Fiction Contemporary Teens & Young Adult

Prisella knew Matt didn’t want to go shopping. She gave him all the typical excuses why they needed to go; it was Black Friday and everything was 50-80% off, they needed stuff, they didn’t have much money {so best to take advantage of these sales} and Everyone shopped on Black Friday. He did not agree with any of this. He wanted to stay home, sleep and then watch a few black and white old noir movies on TCM. They would never agree, so they got into the car at 6am for the Mall.

They sat in bumper to bumper traffic. Twenty minutes had already passed by. They were both in bad moods and the air was thick with indifference. The radio station was blaring, some rap crap he hated, so the mood got worse.

“Any particular reason why you listen to this music?” Matt grimaced as if in pain.

“Yeah, I like it. Why else?” she was more annoyed than usual at his insults in her taste in 


“Oh, maybe because it’s just completely lacking  in talent, that’s all.” He changed the station to Rock\Pop Oldies, his favorite. “Besides, it’s always your way or no way.”

“Well, you still believe you're right about everything regardless of facts.”

Prisella changed the subject abruptly, as they moved five feet ahead.

“I decided I want to go back to college next semester and quit my boring ass job. Time for a change, plus I’ll bring home more money with that paralegal degree, instead of “secretary” or whatever they're calling my position.”

“I'm so happy YOU decided this. Shouldn’t WE discuss big, life issues like quitting and enrolling?”

The radio was now blaring some country music, she also was a fan of. Some guy, happy to be drunk again, was singing with his buddies. She was trying to avoid arguing but it was inevitable.

“I can’t think of any reason you wouldn’t want me to get a better education so I can bring in more money.Duh!”

“I can think of one BIG reason, Prisella. It’s called we can’t afford you quitting your job now. We can’t pay the bills with one salary. You know this. Damn!” Matt shifted in his seat toward the passenger door as far as his seatbelt would allow. If he could dissolve through the door, he would.

“You just NEVER support me, Matt. Never! I’m trying to increase our money so we can pay bills on time, and maybe even go on a vacation like Buddy and Jake do.” She beeped the horn annoyingly at the car in front of her that wasn’t moving the whole three feet ahead.

“ I support you in everything but not if it’s dumb. This is dumb, at this time. We’re still catching up and you know this. Don’t compare us to Buddy and Jake. They’re both lawyers, and have rich families. We’re doing this on our own. Not too shabby, I might add. I’m not going to be a barista forever. I got skills, a college degree and a good position will open up in accounting. Patience!”

“We gotta get ahead. This is our chance. I’m willing to do all the work and then my salary will be double what it is now. Temporary setback for a permanent solution.” The radio went back to blaring an 80’s tune, Billy Idol screaming, “Rebel Yell”. Good timing. She didn’t see him change the station. Sneaky!

“I see your point but not sure we can do this at this time.” Matt tried to be the rational one most of the time. He opened the window about half way. Prisella immediately reacted.

“Matt...Close the damn window! We don’t need all that LA pollution in our lungs especially when we’re caged in this car. I’ve got the AC on.”

“I just wanted some air...real air not that artificial chemical air. And, why the hell are we living in a place that’s too damn expensive with crappy air 24/7? We were supposed to be outta here after graduation,four years ago. Colorado would’ve been so much healthier and cheaper. But, we’re still here!” The radio went back to some high voiced rapper singing or trying to sing, about his bling bling. Prisella was trying to accentuate her points.

“You know why. I can’t leave my entire family, especially the old ones and the little ones. They’ll both forget who I am!”

“What the hell is happening up there?” Matt stretched his neck out of the open window to try and see the cause of the traffic jam. “Probably an accident because some chick was on her cell or fixing her makeup. There oughta be a law.”

“Why is it always a woman driver with you, causing a problem? I don’t even have a ticket on my license? It could be a guy.” He was sounding more and more like her dad, lately.

“You don’t have a ticket on your license because you don’t get caught. Remember when you crashed into the garbage cans? Women drivers cause 85% of accidents, true fact.”

“ Bullshit. You pull these stats out of your butt. Those garbage cans were where I normally park the car. Not my fault somebody had them in the wrong place, especially at night!”

“Yeah, well I think you're supposed to be able to see at night if you're driving at night. And my stats are accurate. Google it.” Once again, classic Rock station was back on as Jagger screamed,”Can’t get no satisfaction, no.no.no.no…”. 

Prisella rummaged through her purse and found her disposable vape. She took a long drag, exhaled and a large puff of smoke emerged and seemed to be encircling around them.

“Shit, Prisella! You really are trying to kill us both with that thing.” Matt waved his arms before him, trying to dissipate the smoke away from his face.

“I quit cigs, which was extremely hard for me and you're still complaining? What is your problem?” She put the vape back into her disheveled purse.

“My problem is what my lungs will look like before I’m thirty, with you around. Vaping is no better than poisoned, chemical tobacco. Now you're addicted to liquid nicotine with chemical flavorings...Yeah!” 

The car moved another twenty or so feet ahead. They were stuck in this nightmare traffic for over thirty minutes. The mall was only ten minutes away from their tiny one bedroom apartment.

They both loved it, although small at 800sq feet, it was full of bright sunlight and perfect moonlight which came through their bedroom window, making shadows on the bed. It was close to the college they had both attended and graduated from, LACC, Los Angeles Community College. It was the best they could afford.

“Matt, I’m thinking we really need to take a break, you know, from each other. We need some separate time, for you and for me.” She turned the radio back to her music, Western/Country this time, as the singer was wailing ,”you're breaking my heart again”. It seemed rather appropriate timing. Matt had no response, unexpectedly. She repeated the,”we need to take a break from each other” part, still waiting on a response. He turned to look at her as he spoke.

“I don't think we should split now...not at all,” he answered in a soft, almost assurring voice.

“We fight constantly..daily..sometimes more than once a day, like today.”

“We don’t fight, we disagree. You have the coldest feet on the planet and you need my thick hiking socks. You wouldn’t last without them or my expert barista coffee making skills. Hard to find both from the same person.”

“ I'm sure there’s guys out there who have thick hiking socks AND know how to make decent coffee.” She smirked a little and continued on.

“Actually, you’d starve to death eating only Ramen, since it’s all you know how to cook. And you freak over the sight of blood, so you’d probably bleed to death if I weren’t around to doctor you up after a rough basketball game with your buds or simply shaving.”

Both were quiet again. The car moved about three car lengths ahead.  She started speaking first.

“I always heard that a good relationship means both parties are on the same page. We aren’t.”

“It’s okay if one partner reads faster than the other and skips ahead.” They both laughed.

The Oldies station comes back on, nobody noticing if anyone touched the radio controls. You Are So Beautiful, sung by Joe Cocker played on. They both began to comment at the same time, “Our wedding song!” He turned to kiss her and they kissed until the car behind them beeped loudly to move. Another ten feet of progress. 

“You know, I really don’t NEED those gadgets.”

“And I TOTALLY hate lifting weights. Let’s go home and just chill today. Frig shopping! There’s a Noir Movie Marathon today on TCM, and lasagna in the freezer.”

Prisella turned the car around and drove back to their apartment. The sun would still be shining on their bed and the moon would surely meet them, when night approached. The whole ride home, they listened to the local news. It appeared, the traffic jam was caused by a dog refusing to cross the highway.  

December 03, 2021 03:00

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07:06 Dec 11, 2021

I like the premise here, I actually did something similar with this prompt! Overall it was good, but I found the dialogue a bit robotic. When Im editing, I always read out loud to see if things sound natural, that might help. I look forward to more of your stories!


D.a. Marullo
03:33 Dec 12, 2021

Thank you for the comments. I do read aloud, it helps. I was actually sitting in the car with them( not literally) so it sounded typical to me. Not typical to write light stories, for me...my genre is horror, thriller. Wrong site..lol.


04:52 Dec 12, 2021

Maybe it's just the way it sounded to me. Depends on where your from I guess. You could definitely do some light thriller and horror here. Light being the key word.


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