45 comments

Drama

I wanted to live in the 90s.


I wanted to go to the movies with Jamie and Liz, and shovel handfuls of popcorn into my mouth, and gush about dating Johnny Depp even if he had scissors for hands. We would’ve had seven posters of him between the three of us.


I wanted to stick colorful butterfly clips in my hair and grin as they shimmered in the sun. The red ones would have been all the rage then.


I wanted to throw my arms around Mom and Dad on the last day of senior year and thank them for their constant support and their unconditional love, love, love. They would try to play it cool, but I would see the tears.


I wanted to march across the stage in a black cap and gown and shake hands with the Dean of the business school. He would smile at me, and I’d grin back, and there would be a promise in that curve of my lips—a promise to not let him down.


I wanted to tell Professor Lions that I wouldn’t have made it through my thesis without her, and Professor Garza that I’d be sure to keep in touch. They would give me their home numbers on small slips of paper, and I’d write them neatly in my purple address book.


I wanted to hang my diploma right above my desk, next to my Bon Jovi poster, so I could stare up at it whenever I felt powerless (and stare at Bon Jovi whenever I wanted to daydream). I would catch myself glancing at both of them every day.


I wanted to scream all the lyrics at the Pearl Jam concert with Jamie and Liz and wipe the sweat off my brow under the flashing lights. I would meet the gaze of the cute guy in the row behind us and blush, and blush even harder when he’d give me his number.


I wanted to pause right outside my door on our first date and close my eyes. I’d lean into the palm Daniel held against my cheek, and press my lips to his, and wonder if I was doing it right.


I wanted to rip open the newspaper and fill out job application after job application, swallowing the sinking feeling of failure with every rejection letter I ripped open, riding the wave of euphoria with every interview I landed. I’d make them all proud.


I wanted to run to the phone and twirl the cord around my fingers when Daniel called. I’d try to calm the butterflies in my stomach and learn how to breathe when I heard his voice.


I wanted to eat my favorite burger with Mom and Dad at Planet Hollywood, and blink back happy tears when they congratulated me on my new job offer. I’d wrap my arms around them when they surprised me with a small chocolate cake decorated with strawberry frosting—my favorite.


I wanted to walk down the aisle in a long-sleeved white dress, my arm tucked into Dad’s. I wanted to meet eyes with Daniel like we’d done at the concert so long ago. I would promise my love and my life to him, forever, and he would promise back.


I wanted to dance the night away and drink up all the love, love, love.


I wanted to fall asleep on Daniel’s shoulder as the plane jostled us on our way to the island. We would hike through the vibrant jungles and swim in turquoise waters, and drink red wine under the full moon.


I wanted to hug my boss when she offered me a promotion and scream in excitement as soon as I got to my car.


I wanted to feel Daniel’s arms around me and breathe in his blazing smile as he twirled me in the air. He would press his palm to my cheek, and I would lean into it, and he would whisper how proud he was.


I wanted to hold up the pregnancy stick and feel my heart explode into a million, beautiful fireworks. I would tell Daniel that evening, and he’d shout out in surprise and pump his fists in the air.


I wanted to give Mom and Dad t-shirts that said “World’s Best Grandparents” and watch their eyebrows raise in confusion. I’d laugh when the realization finally dawned on their faces, and cry with them when the tears started to fall.


I wanted to paint the nursery with Daniel, and hang colorful spaceships above the crib, and place a rocking chair in the corner by the window. I’d try to sneak a Spice Girls poster on the wall, and shake my head when Daniel countered with Nirvana.


I wanted to watch Friends with Mom and Dad every week, a tradition that started from the very first episode. I would gorge myself on pizza and ice cream and my parents’ sugary laughs.


I wanted to hold my little Henrietta in my arms as Daniel kissed my forehead in the hospital bed. I’d sigh with relief and exhaustion and contentment. I’d worry about not reading enough parenting books. I’d wonder how on earth Daniel and I could do this.


I wanted to tuck her into the crib and ask all the powers of the universe to protect her, protect her, protect her.


But I didn’t go to the Pearl Jam concert with Jamie and Liz. I didn’t meet Daniel’s eyes, and we didn’t have Henrietta. I didn’t shovel pizza and ice cream into my mouth while watching the Friends series finale with Mom and Dad. I didn’t even walk across the stage in a black cap and gown.


I wanted to have dinner with my parents to celebrate my last day of college, but you decided to ignore the bartender’s pleas.


I wanted to turn left on Morrow Street, but you swerved into my car.


I wanted to live in the 90s.


I wanted to, but you killed me.

September 30, 2020 00:46

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45 comments

This story keeps the reader interest the whole way through, with both excellent descriptions and a great storyline.

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Lani Lane
13:48 Oct 01, 2020

Thank you so much!! Always happy to read your name in the comments. :)

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Anna Mosqueda
12:10 Oct 05, 2020

Amazing story! I love the subtle lesson behind it--don't drink and drive--I wrote a story quite like this last week actually, so I'm glad to see someone else becoming vocal about it too! I wish I was a teen in the 90s too;(

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Lani Lane
15:01 Oct 05, 2020

Thank you for giving my story a read! I'll definitely return the favor sometime this week!

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Jordan Rosenau
08:13 Oct 21, 2020

Great story! I am actually a sophomore in high school and was wondering if I could use this for as an acting competition piece? If you would like to get in touch about it, my school email is rosenau.jordan@lposd.org :)

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Lani Lane
11:34 Oct 21, 2020

What the heck that is so cool!! Aww. :) I will email you today!!

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Martha Smith
04:43 Oct 12, 2020

This was extremely well done! I love the punch of the repetitive sentence structure. It built the tension for the expected "but" even while leaving me flabbergasted how something so beautiful could possibly end.

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Lani Lane
18:41 Oct 12, 2020

Thank you so much, Amanda, I appreciate you taking the time to read and comment! :)

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Molly Leasure
23:42 Oct 08, 2020

Way to just take my heart and crumple it. I was waiting for her to say a "but," but that was not what I was expecting. :( It's a really well-done piece though! Gosh, the imagery of her life is just a photo reel rolling through my mind. I want to put color clips in her hair and take her to concerts...

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Lani Lane
02:00 Oct 09, 2020

Thank you so so much, Molly!! I really wanted it to come across like a film reel so your comment made my day. :) YAY!

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Ray Dyer
20:47 Oct 08, 2020

I have to say this - I'm am so jealous of the spin you put on this prompt. I absolutely LOVE the way you wrote this. Everything about it just works. The repetition has that poetic quality to it, like reading the poem Howl. I wanted to... become a mantra. And there is something about the part at the beginning, where she talks about so many life events in a row that throws up yellow flags, but once the relationship starts going, it's easy to just go along for the ride and let the flags settle down, until the end comes and you realize that ...

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Lani Lane
01:59 Oct 09, 2020

I just read the poem Howl because of this comment and I'm so glad I did! Thank you for introducing me to it! I'm not a big poetry-reader and this made me want to get more into it. Thank you so much, Ray!! :)

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Ray Dyer
02:07 Oct 09, 2020

I'm so glad you liked it!

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Lani Lane
02:11 Oct 09, 2020

If you have more poetry you'd recommend, I'd gladly take it anytime! :)

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Ray Dyer
14:25 Oct 09, 2020

I'm not much of a poetry reader myself, but I was blessed with some awesome professors who showed me things I never would have found on my own. I'll try to dig up some of my old books and see what I can recommend!

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Lani Lane
05:36 Oct 10, 2020

No worries, Ray!! I wish I took more creative writing classes in college, *sigh*

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Lonnie Larson
21:21 Oct 07, 2020

Very powerful. A great message to all, young and old. Keep up the good writing.

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Lani Lane
04:46 Nov 19, 2020

Thank you so much! :)

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Brandon Rich
18:35 Oct 05, 2020

Leilani, this was an intensely powerful entry. I pushed the word count to the limit with my entry this week, all in the name of working out plot pacing. You taught me a lot in a short amount of time. Thanks for sharing this work.

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Lani Lane
18:46 Oct 05, 2020

Hi Brandon, thank you so much for your comment! I read a piece of writing advice the other day that I loved: "Choose clarity over showing off every time." Tried to be clear and concise with this piece! Thank you for reading my story--I'll be sure to return the favor! I love reading longer ones. :)

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00:53 Oct 05, 2020

Wow! Throughout the whole story, I was wondering if she was looking back at the past, but that last line caught me hanging! I loved the subtle details you, not said, described, through the storyline. Great job!!

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Lani Lane
03:49 Oct 05, 2020

Hi Maanha! Thank you so much for reading and commenting! Much appreciated. I'm glad you enjoyed the story. :)

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A.Dot Ram
23:36 Oct 01, 2020

I was a teen in the mid to late 90s (it was pretty cool 😎) and I recognized lots of details. Oh, that phone with the cord, and phone numbers written out on little slips of paper--these are such subtle details but they definitely hold nostalgia for me!

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Lani Lane
23:40 Oct 01, 2020

I'm so glad to hear that!! I was a 90s baby so tried my best. :) Thank you!!

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Raquel Rodriguez
18:47 Oct 01, 2020

Wow! The ending is great, and I love the repetition in the sentences (in the end). I love how you truly make this girl obsessed with the '90s. It's funny because I had the same idea at first for this prompt, but then I went with something else. Could you check it out?

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Lani Lane
21:54 Oct 01, 2020

Thanks for reading! I'll try to check out your story when I have time!

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Raquel Rodriguez
22:06 Oct 01, 2020

Thank you too! ;)

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Cynthia Scott
23:47 Sep 30, 2020

Wow!!! I loved this story! You really built it up all the way through to the surprise ending. 🙂. I thought the way you repeated the same sentence beginning throughout until the climax was pretty clever. 🎉🎉 Would you be willing to check out one or two of my latest stories and offer feedback. Maybe also hit a like if you enjoy it? Thanks so much!! 🌹

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Lani Lane
02:46 Oct 01, 2020

Hi Cynthia!! I’m so glad you liked it! I appreciate you commenting. :) I would love to give your story a read!! I can most likely get to it tomorrow after work. Looking forward to it! :)

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Cynthia Scott
04:55 Oct 01, 2020

Ok thank you so much, Leilani!! I hope you have a wonderful day. 🙂 I look forward to hearing from you again. 🌹

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Cynthia Scott
14:51 Oct 01, 2020

Thank you Leilani!! 🙂🎉🎉 I really look forward to your feedback!! Hop3 you're having a great day!!

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18:52 Sep 30, 2020

Powerful! The ending was very unexpected.

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Lani Lane
19:43 Sep 30, 2020

Thank you for giving it a read, Stephanie! :)

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Maya W.
13:34 Sep 30, 2020

Woah, amazing! I loved this take on the prompt, and I really enjoy your writing style. This reminded me a lot of a friend of mine who we used to joke about always belonging in the 90's, lol. Great work!

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Lani Lane
18:04 Sep 30, 2020

Thank you, Maya!! I was born in the 90s and I always wondered what it would be like to be a teen in the 90s lol. :D

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Allie Weaving
07:44 Sep 30, 2020

This is such a clever take on this prompt! I love the build of small life events up to the very big ones and then back down to that small moment that took everything else away. Only thing I would say is I wasn't sure about the husband and baby having specific names. I think it would work well if the tone was of true obsession - like this character is going over and over her potential life and has named all the loved ones who would never be. The style feels more nostalgic though than obsessive and so maybe something like 'I would meet...

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Lani Lane
13:24 Sep 30, 2020

Hi Allie! Thank you so much for reading and commenting!! Ooooo, I like that!! Thanks for that great advice! I'll experiment with that. I still feel like I need to do quite a bit of editing before the Friday deadline, so I really appreciate your suggestion. :) I see you've written a story as well! I'd love to give that a read sometime this week. :)

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Iris Silverman
04:19 Sep 30, 2020

Wow. This gave me chills at the end. I loved the parallel structure of this story; it really made the suspense build and the ending that much more powerful. I could feel the longing of the narrator intensify as the story went on, and I think that was incredibly powerful on your part. The abrupt ending was great. Awesome job

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Lani Lane
13:20 Sep 30, 2020

Thank you so much, Iris! I'm so glad you enjoyed it and it all made sense. :)

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A.G. Scott
01:54 Sep 30, 2020

I loved everything but the PSA at the end.

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Lani Lane
01:56 Sep 30, 2020

Got it. Debating keeping it in. Is there a reason you didn't like it? Edit: I took it out, once you mentioned it I realized I didn't like it either!! Thank you!!

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A.G. Scott
02:02 Sep 30, 2020

the last few lines are really powerful, and then there's something slightly cheesy.

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Lani Lane
02:03 Sep 30, 2020

I agree!! Thanks again!!

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Lani Lane
01:16 Sep 30, 2020

Still need to edit this a bit. Definitely different than my previous stories and I’m not sure if I like this style, but it was interesting to write.

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Keerththan 😀
15:40 Oct 11, 2020

This was so intriguing. I loved the topic. Even I want to live in 90s. That is different, lol! I enjoyed this story. Keep writing. Would you mind reading my new story "The royal fork." Thanks!

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