Call Me Ishmael | Part 2

His silent departure no longer bothered me like it used to. The first time he appeared in my room did startle me and it took about two weeks and a few visits to a therapist to convince myself I wasn’t crazy. I turn back to the stack of cardboard boxes and resign myself to a day of unpacking.
My move to London about a month ago had been surprisingly smooth for a last minute decision. My family did not take the news well but they understood. My mother had been the first and only person, besides the therapist, that I told about seeing him again. It was my mothers idea that I seek the help of a therapist first and then when I found out about the dream marketing job that could take me across the Atlantic ocean and away from all my memories of him it was her who told me to go. I think she thought that I could leave him behind and I did for about a week and then he showed up again in my new apartment and I decided to stop running. His presence had become comforting even though I knew it was unhealthy.
The unpacking took the rest of the day and he didn’t come back until I returned from bring the boxes down to the recycling. He was sitting on my couch staring at the wall so I walked over and sat next to him without saying anything. We just sat there both staring at the wall, neither of us talking, neither of us needing to as we both just found comfort in the silence together. My stomach growling is what eventually broke the quiet and I got up to fix myself a sandwich in the kitchen.
“It is so strange never being hungry.” he says as I close the refrigerator. He has moved from his position on the couch to a stool at my kitchen island.
“I wish I knew what that felt like. I would be a lot skinnier.” I say trying to lighten his mood.
“You don’t need to be any skinnier you are beyond beautiful just the way you are. Besides you have lost weight this past month. I suppose that is my fault. You always forget to eat when I am around.” as I come around the counter and take the empty seat next to him. He turns so we are facing each other and smiles at my sandwich.
“Peanut butter & jelly?” He says with a smirk.
“Hey,” I say with a frown “ I haven’t had time to grocery shop and I only have this cause mom sent it from the states.”
He doesn’t say anything and continues to sit silently next to me as I force down the sandwich and a glass of water. Once I finish I clean the dishes and put them away. He follows me around the house as I get ready for bed. Tomorrow is Monday which means back to work so I take extra time setting out my outfit and organizing my bag. The firm I work for is full of young professionals, almost all from the UK and so I find myself attempting to blend in with them as much as possible. This means putting extra thought into my clothes and accessories so that I don’t scream American.
“You are working tomorrow?” he asks.
“Yes.” I say and see him frown.
I change into my pajamas and climb into bed, turning off the bedside lamp. He is barely visible in the dark laying atop the covers so I turn to lay on my side facing him. He reaches over and pulls the comforter up to cover my shoulder.
“Don’t go.” I say fighting to keep my eyes open.
He reaches out and tucks some stray hair behind my ear. I lean forward into his touch instinctively moving my hand up and over to where his chest should be and feel the top of my quilted comforter. I open my eyes and he’s gone.

If you like this post be sure to check out the Daily prompt post that started it all here “DAILY PROMPT | Call Me Ishmael” and be sure to follow Lost Girl if you want to continue the story.

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8 thoughts on “Call Me Ishmael | Part 2

  1. izzy-grabs-life says:

    Great pieces! I was happy to see a new addition to your developing story. I love the following:

    (1) The distressed and detached atmosphere, mood, and word choices (as @desleyjane pointed out). I immediately sensed that something wasn’t right (from both parts). Still, I wasn’t expecting for the guy to be DEAD (and I use the word “dead” very loosely here).

    (2) It’s a nice twist prompted by Fifty Shades of Grey. I’d been curious as to why he’d called the MC “kid” and didn’t want to be touched. I have my answer now with part 2, but before, I’d wondered if the guy had been traumatized in his past. If he was a germaphobe. If he was older than the MC mentally, age-wise, or both. I now have part of my answer (he’s “dead”), but I’m waiting to find out more.

    (3) Tortured love (to a certain degree) can make an enticing read if done right, to me. So far, so good.

    (4) A concerned family, especially a mother who encourages and pushes the MC to move on with her life. Clearly, the MC can’t (this foreshadows future conflict). I’m not sure if what’s happening between the MC and her love interest is psychological or supernatural, but I’m intrigued. Especially since she told others about “seeing” the guy.

    Suggestions (please take what helps and ignore the rest):
    (1) Limit/omit filters in this part and the first. The following are examples:
    “with frustration” (unneeded telling).
    “instantly” (avoid adverbs and adjectives).
    “I feel,” “I notice,” and “I see” — this story is written in first-person, so there’s no need to indicate that it’s the MC who’s feeling or noticing anything. Describe it directly from her perspective. For instance: “His fingers brush my ear. A tingle races down my back.” Another example: “He smirks. ‘Peanut butter and jelly?'” instead of “‘Peanut butter and jelly?” He says with a smirk.
    “and” — split some sentences to quicken the pace (try not to rely too much on the word “and”).

    (2) Consider giving the love interest a name (I’m guessing there’s a reason why you’re not naming the MC, but perhaps the guy can have a name? Maybe not).

    (3) It’s okay to use contractions as they make characters sound more realistic. Plus, you do use them every now and then — it’s better to stay consistent. Also, watch the punctuation. Example, you wrote [” . . . being hungry.” he says]. The period after “hungry” should be a comma.

    (4) From the guy’s dialogue, I’m slightly worried that he’ll fall into the trap of being “Mr. Perfect.” But even if he did, that’s perfectly okay. It’s not MY preference, but I’m just one person and many people seem to love that kind of character. At the end of the day, you’re the writer. You have the reins.

    Liked by 1 person

    • kassandralane says:

      I am soooo grateful for this comment. So far all of my writing has been for me and it still is but now I am sharing it hoping for comments like this one. Basically I have had no plan and no direction, this story is a bit about therapy for me. These comments/suggestions have made me so excited to see where I can take this. And I think all of your suggestions are great ones that I will definitely spend time pondering and working through. Thanks so so much!!!

      Liked by 1 person

      • izzy-grabs-life says:

        Yay! I’m glad I can help in any way. You have something special here, so I do hope you’ll continue to work on it and post part 3, 4, 5, and on. 😀 I’m rooting for you and your WIP.

        Your story is a bit about therapy for you, huh? I’m not entirely sure what you mean by that, but Richard Wright once said, “The more closely the author thinks of why he wrote, the more he comes to regard his imagination as a kind of self-generating cement which glued his facts together, and his emotions as a kind of dark and obscure designer of those facts. Reluctantly, he comes to the conclusion that to account for his book is to account for his life.”

        Liked by 1 person

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