This is an exercise I wrote a few weeks ago playing with point of view for my fiction class. While I’m not sure the transitions between character’s minds works, it’s something I thought I’d share with you for this week. So without further ado, enjoy!
On with the Show
John wondered what was the appropriate thing to do in this situation. He shifted a bit from his spot watching his wife. Brenda stood just a few too many feet away from him for things to appear normal, but he bit his tongue on the issue. Her eyes kept darting back towards the hallway, shoulders stiff, head turning a tad too quickly a few times too many. He wondered vaguely why she hadn’t just left him in for the night. Wouldn’t that have been nice? Flipping to a random news channel and leaving it on for background noise, petting the cat a bit, grabbing a beer and kicking his feet up without fear of Brenda slapping at his toes with one of her magazines. Well, that was too much to hope for he supposed. He subtly adjusted his beret so Brenda wouldn’t see his facial expression.
Carol was late. Brenda glanced at her watch for the fifth time since they’d walked into the building. She shifted her purse and the plastic Target bag holding the bouquet she’d made John go out and buy. Her fingers tugged at the blooms, checking for withering ones. She huffed yet again. John had bought a handful of marigolds. Men were so oblivious sometimes. When she’d said bouquet she’d expected him to do better than to pick out a flower representing grief. He might as well just stick basil in it for good measure. After all, a hateful plant would do him justice. She glanced over to eye his baggy blue shirt with distaste. Why on earth did he choose clothes so ill-suited to his gangly frame? Sometimes it felt like she was really seeing him for the first time, like someone had flipped on a light switch in a dim room. She was about to remark that his beret was crooked, when the soft clip clop of heels distracted her, pulling her attention back to the tightly bundled figure of Carol. Sighing, Brenda fixed a little smile to her mouth without worrying if it matched her eyes.
“Sorry I’m late,” Carol said with a little huff both in an effort to catch her breath and to dispel the cold air from her lungs. She offered a feeble smile to the couple, catching just a whiff of the anxiety between them. Then again, she couldn’t imagine how difficult this had to be. She glanced at the large bouquet bagged in Brenda’s hand, then the little orange gift bag John was clutching, knuckles going white. Well, best to come well stocked to a starring daughter’s opening night. Especially if you also bore news of divorce. Carol shook off the thought and glanced at her friend more warmly. “Well, shall we go in?”