Chapter 6

Written by: cindimp

 Melanie hated herself for letting a man she’d just met disrupt her day. Daniel was everything she liked in a man; his perfect physic, his sultry voice, his mysterious behavior, and his commanding presence.  

She looked at her watch and read it was nearly noon. In a few minutes she was going to meet Dave for lunch. She made her way to the truck and imagined Daniel opening the door for her. Her body warmed with the thought. A strong desire swept over her. She had to see him. She wanted Daniel to embrace her. Interrupted by a beeping cell phone, she flipped the cover. “I’m at the diner. – Dave” the text message read. Scolding herself again for being so silly, Melanie drove to the diner. She walked inside and joined Dave at his usual table.

The diner was their normal hangout after packing and unpacking vegetables all morning. They talked about farming and the usual chatter between two adults. Melanie often grew tired of the mundane life.

 “Sorry I’m late,” Melanie said, as she sat down.

Dave looked at his watch and shrugged his shoulders.  “Don’t worry about it.”

Melanie ordered her food and tried to focus on the conversation. She wondered why she couldn’t go for someone like Dave. He was so thoughtful, caring, and often funny. He wasn’t as good looking as Daniel, but there again, he wasn’t ugly. She smiled.

Dave smiled back, thinking he must have said something to amuse her. He continued talking.

Melanie was preoccupied. She decided that her problem was simple. She liked the idea of a mysterious, handsome man; someone who could make her life more interesting. Meeting for lunch every day, gathering fruit and vegetables, and having the same conversation was boring.

Dave stopped talking, noticing that Melanie seemed distant. “Sorry if I’m boring you.”

Melanie shifted her gaze back at Dave. “It’s ok, Daniel.”

Dave scowled. He rose from his seat and stood over the table.

“I’m sorry Dave. I…” Melanie started to apologize, realizing her mistake.

 “Don’t worry your pretty face, Melanie.”

He stormed out of the diner and made his way to the truck. Totally devastated by Melanie’s remark, he wondered how a woman who knew he cared for her would call him by a different name, and not just any name. Daniel, the man whom he despised – the man who she’d met just once.

Melanie took after Dave to apologize, realizing she had hurt his feelings, now knowing that he cared for her in a way he’d never shown and by his swift reactions.

Dave heard Melanie call for him as he reached his truck. Wanting to turn around and accept her forgiveness, he swallowed hard, got in his truck, and sped away, leaving her in a cloud of dust.

Melanie stood on the roadside confused, angry, and sad. She shook her head and knew she got exactly what she asked for. Dave had to know how she felt.

 

Cindi Prewitt  (USA)

 

Comments

Nice! It's wake-up time for Dave. Now hecan stop being a lunkhead and fight for what he wants. 
Back on track with the three nibbling at each others ears. Who will take the first bite? A nicely written chapter that concentrates on the main characters and introduces a little jealousy. Cindi has also introduced the start of the competition for Melanie's heart.
 What a sook!  Being goodlooking/handsome does not always guarantee a good time but Dave needs to get a grip on life and not have a tantrum.  He's not four years old.  Getting in someones goodbooks is not always about respect.  The moment he can make Melanie laugh should be the time he is in with a chance.  
I'm absolutely sure that I'll never be a writer in the genre of Romance. The inherent puerility of emotion irritates me. I want to say that this is a great chapter. I like the writing style. It's fast-paced and straightforward enough. But . . . point of view is all over the place by the end. We're inside both heads in a round-robin of paragraphs within the same scene. A "physic" is a physician or medic, and has nothing to do with body structure. I'm sure she meant "physique."  I was taught that semi-colons were for essays and lists - but not fiction.  Whom was used correctly once, but in the very next section of the sentence was not. Little things, not really important to the flow of the story - but they pull me out. Going back in, I'm completely at a loss for liking either Melanie or Dave in this chapter - or to be fair, since chapter 2. Melanie seems to vacillate between being stuck sexually as a teenager or some prude who hates her own "weaknesses" of passion. Dave is definitely trapped at 14, emotionally. But at least he's somewhat consistent that way. Right now, Uchendu is the only person I like in the whole story.
Semi Colons are used quite a lot in fiction, in fact, not only in today's fiction but from way back. Charles Dickens used them a lot and so did William Golding in Lord Of The Flies. From 'Clear English' Bloomsbury. - He lost heavily on the Stock Market; even so, he seems as cheerful as ever. I thought that - despite the spelling mistake -  the list of Dave's physical attributes was just that, a list.  I agree the end could have been written in two paragraphs, the last from Melanie's POV but overall I agree, it is a really good chapter.
Semi-colons were used quite often in fiction, I agree. The operative word there being "were." "Clear English" is nearly a century old. Just as adverbs and passive sentencing litter those very pages. I also accept that it's a style choice. But it goes along the same rule as using adverbs: when you see one, stop and reconsider your choice. Is the sentence better served by becoming two? With semi-colons, the answer is almost always yes - the same as with adverbs - when in fiction. In any other form of writing, go for it. Or if you're going for a Dickensian feel, then by all means.
Not entirely disagreeing with you but modern fiction is still littered with passive sentences and adverbs that could be shot at dawn. I am referring in the main to well known authors. Referring to an earlier comment on another chapter, once well read, these authors seem to have free license to break the rules and I'm sure this is why readers today, when trying their hand at writing fiction, follow the example of their favorite author. Its like saying to the student - "Don't do as I do, do as I say." With regard semi-colons, I have to admit I don't see anything wrong with them as long as they are used sparingly, as you say. I have used five so far in my project and not had a slap yet. (Maybe that's being saved for later).