Sorry this is in late–bunch of crazy stuff came up this weekend. Regardless, here’s the conclusion to last week’s “Romantic Beginning.” This exercise is another from Novakovich, but it didn’t have to have anything to do with the previous exercise. The point of this one was to work with foreshadowing through environment, and I decided to use the same characters given the prompt for this exercise.
Rachel went to work that morning with an uneasy feeling in her stomach. Lisa had been feeling ill herself, and stayed home that day—in fact, she hadn’t even gotten out of bed to kiss Rachel goodbye. Rachel decided she should maybe try to take off work early, so she could get home and take care of her girlfriend.
After lunch, when the ill feeling in her gut didn’t subside, Rachel left work even earlier than she had planned to. On her way home, she stopped off at the store for some canned soup. Neither of them would feel like cooking tonight, and the soup would soothe Rachel’s stomach and Lisa’s cold. Rachel thought about calling home to see if there was anything else Lisa needed, but decided against it. If Lisa was napping, waking her up wouldn’t help her get better.
Brian’s car was parked by the curb when Rachel pulled into the driveway. She shook her head. Lisa had once again conned Brian into doing some favor for her—probably bringing her lunch—and had managed to trick him into some chores before he got a chance to escape. At least Rachel managed to arrive on time and save him from doing all their housework.
She was surprised to find the front door locked. While she was fumbling for her keys, she heard Barry White slip through the door. Odd choice of music to play when cleaning a house . . . and why did they have it so loud? Could Lisa rest with all that noise?
Rachel unlocked and opened the door. Something seemed off, but she couldn’t detect what at first. A glance downwards showed rose petals on the beige carpet, scattered in a trail leading to the bedroom. Rachel followed the trail partway, thinking the petals were for her, when she noticed a man’s shirt on the back of the couch. She could hear a few of Lisa’s excited squeals over the Barry White, the kind she made when she was about to . . .
Rachel had a strong urge to walk into the bedroom and catch them together. That would be one hell of a confrontation. But—always the rational one—she knew seeing Brian and Lisa like that would cut her deep. It would hurt her far more than it hurt them.
So Rachel set down her things, made some tea for her stomach, and quietly sipped it at the dining room table. Given Lisa’s decibels, they’d be done soon enough. That’s when Rachel would send Brian on his way, and have a serious talk with her partner.
Rachel wondered at her own calm, and then had to ask herself: did she really love Lisa as much as she thought she had? Or was she just a stupid first crush?