Lesson Four: It’s a Small World

It’s a Small World

Donna Starving had been living in Miami for three months.  She had moved there for a fresh new start.  Donna was lonely so she  decided to post an ad in a singles’ newspaper to meet gentlemen.  For the past couple of weeks, she had been having nightly conversations with one of the guys that had responded to her ad.  He seemed like he had a lot in common with her, and she loved the fact that they both were born and raised in Los Angeles.  They were getting along so well on the phone that they decided to meet for dinner, in downtown Miami, at Seaside Bistro Bar and Grill.  When dinner was over they were going to take a romantic stroll down the beach.  Donna arrived at the restaurant five minutes early for her blind date.  As soon as she was seated, she checked her hair and make-up and smoothed down her white linen skirt.  Satisfied that she looked good, she put her mirror back in her purse.   She was startled when she looked up and saw a tall, handsome man standing at the table staring down at her.

“You must be Charles,” she said, smiling broadly.

Charles sat down at the table, said, “Hi, Donna.”  He stretched out his hand and gave her a weak handshake.

“I am so happy to meet you, Charles.”  Donna was gushing; her cheeks were rosy pink matching her lipstick.

“Thanks.”  Charles averted his eyes away from Donna’s eyes and looked down at the floor, he replied, “Umm…you too, Donna.”

“Do you want to get the waitress so we can order?”


Donna raised her eyebrows, “Bu-but, why not?”

“Because you had sex with almost every guy in my frat house at UCLA, slut.  That’s ‘why not’  we used to call you the head mistress.”

“WHAT!”  Donna’s face turned beet red.  She searched Charle’s face trying to remember him, but back then she was always high on pills, alcohol, or any other drug she could get her hands on. His face did look vaguely familiar…

Charles jumped up from the table, spilling his ice water.  He turned and stormed out of the restaurant.  He left the lingering sent of Jovan musk hovering around the table in his absence.

Donna started shaking uncontrollably and crying.  Suddenly, the spilled water hit her lap.  A chill ran down her spine as she frantically brushed the water off of her new white linen skirt.  “My white, clean, brand new skirt,” she mumbled to herself.  She got up and ran out of the restaurant.  Make-up was streaming down her face.  The big water stain in the middle of her skirt was spreading like crazy.

The waitress came over to the table, eyeing the spilled water and wet napkins, she said, “What a mess and they didn’t even leave me a tip.”

Copyright Trina Bell

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8 Responses to Lesson Four: It’s a Small World

  1. Good dialogue, but have a couple suggestions …
    Given the later dialog via the tall handsome guy, it would have been nice to get a small hint about the reason for her “fresh new start.” Had a moral crisis occurred that we might find out about later on — if you were to continue the story? And the ice water incident – perhaps, you could have noted her shaking precipitated the glasses movement that ended with spilled water and not a ‘sudden occurance.’ Good stoty theme and love the waitress at the end.

  2. Trina says:

    Thank you for your feedback! Creative minds must think alike, because I just edited the story and added the reason why she needed a fresh new start. Also, she was shaking because of what he said, and the water just added to her tremors and upset. There was subtext in the story regarding the white, clean, skirt and the spilled water on her crotch area. This is a chick that has been around the block many times, and she was trying to reinvent herself by moving across country and buying new clothes. However, her distress was that she couldn’t escape her past no matter what she did. I named her last name Starving as subtext, too, because she is the kind of woman that always has to have a man–no matter what. The ice water in her lap was symbolic of cooling her hot butt down, so she could refocus on herself and her personal healing. Thanks again for your comments. I love it when my classmates share their observations. What did you write? I am going to check it out.

  3. Anna2987 says:

    Hey Trina!

    I really liked how you set up the story. Very solid narration. The conflict between the characters was good as well. I liked the dynamic and how you subtly used clues that he wasn’t interested such as not making eye contact and the weak handshake. That’s always very important.

    There were a few grammatical edits I had. One was the “They were getting along so well” part. The comma before “by phone” doesn’t need to be there. In fact, you could probably make this whole part two separate sentences just so it doesn’t come off as a run-on. For example, “They had gotten along so well by phone, they decided to meet for dinner at the Seaside Bistro downtown. Hopefully the night would end with a romantic stroll down by the beach.” (Just a suggestion) After this part, you can probably start a new paragraph when you mention how she arrived early. I liked this part. It shows how eager she was for the date and slightly nervous. (As one should feel during this type of situation.)

    Also, when he introduces himself and you say “Charles sat down at the table, said,” you can leave out the word said in this part of the sentence. It’s not really needed. Maybe something like: Charles sat down at the table. “Hi Donna,” he said as he stretched out his hand and gave her a weak handshake.

    Nice job!! Very believable situation. If you ever post the rewrite or a continuation of the story I’d love to read it!

  4. Trina says:

    Thank you sooooooo much! I appreciate your feedback. The reason I put “said” like that is because I read it in a novel, and the author always did his dialogue like that. I wanted to see if it worked, guess not. LOL

  5. Trina says:

    Hey Anna,

    fixed it. I think I might continue on with the story as class progresses. I look forward to reading more of your stories.

  6. polaice153 says:

    Hi Trina, great dialogue, but I wonder if you thought about shortening the beginning summary. I did find too many ‘had’ ‘she’ ‘that’
    I hope you don’t mind me doing so, but I have shortened it to see if it worked.

    Donna Starving moved to Miami three months ago wanting to have a fresh new start, but was finding it lonely and so decided to post an ad in a singles’ newspaper to meet gentlemen. For a couple of weeks, she had been having nightly conversations with one of the guys who responded to her ad, and it seemed they had a lot in common, one thing being they both were born and raised in Los Angeles.

    • Trina says:

      No, I don’t mind your editing. I am not sensitive about my writing. LOL I am here to learn to master the craft. Thank you for your rewrite, it’s good!

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