Overheard Conversation


Tags: Romantic, .

Desc: Romantic Story: As we go through life we often overhear other people talking. This tale represents the transcript of short conversation, overheard after a university graduation ceremony held in a Cathedral in Bristol. What happened later is anyone guess.

I've been experimenting with several different ways of writing stories, some rather protracted. This is a short experiment in telling a story in dialogue only, with no descriptive text whatsoever. I've no idea whether this one is going to work; so I'd appreciate any and all feedback.

Conversation With a Stranger

"Hi handsome! What's a nice guy like you doing hiding behind this pillar?"

"Hi Debbie. Same as you, watching his only daughter graduate."

"It's nice that they have the ceremony here in the Cathedral, isn't it? I suppose the University hasn't got a hall big enough to get everyone in at once."

"Adds some historical atmosphere in my opinion. The steel and glass of the Uni's new buildings are all right for them to study in; but a bit of the old gothic seems to add to these occasions, don't you think?"

"Oh yeah, I agree with you on that one Jim. Eh, Samantha not come with you today?"

"Sam's old news Debbie. We've been divorced what, seven ... nearly eight years now."

"Oh my, I'm sorry. Karla never said a word!"

"No reason to, I suppose. How are things with you and..."

"Don't ask, Jim. I found out he'd been doing the horizontal tango with his secretary five years ago."

"Christ, the little blond bit. Karla never said a word to me about that either. Bloody-hell, you let him get away with it for long enough though, didn't you?"

"What do you mean by that? Anyway, she was a brunette half his age and she'd only been married herself for about a year. Are you trying to tell me he was knocking off Rachel, that blond who used to work for him?"

"Oops sorry, I've got a big mouth sometimes."

"How would you know anyway?"

"Saw them in New York together, when we were over there some years ago on business. They looked, shall we say, more interested in each other than the client they were having lunch with."

"That's not much to accuse Phillip of cheating on."

"No, but bonking in the hotel's pool at three in the morning is!"

"What were you doing, spying on him?"

"I certainly was not. Sam always had this thing about doing it in semi public places, she'd taken one look at the Jacuzzi by the pool and insisted that we tried it for size."

"So you are telling me that you saw my husband knocking off his secretary in New York ... what, it must have twelve years ago?

"More like sixteen Debbie!"

"Christ, and you never bothered to say anything to me?"

"Oh, come on Debbie, and what would you have said if I had told you?"

"I'd have said thanks, and kicked the bastard out."

"No you damn-well wouldn't have. You'd have challenged Phillip and he'd have accused me of lying. He'd accuse me of having a bad attack of sour grapes, because he'd won the prize. And what's more, you'd have believed him; you always did believe what others told you over anything that I said."

"Was I really that bad?"

"You married Phillip instead of the father of your child, didn't you?"

"Well, I had little choice, I had to get married or Karla would have been a ... well, born out of wedlock."

"But Phillip wasn't the only one, or the first to ask you to marry him, was he?"

"Oh come on Jimmy, you were a party animal, out on the town with a different girl every night."

"Is that really how you saw me?"

"How else am I meant to have seen you?"

"As a guy trying to make the girl who dumped him for no reason jealous."

"Oh god, what did you expect me to do, you were shagging Sheila Peters all the time you were supposed to be going with me."

"I was doing nothing of the kind. What the hell gave you that idea?"

"Phillip told ... bugger! I can see that in your face; he lied, didn't he?"

"Sure did Debbie, I gave Sheila Peters a lift to college and back every week because she lived in the next street to me. You knew that at the time."

"Yeah, but you went around her house some evenings."

"Every Monday evening until her father died. Shelia's dad and my father were in the forces together. John Peters lost his sight in the same mine explosion that crippled my father. Every Monday since I was old enough, I pushed my old man's wheelchair round to Sheila's house and the two old soldiers would talk the war together, and my old man would read to John Peters. Poor bugger never did get the hang of Braille; nerve damage or something. When my father passed on, I went round there on my own every Monday and read to John Peters myself; it gave Sheila a break and allowed her one night she could go out, without feeling guilty."

"Why did you never tell anyone that you were doing that?"

"Why should I, what the hell has it got to do with anyone else? John Peters was my last connection with my father."

"So what about all those girls I saw you with, when I was out with Philip?"

"Most were Sheila's friends from college. Daphne would usually let us know where you and Philip were going."

"Daphne! Off course, she was always telling me that I was stupid not to take you up on your offer of marriage. I wonder why she never told me about..."

"About what?"

"No silly idea. I never told her or anyone I think, why I dumped you, foolish pride I suppose. God Jim, didn't we do some stupid things when we were young?"

"I don't know Debbie, we managed to create a wonderful daughter behind those bike sheds."

.... There is more of this story ...

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Story tagged with:
Romantic /