I have a book called Complete the Story and it has 150 interesting writing prompts. I recommend it to anyone who often faces writer’s block. I am going to try to do one a day. This is day 22, and prompt #97 in the book. I didn’t really have a challenge today.
Prompt: On the eve of her twenty-fourth birthday, Jane was still unmarried. Every Thursday her parents invited a suitable man to dinner, their eyes filled with desperation, but after years of this parade, the options were dwindling. Jane went about her life and studies as if she had no idea her parents were trying to marry her off. She hoped…
On the eve of her twenty-fourth birthday, Jane was still unmarried. Every Thursday her parents invited a suitable man to dinner, their eyes filled with desperation, but after years of this parade, the options were dwindling. Jane went about her life and studies as if she had no idea her parents were trying to marry her off. She hoped that someday, they would simply accept that she had no interest in a love life.
This particular Thursday, it was a short man with dark brown hair. Jane’s parents had told her that he wasn’t “their preferable choice,” but she thought he looked all right. Not that she cared.
He introduced himself more casually than the other men had. “Hi, Jane,” he said. “I’m Indigo.”
“Hi,” Jane muttered. Her mother looked at her sternly and she said louder, “Hello, Indigo.”
“So, what sorts of things are you into?” he asked later, when they were all sitting down and eating politely. Well, her parents were, at least.
Jane sighed and absentmindedly poked at her pasta with her fork. “I’m a physicist. Well, I’m going to be. I didn’t finish college yet because my parents…prioritized.” She glared at them.
Indigo smiled. “Me too! And my parents really want me to find someone, too,” he added as his face fell a bit.
Her parents both left to bring the side dishes, and Jane looked at him intently. Indigo was the first of her parents’ selection who was actually interesting. “You don’t want to be here either, do you?” she asked him, choosing her words carefully.
Indigo sighed and shook his head. “My parent’s just won’t accept the fact that I–“
“Don’t want to get married,” they said in unison, and laughed.
At this moment, Jane’s parents came back to the table each carrying a large plate. Her mother smiled. “Glad to see you two are getting along.” Jane rolled her eyes, knowing her mother would never scold her in front of a man she hoped Jane would marry.
Later, during dessert, Indigo stood up. “Excuse me,” he said nicely and exited to the bathroom.
Jane’s parents both looked at her, waiting for an answer. When she didn’t give one, her father asked, “So. Do you think he’ll be ‘the one’? You seem to really like him, and you’ve never liked one of our selections.”
Jane heard Indigo coming back, so she pretended to think, waiting for him to hear her response. “No,” she said simply with a sweet smile when he stepped in. “I do not want to marry him.” Indigo said nothing, but listened to this conversation with a bit of an amused face.
Her mother threw up her arms and said, “We cannot please you, Jane. We have tried every Thursday for years and years. I cannot believe you. We offered many good men and you turned them all down. Since clearly you’re someone who will never find a true love, you cannot be so picky.”
“Yes,” her father joked, knowing this was a serious moment but not wanting to miss the opportunity. “It’s how I ended up with your mother.” Her mother glared at him so hard it seemed as if she was going to drill holes with her eyes.
“You finally find someone you actually like,” she continued, gesturing toward Indigo, “and you won’t even accept him!”
“I’ve told you, Mother. I don’t want to get married!” Jane snapped.
Her mother lightly pinched her nose bridge. “Fine then. Fine. Don’t get married. But don’t expect to come running to me for help when you suddenly cannot find a husband.”
Jane rolled her eyes again. That was never going to happen and the both of them knew it. After that conversation, the birthday eve dinner ended solemnly and briskly. But although Jane and Indigo didn’t want to get married, that wasn’t the last they saw of each other. Today, they are both successful physicists who get to work together, and they have been friends for seven years, since that night when they met.