Today’s Prompt: Write a post based on the contrast between two things — whether people, objects, emotions, places, or something else.
Today’s twist: write your post in the form of a dialogue.
This is a continuation of these posts: Part 1 and Part 2
The best choice I made all reception? The stolen bottle of semi-decent champagne cooling in my hotel ice bucket. On my second glass, my mood is much brighter. Maybe it’s the release of the tension of the party. It’s hard to spend a day worried someone will reference a past that I’ve put as far behind me as possible. I can’t recall feeling this uncomfortable in my skin. It’s just having this time of my life in front of me.
Class failure. That’s me. Images and humiliation race through my head for a moment. It’s hard to fail at something that means so much to you. It’s hard to forgive…me.
All my champagne bubbles pop at once and I move to change the channel and find a RomCom to distract me. I flip channels with the agility of an office worker who spends their evenings relaxing with the boob tube. I’m no social commentator, but maybe some funny tweets during a live broadcast to feel creative and like a creative.
Like the people at the party I can hear outside.
I look at the silly, expensive shoes, my fancy dress in the bride’s color. At least it was my choice and not a total waste of money. My hard earned secretarial dough. I slug some more champagne to get the bubbles back in my head.
“Champs,” I giggle. For a second I picture the fussy, perfectionist Real Housewife who nicknamed champagne, champs, judging my life. “I think you need less of an onion ring life and more of a champs lifestyle,” myself as Heather DuBrow declares. I giggle hysterically.
The bus leaves at 12pm tomorrow and it’s 8pm tonight. This is gonna be a long night if I’m making bad housewives jokes and laughing at them. I send out texts to my favorite friends, the folks a part of my current life.
I see it then. A sheet of semiburned paper someone must have slipped under the door in the last few minutes. I’m fairly certain it’s my letter, but I’m hoping not. My letter should have burned up in the bonfire.
I stare at it as I walk up. Bits of it are gone, but it is a fragment of my letter.
I love you….but that would…make you miserable…do not return my feelings…kindness and distance. We…again…wish you the best…life.
I hear my voice and I am screaming with the horror, “Oh my god, why isn’t this burned up??”
“Oh my god, who brought this to me?!?” That hits me harder. Holy hell, who saw this shit?
“I don’t know why I found it. I never knew it was a love letter.” HIS voice. From the outside of my hotel room. He is standing in the hallway by my door.
“Of course you found it.” I slide down the door in dread. “Oh course, you did.”
“It came to me, Jules.” No, his voice is down here. He’s leaning on the other side of the door, this cheap thin door that doesn’t feel as solid now that I am listening through it.
“It was so many years ago.”
“You’re the one hiding in your room.”
“I don’t belong here. Ry. I was so happy to be included that I didn’t think about how I’d feel going backwards.”
“How is a wedding going backwards?” His tone accuses me of stupidity.
“I’ve made a life that doesn’t include anyone here…I don’t think it could.”
“Then you should have turned it down and stayed away, like you always did.” His voice is moving, irritated and dismissive, as he stands.
“Ry! Why did you bring this letter to me?” I scramble to open the door enough to see him as I lean against the doorframe.
He turns and looks down at me. Confused, drunk, a little tired. “I guess I hoped you’d grown.” He turns and takes a step away.
For the first time, I react, not in anger, but in my own truth, “I did grow. I just grew in a different direction.”
He never turns. The only sign he heard is the noticeable shrug of his shoulder and the pause in his stride. I watch my first love walk away from me, for good this time. After all this time, I can finally accept he never felt anything for me; and that relieves me. I stare at the elevator doors for a long while.
“I need bubbles.” That’s when I notice; he left an offering. “Fuck the glass.”
I start drinking a near full bottle, laughing at the texts my friends back home are sending me. New York City life, not a soul has a car. The party and people and the past recede until I nod off in the doorway.
The next morning everything hurts. The empty bottle and dead cell phone are all tucked underneath me, an uncomfortable bed. I find the remains of the letter clutched in my hand:
I love you…and…wish you the best…life.