An Untitled and Incomplete Story

Submitted into Contest #50 in response to: Write a story about a proposal. ... view prompt

85 comments

Drama Romance


So …


So?


So …


Are we simply going to waste our time repeating each other’s words, Danny?


Sorry about that. I guess... I am...a bit nervous.


Nervous? About what exactly?


This...seeing you again. The conversations. Off limit subjects. Unanswered questions.


When was the last time you went on a date?


I haven’t gone on any since my divorce.


Wow! That was almost five years ago right?


Oh, you remember that?


Of course, I do. My widowhood and your divorce. Hot topics of discussion for our reconnecting phone call. Accompanied by some ugly crying. Ring any bells?


Ya. Not one of my finest moments. What about you? How long?


My track record isn’t great either. Ten years. Since George’s death, to be precise. 


Interesting. Two rusty daters trying to get back to the game. 


When you put it that way, it feels like we are back in high school. Our first date? That was awkward with a capital A! I was so jumpy and I spilt the cola on the waitress. Luckily she didn’t throw me out. 


Do you...do you ever think about our date? About how happy we were?


I...wouldn’t say I think about it all the time. But I have never forgotten – the love, the heartbreak. In a way, those experiences helped me grow into the woman I am today. A realist.  


I might be crossing the line here. Do...you regret saying no to me back then?


I wish I had a better answer for that, Danny. No. I don’t regret rejecting your proposal. Not at all.


Ouch! That just hit the bull’s - eye. 


I told you I am a realist. 


Is that another way of saying ‘heartless’? Don’t roll your eyes. That was a joke. 


I remember you having a better humour sense than this. 


Everything was better back then...what happened to all of it, Lily? What happened to our love? Why wasn’t it enough? Why wasn’t I enough?


……………


Lily, say something. I swear I won’t make a scene. I couldn’t accept it then. But I can accept it now. 


Love, chemistry, compatibility – we had it all. But sometimes they aren’t enough, Danny. The timing … it just wasn’t right. We were too young. And we had different ideas – about career and life. It wouldn’t have worked. We would have ended up hating each other. 


What about him? George. Did you love him?


Now, what kind of question is that? Of course, I loved him. He was my husband. And he was a great father. 


Did you love him...like the way you love...d me?


I thought we agreed we wouldn’t discuss our ex-spouses today? I can’t do this. I should go. 


Lily, don’t. Don’t go, please. Come back. I am so sorry. That was the ‘green-eyed monster’ talking. 


Fine...


Hey! Can you get the parsley from the fridge?


Parsley? Why do you need the parsley now? Are you going to cook? Wait! I thought we had a dinner reservation?


Change of plans. I cancelled the reservation. I think I owe you a homemade meal for driving all the way here to meet me. Hope it’s ok with you. 


It’s more than ok. But honestly, you didn’t have to trouble yourself.


Don’t worry about it. Oh, that’s cilantro. I asked for parsley. The bag next to it. 


Oh my! They look almost the same. This is embarrassing. Here you go.


Thanks, Lily. Why don’t you take a seat? Shall I offer you another drink?


No. I am fine. I want to watch you cook. What are you making? It smells amazing! Where did you learn to cook like that?


I am making spaghetti with parsley- pistachio pesto. Cooking is one of the hobbies I picked up over the years. Apparently, I am quite good at it. 


Well, I am not a bad cook but my culinary world is very tiny. It’s the size of a notebook full of tried and tested recipes. I don’t really do well with exploring and experimenting. 


Life is too short, Lily. Explore. Experiment. Live a little.


Woah! That was inspirational. I am impressed, Danny. Equally surprised too. I admit I came here with a prejudiced mind – expecting a typical bachelor pad with an unmade bed and unwashed dishes. But this place? I wasn’t expecting this. What you have here is a home, in every sense. And you – you are still the same yet different, in a nicer way. 


Twenty-five years and a divorce. People change, Lily. 


Impressed again. What else has changed? I am intrigued. 


Not a long list I am afraid. But still a decent one. 


I am all ears.


Nothing dramatic. Small, gradual changes. I have better control over my emotions now. I have learned to talk less and listen more. More patient. More accommodating. 


Interesting. Is there anything that never changed?


If you ask me about a thing that never changed in me, it’s my love for you, definitely. This is not a corny line, Lily. My love for you is still the same. Pure. Intense. An addiction that I never want to get rid of. 


Wow! I am speechless. Who would have thought Daniel Johnson is truly a romantic at heart! 


Let me refresh your memory. I sell romance for a living. 


Oh, how could I forget that! How is it going? Drowning in fan mails already?


Not quite there. That wasn’t my intention anyway. My fascination is with the craft. It comes with numerous perks even though they don’t excite me much. 


I … am proud of you Danny. I am so proud that you pursued your passion and reached where you want to be.


Thank you, Lily. My only regret is… you weren’t there to share my journey. 


Um...is the spaghetti ready? Shall I set the table?


Ya. Go ahead. 


Mmm. My mouth is watering already. You must teach me someday how to cook this.


Someday. Sure.


Pull the chair and join me. Don’t mind me starting without you. I am famished. Today was a long day.


Your children...do they know we are meeting today?


Well, they know about my medical conference in Rome. I...didn’t tell them anything else.


I completely understand. An ex-boyfriend doesn’t usually fit in a dinner table talk. 


Don’t be bitter, Danny. I am trying. Sincerely. 


So what about you? Do you enjoy what you do? Being a clinical psychologist. Dissecting human minds.


It’s a rewarding job. Talking to people. Helping them understand themselves better. Showing them ways to heal. I love it.


That’s great! The hospitals in London...are they good?


Ya, they are. Why?


Heard the hospitals in Rome aren’t bad either. But the pizza – way better than what you get in London. And then the wine – the best! I could just go on and on.


Hold on, Danny! Are you indirectly asking me to move in here? With you? That is too fast. Even for you.


No. It’s not. My pace is just right. So what do you think? 


I think you are mad. What comes next? On bended knee with a ring?


That thought might have crossed my mind.


Is this another one of your geriatric jokes, Danny?


Only a part of it.


How was your ring shopping? Found any 2-carat solitaire?


I don’t have to. I might still have the one from years ago.


You have to stop this, Danny. I am usually a very composed person. But all these talks about moving, ring… too fast. Just too much to take in. It’s messing me up.


Is that a yes?


Yes to what?


To everything – Rome, pizza, wine, me. Not in any particular order.


I...have to go…it’s already late. Early flight to catch tomorrow. Packing. Checking out.


I hope I am not chasing you away...again.


No. Not at all. Thank you… for everything, Danny. Inviting me to your house... the exquisite dinner... lovely company.


Is this a goodbye, Lily?


Do you think we should see each other again? 


Do you want to? 


It’s not about what you and I want, Danny. Do you see a future for us?


I think we are already in the future. Fast forward twenty-five years.


Delusional.


You notice a pattern here – the way our story always ends?


You mean...on a cliffhanger?


No. Not a cliffhanger. A cliffhanger would mean a second chance. To fix the past mistakes. Our story is different. We are different.


What is our story, Danny?


Our story is...untitled, and incomplete.


Untitled and incomplete. I like the sound of it.


So?


So…



July 15, 2020 12:09

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85 comments

Niveeidha Palani
06:18 Jul 17, 2020

This was so interesting Roshna, I love how you answered this prompt! This was such an interesting way to convey this story...it was so sweet! Looking forward to reading more!

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Roshna Rusiniya
07:12 Jul 17, 2020

Thank you Niveeidha! 🌹

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Niveeidha Palani
09:18 Jul 17, 2020

No problem Roshna!

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Roshna Rusiniya
12:11 Jul 15, 2020

The story is complete. 'Untitled and Incomplete' is just the title. This is my first attempt at writing a short story with dialogues only.

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This story was amazing, Roshna! Good job!

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Roshna Rusiniya
04:07 Jul 20, 2020

Thank you Aerin! :)

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Avani G
18:54 Jul 16, 2020

Great story, Roshna! I'll be surprised if this doesn't win! =)

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Roshna Rusiniya
19:03 Jul 16, 2020

Thank you for reading Avani! That’s so sweet of you to say. :)

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Avani G
01:05 Jul 17, 2020

Of course!

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San T.
18:50 Jul 16, 2020

I found your story realistic, sweet, and a bit sad.. probably it is what life is.. life is not always a fairytale.. and we have to consider so many things before taking each step.. I understood Lily's dilemma.. I loved Danny's affection.. Really enjoyed your story and the style.

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Roshna Rusiniya
19:01 Jul 16, 2020

Thank you Sangamitra! I am glad you liked it. Yes, I wanted to keep it realistic.

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Nandan Prasad
15:04 Jul 16, 2020

Great story! The emotions were really, really well-captured and the story moved smoothly!

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Roshna Rusiniya
15:14 Jul 16, 2020

Thanks Nandan! Appreciate you reading and commenting! :)

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D. Jaymz
04:33 Jul 16, 2020

I liked it. Your title was great foreshadowing for the end of the story. Bookending the story with 'so' was a nice effect, the kind of thing two people would do with a topic like they were exploring. Your dialogue was smooth and at a relaxed pace, similar to how a real conversation would go. Using contractions in some places would give it even more authenticity. Read the story out loud to better 'hear' your dialogue for any glitches and where contractions could benefit the flow.

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Roshna Rusiniya
04:59 Jul 16, 2020

Thank you so much for your great feedback! I really appreciate it. I will surely follow your advice.

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Rodrigo Juatco
00:14 Jul 16, 2020

Nicely done. Love the banter. Thank you for sharing your story.

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Roshna Rusiniya
05:00 Jul 16, 2020

Thank you Rodrigo! I really appreciate you reading and commenting.

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Deborah Angevin
22:31 Jul 15, 2020

Loved reading it, Roshna! Would you mind checking my recent story out, "Orange-Coloured Sky?" I also tried writing a story that plot flows by dialogues too!

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Roshna Rusiniya
04:52 Jul 16, 2020

Thanks Deborah! That’s interesting. I will read yours soon!

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Annora Chen
04:11 Aug 03, 2020

Oh, damnnnn, this is amazing!!!! The title, and the fact that u told a story with only a conversation, uwu.very interesting,uwu

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Roshna Rusiniya
05:37 Aug 03, 2020

Thank you Annora. You are so sweet!

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Annora Chen
11:07 Aug 03, 2020

ahah, ur welcome! uwu

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Kaylee Tinsley
18:44 Aug 01, 2020

I really loved your unique style! Very interesting! One word of advice? On school papers and official documents, it's improper to use contractions. In a short story such as this one, or in other familiar formats, it's okay. Sometimes the absence of contractions can distract the reader. Other than that, fantastic story! Great job!

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Roshna Rusiniya
18:59 Aug 01, 2020

Thank you for reading and commenting Kaylee! Really appreciate it. And thanks a lot for the great advice. I didn’t know that. When it comes to writing, I am still an amateur. :)

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Alexi Delavigne
04:08 Jul 20, 2020

This was really enjoyable to read, I loved the way you formatted it, great job!

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Roshna Rusiniya
04:57 Jul 20, 2020

Thank you! :)

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Deidra Lovegren
09:26 Jul 19, 2020

Loved this! Very good character development. Held my interest all the way through. P.S. Lily needs to run 🏃‍♀️

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Roshna Rusiniya
09:37 Jul 19, 2020

Thanks! You mean Lily should run with Danny or away from him? Ha ha.

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Olivia Kuziel
04:26 Jul 19, 2020

Loved the story! I especially liked how you chose to begin and end your story with the same words. The dialogue flows nicely, and it was a very entertaining read!

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Roshna Rusiniya
04:29 Jul 19, 2020

Thank you Olivia!

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Doubra Akika
22:11 Jul 18, 2020

I thought this was really good. The emotions felt raw and sort of unprocessed which made it better because it felt more real. I love how you answered this prompt. You did a great job.

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Roshna Rusiniya
04:29 Jul 19, 2020

Thank you Doubra!

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15:08 Jul 17, 2020

This is a new style, I totally enjoyed reading the conversations. Are they the 'star-crossed lovers'? May be. Truly enjoyable.

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Roshna Rusiniya
15:16 Jul 17, 2020

Thanks Jayasree! This was my first attempt at a dialogues- only story. The ending has an uncertainty to it, like their story.

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13:19 Jul 17, 2020

You had written very beautiful, plot was surreal. It touched my heart. I am glad. Thanks for inviting me, Roshna..

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Roshna Rusiniya
13:38 Jul 17, 2020

Thank you for your kind words Utkarsh! I am glad you liked it. That was my first attempt at writing a dialogue-only story.

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19:32 Jul 16, 2020

Lovely Roshna! I like the way you began and ended the same way. I honestly wouldn't change anything, except maybe the line, "So what about you? Do you enjoy what you do? Being a clinical psychologist. Dissecting human minds." Maybe put question marks after the last two sentences to be grammatically correct? Unless you were bringing the tone across by that, because he's saying it in a flat way. I really loved the dialogue! And I love how subtle the proposal was, while at the same time the whole story was the proposal.

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Roshna Rusiniya
07:05 Jul 17, 2020

Hi Magnet! Thanks for reading and commenting! Appreciate it. Regarding the area you mentioned, like you said I meant the second part spoken in a flat tone, not really as questions.

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Tvisha Yerra
20:22 Jul 15, 2020

This was so beautiful, and perfect. Loved the style!

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Roshna Rusiniya
05:05 Jul 16, 2020

Thank you Tvisha!

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Mackenzie Meetz
20:03 Jul 15, 2020

Wow! I find dialogues quite tricky, but you did a lovely job. I could see the characters talking, even without any added explanation as to what is going on. Great work!

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Roshna Rusiniya
04:52 Jul 16, 2020

Thanks Mackenzie! Really appreciate it!

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