March Madness - The Crumpled Letter Part Four

in #marchmadnesslast year (edited)



This is the next instalment of The Crumpled Letter for March Madness with Freewrite House. You can read previous instalments by clicking the links below.

Part One
Part Two
Part Three

As Deirdre put down the phone, her brow wrinkled as she thought about her friend. Although, the conversation had been one of optimism, Deirdre couldn’t help worrying that this new bubble of positivity in Doris was going to be short-lived. She had seen first-hand the devastation Doris had been experiencing. For the past three weeks, Doris had been holed up in her house and wouldn’t accept any outside help. It was putting a terrible strain on her daughter, Rebecca.

Deirdre understood though, she couldn’t imagine how she’d feel if Michael up and left her after all these years together. It had come out of the blue, or so it seemed. She had a feeling Michael may have known something, but then Bill and he had been friends since their Uni. days. That was one thing she both admired and disliked about Michael, he was loyal to a fault. If Bill had shared anything about what was going on with him, Michael wouldn’t tell a soul. Not even her.

As if Michael had heard her thoughts, he called from the living room, “Who was that, Dee?” she walked into the living room where he sat watching something on the Discovery Channel. “You were on the phone for ages.” He said looking up at her. “Everything alright?”

“It was Doris. I guess everything’s alright. We’re meeting up for lunch tomorrow.” She shrugged. “She actually sounded good, but…well, you know.” She looked at him. “It’s not something you just bounce back from, is it?”

Michael leaned towards the coffee table in front of him and picking up the remote control, pressed pause on his programme. “I guess not. But then, everyone’s different, Dee, and life goes on. Maybe she’s just ready. Anyway, you’re only going for lunch.”

“No, she’s planning on becoming a volunteer and wants to organise a meet up with a few friends. It’s great. But...well...only yesterday she wasn’t answering her phone. I’m just concerned, I guess. I don’t want to see her go downhill again. You know?” She sat down next to him. “I suppose, I’m just not sure how things can have changed so quickly.”

“Quickly! They’ve been going through this divorce for months, Dee.” He laughed. “I know, in the scheme of things that’s not a great deal of time. But, well, Doris must have been processing everything throughout that time. And volunteering? That sounds great. What sort of volunteering?”

“Oh, she didn’t say. She said she had to leave something for us to talk about tomorrow,” she smiled. “And she had other calls to make. Like I said, she wants to get a group of us together. She said she’d written down loads of ideas, and well, she’d share them with me tomorrow over lunch. She suggested Daphne’s in Bayham Street. It was like she hadn’t been shut away for the last three weeks ignoring everyone.” She finished.

“Ah, I get it.” Michael looked at her. “You’ve been worrying about her and now she seems to be perfectly fine, without your help.”

“Oh! Thanks!’ She said slapping his upper arm. “ No. I’m just, well, I’m still worried. I don’t know. I can’t explain it.” She breathed. “I guess, I’ll just have to see how she is tomorrow.” And with that she slumped back into the chair, losing herself to her thoughts.

If you want to read some other March Madness writers and support them too, check them out below.


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Aha, this is contemporary, after all - "watching something on the Discovery Channel." I love Michael and his insight that maybe Deirdre is anxious about not being needed as much once Doris heads onto the path to recovery. And that even if Michael did know something, he'd never betray Bill's confidence, not even to his own wife. This guy is a keeper. I hope you won't let him morph into a bad guy. :) And who doesn't need a good friend like Deirdre? I love her!

I'm thinking, Deirdre's role will become more defined as the story takes shape and that she is more in need of support than Doris. They just don't know that yet.

And I agree, I want to keep Michael as a good guy. I'm not above making Bill likeable too. But that's not likely for a while yet. Lol!

I love the idea of the shift: Deirdre enjoyed playing the wise, happy wife, who has her act together, who has the marvelous Michael. (And I'm so glad you have no intention of dethroning Michael.) Not until Doris is shattered and broken, then busy rebuilding herself, does Deirdre realize the role she'd been playing for years. She might even experience a crisis of wondering if she's happy in her role of wife to this good husband. Doris would see her through it and show her that Deirdre's happiness is with Michael, and that's good, but if, heaven forbid, she were to lose Michael (death, divorce, whatever), she would be able to move on, because that's what people do. Shut down and give up or MOVE FORWARD.
I also like the idea that Bill is just a regular guy, kinda selfish and not able to honor his "until death us do part" wedding vows, but this does not make him a villain. He is a product of the society he grew up in. Most men are a lot like Bill. He's not evil; he's just not epic, heroic, committed, loyal.
And that's the sad thing: the divorce rate is 50% or so, indicating a lack of fidelity and determination, persistence and long-term effort. So easy to give up and walk away. {But you can keep the house. It's the least I can do, after discarding you like an old rug.}
Now I'm eager to see how Deirdre comes to see that Doris wasn't always the dependent one in their long friendship; when Doris stops depending on Deirdre, it is in itself like a little divorce. The daily phone calls of Doris needing to be cheered up or affirmed -- Doris is cheerful these days; Doris is transformed, liberated; she's the one bursting with good news and fun stories, and Deirdre is the one who by contrast is stuck in the rut of a happy marriage. (A good place to be "stuck," but even a happy wife may need to be "liberated" from her usual roles.)
And here is the beauty of it: this doesn't require 1600 words a day to convey. This can be as long or as short as the story requires.
Daughters says Camut's "The Stranger" is the perfect length for a book. Short. You don't need thousands of words if you have that gift of a poet to select just the right words and let them do the work. :)

I’m convinced. 😉.

And please thank your daughter on my behalf. I’m touched that you not only shared my story but that you have both got so involved with it. It is simply amazing to me.

She just said "Awww"to that. Earlier, when her dad/my husband came home, she was telling him about the 66-yr-old wife discarded like an old rug for a 40-something woman who's sprinted ahead to the finish line with her gold medallion (her husband). I was impressed that Mariel remembered so many details. Waking up in sunshine. That's high tribute indeed if you made an impression on my daughter!

Ah to be needed... or not... hmmmm
We shall wait for tomorrow :)

Indeed! I’m in the same boat wondering what will happen. Lol!

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Thank you @creativecrypto for your kind words.