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Writing Resources from Fifteen Minutes of Fiction

The following is a piece of writing submitted by KelseyTheQuiet on December 17, 2012

A Want for a Need

She didn’t look anything like he had expected. Julie Ingram stood in front of him, looking at him patiently with her deep green eyes. Her orange hair accented her irrefutably fair skin, and she must have been at least 20. The coffee shop filled his nose with the smell of roasting coffee. His eyes wandered as she sat down in the empty seat in front of him.
“Hello, I’m Julie.”
“I know. Sarah has told me about you. I’m Ian, Ian Flynn. It’s nice to finally meet you.”
“It’s nice to meet you as well.”
The waiter of their table looked to be about 16. He obviously was attracted to the way Julie looked; in fact he couldn’t keep his eyes off her.
“Hello my name is Daniel” the waiter said in a distracted voice, “could I get you anything?”
“Yes, I’ll take a frappuccino” Julie said in rushed voice.
“I’ll just take a black coffee” Ian said, keeping his eyes fixated on the odd painting at the far side of the room.
“Alright, I’ll be back with your orders shortly” said Daniel as he disappeared from the scene.
After a few moments of silence, Julie spoke. “So, Ian, where do you want to go to college?”
“Well I’ve always wanted to go to UVA, get my degree in mathematics and teach math at a local high school or college. And yourself?”
“I don’t know where want to go yet, but I want to be a speech pathologist.”
“Stroke victims?”
“Elementary aged kids.”
“Ah, I see…” Ian’s voice trailed off into the noise of the café. After the drinks had arrived, Ian had decided that the small talk was over.
“Julie, why did you ask your friend to set me up on a blind date with you?”
“I don’t understand…” Julie questioned.
“Sarah told me you asked her for a blind date. I want to know why.”
After a quick sigh, Julie spoke. “Look, I’ve been diagnosed with a life threatening disease. I’m supposed to die tomorrow and I haven’t had a date in years. I just needed a little love before I passed away. But clearly that won’t happen now will it?”
“That’s not what I meant. What disease?”
“I don’t think you really care.”
“Oh. Do you have some type of cancer?”
“It’s sort of like that. It’s a long story.”
“I’m sorry-“
“Look, I didn’t come here for your sympathy. Maybe I should lea-“
“Fine, but change the subject. I don’t want to be on my last date and talk about dying.”
“Alright…what’s your favorite movie?”
“Inception” Julie said in a monotone voice.
“Interesting, that’s my favorite movie as well. What’s your favorite animal?”
“That’s easy, a snow leopard.”
“That’s my favorite animal too.” Ian was beginning to become impressed by the beautiful lady who sat across from him.
“What’s your favorite band?” Julie asked.
“You’ve probably never heard of them, it’s Satellite Stories. They play-“
“Indie music” Julie said, completing his sentence, “that’s my favorite band too.”
“Maybe we should ask deeper questions; this is a bit strange…”
“Just a bit.”
Ian looked around the cheaply decorated café. A coffee shaped clock flashed the time, a rather large man that sat in a chair to small to fit him stared intimately at his computer screen and two teenagers stood in line. He had decided on what to ask her, and knew that this question would prick an emotion of some kind.
“What’s the worst thing you’ve ever done?”
Julie’s eyes immediately looked down.
“Do you really want to know?”
“Would I have asked you if I didn’t?”
“Julie please tell me.”
“I tried to kill myself, with a gun.”
Ian’s eyes widened at this response. “Why?”
“Because I felt like everything was out of my control. My mom died, my sister went to jail and my father was a drug addict. I felt like nobody would care if I died. I decided to test my theory out; I woke up in the hospital. Sarah was by my bedside when I woke up. Besides a scar, that event left me with a life changing outlook on life. I don’t suppose you care though, do you?”
“…I do care.”
“Hmm. What’s the worst thing you’ve ever done, Ian?”
“I tried to kill myself as well, but with pills.”
Julie looked at Ian questioningly. Finally, he spoke.
“My father left us, leaving my mom to take care of 4 boys. She did the best she could, for a drug addict. My brothers were all on drugs. Eventually, the eldest of us, Garrett, went to jail. I decided that it was my fate to use them, so why try an avoid it? One night when I was feeling low, I let it get to me. I ended up in the hospital, too. So I understand how you felt.”
“I’ve never met anyone who actually understands what I went through.”
Ian smiled. And then he spoke.
“Julie let me completely honest with you. I’m a nerd at heart, I still play Pokémon and I haven’t had a date in years. I live with my 2 dogs and I’m pretty poor. But in these past few moments, your eyes and your smile caught my heart. My ears haven’t drunk a thousand words, yet I know the sound.”
“The last bit, yes. The rest was my heart.”
Julie smiled at the ground. But as she looked up, her smile vanished.
“You know that I could die tomorrow, right?”
“I’m fully aware.”
“I have brain tumors.”
“That doesn’t make me look at you any different.”
“The doctor said I could die in six months. That was six months ago today. We can’t do this…I have to go.”
“No don’t!” Ian silently screamed, but it was too late. Julie had grabbed her purse and half-ran out the door. She turned the corner and escaped Ian’s site. Ian paid the bill, had a small chat with the cashier, and then left. He went to his apartment, fed his dogs, watched some TV and then took a shower. As soon as he got out of the shower, anxiety got the worst of him and he phoned Sarah.
“Hello Sarah?”
“Yes Ian, what do you want?”
“Give me Julie’s address please.”
“Just do it!” he shouted.
“Alright, calm down. She lives in the same apartment as you, just in room 253.”
Ian got dressed quickly, locked his apartment door from the outside and ran to the steps. He raced to the 5th floor, and casually jogged to room 253. He knocked on the door, and when he didn’t hear an answer, he assumed the worst.

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