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My pumpkin spice latte was too sweet, but my voice was too bitter. As I stared into the murky depths of my cardboard cup, I said, “We’re both single for Valentine’s Day this year.”

I didn’t know why I said it. Maybe I thought she would laugh. Maybe I thought she would show at least a little amusement, a smile that would reassure me that everything was Finally Okay and not depressed and sobbing and curled up on the futon. But she was silent.

I looked up. She, too, was staring into her plastic cup of bubble tea, avoiding my eyes. “Right?” I asked. “Mom?”

Her eyes still didn’t meet mine. She sipped through the excessively hot pink straw, intensely interested by the shop’s colourful decor instead of by me.

Propping my elbows on the table, I dropped my head in my hands. “Jesus, Mom.”

“What?” she asked finally.

“Is it him?” I tipped my head upward to look at her.

Him. That guy she used to date, the guy who was too young and too rash and too fast. It hadn’t worked out then. I couldn’t figure out why she thought it would work out now. Again, she was rushing into something without thinking it through, without thinking that this guy didn’t like me, and that I didn’t like him, and that she was my mom and it was her job to be the sensible one. But lately, I felt like I was the only person making sense in the whole damn house.

Banging my cup on the table, I yelled, “Dammit Mom! Why the hell don’t you ever tell me these things?”

My drink spilled on my coat; I grabbed at the napkins to dab at it.

“Because I knew you would react this way,” my mom returned. Questioning looks turned to us from around the shop.

“So you thought if you kept it a secret maybe I’d be less mad when I found out? Is that it?”

“You’re the one who didn’t ask. Maybe if you cared at all about anyone but yourself, you would have figured it out,” she muttered. The pink straw met her pink lips, and I wanted to smack that indifferent expression off her face.

“In case you hadn’t noticed,” I sputtered. “ I did ask. I figured it out.”

Buttoning up my stained coat, I stood up, grabbing my gloves from my pockets and slipping them on my hands.

“Where are you going?” she asked, her eyes wide.

“I’m outta here. I don’t have to freaking stand this.”

As I carried my latte toward the exit, I felt myself being followed by a dozen eyes from the tables in the shop. The world was already turning into a blurry mess around me; I wiped my eyes with the back of my hand. She wouldn’t see me cry, not in this place. Just before pushing the door open with my shoulder to storm out of the shop, I stopped, turned around, and spit three words in her direction:

“Happy Valentine’s Day.”
For the Anti-Valentine Contest. Something a little angrier than I'm used to writing. Feedback is appreciated!
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Ooh, that was very unexpected. At first I thought this was going to be some kind of cheesy piece where a broken-up couple meets and then some little thing happens and they magically fall in love all over again. I'm so glad you decided to take this in a different direction. The moment when I realized that the "she" was the narrator's mother, I was intrigued and I wanted to see how it would play out.

The mother's character fascinated me. You portray her well and leave a lot about her unsaid, which I like. The subtly to this is key.

However, I would recommend some changes. There are a few awkward sentences and a couple flaws in grammar (for example, the word "okay" is capitalized in the second paragraph though it doesn't need to be). The first line sounds sort of cliche, so maybe a revision of that would be good.

Anyway, nicely done!
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Oomizo Featured By Owner Feb 28, 2014
I felt...angry and maybe a little sad.
Great job!
GuinevereToGwen Featured By Owner Mar 1, 2014  Student Writer
Good, I'm glad this piece made you feel... feelings. :D Thanks!
confidenceAlive Featured By Owner Feb 28, 2014  Hobbyist Writer
So, I like this. I actually have a draft for a novella written as the diary of a girl, the second half centers a lot around her reconciliation with her tramp mother. Your piece reminds me of it. There's a similar feel to it. Interesting. *shrug* Anyway, nice work (:
GuinevereToGwen Featured By Owner Mar 1, 2014  Student Writer
Wow, that sounds like a cool story! Let me know if you ever post it. :3 Thank you!
confidenceAlive Featured By Owner Mar 1, 2014  Hobbyist Writer
It's been on hold for a while (heh I started it back in 2009 soo...a long while, when I do get back to it I may just rewrite it from the ground up) but I have a few sample/preview bits up here if you want to check it out a bit :) I do still hope to finish it, (it's actually mostly finished already but since I started it forever ago I'd really love to rewrite it to better reflect my current writing ability... although on the other hand I wanted it to feel a little rough too, since it's in diary form. eh! *shrug* enough ranting in parentheses for me!) I just haven't had the motivation to be creative... But I've been getting my creative juices flowing with some drawing lately xD

Anyway! That was one giant ramble. Awesomeness. You're welcome!
GuinevereToGwen Featured By Owner Mar 1, 2014  Student Writer
Cool! I'll have to check it out when I have some time. :) Good luck! I've been a bit stuck in my writing too, lately. I've recently started trying to write again - and I ended up staring at a blank screen for 3 hours. Sheesh. -.-
confidenceAlive Featured By Owner Mar 6, 2014  Hobbyist Writer
Baha, I know the feeling, I think that would probably happen if I tried writing again too, but *shrug* never know if I can't even get up the motivation to try.. lol
jayscriminal Featured By Owner Feb 27, 2014  Hobbyist Writer
Wow. This is truly amazing. Great work!
GuinevereToGwen Featured By Owner Mar 1, 2014  Student Writer
Thank you, I'm glad you think so! :hug:
saltwaterlungs Featured By Owner Feb 27, 2014  Hobbyist Writer
Ooh! Really interesting piece. I love how the roles swap-- the daughter is the more sensible, mature one, and the mother is the less rational one! I caught a couple of mistakes here and there, but nothing serious. I don't think there needs to be a comma before "this year", and in the last sentence she spits three words, "Happy Valentine's Day", not two. :) Nice piece!
GuinevereToGwen Featured By Owner Mar 1, 2014  Student Writer
Haha, thanks for those corrections. ;P Thank you so much!
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Submitted on
February 27, 2014


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