Dinner Conversation


So, I have been working on a novel for way longer than I’d like to admit. I’m referring to it fondly as my child at this point, because I’ve more or less raised it. I keep going back to it in between short stories and perfecting every little word until a scene feels complete, because I want it to be as absolutely immaculate as it can possibly be before I send it away to someone to further rip it apart and ridicule.

But I thought it would be fun to put out a scene every now and then for y’all to check out. You know, scenes that feel more or less complete. Just to give you a little taste of things to come, y’dig?

So, here is a scene in which Holly Hughes, the main female character, is having dinner with her sister Liz. So many details you don’t know. Secrets.


Liz opened the carton of fried rice, spooning some out onto Anna’s plate and then her own. “So, then Dr. Martin told me there was no way he could let me take an hour lunch break after that family of ten came walking in. Can you believe that? I had twenty minutes to myself today and then I was back in the office, helping this woman fill out insurance forms for eight kids.”

If I’m being honest, I had absolutely no idea what she had been talking about before she opened that fried rice. My mind had wandered itself into memories of dinner with Stephen. It was the one meal we had eaten together every single day, the one guaranteed time of day when we would meet up together at the apartment and cook dinner with the radio blasting. We would make eggplant parmesan with sauce made from scratch, and meat loaf with my own personal recipe, and pot roast rubbed down with Stephen’s secret sauce. We would sing along with Lady GaGa as he chopped and I sautéed, and we would dance around to Bruno Mars while we waited for the timer to announce that, hey guys, the barbeque ham is ready. On occasion, when there had been maybe a little too much wine flow (or just the right amount), Stephen would wrap his arms around me and kiss me to the tune of Sam Smith, and if the Red Hot Chili Peppers were playing, forget it. There was no keeping my hands off of him, and the lasagna would burn, but it was okay.

I pushed the boneless ribs around my plate with my fork, wishing I could remember that one song we made love to on the kitchen counter that one time. I hated that with the more time that passed, the easier things were to forget. I don’t remember ever giving any memories permission to disappear, as if they never happened.

“Holly, are you even listening to me?”

My eyes shot up from my plate to see Liz staring at me, aggravated with my absence from the conversation. “Oh, right, yeah, family of ten. That sucks.”

© 2016 Kelsey Kingsley

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