365 Creative Writing Prompts – Day 2

So… Day 2, and something quite different.

Here is the prompt from 365 Creative Writing Prompts:

2. The Unrequited love poem: How do you feel when you love someone who does not love you back?

I wanted to challenge myself on this one. Dialogue is not my strong point. Monologues and descriptive writing is where I find myself falling back to. My initial thought for this one was to have an argument between a guy and a girl, maybe one with a twist from the question – the primary subject would be the one who didn’t love the other back. But one of the tips for writing dialogue is to know your character. And I didn’t know these people. I didn’t have the time to get to know them.

Then my mind turned to the old questions of ‘How is there so much beauty in the world’ and ‘Why is there so much pain?’ and the idea of the two being a flowing stream, intermingled together, and in the case implied in the question, the pain born out of beauty.

Here is Day 2, it’s a bit longer that yesterdays, but once again, unedited and raw, so I’m sorry if it reads badly.

Jak slumped in his tall, wooden chair, his right hand idly fondling an empty pint glass on the table, his left hand, well… it was under the table, so any one’s guess. He took a deep breath, long and slow, then let it out with a sigh. Pathetic. And I mean that in the most loving and caring way. And I mean that only half sincerely. I mean, that sound. The sorrow and the pain in it gone, now just an empty mockery of a sigh. It grates on me. I hate it.

‘I mean, how could this happen, man? I gave her…’ he upturned the pint glass over his mouth and I watched as the last dregs of stale lager snaked down the sides, form a drop on the rounded edge of the glass. He gave up before it fell. ‘I gave her everything. I made her happy, didn’t I? I made her happy.’

I learned early on that when he was in this state, my words didn’t help him. They provoked. I kept quiet, biting my lip every time his voice whined out of his mouth.

‘But now… man… I just hurt so bad.’ He dropped the glass on the table. It teetered and fell to it’s side. I caught it before it dropped. His head slumped in his hands. From the corner of my eyes I could see faces turn to Jak. The pub was packed with families and young couples enjoying a quiet pub lunch. Most were now looking this way. Could you blame them? Outside the sun shone and a warm breeze threaded through tree branches. It was two in the afternoon and Jak was wasted.

‘It hurts!’ he drew out the words in a loud cry of anguish. His head fell to the table with a crack and a few gasps of the pub’s patrons. In an instant his head was up hosting a wide-eyed gaze. ‘How can there be so much beauty in the world and yet so much pain?’

That’s it. I’d had enough. I knew I wasn’t meant to speak up, but all of the others had left. I leant over.

‘You’re thinking of all this the wrong way,’ I whispered across the table. ‘As though the two are conflicting forces… Beauty yet pain?’ I shuck my head in disgust. ‘Grow up!’ that part came out as more of a growl. He slumped in his chair, his heavily bagged eyes staring pitifully at his empty drink. I knew I should stop, but self control was never my strong point. I continued. ‘No! On the most part the two are intrinsic! One is born of the other!’ his head lulled, I slapped him, more gasps but I got his attention – his eyes wide and on me. ‘Jak, pull yourself together, get over yourself and realise this – beauty and pain? Your hurt comes from the beauty you had. If you don’t like it, tough!’

He looked about, like a child who sensed he was in trouble. He pushed himself from the chair and I forced him back down. ‘Pain is part of life. Get used to it!’ I checked over my shoulders. The others were nowhere to be seen. I leant close and whispered into his ear. Jak was a kind heart. Would never hurt a fly. Very much the opposite of myself, which is why the others forced me back. ‘Use it’ I whispered. His puppy-dog eyes, lost and hurt flickered, considered my words, and for the briefest of moments, sharpened.

‘I… I can’t, I need to go’

‘You can! You feel that pain! That’s the result of beauty!’

‘No… I…’

The pubs customers were starting to get agitated. A large bald-headed man came from behind the bar.

I leant in to Jak. ‘Well… just think about it.’ I said.

The seed was sewn. That’s all I needed.

The bald-headed man approached me. ‘Come on, lad, I think you’ve had enough.’  I couldn’t argue, Jak had.

He picked me up from the chair, my teary eyes burning. He slumped me over his shoulder and helped me out into the bright summer’s day.

The words whispered within my head again. Use it.

My eyes sharpened.

So I hope you got this idea of a guy talking to himself, or rather the shadow of himself. I love these thoughts on ‘the birth of a villain’ – pain turning to hate turning to resentment and bitterness, ending in a twisted outlook on life. This was that moment in Jak’s life.

Anyway, there you go. Any thoughts or comments, pleas let me know!

See you tomorrow!


image (c) Getty Images

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