Short story: The Dinner Date

2319497253_ba55124d1f (2)Clarissa was even thinner than when I had last since seen her, which must have only been a month or so previously.
“Six weeks, Audrey,” she corrected, making me feel guilty, although she hadn’t telephoned either. She stopped whisking, dipped her little finger into mayonnaise the colour of soft butter, and held it up to my mouth. “Open,” she instructed. It was delicious. “Ok, we’re ready,” she said, taking off her apron and hanging it on the back of the kitchen door.
“You look amazing,” I told her and meant it. “Orange has always suited you.”
“This rusty old thing?” Clarissa brushed her hands over her dress, which looped around the back of her neck, showing off her bare shoulders. On anyone else it would have looked like a giant hanky. “Get the wine out would you, everyone will be here soon and you might want a drink first because there’s someone I want you to meet.” Clarissa’s eyes lit up.
“Oh no,” I said, backing away. “Please don’t say you’ve invited another sad fuck-up for me to sit next to. Clarissa I’m just not ready.” I meant it. I wanted to eat nice food with my oldest friends, drink slightly too much and stumble up to their spare room at the end of the night.
“It’s not like that. It’s someone Tom went to school with, he’s moved back down here and they bumped into each other. Ok, he happens to be single…Audrey, please don’t roll your eyes.” Clarissa went to the fridge because I had pinned myself against the granite topped island. “I think you’ll like him, you’re very similar.”
“I’m sorry Clarissa, but I really don’t want to do this. I really can’t do this.” I picked up my bag. We both heard the doorbell ring and Tom go to answer it.
“Audrey,” hissed Clarissa, “please!”
I was shrugging on my coat when Tom came into the kitchen.
“Audrey,” he said, “this is Kit. Kit, Audrey.”

***

This story is from a prompt given by Trifecta – an online writing group. Each Monday writers are challenged to write a story between 33 and 333 words using a specified word and its meaning. This week the word is rusty with the meaning the colour of rust. Click here to read some other responses or to join in.

Image is courtesy of ChefMattRock

I’d love to hear what you think about this piece – good or bad. Let me know in the comment box below.

21 thoughts on “Short story: The Dinner Date

  1. Very natural dialogue between the friends. I like that you ended it without the reader knowing how Audrey and Kit’s meeting turned out, leaves it to our imagination.

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  2. Love the characters; dialogue. i was a bit let down by the anticlimactic ending — was quite sure there would be a twist, i.e. Kit would turn out to be an old friend, or an old boyfriend, or — a girl, as Clarissa’s way of outing Audrey (not that I thought that Audrey was gay, it’s just a plot device.
    Anyway, I really enjoyed the writing, darling. I’ve really just recently discovered your work, and I will continue to read.

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    • Thanks Helena. I suppose I’m using these pieces as scenes for something longer, so they don’t always stand alone so well – hence no ending at all to this one. Plus I’d reached the word limit for this exercise. But glad you enjoyed the writing.
      Claire

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