As I mentioned a little while back, I'm currently writing a novella (definitely not patient enough for a novel you know), and I thought it could be good to share a little excerpt from it. The passage is roughly from the middle of the story, but I thought it was a good one because it doesn't give too much away from the main plot. I threw in a visual stimulus because why not. "YOLO" as the youth of today say. Lend me your thoughts, don't be too brutal (please, I'm sensitive), it is a work in progress and a draft of a draft of a draft.
She’d woken up a few times that morning. It was a sort of ethereal outer-body experience. She’d dreamt she’d gotten up, pulled on her sweatshirt, slid her spectacles carefully onto the bridge of her nose and walked into her little kitchen to make herself a cup of coffee. She dreamt this a few times, almost as if it were on a loop, and every time she felt as if it were actually happening. It felt so real, too mundane and typical to be a dream. She’d had trouble falling asleep recently, and her mornings became harder to deal with. These dreams had become a sort of staple to her morning routine. When she finally shifted from the dream, her eyes opened slowly. The morning light pried itself into her eyelids. Meg’s eyes opened up to a blurry view of her room, lit with a warm and hazy hue. She picked up her sweatshirt off the floor, and pulled it over her body. Grabbing her thick-framed glasses off the nightstand, she slid them on, adjusting her eyes to her newfound vision. As she walked into her kitchen, she saw her fridge door wide open. An unknown man was arched over and peering into it.
“Uh, hi,” she stood there awkwardly, her hand stuck in the air, mid-wave.
“Oh hey, sorry, I’m Freddie, you must be Meg. I’m Petra’s...well, we went on a date, before. Last night, I mean. Hi. Sorry. I’m Fred.”
He looked at her, perplexed as to what to say, still holding the fridge door open. Meg tried to ignore the fact that he was only wearing tight boxer briefs and remained calm as the fridge door alarm started to go off. She’d talk to Petra about this later.
“It’s fine, we can save the formalities. I just got up to make myself some coffee.”
“Oh great, thanks, I’ll have a cup. Let me ask Pettie if she wants one,”
Blatantly ignoring Meg’s irritated and dumbfounded expression plastered on her face, he quickly disappeared down the hallway into Petra’s room. Meg, in a mild form of shock that only ever occurs after witnessing a complete lack of etiquette, reflected on what had just happened. What the fuck? Who is this guy? Pettie?
Meg stood disgruntled in her kitchen, begrudgingly preparing more coffee than she’d initially intended to make, and wondered how acceptable it was to nickname a girl you’d known for no more than 12 hours. Meg had been Petra’s roommate for almost two years now, and it had never crossed her mind to nickname her ‘Pettie’. What a fucking awful nickname. Have some imagination Fred.
His earnest desire to desperately be more than Petra’s one-night-stand was showing through a little too vividly. Sure, Meg sometimes enjoyed observing all the ways that men could be smitten over Petra, it was cute and sometimes even funny to witness. But Fred wasn’t being cute. Meg wasn’t sure if it was her lack of sleep or caffeine influencing her take on the situation, but she felt he needed to understand his temporary place in Petra’s life. Or at the very least that he was in Beta mode and still being assessed.
She heard giggling coming from Petra’s room as her door opened and Fred emerged once again. As they both waited for the coffee to brew, Fred attempted small talk to fill the silence. He mentioned how much he liked the apartment, and inquired about the water pressure in the shower, going off on a tangent about how he had once tried to learn plumbery. By the young age of 25, Meg had already mastered the skill of replying with non-committal sounds to give the illusion of conversation.
“Oh, er...” She pretended to look busy, checking out the different angles of the French press, as if it were complex machinery, “um, yeah, sorry–” she stretched over Fred and took out three mugs from the cupboard above and started pouring the coffee.
Having barely finished pouring the second cup, Fred reached over, taking the two mugs in his hands.
“Thanks for doing that babe,” he said as he disappeared once more into Petra’s room.
Meg looked blankly in front of her, as Petra’s door shut. Ew. Babe? Where did Petra meet this self-important idiot?
She took out her phone, already drafting a message to send to her apparently delusional roommate. Ever since Petra and her boyfriend had split, she’d paraded an endless collection of suitors throughout the apartment, almost every weekend. Whilst their cantankerous neighbour Geraldine – a 74-year-old woman and proud miniature pig owner – certainly disapproved of being awoken in the early hours of the morning by Petra and her Friday-night dates, Meg was mostly fine with it. Every self-help book she ever read would have told her it was, after all, Petra’s life, and she had every right to deal with the break-up in whatever way she chose. But, unlike the others who had considerately remained anonymous in all their morning-after glory, Fred had been the only one to make his incredibly grating presence known.
// Margot Ana