“If I lay here. If I just lay here. Would you lie with me and just forget the world?”
– Snow Patrol
From his favourite stool, where he sat every Friday evening now, he noticed the young man walk into the bar and approach the bar tender. Something seemed familiar about this young man, but he couldn’t quite put his finger on what it could be.
Every Friday for the last four months, ever since his wife died he had come here to be around people for a few hours. Ever since he lost her he couldn’t stand sitting at home by the end of a long week, so he had begun coming for a drink down the street at the local pup. He used to come here more when he was a young man. the place hadn’t really changed much in all the years.
Now he watched the younger man ordering a beer from the bar tender and then sitting down beside him, looking nervous and anxious. This younger man seemed to be hesitant about something. Perhaps he was waiting to meet a girl for drinks for the first time. The more he observed the younger man’s actions and body language, the more strangely familiar he seemed. It wasn’t something he could quite put his finger on.
“Hello son. My name’s Carl. First date?”
The young man looked at him as if he hadn’t noticed he was sitting next to anyone, like he was alone in the place.
“What’s that?” he spluttered. “Oh, no. Why do you ask?”
“I just notice you seem nervous.”
“Not exactly, no. I…well I haven’t had a first date in a few years now.”
At this the young man slowly removed a tiny velvet box from his pocket, turning it over and over in his hand.
“Congratulations.” The older man recognized what must be in the small box right away and thought this was in order. He remembered the nervousness, the fear of proposing to his lovely wife, some forty-five years before. It was a feeling you never forgot and he smiled at the memory, something he’d found difficult to do of late.
“I suppose,” the younger man slowly spoke the words. He opened the ring box and stared at the sparkling gem lying inside.
“For someone who is about to propose, must I say you don’t seem very excited.” Had he said too much? The younger man rubbed his stubbled chin in thought. It looked suddenly like he was older than anyone in the whole place.
“I haven’t exactly made up my mind yet, about the proposal I mean.” He wasn’t sure why he was saying this, to a total stranger, but he needed to say it to someone and he couldn’t talk about the doubts he was having with anyone else. His family thought his girlfriend was perfect for him and they would call him totally insane if he told them he wasn’t so sure. His friends, same thing. Maybe he was nuts after all. Okay, maybe she wasn’t necessarily perfect, but she was pretty damn close. If she wasn’t perfect for him, who was?
“What is the hold-up, if you don’t mind me asking?” He wanted to know. He would give anything to have his sweet Grace back now, but this young man was clearly struggling with taking this biggest of steps. He felt for the kid. Maybe he could help him see things more clearly. After living this long he knew that, most times, talking things out did help.
“I don’t know exactly.”
“May I?” the older man asked, holding out a hand.
“Okay,” the younger man said, handing over the box.
The older man looked carefully at the beautiful diamond. It looked a little like the one he had given Grace all those years ago. It turned out she was the real treasure, more precious than any jewel on earth and she was lost to him, for good now. What he wouldn’t give to go back to that day, to see her smile at him through her tears of joy.
“Well this is some ring,” he finally told the younger man, who was staring at him, waiting for some kind of response. He closed the velvet box and handed back to the tortured sad looking man sitting next to him. “Are you going to give it to her?”
“I had planned on it, but I went to go home to do it tonight and my car just had a mind of its own and brought me here instead.”
“Do you love this girl?”
“I do. I mean I think so.”
“But you’re not sure?”
“I can’t believe I am talking to you about this. No offence sir, but I don’t know what I am saying. I don’t know what I am thinking. And I don’t know you.” He moved to stand up, but the old man waved him down again.
“Just wait a minute son,” he spoke out rather more sternly than he’d meant to. “But I like to think I know a little about life at this point and I feel I need to say a few things to you, before you just walk out of here and make a mistake, one you may regret for the rest of your life.”
To be continued next Fiction Friday.
What do you think? Do you think the younger man stays? Do you think he will listen to what the older man has to say?
29 thoughts on “Gamophobia: Part One”
kerry; if you wonder about your talent or ability as a writer forget it. I read this and i cried. it got to me on a personal level as I feel it will with anyone who reads it. I can write for a blog, but you are a real artist with words. You have a natural ability to tell a believable story that draws the reader in. I don’t know what happens next and wouldn’t dream of telling you how to continue the story; but know I’ll be looking forward to friday all week.
Thank you so much. That means a lot. I wondered after if I should’ve put in the part about what gamophobia means because I’m not sure it is common knowledge. I guess all people would have to do is Google it, but not sure they will. The funny thing is is that I pose that question at the end because I actually am curious to know, I am genuinely curious to hear what people think the ending might be to the story.
I can’t wait to read the next part. I’m dying to know what happens! Nicely written, I like the dialogue.
Thank you very much for reading. I always enjoy writing dialogue, but I feel I’m not always very good at it. It’s difficult to write as separate people speaking. Everyone sounds a little bit different. Or a lot in some cases.
I have to commend you for being a blind blogger. Your storyline is interesting, and I could picture these guys in the bar easily.
Out of curiosity, has Maxwell Ivey had an impact on you at all? Do you know him? He’s part of the Bloggers Helping Bloggers group on LinkedIn, too, which is how I found this post.
I think it’s great how
Yes. I know him and it is impossible to know Max and him not have an impact. Glad you found me and thank you for staying to read.
I think that’s great. How has Max impacted you most? I’m curious because he is one of the bloggers who I’ve helped – both for free and as a client of mine – and I want to know the sort of thing he’s really good at when it comes to the blind community. You’re the only other blind person I have encountered, btw. So I’m naturally curious about you, too. 😉
Oh, do you understand emoticons? I’d like to know that, too. Forgive me for being so nosy!
You’re not being nosy. 🙂 Yes my phone reads those to me.
Max is very good at being uplifting and knowing just the right thing to say. He has always been helpful to me and always offering suggestions. He is an idea man and his enthusiasm is infectious.
Great story, I am looking for part 2. As an author, I can say you have a great way of writing.
Thank you very much for saying that. Glad you could read my little story.
Beautiful, compelling, moving. A+!!
Thank you very much. I wanted to write the story for a while now.
You really have the talent of story writing. I really liked the dialogues and situation and scene that I visualize by reading this brought tears in my eyes.
I was feeling sad for old man and young boy was a new hope, I can not say anything for sure about boy:Sometime I think , the boy will sit and listen to him and sometimes may be girl is waiting and he has to leave 🙂 Not sure.
I am looking forward to part 2.
Sorry about the tears, but thank you so much for reading. I like to show how decisions can change your life, but how there is always hope. There’s definitely a connection between the old and the young man.
you certainly have given us something to look forward to:)
Life as viewed from a bar stool, pensive and reflective.
Wow. Thank you.
You’ve definitely pulled me into the story and have me waiting for me. Your characters are strong and you have an ear for dialogue. I didn’t realize you were blind which I would think would make writing more difficult, Kudos.
Thank you and thank you for reading. True, being visually impaired makes some descriptions harder to write, but in other ways that helps me focus on other things.
Waiting for more! Sorry for the iPad editing.
hey kerry; I’ve been telling you for a while now that the problem isn’t your writing the problem is or was that is that no one had had a chance to read it yet. am happy if I helped draw a little attention to you. You have a real talent and deserve to be heard by many more. Take care my friend, Max
Thanks Max. I just needed to stop being too fearful to show it.
Max is right, Kerry. Just take a deep breath and dive in. What’s the worst that can happen? Really, think about it. What IS the worst that can happen? People will read your words? 😉 They’ll like you? What are you so afraid of?
The fear of every writer is that what they write will be bad. I know that often that is not the truth. I like where I am and where I am going.
Kerry, what are some of your writing goals? Long-term and short-term.
Care to share them with me? Please do. I’d love to know.
FYI, I once did an interview with Max. I might like to do one with you, too, sometime, if you are agreeable to that. Perhaps in a month or two? I don’t need an answer yet. Just think about it.
For now, sharing your goals with me would be appreciated, as we are still getting to know one another. 😉
Lovely story. I look forward to reading the next part! The characters are very engaging 🙂
Thanks and thank you for reading. I have had them in my head for a while.
Very good, like the setting and the contrast between young and old, more and less life experience.
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