Hardest Part

        I left someone who loves me for someone who doesn't take love seriously. We were walking the beach trails last Sunday and talked about the weather and how our day had gone and then he asked me more questions that weren't engaging. As we walked the sun was hot beating down on my face. The sharp sea grass that lined the trail swayed back and forth as we walked past. His hand kept reaching down for mine but my hand wouldn't allow it. 

      “Why don’t you love me anymore?” 

      “What are you talking about?” 

       “Don’t be dumb. I can tell. How couldn’t I? You’ve been so distant lately I’d have to be a fool to think that you still love me.” 

        I wasn’t sure what to say. He was looking at me. If I lied then this would only drag the situation out longer. 

       “Sometimes you realize stuff when you’re alone that you can’t realize when you're with someone else.” 

       “And by that you mean with me.” 

       “Yes.” 

I looked down at my feet as we had stopped walking. He was trying to get me to look at him, but I wouldn’t because it would make it harder. The mix of the sweat on my face from the heat and the sand kicked up from walking made me feel dirty. There was silence between us, and the only thing I could hear was the sound of the sea birds and the crashing of the waves. It was a nice sound. He turned away from me and it looked like he was crying. He sat on a piece of driftwood and looked very small compared to the vast sea peaking over the sand dunes behind him. I decided to comfort him. He seemed very helpless, like he didn't know what to feel or say or how to say it. Sort of like being lost in a crowded city of people who don't speak the same language as you, lost and left to find your own way out without any help. And I was just one of those people who didn't speak the same language as he spoke. 

        His head was bent over in his hands and his elbows rested on his knees. I sat down next to him on the driftwood and put my arm around him. He didn't move. He felt very warm and I wished that there were a breeze to cool us because it was brutally hot. His back lurched with every sharp intake and heaved breath as he cried silently. I rested my head on his hunched shoulder. We stayed like this for a long time, and when he finally stopped and said something it was beginning to get dark out.

       “I hope you know that you're the only one I want, ever.” 

       “I know.” That’s not fair, I thought. He just looked at me with his sad eyes. 

       “What happened to us?” 

       “We grew up, I grew up.” 

       “Do you remember that time when we snuck out at four in the morning to watch the meteor shower?” 

      “I do.” 

      “I wish we could go back to that time.” 

      “Me too. It was so cold though.” Once again he looked small and helpless and as though he was in physical pain. “I think we should go home now, it’s getting late.” 

      “I’ll walk you.” 

      “Are you sure? It’s kinda far.” 

      “I’m sure.” 

      So, I let him walk next to me as I walked home and felt empty inside. It was chilly after the sun went down all the way and the smell of the salt water and the night was a good smell. I thought about what I would do tonight and then I thought about what he would do tonight after he brought me home. He would get home, say hi to his dad, pack his lunch for the next day, brush his teeth, crawl into bed and think about how much he loved me, while I think about someone else who doesn’t take love seriously. 

Explanation of Style 

In my short story I chose to incorporate three of Hemingway’s writing characteristics: repetition, tip of the iceburg, and detail about nature and the setting of the story. For repetition, I repeated the first line the story at the beginning and the end of the story to provide a parallel for the reader, and also frequently use the word “and”, and refrained from over-use of punctuation such as commas. The ‘tip of the ice burg’ concept I used by choosing an emotional topic and situation for my story, and dissociating myself with my own emotion in my writing. I did not include how he made me feel, how I made myself feel, or any sentiment of my own at all, only for the other character. The ‘only showing 10%’ concept was portrayed through not fully explaining the situation, such as who I was leaving him for, details about the situation, and dialogue tags which can make it confusing for the reader to decipher who is speaking. I included frequent description of my surrounding instead of telling the reader what I was feeling. I focused on the four of the five senses: smell, sound, touch, and vision of my surrounding.

 

Monique Bertin '15