Red Writing Hood Prompt – Say What??

Slip of the tongue or just tongue-tied. Tara had no clue. Ryan had been sending out these mixed messages, disguising them as innocent mistakes, and then going about his usual business of playing ‘hide the feelings’.  Now he was talking to her friends. About her.  Behind her back.

“…she shouldn’t have to…”

What came before or after the phrase didn’t matter; the phrase was so powerful and said so much that the rest was overkill.  It kept her up at night wondering just what in the heck it all meant.

Tara thought she knew him.  But that knowledge – perceived or otherwise – didn’t make it easier when he tossed out such an offhand comment about their relationship.  It didn’t make her not analyze every utterance to the point of distraction.  And it caused her pause with every sincere gesture he offered.

Ryan quickly removed the ‘have’ and the statement became a chastisement of her girl-emotions.  Tara wondered. You don’t take sociology for two years without becoming a keen observer of people. Furthermore, you don’t grow into a ‘woman of a certain age’ without learning a little bit about men.  He was bluffing; she was nearly certain of it.

But thinking she was right was a long way from knowing she was right and so she continued to replay the scene in her mind over and over. Would she ever know his true feelings? Could these simple misinterpretations be what kept them together or pulled them apart? And would Ryan ever truly tell her how he felt about her?

These were questions that shouldn’t have to be answered. And maybe that was Tara’s answer all along.

Blogger’s Note: This is a work of fiction. I repeat, this is a work of fiction. Do not freak out.

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11 responses to “Red Writing Hood Prompt – Say What??

  1. I like how just a short phrase caused her so much anguish. I think that’s so true to life. This one sentence didn’t read right to me, “What came before or after the phrase because didn’t matter”; I think it’s the word because that is the problem. Nice job though.

  2. Tara’s emotions some through so strongly here and the way that we can torture ourselves in our minds with very little information was also captured well. I felt that maybe if we had heard the whole sentence rather than just the fragment I would have had an even stronger sense of what was happening, of what kind of things Ryan was saying behind Tara’s back. But I loved the tenuous rant feeling.

  3. Ugh… how often do we find ourselves in these situations of half-sided, half-comprehended conversations. It’s incredible how just part of a phrase haunts us and how much an honest conversation can set us free! I felt Tara’s pain. Visiting from WOE.

  4. Oh yes, it is the little things in people’s speech that confuzzle us and leave us thinking it through over and over and over. A simple word in a sentence put in the wrong place can destroy us completely. There’s such a leap between what a word means and what it could mean. I love how you captured this moment of utter anguish over something so simple, especially in such a relationship this anguish can be oh-so-dangerous. Good work!

  5. Interesting that Tina pegged her young love. She’s acting young love, but “of a certain age” implies something quite a bit farther along. In any case, I wanted to smack her and say, “Hello, open communication, stop overanalyzing!” Probably because this was me not so long ago. 🙂 Nice, tight, and believable. Good job.

    • I think if I would have said ‘female’ emotions instead of ‘girl’ emotions, the notion of young or new love wouldn’t come into play. I think also that even though a person isn’t young in years, any new love interest goes through a stage of infancy which can be pretty trying. Thank you much for your comment because it made me go back and look at the post and make improvement. That is always a good thing.

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