Fiction, Melbourne, Relationship and marriage, Writing

One night

After he rolls off, Annabelle turns away from him, wipes the tears from her eyes.


It was almost as swift as the mating display that she’d giggled at as a thirteen-year-old, while watching a David Attenborough documentary in a geography lesson. Her teacher had fussed and squirmed at the front of the class, which only made Annabelle and her classmates laugh even more.

She’s not laughing now. How did they get to this point? How did they go from wanting to consume each other to barely showing an interest. Their conversations are too polite. Their date nights are filled with excruciating silence. More tears flow as Annabelle tosses and turns while Tim already snores. She prepares herself for a long night of staring at the ceiling, wondering how to fix this failing relationship.

Are they done? Is she done? She feels emotionally unready, and ill-prepared practically to walk away.

Tim snores loudly, sounding like a blower vac. She heaves herself out of bed, wraps a throw around her shoulders for warmth and switches her iPad to life. At the desk in their study, she ponders her steps.

Later—2.15AM, according the red LED lights on the desk clock—Annabelle is finished plotting. Seeing a plan set out in front of her brings an impetus, a stirring deep within, like an internal cheer squad telling her she’s got the strength to make her life better.

You got this, Bella, she whispers in the dark.

Yawning, she goes back to bed. She drifts off to sleep, content with her plan.

Photo by Leone Venter on Unsplash

21 thoughts on “One night”

  1. I was wondering…do you remember you posted about when you got your manuscript back, and they pointed out that you’d overused a particular word? Did you ever do anything about that? As in, did you ever look at measuring “word distribution” so you could spot overuse in the future?
    I’m thinking about it at the moment, would like to try and analyse some documents.
    Sorry, nothing to do with your post!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. At the moment, I’m reworking the entire ms and just being aware of the word. I’m afraid my tech skills start and end with Word docs πŸ˜€ so aside from ctrl f, i wouldn’t know how to measure usage.πŸ€·β€β™€οΈ

      Liked by 1 person

      1. I’m paranoid about the word “said” atm. Just because something like “said jokingly” is a very inefficient way of saying “joked”! Know what I mean? I think there are some MS Word add-ins, but I’m just looking for one that does the trick.
        “word frequency” was the keyword, set me on the right track.

        Liked by 1 person

      2. Funny you should mention ‘said’, that was another interesting bit of feedback on my ms. The editors noted that an author rarely needs to use anything other than says/said and guess who used almost every other alternative πŸ™„πŸ™„ Their reasoning is tjat the reader barely notices good dialogue and by trying to find alternatives usually results in some pretty weird options.

        Liked by 1 person

      3. Yeah I can imagine there are various “filler” words which add nothing to a story. I found an add-in for MS Word, btw. It was a bit of a pita to install but if you’re interested I’ll let you know more – at least it was free. I tried it just on a 1-pager and my most frequent word was “the”, closely followed by “I”. Guess there’s not much I can do about those, but this is exactly what I wanted to find out.

        Liked by 1 person

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