A Ruby Tuesday Turns Blue – A short story

Another piece from the same Intro to Fiction class. This one is shorter than ‘Lost’ and has kinda a bad ending. I feel like about how they met and the actual date will make it a better story.

October 2, 2006
Intro to Fiction Fiction

Assignment #1

A Ruby Tuesday Turns Blue

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It is late in the evening now. The moon is out and the March air is crisp. Dick has just
arrived home from a day in school. It’s Wednesday, and Wednesday is the long day of the week, over twelve hours of sitting down. Sitting in class, sitting in the library, sitting in the car. All of this sitting usually makes Dick tired but not tonight. Tonight, Dick is excited. The previous day Dick had a fabulous date with Kerri, and he was waiting to hear from Kerri that, yes, she too had had a fabulous time and couldn’t wait to meet again. This is what Dick was hoping to hear, because it is what he felt. He didn’t remember the last time an emotional connection had come on so suddenly. There hadn’t been one. If it was possible for a person to know this quickly that they had met the person they wanted to spend the rest of their life with, Dick had done it. Experience told Dick to wait to hear that the feeling was mutual before getting excited and making plans, but sometimes hope makes this impossible.

All day teachers had lectured and classmates had talked but Dick couldn’t hear them. His
concern was ending the day and getting home. And now, finally at home, Dick went immediately to his answering machine. “Yes!” cried Dick (silently of course), for the red light flickered, indicating a new message. Ha!. Dick’s heart thumped like a metronome in time with the flickering light. The message was from Kerri, she wanted Dick to return her call. She had said nothing of the day before, nor did she give any indication as to her feelings. Dick’s mind told him to wonder about this omission, but the sound of her voice went straight from his ears to his heart and hope overruled any doubt. Then Dick thought that perhaps Kern didn’t like talking to machines, many people don’t, and she would rather communicate her thoughts in conversation. He dialed her number, it was on the second ring (“A good sign,” thought Dick, “she was waiting for me to call.”) that the phone answered and he heard her voice.
“Hello.”

“Kerri?” asked Dick, he knew it was her of course. (“Who else would answer her
phone?”) But Dick’s nerves had taken away his confidence. “It’s Dick, from yesterday.” Dick let his voice rise at the end, as if he was asking her if she had remembered him, even though it had been only a day.

“Hi Dick, how was your day?” “Good, how about yours?”

“It was great. Long and tiring, but great.” There was a brief pause, then ” Listen Dick, I’m
glad you called.” She said `I’m glad you called’ like there was any chance he would not call.

She paused again, briefly, but long enough for doubt to cast a shadow over hope. Dick thought “This isn’t the start I had hoped for. The phrase `I’m glad you called’ is usually followed by bad news.”‘ Kerri started up again, . “I am going to be completely honest. I had a great time the other night, but I don’t think I can go out with you again. You’re great and everything but I just don’t think it will work out between us.” Dick’s
heart sunk, hope was gone. Despair was now his emotion! “But why? We had such a great time? Didn’t we? I thought we got along great.” Dick wanted, no needed, to know why.

“I had a good time too. It’s just that I think I need to be with someone closer to my age.”

Dick is eight years older than Kerri. Not along time, but Dick’s and Kerri’s ages were in two separate decades, making the difference seem greater than it really is.

“What do you mean by that?” Dick responded. “You knew how old I was before we even went out.”
“I know, but it was what you said about being in Louisville before I was born, that got me
thinking that you are almost ten years older than I am. And that is more than I am comfortable with.”

So that was it, Dick thought. Over coffee Kerri mentioned that she had once lived in Louisville. Dick brought up that he had only been in Louisville once, when his family visited his uncle.

“But Kerri, when I said `Wow! I was in Louisville before you were born’ I was making a
joke. I was like four years old at the time. It’s not like I was there when I was a teenager. You can’t count that. All I can remember about being there was it being dark, and watching my uncle and his platoon mates running around in their underwear.” Dick’s uncle was in basic training and his platoon had put on a show for their visiting relatives. One stunt involved the soldiers stripping down to their underwear, piling their clothes, and then racing to see who could find their clothes and get dressed the quickest. It was funny, watching this group of fifty or sixty guys running around in various stages of undress. Roars of laughter could be heard every time one of the guys put on someone else’s clothes, only to find them ill fitting, then have to take them back off and start over.

“I know that but, I’m not thirty yet, and I don’t think I want to be with a guy who is pushing forty.”

“Pushing forty? What does that mean? I won’t be forty for three years yet. And you’ll turn
thirty before I turn thirty-eight, so we’re actually closer to being seven years apart, not eight.”

“That’s not the point.”

Dick was blaming himself for this situation. He was angry at himself for creating it. He
mind was racing, thoughts flew through it, only now he was thinking out loud instead of to himself. “I knew it. I always something stupid, my mouth always gets me into trouble. Why did I have to put it that way. I can never just shut-up. What if I hadn’t said that. Would you have even thought about our age?”

 

“It was nothing that you said. I would of thought of it anyway. ”
Age difference is something that can be overcome but not changed.”

Dick thought that maybe this was a smoke screen, hiding the truth. Dick probed. “Are you sure it wasn’t because my hair is too long? I’ve been too busy to get it cut.”

“It’s not your hair.”
“Well, is it because Ruby and Blue didn’t get along?” Dick and Kerri had a Must Love
Dogs type of date, bringing their dogs to Ann Morrison park and going on a bike. Kerri’s dog Ruby was suspicious of new dogs and many times during the hike had tried to attack Dick’s dog Blue.

“Well, even our dog’s ages’ are ten years apart. But it’s not that. It’s nothing that you said or did, or the way your hair looked. Or anything else. You’re just too old for me. That’s all.”

Dick was thinking to himself this time, `There, she had said it. I’m too old.’

 

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