Character Development, Scene Writing, Short Story Writing, The Writing Life, Writing Prompts



Afterward, they would argue about who turned back first.

Ten minutes ago, when she made him pull over so she could walk the rest of the way home, the maverick in her started planning. Get out of the lease, buy a used car of her own, and get back to her own life.

The snow crunched beneath her feet, sneaking sideways into the cracks of the worn soles. Her coat was warm, but the umbrella was useless. For a moment, she worried that the SUV coming toward her was a look-alike and not him at all.

It didn’t matter who had turned back first.

Her mother had warned her about the first year of marriage, but not the second and third and fourth. The fourth was a terror. Hammering at each other over broken promises and conflicting priorities. Apology mumbles came late at night, from alternating sides, depending on which one of them felt the most guilty or needed to get up the earliest.

Doubt crept into her mind whether an apology was likely from either side tonight. The car was close enough now that she could see his face, a grim surrender. Was five years just too long to be with the same person? Robin often reflected on the idea of marriage as outdated, a custom that now seemed like folklore. Once upon a time.

She saw evidence to the contrary when she looked hard enough though. Maybe not her parents, but Theo’s for sure. Her grandparents on both sides. Older friends of theirs who had already weathered having children, lost jobs, even affairs. Still together.

The snow had been shoveled aside to help traffic pass, but in doing so, was heaved onto parked vehicles that hadn’t gotten moved out of the way in time.




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