Fiction or Flashback?

I never could have imagined being friends with the cool guy.  Me, the dorky, socially-inept, least popular, barely seen girl in high school and Jeff, the baseball player at the local community college, blond, all American good looks. He dated the head cheerleader. They were quite a handsome pair. I didn’t date anyone, ever.

I took classes at the community college my senior year of high school but didn’t take all the classes my high school classmates took. So I was on my own and it was good. I escaped the mantle of the weirdo and was just me. It was in Intro to Physical Education taught by the baseball coach that I had my first conversation with Jeff. He didn’t know that I knew he was dating Kat. He knew nothing about me. I was just another girl in a class and he was more than kind. He treated me like anyone else. We cracked jokes at Coach. We asked complex and advanced questions to sound smart in a class designed for dummies, or athletes. We had a mutual respect for each other’s sense of humor.

When there were events at the high school that I knew he’d attend with Kat, I made sure to stay away. I couldn’t risk having my dork rep exposed to the one guy who thought I was cooler than that. Kat knew who I was and would be sure to point out the major chasm between her social class and mine.

He went on to the four year college down the road and I headed out 6 hours away to chase the current boyfriend. Anytime I was back in town, we would find each other and it was if I had never left.

When the boyfriend broke up with me and it was clear that I couldn’t afford to continue another year of school out of state, I returned home. Full of shame over my failure, I found work away from the college and kept myself out of the social scene. Did anyone care what had happened to me? Not really but I didn’t know that. I felt like I was in high school again.

Eventually my parents urged me to return to college, to the school just down the road. It was there that I ran into Jeff again.

He was happy to see me, concerned for my bruised heart and the same friend I had left behind. Sharing a beer with him set my world straight. He had moved on from Kat after all. It was amicable and I was happy he wasn’t wounded as I was. As the semester progressed, we spent more time together. We’d watch sports on TV, walk his dog, share a meal or two. I’d sleep on his couch rather than driving  home to my parents when I’d had too much to drink. He was a good friend to me.

That summer, on a particularly starry night, after a couple of beers at our favorite pizza joint, Jeff offered me a ride. While it was obvious he wasn’t driving us back to his place, I wasn’t worried. He was my friend, I trusted him. He drove us to one of the strip pits outside of town. Careful of my modesty, he turned away and let me undress and get into the dark water without exposing myself. Shortly after he joined me. We splashed around for a while, racing each other across the pit, landing breathlessly on the other side.

I didn’t have a chance to recover when he kissed me and then my whole world shifted.

This post was as part of the Red Dress Club: The assignment for this week’s prompt is to write a piece that begins with the line, “I could never have imagined” and ends with the line, “Then the whole world shifted.” We’re going to stick with the 600-word limit.  BOOYAH! 600 words exactly!

Yes, please feel free to comment, critique or lavish me with love.

35 Responses to Fiction or Flashback?
  1. Mandyland
    February 11, 2011 | 9:53 am

    I am going to lavish you with love and hope…really hope…that this was a flashback. Not because I think you were ever uncool, but because I want SOMEone to have had that experience and that friend.

    Loved this. Loved it to the moon and back.

    It was slightly painful – having experienced the invisibility myself – and beautifully written.

    I want to know how you/she met her boyfriend and what that relationship was like. I wish you didn’t have a word limit. :)
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  2. Nicole
    February 11, 2011 | 10:58 am

    Brilliant :)
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  3. Jackie
    February 11, 2011 | 11:03 am

    I like it! I wasn’t sure what direction it was going when he offered to drive her home… it could have gone bad! Yikes… but it ended well!
    Jackie recently posted..Yellow!!My ComLuv Profile


  4. Pamela
    February 11, 2011 | 11:09 am

    I’m saying flashback too because…someone has to have the Cinderella story come true!
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  5. magnolia
    February 11, 2011 | 11:50 am

    brilliantly constructed. i love things like this – formal prompts that force you to be economical and creative all at the same time. kudos.
    magnolia recently posted..serenityMy ComLuv Profile


  6. tulpen
    February 11, 2011 | 12:26 pm

    something is wrong with me. i thought Jeff was going to do something evil at the end… glad he didn’t.
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  7. BLissed-Out Grandma
    February 11, 2011 | 1:15 pm

    Good story, very nicely done.
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  8. Shell
    February 11, 2011 | 1:29 pm

    You need to fess up- fiction or flashback?


  9. gigi
    February 11, 2011 | 1:30 pm

    Ooh… like this! I want to know the deets on what happened next!!
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  10. liz
    February 11, 2011 | 1:32 pm

    This is definitely a “lavish with love” type post! And the start to a movie or TV show.
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  11. LiBBy
    February 11, 2011 | 1:54 pm

    Nice job! Very impressive word count and I DID count them! 600! LoL



  12. Cheryl @ Mommypants
    February 11, 2011 | 3:37 pm


    Love this. Thank you on behalf of all the high school dorks (me!), to think this could possibly happen to one of us!


  13. Elizabeth Flora Ross
    February 11, 2011 | 7:03 pm

    Why did people think he was going to do something bad? I knew he had finally seen she was the one. When two people keep coming back to each other like that, they have to wake up to what they have. Good story!


  14. Melanie
    February 11, 2011 | 7:10 pm

    Sweet, sweet, sweet, sweet, sweet!! Such a touching story. You are an amazing storyteller. I am so like “what happened next?” I’m thinking good things…:-)). Love your writing. There’s a warmth and familiarity to your voice that I like. Thanks for sharing.

    Oh, and I love your blog. I’m visiting from both TRDC & my own blog. Thanks for your kind words in response to my blog post a couple of days ago re: feeling like I’m in high school. Appreciated them much!

    Nice to meet you!


  15. Kelly
    February 11, 2011 | 7:19 pm

    Maybe it was the cynic in me that thought Jeff was going to break her/your heart but I am so glad that he turned out to be the nice guy!
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  16. Leighann
    February 11, 2011 | 8:22 pm

    Oh this was especially good.
    I was drawn in from the beginning
    Great job


  17. Tim@sogeshirts
    February 11, 2011 | 8:59 pm

    There aren’t too many Jeffs in the world. So glad that he was a nice guy and not a sleazebag. I want to know where the relationship went from there.
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  18. Mommylebron
    February 11, 2011 | 9:14 pm

    Either way, fiction or flash back, this was a great story! It sounds like one of those sweet coming of age, boy meets girl stories (which I love).
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  19. Symdaddy
    February 11, 2011 | 9:56 pm

    When life throws a little less stress my way I’m going to sit down and, in my very British pedantic way, count every word word!

    It was very well written … a little bit ‘girlie’ for my taste … Congrats!

    However, it didn’t escape my notice that you cheated, ever so slightly, on the last line … but I forgive you.
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  20. The Drama MAma
    February 11, 2011 | 10:49 pm

    This is like straight off the Hallmark channel. Seriously. I loved it all the way to the end when she gets the kiss. Perfection.
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  21. Amy
    February 12, 2011 | 8:45 am

    Awesome! I love how well you described this without going too over-the-top with anything. I loved it! I adored the ending! It was one of those endings that just makes you go “awwwwwww!”

    Here from The Red Dress Club!
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  22. Yuliya
    February 12, 2011 | 12:27 pm

    This would have been better for me if I knew what on earth a strip pit was…as it is I am picturing all kinds of ridiculous and inappropriate things!

    Fess up chica, flashback or fiction? We demand the truth!


  23. Jennifer
    February 12, 2011 | 1:54 pm

    I loved, loved her avoiding school functions where she knew Kat and Jeff would both be, being invisible to stay visible.
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  24. Klz
    February 12, 2011 | 2:32 pm

    How could gorgeous you never have a date? This MUST be fiction
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  25. Katie
    February 12, 2011 | 3:37 pm

    flashback or fiction it reads like it was real…so there you go!

    excellent work!
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  26. Brandon
    February 12, 2011 | 6:53 pm

    Well, I’m on the negative side of the fence. I saw ‘not-so-good’ things happening at the pit. Glad it turned the other direction. Good job!

    I liked it. The only thing I can see wrong(?) is the same problem most of us had. The ending getting cut short due to word count. Other than that, you write very well! :)
    Brandon recently posted..Bonding with the unbornMy ComLuv Profile


  27. Jessica Anne
    February 12, 2011 | 8:51 pm

    I am so believing this is flashback! Which of course means the writing was excellent, that you can create that kind of hope and excitement. Great job!
    Jessica Anne recently posted..The EndMy ComLuv Profile


  28. the mrs
    February 12, 2011 | 8:57 pm

    This writing assignment is brilliantly executed. So easy to read and entertaining. I want to believe it’s fact, because the shy, smarty pants sounds a lot like me. And everyone should be more like me.


  29. Greta
    February 13, 2011 | 7:16 am

    Wow. That was beautifully written. Even though I could guess the ending, I was still holding on to my seat!
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  30. San Diego Momma
    February 13, 2011 | 9:14 am

    I loved this. Every single word.
    You are a gifted writer.
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  31. [...] This post was mentioned on Twitter by San Diego Momma, Mads Mom. Mads Mom said: Does music inspire your writing? REM's Night Swimming inspired my #TRDC post this week: [...]

  32. Stacey
    February 13, 2011 | 1:44 pm

    Great story! I vote for flashback. It was very realistic if it was just fiction, which is great! It makes me wonder what happens next!


  33. John
    February 14, 2011 | 5:28 am

    I’m voting for fiction…I just can’t picture you as somebody who didn’t date, though we all know that there is no fiction that doesn’t have a full foot in the door of reality.

    Enjoyed the read :-)
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  34. The Flying Chalupa
    February 14, 2011 | 3:08 pm

    FLASHBACK, BABY! It’s just too fabulous, too romantic, to not be real. No! Don’t tell me, Jeff is your husband! AHHHHHH! This is so exciting!


  35. Melissa (Confessions of a Dr.Mom)
    February 15, 2011 | 2:26 am

    I love this story and it’s so well written. You had me hooked!

    Gotta love the happy ending…flashback?
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