6 comments

Creative Nonfiction Sad Teens & Young Adult

August 15th has always been a very important day in Italy. Vanessa never understood exactly why, though: everyone had big plans for the day, starting from the night between 14 and 15 of August. Everyone asked: “What are you doing on Ferragosto?” (this is the name of this so-called “holiday”), and if your answer wasn’t conforming with the expectancies, you were weird.

When she was in school, usually her friends used to spend the night in the beach, doing some sort of camping, with the only goal of getting drunk and stoned. She always hated it, but she did it anyway. Because if not, she was the weird one. And who want to be the only girl who doesn’t do something so cool? Definitely not Vanessa.

This year will be different, though. She isn’t 16 anymore, so she’s free to do whatever she wants. Like what, you may ask. Well, this is a good question.

Vanessa has always been a solitary person, but at the same time she always felt the pressure of the society around her. She looked at her classmates or co-workers, who were surrounded by friends, and she never understood how they do. She had a few friends, of course, during her life, but none of them ever really last. For one reason or another, everyone seems to walk away from her. “I don’t understand what I do wrong”, she asked herself so many times. Vanessa always thought that it was her fault: she wasn’t the kind of person who send texts for no reason, or worse, doing calls. So, maybe her behaviour was wrong; thereby, she decided to be more involved in her social life. She tried to call her friends more often, asked them out and whatever: but the outcome was always the same. Nobody ever calls her, or treat her as a real friend.

So, here we are, on August 14, at home, alone as always. She had the brilliant idea to go to the grocery shop that day, forgetting about the imminent Ferragosto. The supermarket was full of young boys and girls in group who were buying alcohol for their parties, snacks, all sort of junk food; and she was so embarrassed. Her shopping cart was full of regular things: toilet paper, yoghurt, milk. Obviously, not the kind of things you buy for a crazy party. She felt like if all of those kids were looking at her, judging, and she could almost hear the laughter and the comments they made: “Look at her, who wants yoghurt at Ferragosto?!”, “What she doing? Where are the potato chips and the beers?”. So, she did the only thing she could to stop feeling less out of place: she began to fill the cart with chips, alcohol, snacks of any kind among the other things she really needed. She knew that she never going to eat all those stuffs, especially the alcohol, but it was the only way to stop feeling so awkward.

When she went to the register, three young boys were just before her, excited and happy about what they were doing. “Yeah, I bet you never go to the grocery shop, of course you’re so excited, huh?”, she thought, while she placed her groceries on the trolley of the register. One of them gave her a quick look, especially at her food, and then he turned around and leave with his friends. “Mission accomplished”, Vanessa thought.

«Vanessa, baby, what are you going to do tonight?», her mother asked on the phone. Vanessa hated that question. She closed her eyes and tried to stay calm. Her mom knew how lonely she was, but she didn’t really care, apparently. «Oh, you know, nothing much», she answered, vaguely. «Me and you father are going to your aunties house, tonight. Why don’t you call Laura? I’m sure she has something planned for today or tomorrow», she continued. «Yeah, I already called her. I will probably go to her house, she’s doing a dinner with some of her friends», Vanessa lied. She obviously never called her friend Laura. She tried multiple times, but Laura didn’t seems very interested in being her friend, even if Vanessa told her how lonely she felt. She never called her, and sometimes she didn’t even answer her texts. So, Vanessa gave up and, like always, she will be spending the day at home with her cats. «That’s good, baby! Have fun, then. I’ll talk to you tomorrow». Her mother closed the call and Vanessa breathed a sigh of relief. Her parents surely had a better social life then hers, but she didn’t care. «You guys are my friends, right? I don’t need anyone. Who cares?», she told to her cats, who mewed and began to purr.

The night passed, and Vanessa simply watched her favourite TV show with her cats, trying to forget about what normal people were actually doing in that moment. Her Instagram was full of her friends' stories doing things together like eating, or preparing dinner, cocktails, anything. Laura really did organize a dinner with some of her friends, and she published photos and stories all night long. “I wonder if she ever thought to invite me”, she thought, watching how much fun they sure having. Her loneliness was at the top, but she didn’t want anyone to know about it. She just wanted a normal life, with normal friends and doing normal stuff, like going to the parties or out for dinner. But since she finished the university, she lost every contact with her former classmates, as usual.  

The house was so quiet, it almost was surreal: the streets were empty, and her neighbours were gone for the holidays. She was probably the only one in the entire building.

Then, at midnight, someone started shooting fireworks near her house. She could see them from her small terrace and she decided to take a picture. Then, she opened her Instagram stories, and published the photo. “Happy Ferragosto, everybody!”, she wrote.

August 14, 2021 10:32

You must sign up or log in to submit a comment.

6 comments

Gip Roberts
23:26 Aug 29, 2021

I got the feeling Vanessa is probably a whole lot smarter than any of her peers anyway, and will probably get the last laugh on all those self-centered a-holes who never seem to have any time for her in the end. Good slant on the prompt :)

Reply

Giulia S.
09:05 Aug 30, 2021

Thank you for your comment, Gip! I think you're probably right about Vanessa :D Better be alone and in peace with ourselves, than be totally fake. Happy to hear you think I centered the prompt!

Reply

Show 0 replies
Show 1 reply
Francis Daisy
02:03 Aug 15, 2021

Guilia, Oh, how lonely Vanessa is! The more I read, the more sad I felt for her! I hope by next August 15, she will have someone to share in the music, food, parades, and fireworks. One editing suggestion I have is for you to read your story out loud to check your tenses. I find I have a really hard time with this also! You have some places where you switch from present to past and then back to present tense. Sometimes it helps to read the story out loud to hear how it is flowing. I mostly noticed in the first three paragraphs, if this helps...

Reply

Giulia S.
07:37 Aug 15, 2021

Thank you Amy for your suggestion! You're right, I need to pay more attention to the verbs, plus English isn't my first language, so I'm still learning and comments like yours really helps me! :) Thank you for reading the story, I hope Vanessa will have someone too next August! :D

Reply

Francis Daisy
12:44 Aug 15, 2021

Ooh! I see a sequel coming! You can fast forward to next year when she has met someone, and then fast forward a few years to the Wedding on August 15, and then a few more years to the purchase of a house or a birth of a child or anniversary dinner or some event? Did I spell sequel right? English is my first language and I'm still learning! :) -A

Reply

Giulia S.
21:32 Aug 15, 2021

Those are all wonderful ideas! Will see if the future prompts are going to inspire a sequel for poor Vanessa! :D Stay tuned! ;)

Reply

Show 0 replies
Show 1 reply
Show 1 reply
Show 1 reply
RBE | Illustration — We made a writing app for you | 2023-02

We made a writing app for you

Yes, you! Write. Format. Export for ebook and print. 100% free, always.