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 True love is.... (short story)

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alexandra


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PostSubject: True love is.... (short story)   August 31st 2008, 8:52 am

this is the Buddhist story I was on about. THANK YOU TERISHD FOR ADVICE, I've done amendments and now the story comes up to 1600 words instead of 1200. the ammendments are in red so that you don't have to read the whole thing again. .

True love is…

By Alexandra Riera
© 2008 Alexandra Riera


Roger Baynes sat facing the window, his hand holding the phone against his ear, his face growing red by the second as he shuffled some papers on his lap. “Yes, I know we have to do better…. mmmm mmmm. Alright!” he shouted as he got up, “I will do better, much better than that! And now you can fuck off!” he shouted into the phone. He didn’t wait for an answer he slammed the phone down and threw the papers in the bin. Roger was having a hard day, well, in fact he was having a hard year and that phone call was just the thing that tipped the balance. He had been thinking for a while about his job, his life and especially his love life which was supposedly inexistent in the eyes of his family. Up until now he had done everything that had been expected of him except marrying. He had never liked the idea of getting married, he would have to change his habits; no more shopping sprees for expensive clothes, no more playing loud music on his stereo and fancying himself a top D.J. He’d have to explain his absences every time he went away to the country with his friend Robert. He’d have to explain Robert. He took a lighter out from his pocked and set the bin on fire. The fire alarms went off.

The door to his office opened and Robert came in. “Fire!” he shouted in a panic, “the building is on fire!”. Then he realised that the fire was only the burning bin. Roger was now sitting on top of his desk, holding the phone by the receiver and directing it towards the flames.

“”What are you doing?” Asked Roger distracted for a moment. .

“Well, perhaps I should ask you what you’re doing Roger. The bin is on fire.” He said calmly as he went towards the vase of flowers on his desk.

“I’m going to do much better Robert, he’ll see.”

Robert poured the water from the flowers onto the burning bin and the flames died down. “Now, why don’t we go out and have a coffee or something?” He asked Roger as he took him by the arm. “Then you can tell me what’s happened and what we’re going to do about it.”

Roger went along with Robert but only because he trusted him completely. Roger and Robert had known each other for many years; in fact they were friends as kids, grew up together, in the same neighbourhood; they had gone to the same school and even to university together. They were both very clever men and very able but Roger was a born leader whereas Robert was a neat follower. Together they made a perfect team at work and they had both climbed high in their positions. They always worked together. Now they were both working for an insurance company at a very high level and in order to avoid malicious gossip they made sure they kept their friendship a secret.

They left the building together with the rest of the staff and went to a quiet café in the corner. The sound of the fire engines going past couldn’t be heard from the café and Roger was grateful for that. Robert was grateful that the café was empty; everybody had gone out to see what had happened. He wanted to know what had made Roger set the bin on fire; he was usually quite calm in the most incredible crisis.

It was only after drinking his coffee that Roger started telling Robert about his telephone conversation with the top man. “I’m not going to do it Robert, I’m not going to go for it. I’m not going to get the salesmen to harass widows at their husband’s funeral so that they buy extra insurance. No way. That’s below the belt!”

Just when Robert was about to say something a group of people dressed in saffron robes came in the café. They were singing “Hare Krishna, Hare Krishna, Krishna Krishna Hare hare!” They danced and played their tambourine. Roger gave them some money and so did Robert and then they left. Roger followed them with his eyes until he lost them out of sight.

“So what are you going to do then?” Asked Robert when Roger started fiddling with his empty cup.

“I’m going with them. I’ve had enough of all this rush, achieve, get, go! Go! Go! Thing.”

Robert stared at his best friend; he knew there was more to this burst of temper than just sales pressure. He had never seen Roger loose it before. He decided to go along with him. Robert thought that Roger was obviously going through a mid life crisis of some sort and he knew that if it got his best friend, it wouldn’t be long till it got him too, after all, they were of the same age.

After a while Roger got up and went out. Robert paid hurriedly and followed his friend into the street. For a moment he had thought that Roger was going to just go with them and leave him behind and was relieved when he saw that the Hare Krishna people were nowhere to be seen. “Where are you going now?”

“I’m going home.” Answered Roger.

“Alright, see you tomorrow morning then.” He said as he waved goodbye. Robert went back to the office.

The following morning Roger hadn’t turned up at work and Robert was worried, he called Roger at home and got no answer so he decided to pay his friend a visit to check on him. When he got there he found that all the shutters were down and there was a note on the door addressed to him.

Don’t worry, I’m alright. I’m gone. I’ll be in touch.
Roger


Robert did his best to carry on without Roger although he found it difficult. He realised he was actually dependant on Roger for everything. At work he did his best to show he was not affected by his friend’s sabbatical which is how he had to explain Robert’s absence. In private, Robert carried on doing the usual things he did but without the spark that usually drove him; life without Roger was dull to him so he grew quieter and little by little he drew out of social life. Robert woke up one morning and realised that he actually missed his friend. He wondered if perhaps he shouldn’t have stayed the night at his friend’s house the day before he disappeared as he had done some other times, perhaps if he had done so Roger would still be with him, they would still be together.

Three months later, Robert received a letter from Roger. Before opening the letter, many thoughts raced in his head; his friend had only been away for three months and he had taken over his job. What will his friend think of him for doing that? He consoled himself by reminding himself that he had only taken over Roger’s job in order to cover for him for the few days he had originally thought he would be away sorting himself out. Suddenly he found himself filled with happiness at the thought of his friend coming back but that feeling soon died for when he opened the letter he read that Roger was happy being a Buddhist. Roger explained in his letter that he had gone to the Himalayas to see what it would be like to abandon all material life and pressures and at the same time sort himself out as he needed time to think about his life. He included a picture of him wearing a saffron robe standing next to a young Buddhist at the top of some mountain. He hardly recognised his friend, his hair was all shaved off and he was suntanned. There was a note at the bottom of the picture: True love is born from understanding. Understanding what? Thought Robert. For a moment he felt guilty, perhaps he should have gone to the Himalayas with Roger, perhaps if he had gone with him he would be as happy as he was and most important of all, they would be together, as they had always been. Was it too late now? He wondered. A knock on the door brought him back to work instantly. “Come in Mary” he said to his secretary.

The door opened and Robert turned white. There in front of him stood a suntanned Roger wearing an Armani suit. “I’m back!” He said as he closed the door behind him.

“I thought you turned Buddhist? I just received this today.” Robert told him as he showed him the letter that was still in his hand.

“Oh! So you didn’t get my other letter then! Hahahaha” he laughed. “That is my first letter you’re holding there!”

Robert was in shock, he didn’t know what to say, he went over and hugged his friend. He was happy to see his friend back. “Where is the funny robe then?” he said as he brushed the lapel of his suit with his fingertips.
“I’m not a Buddhist anymore, relax!” Said Roger whilst holding his friend in his arms.

“But, why not? I thought you were happy…” he said.

“Yes but I missed my stereo, can’t have Heavy Metal music blaring through speakers when you’re a Buddhist monk hahahahahahah” he laughed. “You can only chant, chant, chant and chant all day. I’d rather have the Go! Go! Go! Chant. And you” he added. “I’ve missed you Robert.”

“I’ve missed you too Roger. I love you.



The end
(1604 Words after amendments)
(Originally 1184 Words)




The end
(1184 Words)
© 2008 Alexandra Riera
August 28th - 2008


Last edited by alexandra on September 1st 2008, 4:24 pm; edited 2 times in total
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TerishD


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PostSubject: Reply   August 31st 2008, 10:51 am

You need to waste the words on this story. Both Roger and Robert need to be fleshed out as real people. You are having Roger go through a mental crisis and reassessment of his life, but you don't bother to give the man a life to reassess. What of family? What of friends (besides Robert)? What of his usual routines (like the Heavy Metal music)? Since you have the story change to Robert's point of view (without any indication - bad, Alexandra, bad, bad), you need to have Robert come across as real as well.

Now, I have worked in sales. I worked with an insurance company as well (not in sales, although my first wife tried it for a time). I understand Roger's situation, although becoming a Buddhist was far from my response (and I believe Hare Krisna and Buddhism are different, although I could be wrong). Still, you should not depend on your readers to fill in a story for you, as only lazy people expect others to do work for them.

This story needs for you to get into the substance of the characters and present it for the reader. It should be a story worth the effort, as I believe there is a charming tale beneath this raw presentation. You might be surprised at what you achieve, Alexandra.

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Adult Christian fiction quite different than all the usual lame stuff in that market.  "Dilemma of Dreams" now in hard back.
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PostSubject: Re: True love is.... (short story)   August 31st 2008, 3:56 pm

right, totally right again.... and yes hare krishnas and buddhists are different although a bit similar.

this one will have to have ammendments done, serious ones so that it makes more sense... now I'll just go to the kitchen and make dinner and will get back to this one in the morning. (I have all night to think about fattening up the characters and make them more real...)

I'll sleep with my thinking cap on. Thanks TerishiD sunny
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PostSubject: Reply   September 1st 2008, 4:16 pm

I would leave off the last line. You do a wonderful job of showing a relationship between the two guys. Nothing wrong with two guys that have a strong friendship, but crossing the line into homosexuality is a bit of a stretch. Nothing in the text supports that the two would get romantic with other, but actually presents them as really wanting to have females in their lives (unless your idea of a homosexual is a guy that is such a loser with women that turns to men out of desperation). A story of a strong male relationship is a nice change of pace, and you should leave things there.

The story does come together a lot better. Some people will still want more, but you have enough to carry the tale. It works.

I keep wavering on Roger claiming to not be a Buddhist. There is really nothing preventing him from being a Buddhist AND a top salesman. Still, his motivation to become a Buddhist was that he had enough of his life. In returning to his life, he was admitting that the life he had was better than that he ran off to obtain. Roger NEVER saw Buddhism as a religion, just a different life-style. That makes the line acceptable.

Overall, good changes. I approve.

_________________
Fantasy puts more requirements on the writer than any other fiction, because the world must be made as real before anything else can be real.
Adult Christian fiction quite different than all the usual lame stuff in that market.  "Dilemma of Dreams" now in hard back.
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PostSubject: Re: True love is.... (short story)   September 1st 2008, 4:23 pm

wonderful!



mmm the buddhist theme.... that's been driving me crazy! and yes, the last line should come off, it's not necessary, it's obvious he's missed him and that he loves him. two guys can love each other I hope, just like I love my friends, right? loving someone from the same sex doesn't mean one is gay... if so then I'm gay hahaha

again, thanks.....
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