[collaboration] What Was and Never Shall Be

Note: The object of this piece was to take four pages of soap operaesque dialogue and condense it into at least two paragraphs of narrative. The original dialogue was written by R. Scott Bakker of Three Pound Brain.

It’s just the way it was and she wasn’t impressed in the least. The two had driven out into a grassy knoll in the middle of nowhere and she watched as her partner leapt out of the open door and onto the hood of his car. She sat there for several moments before climbing through the heaps of trash around her to sit next to him. They introduced themselves to each other as if they were meeting for the first time and started into a conversation that she didn’t want to have. He prattled on about the stars for several moments to her disinterest.

The moment he made it known that her mother called with important news had her looking him in horror. He explained that her Uncle was having bypass surgery tomorrow. She didn’t have much interest in speaking to her mother. They hadn’t gotten along in years but to know that her mother was upset had her wondering if she should call her later whenever she got home.

She decided to relay the tale of Nancy. She hated her job and thought of going back to school, trying her luck with a new career. The job makes her miserable to the point of tears. The clientele made things worse on some days as she began to rant.

Construction woes began her little recollection that had Nancy late for work by five minutes. Her manager, Cecilia, was threatening to dock Nancy a full hour of pay and the latter stomped around the sets of cubicles in simpering rage. There was no point in saying anything at that point in time. It would ultimately lead to Cecilia getting more dirt on Nancy in order to get the other fired.

How dare Cecilia treat Nancy the way she just had. Didn’t the manager realize how valuable Nancy was to their livelihood? Nancy easily brought in $3000 a month in revenue and there was no way that Cecilia would just can her without taking that into consideration. She had a revelation and he — whose name was E. Coli — took full notice of this word. It grabbed his attention hook, line and sinker. Nancy was valuable, an asset to the company even. She was being used and people thought that she was weak, the nice one even.

Not anymore. Nancy had had enough and decided to stand up for herself. She marched right up to Cecilia and gave the manager a piece of her mind. The manager sat there dumbfounded that the weak one was telling her like it is. You could smell the anxiety in the air like the finest perfume. Nancy continued on her tirade before marching away, satisfied in the fact that she’d shattered her weaker image.

He wanted to hear the story now and she didn’t wish to tell anymore of it. More awful jokes were cracked at her expense and she was getting to her breaking point. It didn’t matter how much meaning she wanted to find in their relationship. At the end of the day, her partner was still an insensitive asshole who only cared about himself. He laughed at people who cried and gave no regard to their feelings and she had had enough of it. She had no desire to be with that kind of person any longer.

“That’s why you love me, Nancy.”

“Love you?” she said with a sarcastic snort. “Baby. That’s just the way it was…”

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