Friday, February 8, 2013

Fiction Friday Challenge, episode six

Dani looked at the clock. 4:53am.  It wasn't worth laying there anymore, pretending to sleep.  She had stared at the ceiling for hours, watched the moon rise and set through the windows. She'd gotten up to pee three times. She'd tried the deep meditative breathing she learned in rehab, tried to find her center, tried to find her peace.  Tried to sleep.


She had never noticed all the annoying things that Scott did in his sleep before, and they chipped away at her imagined perfection of him now.  He rolled over every 24 minutes, almost exactly.  He mumbled when he was dreaming.  His lip did this flapping thing when he snored.  After listening to that for hours, she was repulsed by the very sight of him, this man she loved.

She had never noticed any of it before because she'd always been asleep too.  Tonight, though, sleep would not come no matter how hard she urged it.

Every single time she closed her eyes, she was with him.


The same memory kept flooding her mind, and it was so real that she could feel the heat of the sun on her skin, she could taste the salt in the air, the smell of the ocean swirled around in her nose, intoxicating her all over again.

The trip just before it had all ended.  Before she'd done the most unimaginable thing she could have ever done to him, to them. Before he'd found her and carried her into the emergency room with tears in his eyes.  Before she was forced to tell him the truth about what she had done.  Before he hung his head in sorrow and asked her why. Before he struggled with himself, trying to reconcile it all in his head and his heart.  Before he stopped trying and walked out.

Before all that, there was this.

The trip to Maui he had surprised her with.  He had been planning it for months, waiting until she had a break in her schedule from nursing school.  He made sure she wouldn't miss anything, then quietly submitted for his time off.  Checked every online review of hotels in the area before settling on this one.  He found this small, secluded hotel on the outskirts of Kihei.  It was quiet and serene and it felt like they were the only two people in the world.  

He had fallen for her, completely.  

She was starting to think that maybe she was falling for him too.  

The memories seeped into her mind, unrelenting.  The mornings they slept in and ordered room service.  The lazy afternoons on the beach.  The long walks where he poured out his soul to her, though she still found herself choosing the bits and pieces to tell him.  The bottle of wine in the sand at sunset.  The time they made love on the balcony, the crashing of the waves playing the soundtrack of their bodies.  

It had been perfect. 

It had also been the week she became pregnant. 

The beginning of the unraveling.   

If only she had known.  If only she had trusted.  If only she believed him when he said he wanted her, that he wanted a life with her, that he wanted children with her.

Every time she closed her eyes, she was wrapped in the sheets with Bryan, tropical breeze wafting through the room, the smell of suntan lotion and sex saturating the room.

Every time she opened her eyes, she was lying in bed with Scott, listening to the weird flapping noise his lip made when he snored.

She got up and walked to the kitchen.  Like a robot, she mindlessly went about making coffee.  Four scoops, full pitcher.  Her eyelids were heavy, but there wasn't time for that anymore.

She grew antsy waiting for the machine to percolate and walked to the patio door.  It was snowing again, and she could tell the sun would rise soon as the clouds took on an eerie glow.

It was December 9th.  

Reminded of what today was, she took a deep breath.

A year ago, she'd woken up hungover in her car on Bryan's street.  A year ago, she'd been questioned by police about the accident.  A year ago, she'd stood in her bathroom and cut bangs to cover the cut on her forehead.  A year ago, he had come into her life.

Him.  The guy in the bedroom with the mouth flapping.  The one who saved her.

He loved her, he helped her through rehab, he stood by her through the criminal investigation, he didn't question her past.  He didn't question anything.

She didn't deserve him.  She didn't deserve any of the good things that had happened to her in the last year.  She didn't deserve today, but she was going to enjoy it anyway.

It was their first anniversary, and she had something to tell him.

She was pregnant.

This post is part of a fiction challenge I am participating in.  This is a continuation of a story that already has two parts.  You can find them here: part 1part 2, part 3part 4 and part 5.

Here is this week's prompt:

Your character is drowsy, just about to drift off to sleep only to be roused because s/he spontaneously remembered an intense moment from his/her past with another love? It keeps her/him up all night, distracted the next day.

Check out the pieces from the other participants!


  1. this worked. the prompt was insane. i like what you did. you addressed it and then moved on. you know what needed to be done. i loved the coffee scene. it was good. it was real. nicely done. (TRUTH.)

  2. OMG! Does she deserve him? Or doesn't she? ACK! So much pain and suffering and patience and shock. Oh Dani.

  3. "The bottle of wine in the sand at sunset" ....
    "the crashing of the waves playing the soundtrack of their bodies"...

    (ugh so good)
    Consistency can be one of the hardest things to accomplish in writing especially and you own that. And I've told you I don't read for pleasure (the words, they jump off the page) but I read you. Never a jumper.

  4. Dani seems like such a universal character to me. Whatever she has, she wants something else. She is never satisfied, always searching for something to fill a void. Looking to the past with rose colored glasses as if it were somehow better than it really was. So many people live this way.

  5. Awesome. Loved the descriptions and sensory info. Loved how ou made Scott and her disgust feel real. Dani must be so conflicted inside. Well done.

  6. I got chills while reading this one, Kelly. You have talent, my friend.

    I absolutely love the way you are jumping around on Dani's timeline with these stories, it keeps me wanting more.

  7. Ohhhh. So good. Loved it all the way through. Did you hear me chanting, Kelly from Cali? Book, book. book...write the book!

  8. The stark differences between the two worlds was just fabulous. The fantasy and the reality. It would be fun to go back and see what the fantasy actually looked like at the time. She seems to have very high opinions of her memories.

    And am I off here? Did she have an abortion? Did I miss or forget that?

    1. Okay, I just realized where we are in the story. I sort of read this in a half-ambien induced state. I need to stop doing that...

      But anyway, based on Dani's current track record, I'd be interested to know exactly what Bryan thought about their whole relationship. Was she a train wreck like this from the very beginning? I mean, she's clearly great at covering, at least for a while. Was it really all sunshine and roses until she screwed it all up?

      Great stuff.

    2. Sorry, it jumps around a lot in time. She did. This takes place after, but her memories about about before. If that makes sense. LOL


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