Yesterday I discovered a site called Write Anything. They do a fun little thing called Fiction Friday; this week's prompt was "I wish he'd knock on my door instead." Apparently this prompt gave me some sort of college flashback. My main character is a little bit sad, though. I'm wondering if she can be salvaged for some future story...
I wish he’d knock on my door instead. He was always coming around late at night, after the floor parties, and he always went to Celia’s room. Sometimes she’d let him in, and I could hear them through the wall. It was not fun living next door to the popular girl. Popular. That’s what we called her. I think my mother might have a different name for her.
Sometimes Celia didn’t let him in. Sometimes she was in her room with someone else. I knew because I would hear that one knocking at her door, hear her open it and act surprised, as if she didn’t always have late night visitors. Sometimes she just wasn’t home; she didn’t always spend the night in her room. Sometimes, though, I knew she was home and knew she was alone, but she still didn’t answer her door when he came knocking.
At breakfast the next day, or sometimes at dinner later in the week, I would hear her talking about him. I usually sat at the end of the table where she and her friends gathered for food and gossip. She never had anything nice to say about him. I wondered why she ever let him in at all if she didn’t even like him. Sometimes I wanted to say something to her about it, ask her why. But I never did. I knew the looks she and her popular friends would give me. And I knew she’d never give me a real answer. So I sat silent, listening to her talk, and I wondered why he didn’t see that she wasn’t so nice or so special at all.
Sometimes I’d see him across the dining hall. He sat at the corner table with his friends. He always sat facing Celia. I couldn’t tell if he was watching her or not, but I imagined that he was. When I would get up to clear my tray, I had to walk across his line of sight, and I always imagined that for just a moment he was looking at me instead. I don’t think my posture is ever better than when I’m walking through the dining hall.
It’s funny how much I notice him. I hadn’t noticed him before I saw him in the hall one night knocking on Celia’s door. He stood leaning against her doorframe, head tilted toward the door as if he was listening to tell if she was inside or not. He lifted his chin at me in a brief nod, an acknowledgement of my existence. I looked away and hurried on to the bathroom, hoping he wouldn’t be there when I came back. He wasn’t, although I had combed my hair and rubbed some color into my cheeks just in case.
Now here I was, months later, listening to him knock on her door. I imagined myself opening my door and saying something to him, something clever and charming. Something that would make him really look at me. Something that would make him knock on my door in the middle of the night next time around.