Short Story With Feedback #8

 

This short story, “And It Happened to Be Love,” was submitted by a young writer from India who requested feedback. I will not be correcting grammar and spelling, just the telling of the story. My comments are in coloured text. – Laura

 

And It Happened To Be Love

- This is a love story but this title is very generic. I’m sure the writer can come up with a title that is more specific to this story. Even something like “Suhani and Kartik” would be a better fit.

I was in my bedroom. My favorite place after I met with an accident which cost me both my legs and henceforth my world had been limited to this room. I was cleaning my bookshelf where I found my old school notebook. Ah! That reminded me of my old school days and arose those teenage dreams. I was turning the pages when I came across a number of 10 digits. Oh! I remember, the number belonged to the guy of my dreams, my crush and my love. I have always wanted him so much. Somehow even managed to get his number but never talked to him and before I could call him this accident stuck me. - This introduction is rough. You could just go straight into the action and then reveal details about the accident as the action progresses.

I wheeled my wheelchair and grabbed my cell. I stored the phone number of him but could not strengthen up to press the call button. - Why? Can you tell us more? How about his name at least?

I could not sleep that whole night. I kept tossing sides thinking of my old days, my teenage days and once again I was thrilled. I even forgot that I was a handicap.

“You are not having a sound sleep. This is not a healthy sign” my doc said. But he did not knew that I was so happy.

Then one night when the moon was shining outside my window as if inviting me for a romantic date, I picked up my cell and called him. There were continuous questions and doubts in my mind.

“What if he had changed his number?”

“What if somebody else picked up?”

“What am I going to say?” - These questions should not be in quotation marks and could all be in the same paragraph.

My heart was beating as fast as it could and with the rings the beating were getting more and more fast and then suddenly-

“Hello!” - Make sure we know who is talking.

I knew this voice! It was him! Gosh! His voice was same, so charismatic. Wish could be there, with him!

“Who is it?” - Who is saying this?

“Ah! May I know who are you?”

“Kartik and who are you?”

“You have to guess”

“Madam you are wasting my time”

And with such a rude and short note he cut the phone. - I like this conflict.

I was in tears because my teenage fantasy came to an end abruptly, sadly, mournfully. – You don’t have to tell us this; showing us how the character feels in actions is enough.

And then my cell rang.

“Love”-my cell flashed with this name. I was shocked. Kartik was calling me!(?).
I received the call.

“You called on this number” – Is this Kartik speaking?

“Yah I did. I am sorry. I guess I dialed a wrong number” 

“But I don’t think so that you dialed a wrong number. May I know who are you?”

“Why do you want to know?”

“Because I think I know you. Your voice is so familiar”

“Oh is that so! But I don’t think so. “

“I just want to know your name”

“I don’t tell my name to strangers”

“I won’t do anything. Just want to know your name”

“Well Mr if you really think that you are familiar with my voice then you only tell who I am” – What is the point of this dialogue? You could possibly shorten it.

“Well I think that you are………you are Suhani. Right?” – Ellipsis dots should only be in 3s (…).

I just could not believe. He guessed it right. He knew me. He remembered me.

“I think I am right SUHANI”

“No you are not right. I am not Suhani and I don’t even know any Suhani if she exists”

“Then who are you?”

“Ashima!”

“Are you sure? I mean I still doubt”

“Look man! I have told my name and I am sure about my identity. I guess you are wrong.”

We hung up. I screamed with joy and excitement. I talked to him. And he guessed my name right. Whoa! I was on the ninth cloud.

Then next night I sent him a message from a different number. I did not disclose my identity but continued to talk to him. Sometimes he would force me to tell my name but I didn’t not wish to end up this dream because I was afraid that if he knew about me he would stop conversing with me. – Why?

Sometimes he would flirt. Once or twice he even asked me for a date. What an irony of life that I could not even walk up on my heels to him on date. I didn’t have legs to wear those heels. We usually talked through messages and this brought a great deal of changes in my life. Changes meant for good. My bedroom which at first seemed to me like a prison transformed into a palace, my cell which at first was just a techno-device now became my life line and every day I would wait for the night so that I could talk to him.

One night he told me that his parents are looking for a bride for him. That was it. I was heartbroken.

“Will you marry me?”he asked

“But you don’t even know me! Not even my name!” I replied

“So what! I have been talking to you for a much time and I know that you are very nice. I don’t think so that anyone else could understand me the way you know me”

This was the best thing. But I can’t be selfish. I was a handicap. I don’t want to destroy his life.

“No I can’t” - You definitely need to tidy up your dialogue. You want to make it easy for the reader, not hard.

We never talked after that. I cried my heart out that night. I cried every single day and every single night. Once in my gloomy mood I even tried to end up my life. My family members thought that I am turning insane. They even called a psychiatrist. I was in utter depression. I talked to no one. I was suffocating.

“I have to go out for few days Suhani. Other doc will be coming here. Take care of yourself. Don’t stress much. Everything will be fine”my nurse said

I listened to her but I did not respond. That night I reached for my cell and banged it on the floor. I hated it. I wished to break the walls of my bedroom and reach out because the loneliness was engulfing me. I was disturbed so I took all the sleeping pills and slowly, slowly entered into a nice sleep. It felt good. After so many days of restless night and pain I was going to have a sound sleep.

When I woke up I found myself on a hospital bed. My head was severally paining.

“How are you Suhani?”

This voice was his. Was I still dreaming?

“Kartik?”

“Yah I am doctor here”

“Where is your wife?”

“I am not yet married?”

“Why?”

“The girl I loved refused to marry me”

“Stupid girl!Who was she?”

“She never told me her name”

“She must be also helpless. Bound in world’s chains”

“Go to sleep. Don’t worry. Don’t stress yourself. I am here”

I slept because I knew he was around. Did he mean that he loved me? Will he still love me when he will know the truth? Will ‘true love triumph’ as they show in the movies?

At night when I woke up again he gave me medicines. He read aloud a story for me. We talked about so many things and then he asked me.

“Suhani! Was it you who called me? Was it you who used to talk to me through messages?”

“Kartik………I………I………”

“Please speak the truth”

“Yes Kartik it was me because I have loved you all my life and I would love you forever. “

“Then why did you deny marrying me”

“I don’t want to destroy your life. I am a handicap, no use of you but just a burden”

“How could you even think like that? I love you! And it doesn’t matter whether you have those legs or not.”

“But…..”

“You love me right?”

“Yah………I love you……..I love you a lot………” my voice choked because I was crying.

“Will you marry me?”

“Yes. I will”

We were both happy. Both crying. He hugged me. It was the safest place. And when he took me to my house, in my bedroom which once again became my palace gave me a gift. I opened it and found my old cell which I banged on the floor.

“I didn’t want you to loose your life line” he said

I hugged him more tightly this time.

“But my life line is you” I replied

“You know what the best advantage of marrying you is?”

“What?”

“I would not have to spend my money on your footwear.”

We laughed out loud together and we got married. My teenage dream turned into reality.

True Love Triumphed. - Cut this statement; let the story speak for itself.

*

More Feedback: I like this story. It has great potential. The writer needs to review how to write interior dialogue (thoughts) and then stick with one way of showing them. And the writer needs to make the dialogue easier to follow and add some actions so that it does not feel like we are listening to talking heads. They are real people and would gesture, move, and do things while talking.

Thanks a LOT Laura for reviewing my story. I will definitely improve :-)

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Laura Michelle Thomas

About Laura Michelle Thomas

Laura Michelle Thomas is a novelist, freelance writer, writing mentor, and the owner of Laura Thomas Communications. She is the creator and administrator of the Junior Authors Contests and Junior Authors Conferences. Laura is publisher and senior editor of jaBlog! and is dedicated to fostering the development of young writers worldwide.

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