Thursday, March 31, 2016

The Original of Cassandra

Brian falls for his new coworker, Cassandra, who is engaged. While Cassandra is initially drawn to Brian, she starts to worry about her life if she leaves her fiance.

Like a lot of writers, I mine my life for ideas and a lot of times, I reuse something several times but put a different spin on it. The new issue of Tauy Creek Quarterly does just that. While I was packing for moving to Topeka, I found a book I had made that reproduced notes that were passed between me and this girl I dated who was already in a relationship. I made a copy for myself and gifted one to her. I kept that book for 11 years and, after memorizing some of the notes so I could write "The Original of Cassandra", I finally threw it away. I wondered if she kept the book I gave her but then figured that she definitely didn't.

I am also making this story the last story I'm taking from my life. I think this is a good one to go out on. I took the title from Vladimir Nabakov's unfinished final novel The Original of Laura. You can purchase it for your Amazon Kindle for only 99 cents.

Continue below for a brief excerpt:

The next day when Cassandra sat down at her cubicle, I bypassed our usual mode of communication and just stood over the cubicle wall. “I need to talk to you. Can you go into break?”

“I just got here. I should take at least one phone call, Brian.”

“This is important, Cassandra. I need to talk to you.”

Cassandra sighed angrily and dialed herself into break. I took her arm and I pulled her outside. “Okay, last night I went to a party at Ericka and Radha’s. I’ve known Radha since college and we’ve always had a thing for each other,” I began.

“Brian, I…” she sighed.

“Hear me out. So last night we were on the couch and I was about to leave when we started making out and she asked me to stay so we could, you know.”

“Brian, I’m sorry that we’re not together but I don’t want to hear about the other girls you sleep with,” Cassandra sniffled and started to walk away but I grabbed her arm and stopped her.

“But I didn’t. I’ve wanted to for years but I didn’t. You know why? Because I love you, Cassandra. I love you so much,” I said as I pulled her close to me. I then bent down and lightly swiped my lips along hers. I held the back of her head and pressed our lips together. We held each other tightly, lost in each other.