A Conversation OverheardbyDenham_Forrest©
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.
A Conversation Overheard
"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 in that hotel 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 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..."
"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."
"Yeah she is beautiful isn't she?"
"Takes after her mother."
"But she definitely gets her brains from her father."
"What makes you say that?"
"Well her mother must have been as thick as a concrete block to let her father get away."
"What's that supposed to mean?"
"Exactly what I said Jim. I know we were young, but we were good together, you have to admit that?"
"Hey look girl, it weren't me who ended it."
"Yes, I know, and that's what I'm saying. I was a fool and I admit it!"
"Hey what's going on here? You two talking to each other and there's no bloodshed yet!"
"Oh darling I'm so proud of you. Come over here Karla, and give your mum a big hug. I saw your father skulking over here in the corner so I thought I'd come over and say hello."
"I wasn't skulking, my plane was late in and I didn't want disturb everyone by getting to my seat after the presentation ceremony had already started. Anyway I think I got a better view from beside this pillar.
"Now you dad, come on put that camera down for a minute and give your favourite daughter a big hug. Hmm that's nice, I've missed you. I'm so glad you could make it. You hinted that you were going to be tied up over there."
"I was funning you kiddo. You didn't really think I'd miss the most important day of my only daughters life, did you?"
"Well to be honest dad ... You knew mum was going to be here and ... well, usually you two try to avoid each other. That's what gave me such a shock to see the pair of you standing here chatting away like old friends."
"Come on Karla, we were never that bad."
"Dad, tell me the last time you and mother were in the same building together?"
"Don't bother dad; I'll tell you, ten years ago. When I was knocked down by that car and you were both asked to leave the hospital because you were blaming each other for the accident."
"Oh that was a misunderstanding about which of us was supposed to pick you up that night darling. I thought it was your father and he thought it was my turn."
"But that had nothing to do with me getting knocked down by that car though, did it? We'd gotten out of school early and I'd nipped across the road to talk to a friend without looking. It didn't matter who was collecting me that day I was in hospital with a broken leg before I was due to be picked up that day anyway."
"We both know that now Karla."
"Yes mother. But did either of you ever apologise to the other for all the names you called each other that day."
"Oh come on darling, today is the first time I've actually seen your father to talk to since."
"Touché mother, see that's always been your problem. You and daddy never have sat down and talked about anything. Argue, shout and scream at each other ... Oh boy, you're world champions at doing that. But actually talk to each other, I doubt you've done that since that day behind the school bike sheds."
"College bicycle sheds Karla, we weren't that young. Who told you about that anyway...? Oh Jimmy, you didn't?"
"Karla asked me and I couldn't see much point in lying to her about some of the most memorable afternoons of my life."
"That little grass knoll hidden behind those tatty old sheds was rather special wasn't it? Mind, it was a wonderful summer that year."
"You think so! Turned a bit sour for me when I got word that you and Phillip Jones were getting hitched."
"We've been there once today Jimmy. Please, I've admitted I made a mistake in believing anything that Phillip said, and possibly an even bigger one by marrying him. Let's try to leave the past in the past and enjoy Karla's day."
"Ah well now, that's the thing parents; the guys and I ... Well, we've got this party planned for later. Is there any chance you two could keep yourselves company this evening, after we've had dinner together that is?"
"Well we haven't come to blows so far Karla, so I suppose your mother and I could try to find something to do whilst you have a good time. But first I've got to find myself somewhere to sleep, I'm afraid I've been stuck in the States for a month and I didn't get a chance to book anywhere."
"Christ dad, you'll be lucky. There are nearly two thousand graduate's families, all in town together; hotel rooms are like ruddy gold dust. You'll be lucky to find a broom cupboard. Bugger, you'll have to camp out on the sofa in my flat."
"Don't be silly darling. I've got a family room at the Premier Inn, your father can use the single bed in there."
"Ooh ... hear that dad, sounds exciting; are you going to take mum up on her offer?"
"Behave yourself Karla, you're not too big for me to put over my knee, you know."
"Threats, threats; that's all I ever get out of him. Did he ever threaten to put you over his knee mother?"
"No, mores the pity. I get the feeling that our lives might have worked out a lot better if he had."
"What's that suppose to mean?"
"Well it could mean that I'll try to wind you up later and see if I can goad you into making that same threat to me. Then I might try to further goad you into carrying it out. And that might mean we wouldn't have to bother using the other bed in our room!"
"Hmm, have I been set up somehow?"
"I don't know yet dear, lets see what the night brings, shall we? We even might be able to make it a more memorable evening, than those afternoons we spent on the grass knoll behind the bike sheds!"
Life goes on
Note: This story has been submitted for posting on Literotica, with the author's permission.