Romance Drama

Cyrano’s Nose

A Short Story By Maya Zauberman

Response to Prompt #1, Writing Contest 208

Two women stand near a French window, their noses pressed against the cold glass. Their hawk eyes trail a loaded moving van across the street, watching it stop in front of an old Tudor manor. Their noses crinkle, and their eyebrows rise as they check out a rather flashily dressed female jump out of the moving van, with what might have been her clone.

The woman on the left--Sandra the silver haired, and bedangled with ancient Egyptian jewelry--sneers. “Looks like we’re getting some new neighbors.”

The woman on the right--Alexis the blond, with a slim waist, and an attractive figure--nods, and demurs, as she sips her wine glass. “Such a shame that Richard left as he did. Shame he had to fight you to the end, considering how valuable you were to each other”

Sandra nodded, tears welling in her eyes. She turns to her glass, half-full of red wine, and turns back to the moving van.


Sandra used to hope that she and Richard--the handsome childhood best friend--would end up marrying, like childhood best friends always did in the movies. They had grown up together after all- their houses across from each other, their parents had been friends for as long as they could remember, the whole shebang. 

She used to lie on the bed, counting down the minutes to when he would call her phone, to talk about class, movies, whatever drama happened that day. She used to tap her feet loudly, and grip her books hard, whenever school ended, waiting for him to come out, so that they could walk home together. Maybe one day, during those walks and talks, she used to tell herself, he’ll stop looking at other boys. Maybe he’ll  really look at me, and I’ll be able to tell him….”

Somehow, it never seemed to be the right time or perfect place. Not until recently, anyways.


More and more piles of furniture start pouring out of the van, and into the house. They all seemed so punk, so gothic, so artistic, that each piece might as well have belonged to an art museum, rather than a middle-income neighborhood such as this. 

The girls, smiling and laughing, each pick up a piece of furniture, like it was cake, and take it into the house, screaming directives of “Turn left!” or “Step behind you” as the furniture pile begins to dwindle.

Alexis, never taking her eyes off the girls,starts chuckling as the girls pick up each piece. “They’re certainly very strong. I wonder what they eat for breakfast.” she jokes, half-impressed and half-credulous. 

Sandra chuckles quietly. “We used to be strong like that too, remember? Strong-quite strong--and blind. A lot like Cyrano’s nose. My god, what we used to be!


Alexis had met Richard during a swimming meeting, right after the Vietnam War had ended--both of their teams met and practiced in the same room. Immediately, she was struck by his determination, and work ethic--the hours he would spend practicing his breast stroke, or his diving. This level of exercise addiction came close to matching hers at one point. 

She would have made a move, but Sandra was always there, hanging onto Richard’s arm like a guard-dog. Complicating things, Richard never showed any signs of romantic interest in either of them. In fact, the majority of the time, he was staring and blushing at other men; if it wasn’t that, then he was asking Sandra and Alexis for dating advice, on how to capture the attention of “other people” as he called them.

Still, she somehow managed to weasel her way into a triangle with them, never really getting out, or even trying to. It would have cost her everything, including her friendship with Sandra.


The silence from the Tudor mansion is deafening; contrasted only by the crunch of cardboard boxes, and their growing shadows across the lawn. 

With each crunch, Sandra grimaces, and Alexis looks more and more worried at her. Finally, after a few minutes, Sandra turns to Alexis. 

“Are you worried about me?” she asks, quietly. Alexis nods. 

“You shouldn’t be. I’m fine. Completely fine.

Oh come on, Sandra. Don’t bullshit me. I’ve known you long enough to see through everything. What’s going on?”

Sandra only shakes her head. Alexis tilts her head, questioning and confused.

“Is it something to do with the fight between you and Richard?”

Sandra nods again.


Sandra is sipping tea with Alexis, of all people, when they get the call. Richard is in the hospital,bedridden, not likely to survive the night. A drunk driver had smashed into him at a busy intersection, leaving Richard conscious with a broken spine, and a collapsed lung.

Everything else up until the fight is a blur. The lights of traffic, the rushing of doctors, the inability to get a straight answer as to where Richard is. The only clear things are a Deafening heartbeat, and a need to see Richard, to confess, while she still could. 

Richard was lying up in the bed when they finally found him. His face, covered in bandages, is contorted, and his eyes—or what remained of them— were shut.  At the creaking of Sandra and Alexis’ footsteps, he turns. He looks over at them, and smiles weakly.

“I’m so happy to see you both”, he croaks, barely loud enough for even a fly to hear. 

Saying nothing, the two women just run over and hug him, one keeping pace behind the other, just to be polite.

Richard turns to both of them, giving them each the injured equivalent of a questioning look.

“Did the hospital tell you what happened?” 

Alexis turns to Sandra, each pondering who should speak up. Finally, after a few awkward minutes, Sandra speaks up. “A little.”

“Mm. What exactly did they say happened? I’m sorry, my memory is so blurry right now.

They just said that a drunk driver crashed into you— broke your spine, and collapsed your lung.

Mm. Anything else?

Nothing else.

You sure?

Absolutely. Listen, I have something I have to say to you. In private, please.” Sandra turns to Alexis, with a stoic, grey face. “Can you let us be for a few minutes, please?”

Sandra turns to Richard, and then to Sandra, confused, and untrusting. She sighs, and then picks up her purse. “I’ll be right outside if you need me”, she says quietly, as she closes the door behind her. 


One of the two new girls comes fluttering back outside, to pick up the last of the two boxes. She bends over, just enough to get a full view of her cleavage, when something startles her. She looks up, facing Sandra and Alexis, and tilts her head as if to ask “What’s going on?” She motions over to her clone, who’s right behind her, smiles and points at Sandra and Alexis.

Sandra turns to Alexis, her fingers fidgeting on the wine glass. “I think they noticed us.” she said to what might have been an empty wall. Alexis was far, far away, travelling back to that Last Night.


The hospital lights go on and off, much like Alexis’ shoulder angel and shoulder devil. “I wonder what Sandra has to say?” she wonders to herself, in a half-whisper. “Should I listen in? I shouldn’t-no, no, I shouldn’t. But I’m so curious to know! Who knows, maybe she--” 

A voice rises from the inside of the room. It’s low, gravelly--definitely Richard’s. Alexis preens her head, and ears closer to the door, watching the hallway carefully, just to make sure that nobody catches her. 

“Well Sandra, says Richard. Spit it out, for heaven’s sake! You’ve been standing there for the last minute stuttering like there’s no tomorrow! Go on, you’re making me nervous!”

There’s a pause, and then a whisper-Sandra, most likely.

“Richard, we’ve always been friends right?

Yes. Why? You’re not about to tell me that you love me, right?

Actually, that’s what I wanted to tell you. Exactly what I wanted to tell you. I know that you don’t generally go for women--

I’ve always known that.

That what?

That you’ve been in love with me. 

WHAT?!?” This comes out as a scream, just as the lights stop flickering.

“Oh come on, Sandra,” Richard said. “Don’t scream and don’t stand there with your mouth open like a fish! It doesn’t take a genius to figure out how you felt. All those puppy eyes, all the following around. Anyone could have guessed!

Still-you knew for all these years, and didn’t even have the decency to tell me?”

Alexis could hear the tears through Sandra’s strained voice. She wrung her hands, just to stop herself from going in there and hugging Sarah.

“I didn’t want to reject you, and lose one of my best friends! Richard sounded sad, pleading almost.

“Reject me? 

Yes, reject.

You mean, you don’t feel the same way? Never felt it?

I never did, not towards you or towards any other woman. Listen Sandra, I value our friendship--and you’re right, I should have been upfront with you about this. . I’ve just never loved women romantically-- no amount of pleading or time will ever change this. I’m sorry, but I am who I am, and I refuse to be otherwise. If I dated you, and made you happy, I’d have been living a lie; eventually, I'd have cracked, and you’d have had your heart destroyed. Please try to understand.”

Sobs--mostly female--come out of the room. Alexis is barely restraining herself now; both of her friends are crying, upset, like they need a shoulder to cry on. “I want to go in, so, so bad--but then they’ll get mad at me for eavesdropping! Oh!

She slams her forehead into her palms, and then perks back up- washing tears away-as she hears Sandra begin to speak again.

“I’m sorry, Richard, but I can’t understand. I won’t, and I will never be able to.

Then it’s time to say goodbye, Sandra. I can’t be with anyone who doesn’t understand.”

Alexis could hear exasperated, depressed signs right after a long silent pause.

“Goodbye, Richard. You were one of my best friends.”


The two girls are still staring at Sandra and Alexis, preening their necks, tittering amongst themselves. They’re smiling, waving, waiting for Sandra and Alexis to wave back. 

Sandra turns from Alexis, and smiles back weakly, barely waving her hand. Alexis just smiles, a fake forced little farce.

“Let’s hope that they’re not as blind as we were at that age” said Sandra. “It would be quite annoying to have to point out the stupidly obvious to them.” 

September 14, 2020 21:24

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Pika Okoye
13:57 Feb 23, 2021

Wow..........a perfect dramatic piece, It's Fab.......... :D


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B. W.
01:01 Sep 29, 2020

Hey this is a good story and i think you did a great job with it. My only type of advice is that you should continue to make more stories, though only when your not busy or anything. Ya know what? 10/10 :)


Maya Zauberman
22:38 Sep 30, 2020

Hi, Thank you so much for your kind comments! Are there any ways that I can improve my writing or story— there’s always something to improve there?


B. W.
22:50 Sep 30, 2020

No problem ^^ i dunno- i don't think i really saw anything wrong with it. that or i'm maybe blind from some of it. I'm bad at giving advice but i guess you should just watch out for spelling mistakes or something


Maya Zauberman
16:39 Oct 02, 2020

Will do, thank you!


B. W.
16:42 Oct 02, 2020

No problem ^^ i also just made a new story, could ya check out 'a savior?' and leave some feedback?


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05:17 Sep 25, 2020

Hey, Maya would you be kind to watch the first video it's on Harry potter. https://youtu.be/KxfnREWgN14 Sorry for asking your time, This my first time to edit video


Maya Zauberman
18:17 Sep 25, 2020

No thank you. Sorry.


01:52 Sep 26, 2020

Ok then I am sorry


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