Posted in prose

misunderstandings

So I got this university assignment from my tutor; it was related to dialogue and subtext, and by that I mean I had to write a piece centering around dialogue, with as little outer description as possible. For whatever reason, I’ve decided to post my assignment here, along with the prompt I chose to base it on. Enjoy!

Prompt: A couple in their early twenties are talking in their rented flat. Person A has just accepted a job offer in a distant city and is planning to break up with their partner before leaving. Person B assumes that they will be moving together to the new location.

“Becky, I got the job.”

Rebecca, draped over the living room sofa, looked up in surprise. “Oh, wow, congratulations!” she exclaimed. “I knew you’d get it! You deserved that position, after all, you really did, and I’m glad the company’s manager realized that. Wait, didn’t you mention earlier that the job’s situated in Brooklyn?”

“It is,” Nathan confirmed. “I’ll have to move there – and soon, seeing as work begins next month.”

“That’s barely three weeks away! How in the world does the company expect us to move to an entirely new city in just that much time?” Rebecca got up from her position and started pacing. “We’ll have to find an apartment in the first place, not to mention furniture – say, Nate, dear, should we move our current furniture or sell this and buy new things in Brooklyn? I really don’t know which would be more convenient.”

“Actually,” Nathan said, “the company’s got its own housing facility for employees, so I’ll be staying there. Becky, I need to tell you-”

Rebecca interrupted him, saying, “A housing facility? This company you’ve gotten into really is the works, isn’t it? Oh, this is simply splendid. At least that matter is resolved. I still have to think about everything else, though, like what to take with me and what to leave behind, not to mention informing my parents of the move. I wonder what they’ll think of us moving to Brooklyn, of all places. It is terribly far from here, isn’t it?”

“Becky, I intend to move to Brooklyn myself. On my own, I mean.”

Rebecca blinked. “What? Oh, you mean you’ll go first, and I’ll come later? That’s really thoughtful of you, sweetheart. I know you know I’ll have to quit my job, make sure there’s something new on the market that I can take up in Brooklyn, and that may take a while, but really, you needn’t worry about all that. I’ve already brought up the possibility of my leaving to Sue, seeing as I was absolutely certain you’d get the job-”

“Rebecca,” Nathan cut in, before she could say any more, “what I mean to say is, I’m moving to Brooklyn on my own. Without you; and no, I don’t really want you to come with me, either now or later.”

After a pause, Rebecca answered, “A long-distance relationship? Sweetheart, I don’t really-”

“No, not a long-distance relationship. What I’m trying to say here is that I want a fresh start, without any of the ties to connect me to this place. I… I want to break up with you, to start my new life in Brooklyn without you.”

Silence.

Then: “You’re being ridiculous.”

Nathan could not have been more surprised; he had been expecting tears and, possibly, screaming. “Wait, what?”

“I said you’re being ridiculous. We’ve been dating for two years, Nate. You can’t just throw that away on a whim, you know.”

“That’s the thing, it’s not a whim!”

Rebecca continued as if he hadn’t spoken. “I’ll talk to you when you come to your senses, when you realize that you are, in fact, being completely and utterly ludicrous right now.”

“But I-”

The door slammed.

Nathan was alone.