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Coming of Age American Romance

“I don’t think I’m ready.”

“You’re ready. Besides, you don’t have a choice.”

“I don’t have a chance . . .” 

“C’mon. She’s sweet.”

“She’s scary.”

“She’s sweet and scary and—six years old. Look, I think you have a distinct advantage, being a grown up and all.”

“Ugh . . . tell me what she wants to do again?”

“She wants to have tea with her mommy’s new boyfriend.”

“Where?”

“In the treehouse.”

“Do I have to climb the tree?”

“Yes, you have to climb the tree—in your suit.”

“Why do I have to wear a suit? I don’t even wear a suit to work.”

“She wants a formal tea party alone with you in the treehouse. Besides, you look so handsome in a suit and tie.”

“Suit—AND TIE?”

“Of course. It’s formal.”

“Like a funeral . . .”

“It’ll be fun. I really like your navy suit—and please wear your pink tie. She really likes pink.”

“If you had told me when we first started dating that treehouses and ties would be involved—”

“Nothing would have changed because you adore me. You are crazy about me. You love me.”

“I do love you.”

“And I love you, too. But it’s time—past time—for you to meet my daughter. So meet my daughter.”

“In a treehouse.”

“For a cup of tea. Or most likely a juice box.”

“I don’t like the grape ones.”

“How about apple?”

“Apple is good. I can live with apple.”

“Go back to your apartment and get changed. Don’t keep her waiting.”

“All right, I’ll go.”

🧸 🧸 🧸

“What’s in the teapot?”

“Tea.”

“It looks purple.”

“It’s purple tea.”

“Do you have snacks?”

“Yes.”

“What kind of snacks?”

“I have pink sparkly cookies. Do you want one?”

“Yes, thank you. I’ll take two. They look pink and delicious—and omigod—are these made of Play-Doh?”

“You aren’t supposed to eat them.”

“I thought they were real—do you have any napkins up here?”

“No. Just swallow them. Mom gets mad when I spit.”

“Oh.”

“I can pour you some tea if you want.”

“That’s grape juice.”

“It’s in a tea cup. So it’s tea.”

“I was promised apple juice.”

“I don’t have any apple juice boxes. Grape is better anyway. Ooo. Sorry.”

“Juice boxes squirt when you squeeze them too hard.”

“I’m really sorry. Now your tie is pink and purple.”

“I think it looks better this way.”

“You aren’t mad?”

“Not yet.”

“Why do you have a hole in your pants?”

“Because whoever built this treehouse didn’t hammer in the nails properly—and they should have used 10-inch long, ¾-inch diameter galvanized lag screws and washers.”

“My dad built this treehouse.”

“It’s big.”

“He doesn’t live with us anymore.”

“Your mother told me.”

“Are you going to live here?”

“Not today.”

“Tomorrow?”

“Ask me tomorrow.”

“Do you want some more tea?”

“Of course—and you are right. The grape tastes better.”

“I told you.”

“Look at all this cool stuff. Coloring books. A sleeping bag. A few lizards to keep you company. You must have a lot of fun up here. ”

“I do.”

“Does your mom ever come up?”

“No, she says it’s my place.”

“Well, thanks for inviting me.”

“You want some more tea?”

“Sure.”

“We could get some real cookies.”

“We could. Hey, I brought you something.”

“Can I open it?”

“Sure.”

“It’s a mirror!”

“It’s a pink mirror . . . and we can hang it right—here.”

“Okay.”

“Are you ready to go in?”

“I don’t think I’m ready.”

“We better go. Your mom and I ordered pizza. I guess we could get it delivered to the treehouse next time. Pizza and tea?”

“I think I’d rather have a Coke.”

“Your mom just texted. The pizza’s here. Don’t keep her waiting.”

“All right, I’ll go.”

🥤 🥤 🥤

“What’s in bubble tea?”

“You haven’t ever had boba tea? Jeez, you are so lame.”

“Seriously, look at this straw! It’s big enough to suck up a meatball.”

“Just drink it and don’t embarrass me.”

“Is this candy at the bottom? Skittles? Jelly beans?”

“It’s tapioca or something.” 

“Why are these little balls pink?”

“They’re pretty and taste like strawberries.”

“They taste like diabetes. I feel like I’m going to choke on this stuff. Do you know CPR?”

“Not really. They tried to teach us in P.E., but the boys were being disgusting with the CPR dummies.”

“Just pound on my chest.”

“I could probably keep you alive until the paramedics arrive.”

“That would be helpful.”

“You’re welcome.”

“So . . . we need to talk.”

“What.”

“I’m going to ask your mom to marry me.”

“It’s about time.”

“You’re okay with that?”

“Yeah, I’m okay with that.”

“How do you think I should ask her?”

“You realize I’m thirteen. This is not really my skill set.”

“Yeah, but you and your mom are close. You must have some advice.”

“Just be yourself.”

“I’m boring.”

“You are definitely boring, but that is something she really likes about you.”

“So, what’s the boring way to ask someone to get married?”

“Fancy dinner. Get down on one knee. Open a little pink box. She’ll cry. Everyone in the restaurant will clap.”

“Okay.”

“And I really like your navy suit—and please wear your pink tie.”

“I threw that out years ago.”

“Are you ready to go?”

“I don’t think I’m ready. I want to finish this weird candy drink and buy a new tie.”

“Mom’s here to pick us up. Don’t keep her waiting.”

“All right, I’ll go.”

🍸 🍸 🍸

“What’s in a pink martini?”

“Just drink it. Don’t be such an old man.”

“I am an old man. Can I just have a beer?”

“No. This is my special day, and you have to drink what I say.”

“This tastes like pink sparkly Play-Doh.”

“Oh you are impossible! Just sip it. It’s vodka, vermouth, orange bitters and grenadine.”

“That is the exact recipe for pink sparkly Play-Doh. Mmm. Delicious. The pink martini is all gone now. Are you ready to go?”

“I don’t think I’m ready.”

“You’re ready. Besides, you don’t have a choice. Your groom awaits. How did someone as feisty as you meet such a good guy anyway?”

“It runs in the family.”

“Hey—you hear that? That organ music is your cue to get moving. Don’t keep him waiting.”

“All right, I’ll go.”


January 11, 2022 19:09

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44 comments

Jon Casper
10:43 Jan 13, 2022

"I don't think I'm ready" to leave another comment about how great your dialogue is. But "all right, I'll go" ahead.

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Deidra Lovegren
12:56 Jan 13, 2022

This may be my all-time favorite comment. :)

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Dhwani Jain
06:51 Jan 13, 2022

You literally write the best only-dialogue stories ever!!!!!!!!!!!

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Deidra Lovegren
17:30 Jan 13, 2022

YOU WRITE THE BEST COMMENTS EVER!!!!!!!!!

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Dhwani Jain
03:38 Jan 14, 2022

This one was a one liner comment, if you wrote a story with even a *little* critical point, I would have given you a whole paragraph, check my bio for this...I give reviews on stories 😅

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Shea West
22:04 Jan 11, 2022

Awwww.....this was sweet, and also a little sad for me. Sad because this was such a good dude, and I love how much he appeased his girlfriend and his soon to be daughter. Sad, because no one who "courted" my parent ever went through this kind of effort with me as a kid. You write dialogue so well, and I admire every time you pump out a story that is explicit conversation. It allows the reader to really visualize what's happening around them, and I like doing that.

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Deidra Lovegren
22:40 Jan 11, 2022

Shea, this is wonderful praise and I appreciate your taking the time to let me know your thoughts. It's fun to be the God of your own world when writing and deciding how things "should be." Dads and Stepdads should attend all tea parties and bring little girls mirrors for their treehouse. That should be a commandment somewhere :)

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Shea West
22:59 Jan 11, 2022

Thou shalt not be a douche canoe of a stepfather, and always attend the tea parties.

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Deidra Lovegren
12:32 Jan 12, 2022

. . . and Teddy Bear picnics :)

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Susannah Meghans
15:36 Mar 16, 2022

I love the progress it shows throughout their lives together from meeting to walking down the aisle.

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Deidra Lovegren
16:07 Mar 16, 2022

I love the step dad. Gentle giant :)

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Leo Fall
03:35 Mar 07, 2022

Your writing style is already fabulous, but to have a functioning enjoyable story, with just dialogue? What the heck? It's amazing! I read just a few of your stories, and honestly, I'm hooked.

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Deidra Lovegren
15:15 Mar 07, 2022

Thanks again, Leo. I appreciate your enthusiasm for my writing, and I assure you that it is not only not additive, but also calorie free (and probably keto-friendly.) Thanks for the read :)

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Faye Cannon
23:16 Jan 23, 2022

The dialogue is on point. I really need to work on improving mine.

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Deidra Lovegren
16:59 Jan 24, 2022

I usually try to conjure up two interesting characters and then get out of the way ;)

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Lynn Tabor
23:25 Jan 20, 2022

I loved this! Having the story evolve through time was clever and intriguing. Just through dialogue you created very colorful, interesting characters. I think you would be an excellent comedy screenplay writer. I saw a young Drew Barrymore and Hugh Grant in this one. Definitely entertaining and at the same time poignant, that's not always so easy! Kudos!

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14:31 Jan 13, 2022

I love how you convey so many emotions through just dialogue. This was such a sweet and endearing story! (And I can vouch for the protagonist--I made the mistake of eating play-doh when I was little. Never have I been so disappointed.)

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Deidra Lovegren
15:23 Jan 13, 2022

The "Eating of the Play-Doh" is actually a rite of passage, especially these days when the colors are so enticing and have sparkles and swirls. (Thanks for the read!)

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Francis Daisy
04:51 Jan 13, 2022

You are amazing to be able to tell a story using only dialogue and to move it along so seamlessly! And...it spans years! WOW! You are truly gifted. The story was beautiful and I fell in love with the stepdad. He is perfectly wonderful. Love, love, love.🌺

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Deidra Lovegren
17:31 Jan 13, 2022

Casting for the Stepdad: Jay R. Ferguson or David Harbour Or anyone over 40 with a dad bod.

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Francis Daisy
04:03 Jan 14, 2022

Those are good choices, how about Dule Hill?

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Deidra Lovegren
10:48 Jan 14, 2022

I am now in love with Dule Hill.

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Francis Daisy
11:56 Jan 14, 2022

Oh, ❤ yes!

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Alex Sultan
20:40 Jan 12, 2022

Hi Deidra - I enjoyed this story. While I'd say your writing is not typically what I read(I don't mean this to be negative) I really did like the humour in this piece. I think you have a unique style that is fun and quick to read. My favourite part/joke was the teapot. I like the obvious "it's tea", which made me laugh. Great work :)

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Scout Tahoe
03:50 Jan 12, 2022

"All right, I'll go" . . . read Deidra's fantastic story. It was so interesting how each section ended with that phrase yet they were all different scenes. *applauds* I loved the emojis that separated the scenes and I don't think they were distracting (which is what I'd expect of emojis in a story). All-dialog stories are hard to write and maintain because the reader can lose track of what's happening but you made it work. Happy double-8's! Random Q: do you submit to the contest every week?

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Deidra Lovegren
12:18 Jan 12, 2022

Thanks for the read. Yes, I submit a story every week (good, bad or ugly as it is) . Writing every week is a promise I made to myself. It's the one thing I do just for me. :)

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Scout Tahoe
14:39 Jan 12, 2022

That's so sweet! I'm trying to do that for myself. I meant more like "do you pay the $5 every week," ha. By the way, I was curious about your podcast last night so I listened to a few episodes and I thought they were super interesting! I got to hear about K & Abi's writing journeys and hearing their voices was so cool. I loved it - and why is Russell's voice SO SOOTHING?

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Deidra Lovegren
15:08 Jan 12, 2022

There have been a few stories that I didn't pay the $5. But the judging is so subjective, sometimes I'll just do it because WTH. For example, I wasn't particularly proud of my last two shortlisted stories -- but someone liked them :) Russell Norman is amazing. He is human Prozac. He keeps my relative insanity in check :) Still room for Scout Tahoe.

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Scout Tahoe
22:26 Jan 12, 2022

Yes, hmm. Some of the past ones I haven't submitted but it's interesting to hear about the judging system. Indeed, I love the little chime at the beginning, too.

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Russell Norman
20:55 Jan 12, 2022

😳 .. thanks for listening to our podcast.

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Scout Tahoe
22:27 Jan 12, 2022

😁 no worries! You really do have a soothing voice.

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Calm Shark
23:45 Jan 11, 2022

Hello Deidra! I really was happy to see you wrote a story today! It was very heartwarming and very pleasing! Even though it is all dialogue, I still understand what is happening.

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Deidra Lovegren
00:06 Jan 12, 2022

Thanks, Shark. You are quickly becoming one of my favorites.

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Calm Shark
00:09 Jan 12, 2022

That's good to hear! :)

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Charlie Murphy
01:48 Jan 20, 2022

Cute story! You did the dialogue right! It was fun to read!

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Ambassador Rose
21:31 Jan 19, 2022

A nice thread of repetition throughout the chronology of events. I had to read nearly to the end of act II and III to figure out who was speaking to whom, but the clues are there and, after a single glance back over the details, it was clear enough. Great movement of dialogue! Nice job.

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Phil Manders
13:40 Jan 17, 2022

Loved this😊

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Deidra Lovegren
14:13 Jan 17, 2022

🍸

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Damara Hutchins
16:04 Jan 13, 2022

I believe I fell in love.

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Deidra Lovegren
16:18 Jan 13, 2022

With the pink martinis or the awesome stepdad?

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Deidra Lovegren
16:18 Jan 13, 2022

Or both?

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Damara Hutchins
04:58 Jan 15, 2022

With the dad. This could have been my own life.

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Kaylee Tinsley
14:51 Jan 12, 2022

Okay, so I have a little dilemma. I'm pretty sure that I am one of your biggest fans EVER, so I am always so excited to read your stories and comment. Yet, out of fear of "coming on too strong" and looking like a low-key stalker, I always promise myself "I'm not gonna comment on this story. I am just going to read it and enjoy it and move on." But. I break the stupid promise EVERY. SINGLE. STUPID. TIME. because your stories are so good that I can't not comment!! So, if you ever start thinking that I am like, some kind of weird story-stalker,...

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Deidra Lovegren
15:03 Jan 12, 2022

As a writer, I live for comments. Stalk away :)

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