I've only posted fiction once or twice before. I always feel weird about it, like somebody might steal it and then write a book and make a fortune and I'd be SO PISSED. But really, what are the odds? Or someone will read it and think I'm a shitty writer, and then I will be crushed! But who cares, at this point? And so, from an exercise at tonight's writing group, the first one I've been to since college:
"Where were you last night?"
Tucker Grace paused, his shoulders stiffening slightly, then finished washing his hands and face. He grabbed a towel from the towel bar and rubbed his skin dry, his gaze sliding up to the mirror over the sink. His girlfriend's reflection watched him reproachfully, her thin arms folded tightly across her chest. She was dressed in a faded blue tank top and a pair of Tucker's boxer shorts, her fair hair piled in a messy knot on top of her head, her face free of makeup. She looked so young and vulnerable that Tucker softened, watching the lines of his own face relax.
"Sorry," he said, tucking the towel back through the bar and turning to face her. "I got caught up."
Her arms clenched tighter, her fists burrowing into her sides. "Caught up with what?" The unspoken with whom? hung in the air between them.
"Just work stuff."
"All night?" Her eyes were suddenly shiny and Tucker felt exasperation rising.
"I'm sorry," he said again, forcing it back. "Let me get a shower and then I'll take you out for breakfast."
"Do you want to stay here instead?"
"No, it's fine. Whatever you want to do is fine."
She slipped out of the bathroom and moments later Tucker heard the bedroom door click shut. He sagged against the vanity for a moment, face in his hands. He knew two things, suddenly. One: he was in too deep already. Two: she would never understand.
Reading: The Book of the Dun Cow by Walter Wangerin
Playing: a Led Zeppelin mix