This is an exercise I did for my fiction writing class. I believe the prompt was something along the lines of: write a short piece about two people in an argument without relying on dialogue.
She called last night, actually this morning, half past one, screaming and crying, probably drunk, demanding that I give back that damn basket. I had to hang up on her, turn off the phone, I wouldn’t get sleep otherwise. She wants that basket and won’t let it drop until she has it, I know her.
It’s not like I took it from her, she gave it to me, she was happy to give it to me. I tell you I regret that day, the day I tried carrying ten bags of groceries and a gallon of milk home that day on my bicycle handlebars. If she hadn’t have come riding by at just that second, she wouldn’t have been able to offer me that brown and purple woven basket of hers.
Of course I took it; she was cute and seemed reasonable not crazy at the time. Gave her my number too, told her to call so she could get the basket back. At the time it seemed like a good plan. A month later she was living at my place: sleeping in my bed, watching my TV, eating my food, using my toilet. It was cool, the sex was pretty good and we liked a lot of the same stuff on TV too. For awhile, playing house was fun.
But man, it turned weird real quick. Suddenly she’s thinking about moving in permanent, wanting me to meet her parents, talking about taking our relationship to the next level. Whoa, I said, hold on there babe, let’s put the brakes on all this. Man, did she ever freak out on me. What the hell, there’s no room for being rational with that girl.
So now she wants the basket back, it’s her new thing, her new way to ruin my day. She could’ve taken it back with her easy when she left and took the rest of her shit out of my place. But no, she just left it there where it was, where it had been sitting for months, right next to the closet underneath where we used to hang our bikes. It’s not like I was hiding it. She was always so strange about that thing too. I would catch her staring at it, smiling when she turned to look at me. I didn’t even use it after that one time. The only reason I didn’t have my backpack with me the day the two of us met was because I killed the thing the day before when I tried carrying home that fifty pound weight in it.
She’s been riding past my building at least twice a day for the last week, just staring straight into my window – now she’s banding on the door. I can tell this is going to be a long night. She’s screaming at me now, cussing me out. I tell her, take the damn thing, its right there, just fucking take it. No, that’s not good enough. I have to give it to her, like, take it in my goddamn hands and put it in hers. I tell her she’s a crazy bitch, I tell her she can go to hell and get the fuck out of my apartment. She slaps me as hard as she ever has and just starts sobbing after.
It’s just a basket. I’m sure she wants to do something stupid like burn it. I picture her wearing ceremonial robes and standing over a fire pit in a field somewhere at night, throwing the basket, like a sacrifice, onto the flames. You might think that sounds like a weird thing to think but you don’t know her. Why she needs to me to hand it to her I’ll never know, some female power trip no doubt. I’ll throw the damn thing out as soon as she leaves, if she wants to dig it out of the dumpster then that’s her own business.