Red Writing Hood: Not His To Tell

February 10, 2012

Creative, Memes, Red Writing Hood

I tend to walk with my eyes downcast.

I watch the sidewalk.  For debris, cracks, dog shit.

So when the snow started to fall, I didn’t notice it.

As I had put down my head and started my walk I was on the north side of campus.  Now, heading south through the park toward my dorm all the way on the other side, I was cold and miserable.

I used to think campus was gorgeous.  Its brochure had boasted 50 different species of trees, and buildings which had to pass rigorous muster at committees convened to judge architectural beauty.

Indeed, it did have many trees; it did have lovely buildings.

But day after day as I trudged home from work, through the cold and oftentimes the wet, the beauty dissolved into a grey haze.  Even the late-nineteenth-century cemetery in the middle of campus, with its romantic markers of people long gone, held no magic for me anymore.

That particular day the world passing by me was more of a blur than usual, as my mind kept replaying the freakshow movie that was my life.  I didn’t even recognize myself anymore as a character in the drama.

It was someone else who was dating her boss.  Someone else who’d figured out that the sad and depraved relationship, fueled by mania, depression, and alcohol, was going nowhere, and who cut it off.

It was someone else’s dormmate who took a call at 3:30AM the night before from that boss.  A drunken, threatening call.  An “If she doesn’t come back to me I’ll come and get her” kind of call.

But no.  It was me.  Me who called the police to see if anything could be done (it couldn’t, apparently, not enough of a threat).

My foot caught on a square of sidewalk just higher than the one before it.  “This is why I watch the damn sidewalk!” I thought to myself and wondered how I’d missed seeing the danger.

It seemed I’d missed seeing a lot of danger lately.  Who in their right mind as a seventeen-year-old thought dating her thirty-six-year-old boss was a good idea??? Well, someone NOT in her right mind, obviously.

And what in God’s name had possessed him to tell his boss? Why had that secret needed to be revealed?

“Joe told me about your relationship.  That he took advantage of his position as your boss.  That he’s made inappropriate phone calls to you.  Do you want to press charges for harassment?”

“No.  What’s the point?  We were consenting adults who had a relationship and it didn’t work out. I don’t know why he felt the need to tell you.”

“Are you sure?  I worry about you and I want to do what’s right for you.”

“Thank-you, but no, I just want to forget it all.”

I did just want to forget.

I stopped walking and looked around.  Really looked.

Trees.  Trees and snow. People walking, the world going on.

And still half of campus to cross before home.

This piece was brought to you by Red Writing Hood at Write on Edge. The prompt requested a 500-word piece showing work using 4 “tools” picked randomly, here were mine: A) A College Student; B) A Park; C) December; D) Secret Needs To Be Told.

I love concrit!!

Write On Edge: Red-Writing-Hood

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11 Comments on “Red Writing Hood: Not His To Tell”

  1. shelton keys dunning Says:

    Oh nice. You never fail to impress. I love how you portrayed her internal anger about her situation and the vanishing appreciation of her campus. Brilliant!


  2. Lance Says:

    Yeah, the inside fight of the student is so gripping. You killed this. I loved it.



  3. Barbara @ de rebus, via Write on Edge Says:

    Nicely done. I enjoyed the first-person narration: it allowed you to convey a rather significant amount of detail without being to heavy-handed about it.

    My favorite part was “I didn’t even recognize myself anymore as a character in the drama.” I love the self-awareness of her coping method of distancing herself from the problem. Great read!


  4. Beth Says:

    This was great!


  5. Gina Bellandi Freyn Says:

    “freakshow movie that was my life”… I felt her plight, her walk, her danger. I feel she’s moving on. Fantastic story.


  6. Lance Says:

    great first line, sets a mood.


  7. Kathleen Says:

    I also really liked the sense of character development and the way the snow encapsulates it.


  8. Carrie Says:

    The introspection is great. And you can easily see she is still a clueless teenager in how she handles her life, she’s not really “getting” it, hence how she doesn’t see anything around her.

    She calls herself a consenting adult but her innocence is still screaming out. Just forgetting it won’t help her. She’ll probably end up repeating her mistakes further down the line


  9. Renee Says:

    Her feeling of embarrassment and anger is so evident here. Her refusal to press charges shows her wish to just make it go away.

    Well done.


  10. angela Says:

    You have a great grasp on that mindset of a young student, so sure she can just brush aside the possible issues with the boss/ex-boyfriend and forget that it ever happened. Hopefully she can also look up and “see” what’s happening, the way she does at the end when she looks around to see the people.

    Also, the insistence on a seventeen-year old at being considered an “adult” is perfect.


  11. Jen Has A Pen Says:

    You did such a fantastic job describing the enormity of a college campus. I got the feeling of a character lost in a familiar place. I enjoyed the apathetic reaction to his boss’s inquisition. Great job!


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