Paul and I drew water from the lake in plastic buckets and dumped it on the coals. Steam rolled skyward. From her perch on a nearby log, Susie clapped. Paul lifted his bucket as if to throw water on her. “Don’t you dare!” Susie darted away across the sand as he chased her with the empty bucket.
I guess that was when I knew. So it was no big surprise when she let him walk her home.
I carried the buckets back to the cottage. Behind me, on the beach, hope like some great bird flapped off into the night.
I wrote this story for the 100 Word Challenge #340 at Velvet Verbosity.
oh, dear . . . well, life being as it is, they may find each other at a different time. 🙂 Nicely worded. I can feel the emotions.
Love doused like the campfire. I read it as the narrator disappointed about Suzie
Is that when he knew Susie wanted Paul or did he realize he wanted Paul? At first I thought the speaker was disheartened because he didn’t get the girl. On my second read, I thought there is no surprise in Paul walking her home after the exchange but a teen who isn’t sure about who he is attracted, too, might realize after being passed over that he doesn’t want the girl and the union is anti-climatic. There is no surprise she chose Paul. Solid writing. The unrequitted infactuation is palpable. Correct me if I misread. Just clicking out loud.
Jim Anderson says
LaTonya — First, thanks for reading the story not once, but twice! And carefully, too. It’s great the story conveyed a strong emotion to you. To me, that’s the goal. As for interpretations, I would tend toward your first reading myself. Mostly that’s because the narrator seems to focus on the girl’s decision to, in effect, go off with Paul. So ultimately it is her action that matters to him. That’s one reading, anyway. I like the ambiguity, though, as long as the feeling comes through.
Jim, maybe colored by my sensitivity for youth who struggle with their orientation couple that with the amount of YA fiction I’ve read in this genre not to mention my work with teens and well, the mind wanders. Enjoyed.