Friday, June 16, 2006

How to Write a Love Story, Part V

5. Come to a resolution.

When he was done he could hardly believe it. Reflexively he ran a word count: 3,321 words, 18,412 characters with spaces. In those characters Jack sulked at Rita till she made him laugh; Rita smiled at him and tried not to show how nervous she was -- she always cracked jokes when she was nervous. They talked about work and their families: Both told stories on his sister. The steak and chicken were delicious, and when they ate the silence was comfortable. He helped her with her coat on the way out. And the last thing that happened had become the only possible ending, the perfect unity of two third-person viewpoints: “They kissed under the white bulb that lit her front porch, and in the stillness was hope.”

Bill felt joyous, like singing, like kissing someone himself. He wanted to share this moment. And so hardly knowing what he was doing, he picked up the phone and dialed Sarah’s number.


“Bill. How’s it going?”

“I’m nearly done with a first draft, but I think I need to do more research,” he said. “Do you have any plans for this evening?”

“I don’t,” she said, and he could hear the smile in her voice.

“Would you meet me at the Deer Park Inn? Seven-thirty?”

“That would be wonderful. I’m guessing you found a point.”

“Oh, yes,” he said. "I found the point."

When they hung up it was five forty-five. He had time to shower and change. But before he did that he scrolled down through his story, rereading it carefully, not revising anything as yet. He had some fine-tuning to do, but he could manage that tomorrow before class. Bill read the last line and smiled. Yes. Sarah would like it. So did he.

And even though he knew it wasn't, that it would take revision, that it might in fact be a beginning, he centered his cursor in the middle of the line and typed



  1. *sighs contentedly*

    Thank you. I needed that.

  2. This was a great story, Cheryl. - I love the lyrical wordflow and the poetry that makes certain magical lines linger. Thank you for sharing it!

    Joan Paq.