Story A Day May: Day Twenty-One

Here is my response to the prompt:

Begin your story with the line: “Huh!” He said. “I never would have thought that would fit in there

*****

“Huh!” He said. “I never would have thought that would fit in there…”

“You don’t have a very good spatial sense,” she replied.

Duncan hung his head, aware of the truth in her words. He and Marina were standing behind their car, looking at the large quantity of camping equipment that was now tidily ensconced in the hatchback. If it wasn’t for Marina, half of it would still be on driveway.

“Come on,” she continued, “we need to get going. If we don’t leave soon, Josh and Ariel will be waiting for us.”

Duncan wondered if part of his half-hearted attempt at packing the car stemmed from his wish to do anything other than go camping this weekend. Josh made him feel incompetent in virtually every way. And it wasn’t that Duncan was particularly pathetic, he enjoyed hiking and canoeing and all of that. But Josh turned everything into a competition, a competition that he was most likely to win. Over the course of an evening, it was one thing. For a whole weekend, it was quite another.

But Marina and Ariel were close friends and there was no way around it.

He looked up at the sky. “I hope it doesn’t rain this weekend,” he said, indicating the clouds.

“They’re white and fluffy,” she said, “don’t be such a downer. I’m just going to go and pee and then we can go.”

He nodded and she went inside.

Briefly, he considered faking an illness, but that seemed so over the top ridiculous that he immediately dismissed the idea. He was acting like a child. Surely, he was better than this.

Maybe he could have a work emergency. Unlikely, though, that there would be a management emergency.

“Well, come on, then. Let’s get in the car,” Marina said as she emerged from the house and locked the door. “You haven’t forgotten anything, have you?” If there was a note of suspicion in her voice, it was well deserved, Duncan knew. He had been known to ‘forget’ his tooth brush or something similar in order to give himself an excuse for a solitary hike to the camp store to replace it.

He knew, deep down he knew, that he should just tell her how much he did not enjoy these weekends. But something stopped him, a fear, perhaps, that it would be the breaking point in their relationship.

Not, he realized with sudden clarity, that that would be so bad. He had spent so much time and effort appeasing Marina that he now saw that he had lost sight of the point in doing so.

Was this relationship really worth saving? Was this really where he wanted to be?

He paused at the side of the car and looked over at his girlfriend with a new perspective.
It really wasn’t, was it?

“Marina,” he began and she turned to him with a look he knew so well on her face, the beginnings of annoyance.

“About this weekend…”

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