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An Etiquette Lesson [Writing Exercise]

24 Feb

Writing Prompt: Describe a moment in a recently renewed friendship.

She could see him in the periphery.  They had been circling the room all evening, delighting the guests at the cocktail party in their subtle but distinct ways yet never in the same place at the same time.  First with one person, then another, she added sparkle with her pale presence.  He made the rounds as well, sometimes preceding her, generally following while adding his own slightly sharper perspective.  He was not appreciated by some whereas she was liked by almost all.

It was understood that they were a package deal, although there was always the occasional thoughtless person who forgot to keep them together in spite of all good manners to the contrary.  They made a wonderful couple – everyone said so – albeit an unequal one.  She was more popular, passing from person to person lightly, casually, freely. Often he was left behind, stoic in a corner, perhaps resting nearby a pile of dirty dishes or smudged wine glasses while she continued to make the rounds.  It was just such an experience that had divided them this last time.

Yet in spite of their many separations, they always gravitated toward each other.  They had too much in common, too many shared experiences.  Both were global travelers with expensive tastes.  They were of a similar age, amazingly ageless yet with old souls that made it seem like they had existed for hundreds, if not thousands of years.  They were occasionally misunderstood, villianized.  Most amazingly, they had been blamed for causing ill-health by some and yet bringing good health to others.  They had both been used, in their own ways.  Occasionally they were threatened by outsiders who attempted to capture their popularity by traveling in the same circles, hopping on their coattails.  Those outsiders never lasted though.  He and she were a forever couple, at times near lookalikes, her stark paleness complemented by his subtle grey and black.

She rested on the edge of a buffet, surveying the room with detachment.  A brush of warmth from someone’s hand grazed her sculpted shoulder.  It was just as quickly gone – yet she knew he was now there.

She sighed, softly glittering in the room’s muted light.

He shuddered slightly, struggling to be level at seeing her once more.

She felt transparent, like he could see her half-emptiness – the feeling she always had near the end of an event like this.  Yet with him nearby she knew she could be more than she’d been before.  He was her complement, her perfect help-mate.  She sidled closer, her smooth sides barely touching his sharp angles.

Warily, he looked at her from under his low-placed silver-tinted cap.  Would she be taken away by yet another guest, abandoning him to his solitude again?

Her lip curled slightly in a semi-smile as she tilted closer to him, bobbing encouragingly, trying to show with her smooth chill body how she liked his black and grey prickliness.

A guest grabbed them both around their necks, using a single hand to do so.  Both she and he felt the slight rise of panic as their insides shifted with fear they would be separated again, quite against their will.  They were lifted, their bases leaving the ground, higher, higher, thrust into a shallow space together, the door closed behind them.  A thin sliver of light remaining, no more.

They shook themselves slightly, becoming calm, then content, now happy.  At peace.  Salt and Pepper kept together.

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Posted by on February 24, 2011 in Writing Exercise

 

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