A Step Back & No Dessert

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If you've ever wanted to advise a writer about what a character should do or say or tell her what should happen next, here's you chance. This is an interactive story where your comments control what happens next.
An interactive story where your comments determine what happens next. This is Scene 2 in the series. You can catch up here.

You want to know the detail I remember most vividly? It’s not me pointing the gun. It’s not Ryan slumping backwards into the red velvet booth cushions. No. It’s the look on our server’s face. That’s what I remember. Crazy, right? Maybe you’ll understand when I explain that I’m talking about the look on her face when Ryan asked me the question. That, and the almost subtle step back she took. Like she knew. It’s like everyone but Ryan knew what would happen next. Maybe it’s because Diane had waited on us just about every time we dined at Anthony’s Trattoria, and, well, she’s also Ryan’s ex-fiancée. So, you know, she knows him. Probably better than me in many ways.

photo credit: Laura Iancu on Pixabay

Anyway. There she stood at our table, waiting for Ryan to stop talking or at least a pause where she could interrupt him so she could see if we wanted anything else. And I was really looking forward to their pot au chocolate. It is the one non-Italian item on their menu, and for good reason. Think melt-in-your-mouth decadence as the warm chocolate mixture spreads over your tastebuds. It’s beyond divine. So, like I said, I was fully anticipating my decadent dessert, and Diane stood, pen poised over her order pad. Every time we’ve come in there, I’ve ended the night with a pot au chocolate and a glass of red wine – the perfect pairing. So, she knew. And I knew. 

If only Ryan had known.

If only Ryan had known to stop talking. I mean, he should have known I couldn’t wait for dessert. In fact, he should have stopped talking and ordered my dessert and wine for me. But, instead, he kept on with the inane details of the story he’d been telling for almost fifteen minutes. Don’t get me wrong. I love listening, well, I loved listening to his stories. But I’d heard this one at least three times already, and what I really wanted to hear was, “And, of course, she needs her pot au chocolate and a glass of the finest old vine Zinfandel on your menu,” which is how I’d ordered my dessert every time we’d been to Anthony’s.

But, no. He rambled on with a story I’d heard already (and Diane had probably heard, too), and ended with that damned question.

I know, I know. You’re wondering what question could possibly cause a rational person on a night out to suddenly lose her mind and kill her date. Well, here it is —

Actually, before I tell you that, I should probably tell you how Ryan and I met, so you understand the context of the question. And that context is intricately entwined with the opening night of the State Fair.

This scene was based on these comments:
Even our server knew it was wrong. Standing there, waiting patiently for Ryan to pay attention and give his order, her face when those words came out of his mouth. Wow.
We need to know Ryan’s question!With a ‘but you’d better know how I first met Ryan’ first, just to spin out the suspense.

So, what happens next? You tell me. And then come back next Tuesday to read how your suggestion played out in my writing.

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