we need to talk

Yay! The Let's Talk blogfest, hosted by Roni at Fiction Groupie, is finally here. (I didn't sign up in advance, because that's how I roll.)

Click here to read some of the other entries (I'm the 98th participant! I just knew this fest would take off, since Roni is hosting. She should rename herself Fiction Goddess.)

Here's my own entry, from my Work-Eternally-in-Progress. My MC Laurel, is hanging out with her BFF, Paul. Other characters include her ex-beau, Adam, as well as Laurel's sister, Laine.


     The day Laurel left for college, her friend Paul came over and helped transport her clothes straight from the closet into the backseat of her Dodge Neon. They passed Laurel's mother on each trip through the kitchen. On one pass she was decorating the table with festive paper plates, bowls of potato chips and trays of cookies. On another, she stirred her famous seven-up and sherbert punch for Laurel's going away party.

     "That's the last load," said Laurel, as she and Paul headed back into her bedroom. "You called Adam, right?"
     "Yes, for the tenth time. I called him." Paul grabbed Laurel by the shoulders. "He'll be here."
     Laurel brushed her bangs out of her eyes. She was growing them out, and she thought it made her look older, more sophisticated, more collegiate.
     She chewed on her thumbnail as she surveyed her bare bedroom. Paul sat on her mattress, stripped clean of sheets, and leafed through the last box, full of loose photos and other girly nostalgia. He pulled out a tube of chap-stick and started applying it.
     "That has shimmer," said Laurel. She gave him a good-hearted eye-roll.
     "Quit biting your nails," said Paul.
     Laurel plopped on the bed next to him. "You're one to talk!" Paul's cuticles were picked and one was spotted with blood.
     "NHA meeting?" Paul raised his right hand.
     "Nervous Habits Anonymous," said Laurel, grinning. "We admit we are powerless over our oral fixations."
     "God grant us the grace--"

     "Laurel! Adam's here!" Laine called from the kitchen, each word stretched out into four syllables. Sing-song voice.

     Laurel raised her eyebrows.
     "I'm nervous to see him. I'm afraid I'm going to cry," she said.
     "If I notice you starting to tear up, I'll tell a joke, and then you can just laugh really hard and no one will realize they aren't funny tears, okay?"
     "Thank you," said Laurel hugging him. "Paul, I'm going to miss you so much."
     "Me, too, Laurel Lou. Me, too."


     Adam's voice in the doorway melted Laurel. She hadn't seen him since the picnic table. They spoke on the phone, a few times, Laurel calling him to ensure that they were, in fact, still friends. She called once to ask him for a suggestion for her summer reading list, but that was just an excuse to hear his voice. Finally, she called to tell him about the party.

     "And you would want me to come?" he had asked.
     "More than anything, actually," she said.

     Paul got off the bed to shake hands with Adam, and the two gave each other that typical guy-hug that involved slapping each other on the back a bit.
     "You look well," Adam told Paul.
     "That's more than I can say for you," said Paul in a half-joke. Adam did look a little pale, Laurel noticed.
     "Well, I have an excuse. I have been dumped, after all, and now she's got me back in her house to really rub my nose in it. What kind of masochist am I?" Adam leaned against Laurel's bedroom wall. Above his left shoulder, pin pricks looked like stars in the blue paint. She'd had a picture tacked up there. The two of them in some Mexican Restaurant, her eyes shining. Her palm on her chin; his arm around her. She'd taken it down and packed it.

     Paul backed out of the room. "Well, I'm going to go see if I can help Carol and Laine in the kitchen. I'll let you two, uh--" he clapped his hands together and brought them to his chest, unsure of how to finish the sentence. He closed the door behind him.

     Adam sat next to Laurel on her bed.
     "Hey," said Laurel.
     "Hi," said Adam.
     He brushed her bangs out of her eyes. "Your hair looks nice."
     "Thanks." She tucked a strand behind an ear. She looked over at him.
     "So, are you excited?" He gave her knee a squeeze.
     "Not especially," she said. "Part of me really can't believe that I signed up for this."
     "I'm so jealous." His voice was almost a whisper.
     "You wish you were going to a Jesus school?" Laurel joked, knocking his shoulder with hers, leaning in, then away from him again.
     "Well, I'm not jealous of that. I'm just envious that you get to go have all these new experiences. You'll meet tons of people. I'm sure you won't have any trouble making friends."
     "I'll be fine. But, I'll miss you. I already missed you, but I'll still miss you." She bit her lower lip and tried to stare at him as deeply as he stared at her. No looking away when it felt like it was too much to take.
     "I already missed you, kid" He touched her nose with his finger. "And I'll still miss you."
     She thought he might kiss her.

     Laine stuck her head in, "Um, other people are getting here."
     "We're coming," said Laurel.

     She reached over and grabbed his wrist. She brushed her lips against his cheek, and when she pulled away, she kept looking at him. His eyes glistened. He stared right back. They were so good at that. He was so good at that.
     He touched her face, pulled her close and his lips were on hers. He tasted a little like peanut butter but mostly, he just tasted like Adam. She kept her eyes open. She didn't want to get lost in this moment; she wanted to memorize it.

So, there you have it, folks. Another Adam-and-Laurel kissing scene. I'll admit, those are my favorite ones to write. (Bestillmyheartspice.)


carissa said…
Awww I love this!It kind of made my heart hurt for my long lost best guy friend that I know I'm going to marry. Seriously I love this!
Amalia T. said…
You have such great moments interspersed in the dialogue-- little touches between Laurel and Adam that give it just that much more emotion, but that aren't overdone and don't distract. Lovely!
Simon C. Larter said…
Ah, well done, good lady. I rather like the back and forth between the friends, then the strained interaction between the exes. And of course, smooches are always nice.

Plus, you made us wait till the very end of the post for your spice. Bestillmyheartspice might be my favorite one yet, actually....
Oh, so sweet. If they still like each other, why the breakup? I need to do some digging through your archives I think. :) Lovely job!
This is so bittersweet. I love that she notices he leans near where the photo of them use to be.
Silly wabbit, you did sign up in advance, you're number 36. ;)

Loved your scene. *sigh* The last line made me all wistful. Great job!

Thanks for participating!
Ashley Stone said…
love it! You always draw me in! Can't wait to read the whole thing so I can finally put all of the pieces back together.
Tara said…
Oh, this is a great piece. I want more Adam and Laurel!
Tina Lynn said…
"We admit we are powerless over our oral fixations." Pure freaking gold:) Of course, I expected nothing less from you.
I don't think I've ever read anything from your WIP!

I liked the details, and the way they talked--the nicknames, the little inside joke about the meeting. You've really built up who they are through what they say and do, and their interactions are fun, too. I am so glad they kissed! :)
VR Barkowski said…
Exquisite scene, Amber. Beautiful writing and great dialogue. I don't know what else to say other than you've captured this single moment of promise and loss perfectly.
Donna Hole said…
Mmmm, this was delicious. So many different things to titilate the senses. The dialogue contributed to the overall progress of the scene, keeping it moving along at an even pace.

Really awesomespice Amber.

C R Ward said…
Awww, this was so sweet! It makes me wonder why they broke up.

The dialogue (and everything else) was really well done!
prashant said…
You have such great moments interspersed in the dialogue
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