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A dialogue exercise

SSOA emerging writers were this week asked to write a story using dialogue between just two characters to show character development.




Do you love me?

‘Steve, can I ask you a question?’

‘Of course, honey. I hope it’s not too serious. If you want me to get up and make you a cuppa, the answer is yes. I can also reach out to get some tissues.’

‘Sorry, it’s very serious.’

‘Here are the tissues. Deep and meaningful? Does it need to be right now? I'm feeling brainless, so you might not get a coherent answer.’

‘Coherent answer? Your brain is recovering already.’

‘Okay, what’s the question?’

‘Do you love me?’

‘Love is a dangerous word. I can tell you I love your face, your smile, your skin, the feel of your body, the patient way you make love. You make me laugh. I look forward to my sleepovers in your arms. Your friends are great. I like your dad too.’

‘Can you lift yourself a bit? My arm’s dying underneath you.’

‘Let it die. It’s surplus to requirements. We can amputate it later.’

‘Ha, bloody, ha! You know I’m left-handed, so how would I write?’

‘So sorry to get it wrong. If you amputate your right arm, I promise to lie on the other side of the bed.’

‘Okay, anything for you, darling. But you haven’t told me you love me. You say you love my face and body. I’d expect you to say that after you’ve had your wicked way with me, and you’ve seen the goods. I’m happy you like my friends and my dad. But do you love the real me? Can you commit to me?’

‘I think I am falling in love with you more and more, day by day. Our relationship is building, and I want to be close to you. Is that enough?’

‘No. Are you just another man who wants all of me, but without commitment? I thought you might be better.’

‘Hey, be fair, honey. I’m still going through a messy divorce and fighting for custody of the kids.’

‘Yes, I understand. I do admire the way you are committed to your kids. Great father. But now I want you to commit to me.’

‘Why are you bringing this up now?’

‘My period is late, so I got out the pregnancy kit and took the test?’

‘How many stripes?’

‘Two.’

‘Shit!’

‘That’s not what I wanted to hear. I want you to be excited. This’ll be our beautiful baby together. If he’s a boy, he’ll be smart and handsome just like you. If she’s a girl, you’ll see my mini-me.’

‘How could this have happened? You’ve been on the pill to be extra careful.’

‘Sorry, darling. I always wanted a baby. I’m forty so I stopped the pill. I couldn’t tell you. Can you forgive me? Do you love me?’

‘I have news for you, honey! I had a vasectomy two years ago so I’m not the father. There are two liars in this room but I can tell you the truth now. I do not love you!’


Roger Guinery

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