Exercise: Writing from Two Points of View 1

She could see him, still in the hall, jacket on.
“Are you stopping, Daniel?” she called. “I’ll put the kettle on.”
She filled her hands with cups and saucers, the little set they found at that fair up past Whitby. It had been a bargain, even if it had been hard to keep it intact, two teenagers and a five year old in the house.
She glanced into the hall again. It was hard to match up the ruddy cheeked five year old, always trying to keep up with his brothers, with the six foot man who was hesitating out there. It wasn’t like Daniel to dither she thought as she placed the cups out carefully. She poured boiling water into the matching teapot, swirled it, tipped it out and refilled it, all the time fending off the fear that Daniel was hesitating for a reason.
‘Mum’s always together’, she’d heard one of the boys say, and she did keep it together, for them, but this year, last year, … she couldn’t word what had happened, still too raw. She ran the back of a finger under her eyelashes and glanced into the hall again. He seemed lost in thought and she was glad Tony was down in the garage.
She carried the pot and cups over to the table, laid them just so, appreciating the glow of the apricot china against the pale yellow Formica surface. She’d managed to keep that nice, no stains and not too many scratches. Daniel stepped forward, stopped, and then finally came into the kitchen.
“Mum. I need to tell you something.”

He found her in the kitchen, had sought her out there where she was most her, most at home, most likely to accept. Dad was at work, he’d seen Sam head in to the hospital, knew Lucy was in nursery, the children in school. No reason to be interrupted, he turned off his phone. He’d had it on for months, it seemed, waiting for the next call, the next sign that the family was disintegrating. This time, he was choosing to deliver the blow, choosing to risk pushing everything a little further apart.
“Are you stopping in the hall, Daniel?” Mum called. “I’ll put the kettle on.”
“K.” He didn’t walk on, though, still waiting for some sign, some clarity. Sam had said it was fine. Fine: who needed approval? Dan sighed. He did, or he wouldn’t still be here in the hall, wouldn’t be hovering, waiting to tell, to ask. What happened if she said that she didn’t believe him, it couldn’t be true? Or worse, what if she believed him, and thought it was wrong. It didn’t fit with their faith, for sure. But maybe that was in head, there were gay Catholics, after all. He could almost hear Sam’s voice, saying, “You’re overthinking it.”
He shook himself, took a step forward. King of overthinking: that was Sam, not him. For a second he wished he’d brought Sam down too, for back up, to diffuse things if it looked like Mum was going to blow up. But she wasn’t like that, and he could do this. On his own.
“Mum. I need to tell you something.”

For the Book Analyst Writing Group


4 thoughts on “Exercise: Writing from Two Points of View 1

  1. Two very powerful pieces and interesting to read the two different points of view. It left me wanting to know more, wanting to know how the news was taken and what it was that was still too raw for the mum to word.

  2. Wonderful writing Antonia – I love how it comes from both angles. It also got me wondering what else has been going on in their lives. Thank you for linking to Prose for Thought x

  3. Very precise writing Antonia. So very cleverly woven together. I loved reading both pov’s for a second time, having already read the other. I’m hanging on for the next line! Thanks so much for linking up to #WonderfulWorldofWriting

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