Writing Prompt #6

Write a story in which each sentence will begin with a different letter of the alphabet, beginning with the letter A, and moving sequentially, i.e. B, C, D, and so forth. 

A cold wind threw Ana’s hair in all directions as she waited for Brian. Brian was late, as always.

“Can’t that man ever be on time,” thought Ana. “Doesn’t she deserve that much?”

Even as she was thinking about leaving, Brain’s car pulled up next to her’s in the damp, evening light.

“Finally,” Ana said to Brain.

“Getting here was hell tonight, Ana,” said Brian. “How about cutting me some slack?”

“I am forever cutting you some slack, Brain.”

Just as the same old fight was about to begin afresh, there was a small tap coming from the back window of Ana’s car. Kiera stared at her parents. Like every Thursday night, the three of them stood in the local police station parking lot to facilitate a custody exchange. Many a time before, back when these things were held in driveways like normal people, these exchanges had gone sour.

“Nevermind,” Ana said. Opening the car door, Ana said, “Would you like to go see your Dad?”

Pretty much immediately, Kiera was out of the car and crossed the pavement to her father’s arms. Quintessentially daddy’s little girl, Kiera was thrilled to see her father but upset to be parted from her mother. Reluctantly, Ana shut the door and made her way to the driver’s side door. Since she met Brian, he had made her life nothing but miserable. To be sure, there were some happy times but Kiera was the only thing that made knowing Brian worth it.

Usually Ana would drive home and enjoy her weekend off. Very soon, Kiera would be home again. When Ana was growing up, this was not the way she pictured her life. Xylophones, stuffed bears, and all other sorts of toys always littering the floors, an exhusband she could barely stand, in-laws that helped her more than her own parents did, and never finishing university after an unplanned pregnancy gone wrong. Yawning, Ana pulled into the driveway of her empty suburban home. Zero people, zero things waited for her there and the thought crossed her mind, just briefly, that’s the way she liked it.

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On Jealousy

I spent a lot of time in my younger years being jealous of other people’s talents rather than focusing on my own. I wasted a lot of time wishing. I wished for things other than what I had and did things I wasn’t good at for the sake of being like those people. Like, I tried out of a musical recently. I’m a good singer, a decent actor, and have absolutely no passion for the craft. I used to once, but when I thought about getting cast, all I thought of was all the work, not the pleasure. I was in a pipe and drum band for five years. When I came to Ottawa, I thought about joining one up here but they are all Grade 4 and 5 bands (that’s the highest). Just like the musical, all I could think of was the work. It’s almost ridiculous how much time I have wasted wanting instead of enjoying.

I wish I could say those times are over but I still spend a lot of time wishing instead enjoying, being jealous instead of being satisfied. My jealousy is more focused now, at least. Now I realise I don’t want to be the musical theatre girl or the pipe and drummer anymore. Those were periods in my life I loved. I loved performing but the key to that sentence is that it is past tense. I know what I want now and that is to be a writer.

Part of being a writer is that you read a lot and in reading a lot, I have a lot of opportunities to be jealous. Inwardly, I realise that someone else’s talents cannot diminish my own. Outwardly, I panic at every word I write and think “this person did this already” or “that person could say this so much better”. When I read something that I think is amazing, I can’t help but grumble a little. When I read something I didn’t like, I can’t help but feel a little superior. Instead I should be enjoying the written word for what it is, whether it’s great or not, whether I think it’s better than mine or not.

I hope I’m not the only person that feels this way. It’s something that I want to work on in the future. I want to be able to just enjoy reading. I know I’m not going to be the next J.K. Rowling or have the staying power of Charles Dickens. I’m not expecting that. I guess my point is that we should put down the measuring stick and enjoy the ride, for better or worse.