Writing Exercise: Clumsy

Clumsy

 

Contessa muffled a swear word as she accepted Alexis’ hand up from the brick sidewalk and dusted herself off.

“Are you okay?” her friend asked.

“Yes, I’m fine. Just not paying enough attention, I think.”

Alexis just looked at her a moment. “Forgive me for being blunt, but you seem to be saying that a lot lately. I’m not inclined to believe you’ve suddenly become clumsy.”

When she didn’t answer right away, Alexis went on. “It’s clear something’s bothering you. You’ve been so distracted lately, even at rehearsals. You usually know all your lines by now, and don’t make habits of knocking over laps.”

“I…um.” She could hardly repeat what she’d learned, Lorenz’ secret. “I can’t tell you.”

“That man you were hanging out with, something happened, didn’t it? Did he threaten you?”

“No, he didn’t. He actually…” but she broke it off. “I really can’t talk about it,” she said finally, starting to walk again. How could she explain all the thoughts she couldn’t keep out of her mind? The constant glances over her shoulder that made her trip. But  she couldn’t betray him, even if she didn’t know how she felt about him anymore.

“Contessa, wait!” Alexis called, picking up the bag of shopping lying on the ground. “You can’t just…what do you expect me to do?”

“Nothing.”

“Nothing?”

“I’m sure things will be fine.” But for now, she was probably going to clumsy for a while.

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