The Conversation We May Never Have

Trifecta’s challenge for the week:

MANIPULATE (transitive verb)

1: to treat or operate with or as if with the hands or by mechanical means especially in a skillful manner
2a : to manage or utilize skillfully
b : to control or play upon by artful, unfair, or insidious means especially to one’s own advantage
3: to change by artful or unfair means so as to serve one’s purpose : to doctor
 
 

You lied when you signed it.

You had no intention of keeping your promises.

I went back, though.

Checked for a loophole.

There was none.

It wasn’t the words of the document you tried to manipulate –

It was the truth.

(And it worked.)

I loved you, you know. In my own way.

Sure you weren’t the wittiest kid on the block

And sure you weren’t the fullest of life.

But you were my friend.

Smiling,

Loyal,

Good.

Until you screwed everything up.

I lost more than what you took from me that day, you know.

I lost you too.

And you meant more to me than I will ever admit to myself.

Ever.

Because it’s easier to pretend that we never really hit it off

Than to admit that I liked having you around so much that it never seemed to matter.

But what’s done is done.

And all this…

Well, it’s my fault too

Because I have a hard time letting things go

And an ever harder time letting people go.

Sometimes when you smile at me in the street,

I am enraged by your audacity

But, more recently,

I just want to give in and hold you tight

And have you hold me tight.

But something tells me

(Or maybe someone did)

That that’s not healthy.

But I will say here,

In the privacy of a worldwide audience

Where you may never find me,

Where I don’t have to look into your eyes as I rage

And storm

And blame you

And then break down midsentence

Because of a rising sob threatening to choke me,

Here,

I will say this:

I loved you.

I would’ve protected you for the rest of my life

If you had only kept the one promise I needed from you,

The only promise you ever made me:

To keep us all together.

 

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A Tale of Trust and Temperament

Daily Prompt: A to Z

July 27, 2013

Create a short story, piece of memoir, or epic poem that is 26 sentences long, in which the first sentence begins with “A” and each sentence thereafter begins with the next letter of the alphabet.

Photographers, artists, poets: show us ORDERLY.

All along the end was known,

Before it even began.

Cleverness and common sense

Do not preclude ancestral fallacies,

Especially those of the heart.

Fain was he to fall for her

Given her frame,

Her response mirroring his.

Inescapable that there should be one more:

Jilted she felt, and hard done by.

Knowing the way the world works,

Lamented love’s labour lost,

Much hurt by betrayal, unrecognised as

Not of the man, but

Of the woman, friend-supposed.

Perhaps it wasn’t meant to be, but

Quite obviously her long-expressed wishes were

Relegated by the heiress of affection,

Selfishly, to where inconvenient

Truths are banished:

Under the rug.

Verily the turn of events left behind a heart-

Wrenchingly desolate tale of betrayal,

eXcuse of exigency proven enough to obliterate loyalty.

Yesterday serves as a lesson to us

Zest in trust to be wrought with care.

This is it

WRITE NOW PROMPT FOR JUNE 21, 2013

He took a step and heard a dull, crunching sound beneath his foot.

[http://todaysauthor.wordpress.com/2013/06/21/write-now-prompt-for-june-21-2013/]

Looking down, he nudged the offending dead mouse out of the way with his hiking boots. He couldn’t afford to be squeamish right now. He squeezed the tip of his boot further into the crevice in the rock, and continued sliding sideways, step by step by careful step. He needed to find the next handhold, and fast. The water rose beneath him, eddies swirling, waves of water dashing against the rock. All it would take was another couple of minutes before it swallowed him up whole.

Gulping, he kept shuffling along the ledge until he found a shelf he could latch onto. It was halfway between where he was now and the top of the cliff. He strained his arm to reach it. The tips of his first and second fingers just barely brushed it before slipping due to sweat. Now he was nervous. He looked down. Barely a minute left. The soles of his boots were wet now.

He stretched in earnest now, almost jumping in desperation. Latching on to the ledge, he pulled himself up, but only barely. From here on it was easier; grabbing ledge after ledge of rock, he hoisted himself upwards until he was almost out of danger. Alan’s head peeked out over the edge.

“Help me!” he called out frantically. “The water’s rising too fast; I won’t make it!” The waves were licking his knees now.

Alan looked down at him, motionless for a moment. Then something behind his eyes shifted, and he leaned over, extending a hand. “Grab my hand, Jared.”

Visibly relieved, Jared reached out and put his hands in Alan’s. “Okay, pull me up.”

No response.

“I said okay, pull me up!” Jared repeated, louder this time. The water had reached his waist, and was steadily rising, inch by inch.

“You should’ve listened to me when I told you to stay out of my business, Jared,” said Alan finally. “I’m sorry.” He loosened his grip, as Jared looked up in horror. “Alan, NO!”

But it was too late. Falling backwards, his feet lost their hold on the slippery rock. Scrambling to find his footing again, he came up to the surface, trying to keep afloat. Scrabbling at the wall of rock, trying to hold on, his mind blanked out in sheer panic. This is it.

Then he saw the rocks cascading down from the top of the cliff. He was too far gone to even hurl profanities anymore, or even to resist. This is it. He felt himself surrender to the water.

__________________________

He sucked in his breath, choking on the water.

“Thank God, you’re awake,” Alan heaved a sigh of relief placing the empty glass of water on the ground. “Hurry up, we’re leaving in fifteen minutes – the mountains await!” He grinned.

Jared heaved an enormous sigh of relief. “No, I think I’ll pass. You guys carry on.”

“Sure?” Alan asked, eyebrows furrowed. “Well, suit yourself. We’re going from around the lake, in case you decide you want to come.” He turned and headed for the door of the tent.

“Alright,” Jared said quietly. “Oh, and Alan?” Alan turned back questioningly.

“I’m sorry for getting you in trouble with the guys last night. I should’ve known where to draw a line.”

Alan smiled. “Hey, happens to the best of us. Now I gotta hurry up or I’ll be late. See you later!”

Jared waved at Alan as he ran out to join the others. He walked up to his mirror and looked at his face, ashen from his nightmare. This is it. He ran over to the entrance to pull on his hiking boots.