May 3, 2021
This prompt comes from thinking about point of view and you could use it to write the whole story in two parts.
For the first part create a character who does something that you did during that week: e.g. go to the grocery store and you buy oranges. now. Now write about it in the third-person perspective and fictionalize it.
In the second part move your story 10 years into the future. Change perspective to make it a first person perspective. And it turns out that that non-momentous moment from your life (e.g. going to the super supermarket and buying oranges) ended up being extremely important to this character.
Don't forget to include how the world has changed from 10 years ago to now and how the character's world has changed, how they think of the world, and how they move through the world differently.
When she went looking for her car keys that morning, she found a note instead. Sorry, I was running late, it said, in Veronica's hurried handwriting. Not today, Rosa thought as the sun shone brightly through the window. She had saved just enough money to get that second-hand half-beatdown Corolla so that she wouldn't have to wait for the bus under San Antonio's scorching heat. And, just like that, her little sister had felt entitled to it. Not out of character for her, though. Ever since she was a little girl she would take whatever she needed from others just to make her life easier. After sighing briefly, Rosa realized that she needed to get ready if she didn't want to be late.
The bus stop was less than a block away from her house—when they had rented the place, that had been one of the dealbreakers. Still, the weather was warm and humid, and she could feel her t-shirt clinging to her skin as her toes stuck to each other with sweat. She had barely made it to the bench when she saw the bus coming her way. Perfect timing, she thought, and it was a relief knowing that she would make it to class on time.
He left early in the morning, after making coffee like he usually does when he spends the night. It was unexpected that he stayed yesterday, though, since he usually only stays the second Thursday of every month, and then every other Wednesday. But yesterday was my birthday and, after he cooked us dinner, he thought he might as well spend the night.
As I drink the coffee he left for me, alone in our apartment, I start thinking, like I use to from time to time, what ever happened that things ended up this way. Me, the lover of this man. Us, his second family. I like to think that had I not been so stupid and careless, it would've never happened, we would've never met.
That summer day, when Veronica had the great idea of taking my car and I had to rush to the bus stop, I ended up dropping one of my books as I was getting in. A man behind me, a man I hadn't even noticed, dark hair and sunglasses, picked it up and handed it back to me. It was him. I don't believe in love at first sight, still don't, but I do remember his smile, wide and pristine, just being the most beautiful thing I'd ever laid eyes on. He wasn't there to take the bus, though, and when the driver asked him if he was going to pay, he turned to me and asked me to get down and walk to his home with him—he would take me wherever I needed to go.
I didn't hesitate, and I'm well aware that this story could've had a whole different ending. To this day I'm not really sure of what made me trust him the way I did, and there are days when I feel that he didn't deserve all the trust I put in him at all.
But he was single at the time, single but not that much available. He was living with a couple of roommates, all from the same country, Turkey. I had my suspicions already, from his accent as he handed me the book excusing himself, that he wasn't from around here, but that didn't really matter. I didn't make it to class that day, or back home that night. He was honest about the true nature of our relationship only when it was too late and I was already head over heels.
You don't become a woman in the shadows overnight, it happens slowly, without you even realizing it. It takes first understanding you're in love with someone who is in love with you, but who will honor his culture and his parents more than he ever would the woman with whom he sleeps every night. It then takes trying once, twice, three, or even four times, to leave that person, just to realize that your life is incomplete without them, and that you'd rather take whatever little you can get, than to face the idea of living like that. Then, it takes courage, to see him build a life in the public eye, introducing the fiancée his parents' found him to his friends, his coworkers. Watching him post pictures of his engagement, then sleep with him the night before his wedding, knowing that, once he's back from his honeymoon in Puerto Rico, he'll go to the house he bought with her, not to the one he shares with you. Then, it takes patience and learning to share. Waiting for him to come home, and being ready for when he does. Knowing exactly what he likes and what makes him upset, and making sure that you're not busy if he decides to come over. It also takes a lot of determination and commitment, knowing that he needs to be your only one, even if he is the one with a second home—and you're that second home even though you got there first. Then, it also takes not losing hope. Hope that maybe he will think things through, that he will know that his place is with you. It takes empathy in acknowledging that it is hard for him as well, that no matter how hard he tries, he just can't let you go. Then it takes using that as leverage to make him understand that it's not because you're in the shadows that you don't deserve some normalcy in your relationship. That having a child will be good for you, that it'll give you something to do when he's not at home. It takes a lot of resignation, too, like when you have to deliver your baby at the hospital alone because he is on the other side of town, next to his wife who also just gave birth. And as time goes by you understand that it has all taken a lot of effort, mostly from your part, but that, for some reason, as much as it hurts, you are glad that you got to build a life with him, and that, however imperfect that life might be, you wouldn't trade it for anything.