Perhaps the story did not end with the slam of a door and a parting of ways. Certainly–as with that other famous play–the audience thought that was that. They discussed the denouement. Then, they exited the theater and quickly forgot about it.
But stories always go on, even if we can’t see behind the curtain; even if what passes for drama is mundane or boring and closer to farce. Three kids in six years for him and a move to the suburbs (but not too far away); a steady corporate rise for her.
They connected again on social media. She saw photos of his children playing in their grandfather’s dentist office. There were not many shots of him and his wife together. He saw her photographed at business functions and vacationing in exotic locales. No steady partner in sight.
“I’m in New York for a conference. Do you want to get a drink and catch up?” He messaged her.
The audience thought, this time they will marry. And they did, moving back to their hometown, where he could be close to his children.
But they couldn’t go back to their old roles. Their characters had moved on from ingenue and young hero. Within three months, there were more slammed doors. And when she was offered a new job in another city, she took it and left.
A bit of flash fiction. Claudia McGill challenged me to write a sequel to her story-poem. Yeah, so the sequel is longer than the first part. 😏 Read hers first here.
Excellent take on the picture
The picture was an afterthought, but thank you. 😀
An excellent afterthought, then 🙂
Wow, you are something else as a storyteller. I love what you came up with here. Illusions should sometimes stay illusions (delusions, they have now become?) That touch of the slammed doors appealed to me. Arguments, and also…doors closed forcefully that will stay shut.
Thank you so much, Claudia! I’m so pleased you like it. I was playing with theater to go with your poem–so Ibsen’s The Dollhouse.
It fits you, I think, you so often mention seeing a play or watching a movie. And I remember The Dollhouse from high school, though never have seen it on stage.
We saw The Dollhouse at the Arden in Philadelphia a few years ago, and then the following season, they did a sequel.
Wait. There is a sequel? (I know I am really ignorant on this kind of thing).
Not a sequel by Ibsen. Sorry. I wasn’t clear. It’s one that was written in 2017. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/A_Doll%27s_House,_Part_2
Oh good. I was an English major in college and I suddenly thought – I’m really losing my grip if I forgot that.
So was it any good? Reading the summary it sounds kind of like it was modern? Meant to be? I realize I’m getting too far into the weeds on this, but it is interesting…
It was good–not great, but interesting. If I remember, maybe the language was more modern, but I think the characters were still in period-ish clothing? It’s definitely not set in contemporary times because then there would problems that Nora faced would not really be an issue.
You know, sometimes I look back over my own life, which sometimes seems like one million years since I was a kid or whatever in terms of how much things have changed. Never mind people who are inhabiting a very far back reality, time wise. A different planet, a different — universe.
Yes, since we were young, it seems change has come very quickly in technology and science–more so, perhaps than in previous centuries, where day-to-day life went on much the same in many place, no matter what was going on in the outside world. Phones, for example.
I’m not sure I am up to the pace.
Oh man…brutal…such a powerful ending! Nicely done, Merril!
Thank you very much, Jill!
I connected it to Claudia’s story right away. I did not see them getting back together, but felt they both had more chapters to write as well. I definitely do not long for any of my broken relationships! (K)
Thank you, Kerfe. I’m so pleased you saw the connection to Claudia’s story. As for your own relationships–it’s good you know what you want!
Well at least what I don’t want. Plenty of experience there.
Something are not meant to be, no matter when. Nice spin on Claudia’s poem.
Thank you. Yes, you’re right.
And in my own parents’ case–sometimes they’re meant to be, but sometimes it just doesn’t quite work out.
A very real appeal, Merril!
I was suspended in déjà vu until you mentioned your inspiration. I enjoy how you expand the story and reflect on the continuing life of plays after the curtain falls (or perhaps before the curtain falls 😉
Well done! A good sequel to Claudia’s poem. I like how you end it with her leaving for a new job. In Claudia’s poem, I suspected that it was the woman’s desire for independence (leaving for a better job) that kept the couple from marrying. It was presented first while he (perhaps) settled for the life he thought he was supposed to have (kids and living in the suburb). A twist in a way since we still often think of the man as the one leaving for the better job and the woman left behind to have kids with someone else. And the end in your story, where she again leaves for a job. Maybe she loves him but just doesn’t love the life he wants her to lead.
Thank you, Marie. I truly appreciate your close reading of both Claudia’s poem and my sequel. I suppose it is a twist in a way, although I didn’t really think of that way–I was just going with Claudia’s story. And I also thought a bit about my own parents who married each other, divorced, and then remarried (briefly)–my mom always worked outside the home from the time I was little, though she didn’t when my two older siblings were very young.