Why Didn’t I Speak to Her?

Throughout the entire school year, he only had one desire: To meet her. To be in the same room with her. To stand or sit near her so that he could talk to her or hear her speak. Now that that desire has been fulfilled — they are sitting directly opposite each other in the jeepney — he discovered another desire: To get as far away from her as possible. For he found her both utterly beautiful and utterly frightening.

He dared not look straight at her. Instead, he turned to face the window. He looked at the people and cars passing by. His neck started to hurt. Then, as casually as he could, he turned his head and glanced in front. Her eyes were closed. She was holding on to the railing on the ceiling. He stared at her long, white arm and elbow. Somehow, he had the feeling that she wasn’t really sleeping. He had the suspicion that she was just pretending to be asleep, and that, in reality, she was only avoiding him. Her eye lashes were long. He admired her nose. He marveled at her cheeks, chin, and lips.

Her other hand was resting on her bag which rested on her lap. Her fingers began to gently move. She stirred and he looked away again. He feigned interest in the things they were passing by.

That was roughly 9 years ago. He thinks about it every day. Even at night, just before he drifts off to sleep, he finds himself asking, “Why didn’t I speak to her?”

*As I’ve explained in previous posts, I am in the process of writing a collection of extremely short stories or flash fiction. My goal is 33 stories. This is perhaps number 1.

What I’ll Call My Book

Our first homework for week 2 of The 90 Days to Your Book project asks us to come up with a title and subtitle for our book.

Here’s mine:

33
Thirty Three Extremely Short Non-Love Stories

Our second homework for the same week asks us to whom we dedicate our book. Here’s mine:

To my wife, Bel, and children, Luke and Lizzy.

Where do you write?

The third homework for week 1 asks us to post a photo of the place where we plan to write our book.

Hands Homework (Week 1):

Here’s a photo of my son, Luke, with a typewriter. No, I don’t use a typewriter, but it looks rather quaint and pretty. That’s the table where I usually type away at my laptop.

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Why write this book?

Our second homework for the first week asks the question, Why write this book?

Okay, so I came up with several book concepts but, obviously, I can only write one book at a time. I choose the first book concept: a collection of short stories or flash fiction.

Here’s my reason for choosing this book concept:

Heart Homework (Week 1):

Why write this book?

Well, because isn’t fiction-writing so exciting?

It’s one of the most exciting and thrilling things you can do as a writer, because you have the power to create characters “out of thin air,” as it were. It’s almost like you’re playing God, by creating a person (albeit a fictional one) out of nothing, and placing him in a situation and seeing him interact with his environment and with other people.

And that situation, and the dialogue, monologue, or events that will follow will reveal meaning and a few other things.

For example, if you’re a fiction writer, you can come up with a totally random story like this right now:

He was looking forward to a quiet, safe night, and he had it all figured out: He will go see that movie that’s showing somewhere downtown. It’s a relatively boring art film made my a relatively unknown writer and director in a relatively unexciting venue — a museum. So the evening promises to be very uneventful, and that’s exactly how he likes it.

He arrived at the place at a quarter to seven. He bought popcorn and soda at the lobby and proceeded to look for his seat at the azotea of the museum. It was not hard to find — his seat, that is. The seats were numbered and almost all of them were unoccupied. He sat down, heaved a sigh of relief, and smiled.

The scent of wild flowers preceded the appearance in his field of vision of a lady with long hair and blue jeans. The scent and appearance jolted his sense of smell and sense of sight simultaneously, because the former was utterly pleasant and the latter utterly beautiful. She sat directly in front of him and she is alone.

What the hell? was his only thought.

This was followed by, “This is so unfair. This is so not right. I did not want this. How could this happen to me? I don’t deserve this. Who is she?”

The lady looked out of place. She was such a contrast to everything around her because, although she sat perfectly still and spoke not a word, she brimmed with life, energy, and “new-ness”.

One thing’s for sure, this night was going to be the very opposite of uneventful.

And from there you can expand the story to who knows where. Persons are born and whole worlds are opened up.