Lesson 6 — London’s Calling.

I’m not sure if I’ve captured the requirements for lesson 6’s homework. Here were the requirements: Character 1 has a difficult relationship with his/her parents.  Now Character 1 has to inform his/her parents about a decision that they won’t approve of. Write the scene where Character 1 doesn’t get breaks the news to his/her parents.  Write it from Character 1’s perspective, showing only Character 1’s thoughts. Give all three characters (Character 1 and both parents) voices that are distinct from each other. Show some of Character 1’s thoughts.

 I’d appreciate your comments and critiques on whether I did or not :/


The apartment had been chosen, the lease signed. Their visa’s, and passports were being rushed through. Everything was going as planned. 

As Jenny drove down the street, the empty boxes that filled the back seat made it difficult for her to see out of the rear view mirror. I should have made two trips, although, not seeing out the back window, are the least of my problems, she thought. Today, was the next step for her and that was… Speaking with her parents.

Jenny’s car came to a stop in the middle of the driveway. She turned her keys and waited as her rattling engine came to a halt. She sat for a minute fiddling with her keys, as she took a couple of deep inhales and long exhales. Then gave herself a pep talk. I can do this, it’s just my parents. Come on Jenit’s now or never. Open the car door, swing out your legs, set your feet on the ground.

The car door creaked open, she stepped out, her heart still pounded in her chest and her hands, she knew all too well that when the nerves kicked in, they became clammy and sticky. She quickly wiped them on her sleeve’s, then walked to the front door, and knocked twice.

The door opened and with a bright smile, she said, “Hello, Carson. Are my parents home?”

Good Morning, Miss Jenny,” Carson smiled, “Your father is on the way out and your mother is in the garden.”

He opened the door wider and Jenny stepped inside, “Thank you Carson.” She walked a couple of feet towards the foyer’s grand round table, she set her purse and keys down.

Carson closed the door, turned and asked, “Would you like for me to inform your parents that you are here?”

With a slight shake of her head, she smiled and said, “It’s alright, I”ll find them.” She walked down the bright hallway and stopped to look at a family picture, her eyes regarded the once happy scene. Why can’t things ever stay the same, why? She contemplated. It only took a few more steps until Jenny’s hand reached out, clutched the door handle, and with a quick push down it opened, and she stepped into the garage. Phew, I’m glad I caught him. I surely didn’t want to do this twice, she thought, then said, “Hi, Dad.”

John’s head turned and answered, “Hi.” His one hand held open the trunk of his car, his other gripped a golfing bag. “How come your not at work? Oh, don’t tell me Peter‘s late with the mortgage payment again?”

Wringing her hands together, Jenny said, “Not the issue right now dad and no, we’re not late with the mortgageThat’s not why I’m here.” She shook her head and exhaled, great, he still hasn’t forgiven Peter she mused. Not wanting to look at her father at that moment, she adverted her gaze from her him to her feet.

Her father hoisted his golf bag into the trunk, then closed it and said, “Your mother is in the garden, pruning her beloved flowers.”

This is not going to be easy, she thought. She could of sworn she saw the slight disappointment register on his face. She sighed, what was I thinking? My dad still holds Peter accountable for losing his job, even though it wasn’t his fault.

Her father opened the car door, his one leg already inside,“Dad!” She called to him.

He turned, his eyebrows creased together, “What?”

She clenched her teeth, her eyes unblinking, she said, “Actually, I need to speak with both of you.”

Raising his hands up in the air, he grumbled, “Can’t this wait? I half a game of golf waiting for me.”

Jenny rolled her eyes and thought, why does he have to be so melodramatic, she turned to face away and answered. “No… No, it can’t.”

Letting out a deep huff, he slammed the door and followed her out to the garden.

She stepped out onto the large patio and was greeted by a wash of bright reds, pinks and white roses. Their sweet aroma gently wafted up her nostrils, enticing her to take a few more deep breaths in. Squinting her eyes, Jenny could see the top of her mother’s sun hat breaking through the clusters of rose bushes. She sighed and headed over to where her mother stood. “Hi Mom.”

The brim of the hat turned to face her, “Hi, Jenny.” Her mom replied. Then she carried on pruning the roses, cutting off a few stems and placing them in the basket that sat on the grass.

Jenny scanned the garden and all of it’s beauty, “The roses look great this year,” she said.

They arearen’t they although they’re beautiful every year.” Patricia picked up the basket and moved on to the next bush.


A quick snip and Patricia placed another rose in her basket, “Yes?”

Jenny took a tentative step closer to her mother, “I need to talk with you and dad.”

She flicked her wrist, “Your father is off playing golf and Ihave to finish trimming the roses,” Patricia knelt down and started to trim the wayward branches. “Why don’t you go and pour yourself some iced tea andwhen I’m done then we can talk.”

Jenny turned and saw her father, his armscrossed watchingthem, “Actually, Dad is waiting on the patio and this is important, Mom.”

Okay, but make it quick, I don’t have all day.” She picked up her basket, walked and rambled all the way back to the patio, about all the jobs she had to get done today.

Gosh… She thinks that getting her nails, followed by pedicure,a massage and afternoon tea at the golf club are jobs! I need to tell her some home truths, thatsometimesshe can be shallow and that if she ever did what I did in a day, her nails would be bitten short. Her pedicure would be chipped and most certainly be no time for the frivolities of afternoon tea. Jennyplonked her already frazzled mind and body down on one of the wrought iron chairs. Her her mother continued to fuss with the roses on her workbench and her father poured himself some iced tea, then asked,Pat, Jenny, would you like a glass?”

Oh, no thank you, dad,” She said, as brushed her palmsalong her jeans, drying her sticky damp hands once again, “I’d rather just get on with it.”

Yes, please,” Patricia answered. Then glanced at Jenny, motioning with her hands, “Well… Get on with it and what’s so important that it couldn’t wait?”

Jenny’s heart pounded in her chest, all she wanted to do was break free from this awkward nervousnessshewas experiencing. Speaking with her parents was never easy and with a deep breath, she blurted out, “We’re moving to London.” She let out a huge sigh. I’m so glad that’s I finally told them, she thought.

Patricia busied herself with her flowers and asked, “Why on earth are you moving to London, Ohio? It’s a good for nothing, two-bit town.”

Her father sipped at his tea, while his other hand clumsily fiddled with his cell.

Great… My parents don’t care, as her fingers picked away at the stray threads on her blouse. Jenny mumbled, “Um, no, not quite Ohio, Mom.” Jenny surveyed the garden and appreciated it, glad she too had been blessed with a green thumb. “We’re moving to London, Great Britain.”

John spluttered and tiny droplets of tea landed on his shirt, “You’re what!” He said.

Patricia slowly set her pruning shears down on the table, looked directly at John and said, “Oh, John calm down, she’s kidding, you know she’s always had a flair for the dramatics, just like you.” She directed her eyes at Jenny, “You always loved to be dramatic –Didn’t you.”

Jenny stood, her fists balled at her sides and yelled, “I’m NOT kidding, we are moving…” she tried to hold it together, even though she dreaded the move herself, “… and we’ve already signed an apartment lease, and sold our house. She shuffled a stray rock with her shoe, “We’ll be leaving in four weeks.”

John jumped up off his seat, “Another country! What an absurd idea,” he brushed off the droplets of tea from his sweater, “And in four weeksnone the less?He shook his head, “This has to be one of Peter’s dumb schemes, no doubt.”

You‘re in debt again, is that why you’re moving?Patricia picked up her tea and took a sip, “I could tell from the first time we met Peter, he was no good for you.” Setting the glass down, shepicked the shears back up.

Jenny gripped the armrests, “You’re so condescending, both of you. NO! We’re not in debt and before you ask, Dad…” Jenny slipped her hand into her jean pocket and handed her father a crisp white envelope, “I told you, Peter would pay you back.”

John held the envelope in his hands andglanced at it, then at Jenny.

Argh! I hate the way you treat Peter. He may have some hair brained schemes at times, but he loves me and Jack. There’s nothing he wouldn’t do for us.” She stood, her heartbeat raced and her hands quivered, she walked a few feet away, stopped, reached across over the top of the hedge and snapped off a rose from a branch, allowing its alluring scent to calm her frayed nerves. “Mom, Dad… Peter’s not go –”

Oh, I beg to differ.” Her mom interjected. “He’s taking you and Jack away from us, to another country, at that.”

Mom, please. Try to understand. Peter was offered a fabulous job and after much consideration, we decided he should accept it. It’s going to be an adventure and Jack can’t wait to visit all the cool places there.” Jenny turned back to face her parents and thought, I can’t understand it. They should be pleased that I’m moving. Now, they won’t have to be ashamed of me for marrying beneath their standards.

Her mother stood up, brushed the creases from her cotton pants and said, “You and Peter go. Leave Jack here with us, you’ll be living in an apartment for crying out loud, no yard for him to run around in, it’s always gloomy and it rains all the time, who wants to live there. I don’t, that’s for sure.” She shot Jenny a pained glare.

Jenny’s mouth dropped, “What!… Wow, mom, you’ve surpassed yourself. Firstly, I’m not asking you to live there, and leaving Jack here, with you!” She slammed her hand on the arm rest, More like, leave him here for the servants to raise him, NO WAY.” She looked at her father, her eyes pleading for him to back her up on this. She was once a daddy’s girl, until Peter came into her life.

He shook his head, “Patricia, that was rather harsh, don’t you think.”

Patricia’s head tilted, she bent down, picked up her basket and pruning shears, then replied, “John, I’ll be in the garden if you need me.” Ignoring Jenny, she turned and marched away in the direction of her rose bushes.

I shouldn’t of bothered coming here. They don’t care, all they care about is themselves, golf, roses and stupid luncheons. She felt sick. Jenny eyeballed her father, then glared at the back of her mother‘s figure as she walked away, “Mom! Really, that’s all you have to say? She scrutinized her father, as she tried hard to hold back herimpendingtearsand said, “Dad?”

John, stood and said, “I’ll speak to your mom, this is and will be, quite the adjustment for all of us.”

Jenny smiled, “Thanks dad, but there’s not much time.”

He nodded, exhaled and said, “I know.”

Jenny looked out to where her mother was and yelled, “Bye mom.” To which she received no reply. Her shoulders slumped, “Well, I’d best be going, there’s still so much I have to do.” She ambled past her father and back inside. She grabbed her purse, slung it over her shoulder, snatched her keys from the bowl, and marched towards the front door.

A few seconds later her father called out, “Jenny?” Wonderful, what does he want now? She turned to face him

John walked up to his daughter, wrapped his arms around her and said, “It will all work out, you wait and see.”

Even though the hug lasted for a few seconds, this is what she neededShe mumbled, “ThankDad.”

He nodded, “We’ll talk soon.” He turned and headed down the hallway to the garage.

Jenny opened the front door, headed to her car, unlocked it and plonked down in her well worn seat. The noonday sun’srays broke through the treetops and shone directly into her eyes. Raising her hand, she shielded them as her other hand delved into her purse, trying to find her glasses. Instead, her fingers wrapped around a long flat shape. No!… It can’t be? She thought, as she pulled it out from her bag. She flipped it over and read the words which had been quickly scrawled upon it. Please keep this money and use it for when you choose to come home for a visit. I love you Jenny, I always will, Dad.

Her hands trembled and unable to hold back her emotions anymore, Jenny buried her head in her hands, and allowed her tears to flow freely, as she muttered, “I love you too, Dad.”

Copyright 2014 Freckles. All Rights Reserved.

About freckles

I'm a redheaded Welsh lass from Wales - Great Britian. The past nearly 10 yrs I have lived in the US and at the moment live in Wisconsin while my hubby is getting his masters. Me, I am trying to finish my 1st draft of a novel while running around after my 4yr old and 2 yr old as well as doing this course :) I love cooking, writing. Crafts, movies and music. I have 7 children & 2 granddaughters!! I know I look too young - Well, I am lol (well not quite 18 yrs old..anymore lol)
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3 Responses to Lesson 6 — London’s Calling.

  1. ester.s.mingot says:

    Well done!
    I liked the story and the parents’ reaction to Jenny’s moving away to another continent.
    However, two things: 1) I am not sure whether I like Jenny’s thoughts in the first person in the second and third paragraphs. To me it reads a bit “forced” somehow, if you know what I mean. I think you wanna convey her deep thoughts and feelings, so why not writing the whole think from Jenny’s perspective?; and 2) I would say that before she breaks the news, there’s some part of the dialogue that somehow repeats the same information and doesn’t move quick enough.
    All in all, however, I really like the story!

    • freckles says:

      Thank you for the comments and feedback Ester. Yeah, this homework assignment was harder than all the rest for me. Especially conveying her deep inner thoughts and which I wrote in first person.(I much prefer third person, so this lesson, pushed my boundaries) I wasn’t completely happy with it and I’ll go back and re-work those elements, you suggested. Thank you 🙂 This is why we need the feedback, right 🙂

  2. Hana says:

    Hi Freckles. I liked the story too and I think you captured all of the homework requirements – not easy. The personalities of the three characters come across quite well because of the way Jenny describes what’s important to her parents and the dialog too. It was interesting to me that you describe John mostly as “her father” and Patricia mostly by name. Was that by design? I came away with the feeling that Patricia and Jenny’s relationship was the most strained and not just because of the move. Good work, I thought.

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