips. 

“You want some? Ky can’t have them.” 

“What kind are they? Oh dang, actually, I promised I’d go get ice cream.” You start back out to the driveway, but Ky’s mom stops you. 

“We have some here.” 

“Rocky Road?” 

She nods, “Of course. Now let me go get you some of these cookies.” She slips on her oven mitts and pulls the oven door open. “These are my grandad’s recipe, see, and I only make them when I feel like something important is about to happen.” She sets the rack on the counter and starts pulling the cookies off onto a plate. “Did something important happen? 

“Um, no.” You shake your head and sit down, keys jingling in your pocket. “Nothing really. How about for you?” 

“Don’t change the subject. Ky said something really interesting on our way inside. You have any idea what that could have been?” 

Please don’t be about the party, please don’t be about the party. “No, ma’am.” 

“So you didn’t agree to get married and move to Italy? Or to name your three children after the Beatles?” 

“Haha, nope. Ky said, well, I know people come out of surgery with all sorts of crazy ideas, so it’s hard to tell what’s really true or not, Mrs. Friar.” 

She pushes the plate of cookies at you. “This some kind of truth serum?” You’re trying to be funny because the honest fact is that your heart is beating out of your ribcage and you aren’t even the one pumped full of medicine. “I’m not lying to you.” 

“Maybe you’re lying to yourself, then. Eat a cookie. I made them by memory. This recipe has been passed down from generation to generation solely by the keen power of observation and memorization. One day, you could learn it too.” 

“Why? Do best friends get included in the secret recipe sharing?” 

“No. But you do.” Mrs. Friar takes a bite out of one of her cookies. You follow her lead. “I’ll be in the laundry room if you need anything. When you go back to Ky’s room, bring a bowl of ice cream, okay? The gauze is taken care of and Mr. Friar’s on his way home with the medicine.” 

You nod.

 The cookie is magic. It’s not chocolate but it’s not anything other than chocolate, either. It’s like eating a mouthful of glittery, wonderful, heartmending dreams. You finish one and then reach for another. This one is even better than the last. You hope Mrs. Friar meant it when she said they were for you because soon enough, they’re all gone. Your stomach should weigh about seven more pounds but instead you feel light, like someone’s taken an air pump to your chest and filled you up till your heart is so tight with good things it hurts to not smile. Dang, you think, as you grab the bowl of ice cream for Ky. No wonder that kid has so many dates. Even if you’d never met them a day before in your life, you would want to stay just for another plate, for another taste of that magic incarnate. 

Ky’s jacket feels right around your body. 

You pull it closer around your shoulders and start down the hallway. 

Ky is asleep when you reach the room, so instead of waking them up, you write a note and leave it by their bed. 

call me, you write, cause we need to talk about those cookies. 

December 06, 2020 20:15

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44 comments

Rhondalise Mitza
20:18 Dec 06, 2020

Yay! This isn't a true story but I did get my wisdom teeth out recently so that's where the concept kind of came from. Hope you guys enjoy it, I thought it was cute, but not the best. Also just to clarify, I wrote Ky with they/them pronouns because the story was in second person so I always do that when writing second person stories. :) It's kind of like choose your own adventure in that sense! Anyway, that's all. Bye and please leave comments/questions/feedback/let's chat below.

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Zilla Babbitt
22:17 Dec 06, 2020

I love this so much. I think your wisdom teeth being out has influenced this a bit XD. This is the second story I've read in the past hour that's in second person and it's not wasted here. Or the other time, really. One more thing. I don't understand how you haven't been shortlisted yet, or won. This was sweet and emotional. Well done!

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Rhondalise Mitza
22:35 Dec 06, 2020

Haha it really did influence the story a lot! And I love writing in second person so I’m glad it worked for the story. I think maybe I haven’t won or been shortlisted because there’s a certain kind of story (not a bad thing) that wins and I don’t write that kind of story usually, if that makes sense. :)

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Zilla Babbitt
02:45 Dec 08, 2020

That's probably true. The wistful type is preferred here, I think. Love love love the poem.

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21:13 Dec 08, 2020

Okay, neat work on this one! I really enjoyed reading this, and I thought the premise was really well done. In particular I thought the use of second person to effortlessly induce emotion is perfect. A few things I could say... The conflict is subtle—well done, but a little subtler than it needs to be to provide a gripping story. I might be mistaken; you could be going for an easier pace, but I tend to think that more tension would be better. Next, the use of them/their is confusing. You give us some conflicting clue about the ge...

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Rhondalise Mitza
22:31 Dec 08, 2020

Hi! I’m glad you liked the second person narrative. The pronoun thing works best for this type of writing because I don’t know who’s reading and I don’t want to assume they like girls or boys, so it’s easier for the other person in a story like this to be gender fluid or neither, therefore the use of words like “pretty” and the coat thing don’t really matter. As for lending coats being a guy thing... I share my jackets a lot more than any boys I know 😂 and maybe that’s because I’m tall and can share clothes easily or maybe all the guys I kno...

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22:36 Dec 08, 2020

I did not get to see the lyrics. Yeah, that makes sense on the story. For me, I think it would still be better with genders, but I can see where you’re coming from on your reasons for having it not be gendered. 😊

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Rhondalise Mitza
22:44 Dec 08, 2020

Oh let me send you the lyrics real fast.

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21:15 Dec 08, 2020

I would like to add that I noticed your song discussion with Vayd, and it just so happens that I CAN write music. 😉 If you send me the lyrics, I might be able to whip up a dirty to go with it. Not in the next few days, but Friday or Saturday potentially.

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So I hope this doesn’t sound creepy but would you mind telling me what your favorite restaurant is? Lol, sorry, I’m ATTEMPTING to write a Wrirate story and I want it to be accurate 😋🥸

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Rhondalise Mitza
20:09 Dec 07, 2020

Waffle House! :D

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Ahhhh yesss, how could I forget?! Thx!

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Elliot Thomas
22:22 Dec 06, 2020

Awe, I always love reading your stories when I come back around Reedsy. This one was especially cute. I love people that use they/them pronouns in their stories, even if it's just to be gender mysterious. *wiggles eyebrows* This reminds me of how I got with my current partner for some reason. I wish I had been there when they got their wisdom teeth removed. I wouldn't have been as nice as to not record. :)

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Rhondalise Mitza
22:39 Dec 06, 2020

That’s so cute! I’m glad you liked the pronoun thing. I was trying to find a good gender neutral name and I think Ky worked because it could be Kyle or Kylie and anyway, I liked it. Hope you and your current partner and doing well, though!

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Scout Tahoe
18:01 Dec 10, 2020

At first I thought Ky was non-binary but the way you structured this as a choose-your own adventure was lovely. The ending was sweet and the cookies were quite surprising. I hope whoever was taking care of you when you got your wisdom teeth out wasn't recording... :)

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Rhondalise Mitza
18:08 Dec 10, 2020

Ky could be non-binary if the reader thought of them that way. :) And thank you so much for reading! No, no one recorded me when I was recovering, luckily! How are you?

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Scout Tahoe
18:23 Dec 10, 2020

Yes, it's all up to us. I'm good. Just watching life speed by outside my window. What about you?

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Dorsa S.
17:00 Dec 10, 2020

i absolutely love the connection/chemistry! their conversation when ky was still drowsy and in the car is absolutely accurate, i'm shocked at how detailed and exact it is! your way with storytelling is epic, and i could never make a second-person viewpoint story as great as yours. i truly couldn't. i've tried numerous times before, all have gone into the trash section of my laptop :') i love this story so much, well done! deserves a win. :)

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Rhondalise Mitza
17:27 Dec 10, 2020

Thank you so much for reading! Second person is rough, but if you keep trying I'm sure you could do an awesome story from this POV too!

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Dorsa S.
18:10 Dec 10, 2020

i'll give it a go, thank you! love your stories!

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Amaya .
23:53 Dec 09, 2020

I LOVE THE POEM IN YOUR BIO also how did the wisdom teeth go? recovered?

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21:51 Dec 07, 2020

Wheeeeee! This story is like a rollercoaster ride, leaping around! I love it!

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Amany Sayed
14:51 Dec 07, 2020

Dude what HOW ugh! You've done it again! Too bad "me" doesn't have a name so no ship name for this. You may be one of the only people to do good with second person. This was amazing Rhonda. You need to write more often, I miss your stories! And the poem in your bio is sublime :D

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Rhondalise Mitza
15:02 Dec 07, 2020

Amany! I missed you. And yeah, no ship name for this one! And I'm in love with second person stories so I'm trying to get better at them. I should write more often, true, but darn real life for making me do stuff. (I'm getting a car :0)

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Amany Sayed
15:06 Dec 07, 2020

Same here :) Indeed...Plus I'm being a little hypocritical-I haven't been writing too much either. Heyyy that's awesome I'm so happy for you! Stay safe! Also, do you have any romance writing tips? You're one of the best I know (virtually haha) and I'm writing one this week (I write one practically every week but whatever) and I want it to be good.

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N. N.
11:00 Dec 07, 2020

Oooh this is such an Oh-so-creative story!! I love how you haven't based the entire plot on the prompt, yet have included a substantial amount — enough for an amazing conclusion. You completely had me at "succotash on a summer’s sweet Sunday". And wow, I don't think anyone else could create such artful tales from a wisdom teeth removal experience, at least none that I know of. Great story!! P.s: Did you have some specific cookie in mind, while writing the last scene? 'Cause if you did, we need to talk about those cookies!! Those were s...

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☆ Ariadne ☆
00:56 Dec 27, 2020

Ooh, love this. I felt that some of the paragraphs were a tad too long so it was a bit hard to read, but overall, the plot is exemplary. (look at me use cool vocab lol)

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B. W.
01:57 Dec 15, 2020

Hey

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B. W.
20:47 Dec 13, 2020

hey, could you maybe check out "It wasn't him" and leave some feedback on it?

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B. W.
03:33 Dec 12, 2020

ya wanna hear a joke?

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Hey, Rhonnie! How ya doin? I just got a Reedsy-cast short story out! (You’re in thereeeee as a main character!) Mind checking it out? Tysm :D

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Lucas Zhou
08:13 Dec 10, 2020

amazing love the backdrop

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03:47 Dec 09, 2020

This one topped all others :)

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. .
14:13 Dec 09, 2020

I love the style of this story, like a hypnotist telling a person what to do. I love the creativity with the wisdom teeth. I wonder when mine are coming out... Also, can you read my new stories?

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05:43 Feb 09, 2021

Hi! Um... Rhonda, I kinda got a challenge to do a romantic comedy, sooo I was hoping you had any tips on comedy? Lemme know! And thanks!

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Rhondalise Mitza
13:26 Feb 09, 2021

Oh, so for comedy.... let's ask first if you want this to be 50-50 romance comedy or a comedy with some aspects of romance or a funny romance? The way I go about writing any of those is slightly different so what sounds best to you?

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14:41 Feb 09, 2021

A funny romance should be good!

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Rhondalise Mitza
19:44 Feb 09, 2021

Okay, so I would remember to make the relationship for the characters, not the characters for the relationship. Make sure that if you're characters are funny themselves, or that they're put in a funny dynamic/situation in order to extract all the humor opportunities from that story. Does that help?

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02:30 Feb 10, 2021

Yes! Any more tips?

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Rhondalise Mitza
03:49 Feb 10, 2021

Don't be shy to include jokes you think are funny and aren't sure others will! Chances are you'll write it to fit your story better than you would if you were trying to mix things that didn't make you laugh yourself.

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Rhondalise Mitza
19:45 Feb 09, 2021

Okay, so I would remember to make the relationship for the characters, not the characters for the relationship. Make sure that if you're characters are funny themselves, or that they're put in a funny dynamic/situation in order to extract all the humor opportunities from that story. Does that help?

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