Our assignment this week was to write a dialogue based on the picture below. My stories aren’t always inspired by my life, although this one was, being that this conversation is very much like one I’d have with my friends. I hope you enjoy it!
A girl and a boy were seated across from each other on a train track, talking just as they did every Sunday afternoon.
“Curse this infernal skirt,” the girl muttered, furiously readjusting the denim across her legs.
The boy smirked. “Seriously Nadia, don’t have to go all Shakespeare on me.”
“Aidan, do you have any idea how hard it is to find a position that doesn’t allow for anyone to look up your skirt and that’s decently comfortable?”
“Umm… no actually. See, I don’t exactly wear skirts.”
“Oh, reeeally? What about that picture of you in the tutu when you were three?”
The tips of his ears started to turn crimson. “Shut up.”
“How often did you wear it again?”
“At least I’m not afraid of the train tracks,” he retorted.
“And what do you think I’m sitting on right now?” She knocked on the iron for emphasis.
“You were pretty nervous the first few times we came here. And you still will only sit here on Sundays when the train doesn’t come.”
She dramatically rolled her eyes. “Well excuse me if I don’t want to get run over a train.”
“Don’t see why.” His lips turned upward in a sideways grin. “I mean, a hit from a train could only improve a face like yours.”
“Well! If you ever get hit by a train, I’d feel sorrier for the train. Just think, it could never be used again if your face was imprinted on it.”
“Of course not. My face is so attractive that everyone would want to stare at it instead of get on.”
“More like run away screaming,” she scoffed.
He crossed his arms and raised an eyebrow. “Bet you can’t name one time someone ran away screaming at the sight of me.”
“Challenge accepted!” Nadia grinned mischievously as she drummed her fingers on the train track. “Let’s see… there was baby Mia.”
Aidan feigned disinterest, staring up at the bright August sky. “Doesn’t count. She was probably just hungry.”
“Right. Because that explains why she stopped crying the moment someone else held her.”
“It was her mom! Some babies stop crying when their mom holds them.”
“She didn’t cry when I held her.”
“Whatever. Try again.”
“And there was Mr. Cotton Ball.”
Aidan groaned. “He’s a hamster. That definitely doesn’t count.”
“It was still pretty funny how he bit your finger to get away though,” she said with a giggle.
He frowned. “It wasn’t that funny. Anyway, you’ve only thought of two examples so far, although neither of them should count.”
She gave a dramatic sigh. “Pity. It seems that no one had the good sense to run away at the sight of you except for… Carla!”
His eyes widened with horror. “Wait! What do you mean?”
“Oh, please don’t tell me you’ve forgotten.”
Nadia gained a sudden interest in her fingernails. “Oh, you don’t really want to know. You would probably say it doesn’t count anyway.”
“Please tell me,” Aidan begged, fidgeting with curiosity. “Has she mentioned something I’ve done? I mean, not that she’d umm… mention me. Has she? Not that I really care. Umm, you know never mind.”
Nadia’s body shook with a hysterical fit of giggles. “Some one’s opinion of pretty little Carla has changed over the years, hasn’t it?”
He hid his face in his baseball cap. “How, how do you always figure these things out?”
“You just happen to be easier to read than Green Eggs and Ham.”
“Okay. Whatever. Just what story were you going to tell about her?”
“You remember the time you walked into church with a frog?”
Aidan rolled his eyes. “My gosh Nadia, that was ages ago. I was like, what, five?”
“Six,” she corrected. “Which meant you were old enough to know better, and certainly old enough to keep it from jumping on Carla’s dress.”
“I told her I was sorry.”
“Only after mom made you. When she ran out of the room crying and screaming, you just laughed.”
He pursed his lips. “Do you think she still remembers?”
“Oh, I know she does. She was just complaining about it the other day.”
“Seriously?!” He half jumped from his seat.
“That’s not funny!” he insisted, his voice edgy.
“Okay, so she didn’t. But I’ll bet you anything she still remembers.”
“Whatever.” Aidan was quiet for a second, then his face lit up. “That time she was really running away because of the frog and not me, so I still won the bet.”
“What do you mean!? I gave three examples.”
“None of them counted.”
“But you have to let me win,” she reminded him with a smile and a friendly punch on the shoulder. “This is my last Sunday here.”
His jaw dropped. “What?!”
Nadia put her face in her hands, rubbing her temples. “Someone didn’t already tell you? I thought you would know by now.”
She lifted her head and looked Aidan in the eye. “I’m going to college.”
“Yeah, I know, next year…”
“No Aidan. Gosh, how do you not already know about this? I know it was a last minute decision, but I thought you at least would have caught on by now…”
“What is it? Just tell me!” he interrupted frantically.
She sighed heavily. It was too beautiful an afternoon to talk about this. Though some one had to tell him. “You know how I have enough credits to graduate a semester early?”
“Yeah…” Aidan’s heart beat rapidly in his chest. So yeah, Nadia was some kind of a great, overachieving student. But what did that have to do with this? What was she going to say?
“Well, instead of moving half way through the year or just sticking around second semester, I’m going to leave early. I’ll be moving in with Grandma and Grandpa, taking some classes at a community college, and maybe earning some money to avoid college debt.”
Small tears of hurt and disbelief began to form at the corner of Aidan’s eyes. “What! You’re seriously leaving? Why didn’t you tell me?”
“I’m telling you now.”
“How long did you know this?”
“Only for about a week. It took some convincing for Mom and Dad, but they gave in.” Nadia stared at the train track. She felt so sure about her decision before, but now she felt horrible.
“So you want to go?”
“Yeah. I mean, it’ll be a bit hard leaving everyone behind, but it’s for the best.”
“For the best? Leaving me here is for the best?”
“Aidan,” she said softly.
“You’re seriously going to do this? You’re going to go. You’re going to leave me.” He stared ahead dejectedly, looking past Nadia as if she wasn’t there.
“You knew I was going to be gone anyway. In two years, you’ll be going, too.”
“I know, but… early?”
“People move on. They go to college. It’s a part of life,” Nadia said. She spoke to herself as much as she did to Aidan.
He sighed. “I know but… still.”
“Hey, listen. Just because I’m going doesn’t mean you get rid of me entirely. You better keep in touch understand? If you don’t, I’ll send Carla a frog with a note attached saying it’s from you. Got it? And don’t think I won’t do it.”
The corners of his lips lifted in a weak smile. “I don’t doubt it.”
“Good.” She held out her hand to shake. “Still friends then?”
Aidan reached out and shook it.