Writing a Different Kind of Destiny
She looked into his eyes and knew. Even though they were clouded with pain, she recognized everything in them. She recognized them for the first time. She understood that they belonged together….
"Why is this so hard?!" the writer screamed as she threw her notebook across the room. She let it sit in the middle of her clean floor for a few minutes before walking over and picking it up. This assignment was supposed to be fun and a challenge. A fun challenge. The idea to make something realistic that was so far-fetched and so foreign was a great brainstorm by her publishing house. Who cared if it was a little gimmicky? If it worked, you would have some amazing stories.
And, she had gotten pieces of this story to work. She turned the magical girl and her friends into spies. She even found a way to work in a "talking" cat – technology was a wonderful thing and almost anything was possible for cell phones now. It was just the love story part that was giving her fits.
She was surprised that the romance was the part that she was finding difficult to write. Sure, most of her best-sellers were not listed as romances. Her novels tended to focus on other things besides the guy/girl getting the girl/guy and all of the various versions of that. Even though she was a romantic in high school and still was, even given whom she had married, she didn't write romance in general. She could, but she just found families, friends, and tough moral choices much more interesting.
Yet, making this romance work was near impossible. It wasn't that her male character was ten years older than her heroine, or that her heroine hadn't even finished college. It wasn't that romance couldn't happen in the setting she had made. People fall in love all the time in all the work places in the world. Surely the Canadian Security Intelligence Service wasn't exempt from that. But something else was…off. What was it?!
His key in the door was actually a relief. He could help her stage this scene and figure out what was wrong. He wouldn't want to, but that hadn't stopped her from roping him in to help her before. She moved quickly to be at the door when it opened.
Her husband opened the door and stepped through. Whatever he was going to say died on his lips as he took her in. Hair that clearly showed her frustration. A T-shirt that said "Hockey Widow" and her worn penguin pajama bottoms. This was her writing uniform, and he knew it.
"Am I even allowed to refuse the request that is coming?" he asked in a resigned voice.
She merely raised an eyebrow.
"Okay. So that means no. So, what do you want me to do?"
"After you close the door? I need you help me stage something."
Her husband closed the door and looked at her. "I'm not lucky enough for this thing to be a sex scene, am I?"
She growled at that, "You know I don't write smut."
"I know," he conceded. "But you ever wanted to include a hot scene – "
"Get your head out of the gutter and come over her and help me," she countered as she walked into the living room.
Her husband followed her, adding, "But you know how much my head loves the gutter."
"So much so that you try to recreate it in your living spaces, I know."
"Don't forget, I saw your room when you were a teenager."
Her husband huffed, "My teen years shouldn't be held against me."
"Your side of the room would still look like that if I wasn't around. Don't forget, I've seen your office as well."
"Okay, am I helping you figure out something or is this another lecture about how being a neat freak is a good thing?"
She just narrowed her eyes and threw her notebook at him. It was telling that her husband knew that she was showing her displeasure at his comment AND directing him to read the scene that was giving her trouble.
"'She looked into his eyes and knew'?...'She understood that they belong together'?! What the fuck-"
"Language," she interrupted to admonish him.
"But seriously, what the hell? I mean, I know you read that Twi-whatever mess-"
"Yeah, uh-uh. Don't care. My point is I knew you read that stuff when you were crazier in your high school years. I didn't think you wrote it."
"I don't!" she insisted, "But this is a part of the story I have to keep. These two have to end up together."
Her husband flipped to the beginning and read the character descriptions. "Why would these two people end up together? How did they even meet?"
"The usual way."
"At a wedding?" her husband smirked.
"No," she raised her eyebrow briefly. "At work."
"But what does she see in him? Or he in her?"
"She is blonde," she felt the need to point out.
"Uh-uh. Guys only lose their minds over and marry brunettes. No blonde ever has that much power."
"Nice. Slipping in some kissing up to get out of helping me?"
"Hey, it's not kissing up if it is true…and not having to read any more of Twi Mess Lite is a good thing."
She sighed as she collapsed onto the couch. "I know, I know. I don't like the scene either. But they have to get together."
"Why?" her husband asked as he flipped through the other things she had written for the story in her notebook.
"Because they are destined to be together," she shared.
That caused her husband to look up from what he was reading and stare at her. "That is a total crock of shit."
"People use that excuse when they want to justify something stupid and leave themselves an out when they want to jump ship later. It's one of those stupid Hallmark lies-"
"It's not a Hallmark creation. It's a religious idea too. There is the Calvinist idea of predestination, that the saved are destined to be saved and the damned, damned. There is the idea of fate as it shows up in some Eastern religions and cultures. One of those TV evangelists even said that he doesn't believe in coincidences because everything falls into the 'Greater Plan,'-"
"First, I can't believe that you are using one of those TV con artists to make a point-"
"And, second, I can't believe you turned this into a mini-lecture on the history and denotation of a word! No, wait. I forgot who I was talking to. I can believe you would turn this into a lecture."
"Denotation?" his wife just asked with a smile.
"I am university educated, you know," he insisted.
"Since I was there, yes I do," she laughed. "And it's 'to whom I was talking,'."
"You just couldn't let that go," her husband shook his head as he returned to reading.
Silence fell for a few minutes as he read and she continued to rack her brain for a way to make this "destiny" thing work. It was his laughter that startled her to the present.
"Now this? This makes sense," he got out around his laughter.
"What?" she jumped up and rushed over to him. "What makes sense?"
"This," he smiled as he turned the page to something that she had written out but wasn't sure if she should include. "These two strike me as the type who would argue anything."
"Why?" she asked her husband.
"Because I doubt she would defer to well-reasoned authority without a fight."
"Hey!" she found herself object. "He is not always well-reasoned authority. He's too cold, too by-the-book, and too dismissive of woman."
"Wow," her husband smirked in her direction. "You believe someone can be too by-the-book?! My work here is done."
"Idiot," she replied as she hit him in the arm. She didn't hit him hard, however, because there was some affection in her insult. "I said too by-the-book. I didn't advocate that the book be ignored entirely. The book can be very important!"
Her husband smiled and leaned over to kiss her briefly. As he returned to what he was reading, he added, "That just means that you still need me."
She snorted and pushed him away a bit. Walking back to the couch, she sat again. "So, there is no way to save this without going down the scary Twilight road?"
"I wouldn't say that," he countered. "I mean, movies throw hero and heroine together all the time and sometimes it's not crap."
"Okay, mister director," the writer swung her gaze to her husband. "How to I fix it?"
"Ah-ah. You didn't say please."
"I could say, 'Now!' instead."
"Okay," he said. "Start with this," he suggested as he handed her notebook back to her.
This was the argument scene that had gotten him to laugh earlier. "This?" she asked standing. "How does starting with an argument help?"
"Well, build their relationship from there. You have two people, set in their outlooks on life, running head first into each other. At first, they probably argue about everything. Then they only argue about so called 'important' things, with genuine caring and concern creeping in here and there. Then, much later they have a huge blow up about one of them doing something stupid that risks his/her safety and one or both of them clue into how they feel. Just don't go and kill one of them off at that point. That would be tacky."
"Arguing themselves into a relationship?" she laughed at her summary of her husband's point. "What makes you think that will work?"
"It's how I got my wife," Derek smiled as he kissed her. Casey focused on him for a few wonderful moments before he pulled back. "Now," Derek asked as he laid his forehead on hers, "did you get so annoyed with this project that you indulged in some cooking avoidance?"
Casey laughed. Her husband's love of food seemed to be a constant. "There is a chicken bake, a squash casserole, and a triple chocolate cake all in the fridge."
"I knew there was a reason I wade into the crazy for you," Derek smiled and kissed her again before Casey could object to his phrasing. It was when Casey felt herself being lifted off of her feet that she pulled back and stared at him.
Derek just set her down on the couch and handed her notebook and pencil like that was normal. "Why don't you work some more on that idea? I'll go eat. And by the time I have all of my energy back, I'll stage a hot scene with you." He laughed. "It should inspire you. I'm inspired at least," Derek conceded as he winked.
For some reason, the devil in Casey had to look down below his belt. That kept her husband laughing. "It appears you have a dirty mind, too."
"Over-exposure to you, probably. It's been a decade and a half of having you in my space," Casey laughed in reply.
"Well, I'll go energize up. Just hold onto all of those dirty thoughts," Derek begged as he walked to the kitchen.
Casey smiled as she shook her head. Then she looked back at her notes. Arguing themselves into love. Some might call that a form of destiny, in a way. Not everyone can argue their relationships into a completely different form, when you thought about it. She wouldn't mention that to her husband. But if it worked, she'd have to dedicate the book to Derek…again. And she'd owe Edwin another twenty-five dollars.
the end –
This was originally a piece for a writing challenge on Livejournal. I purposely didn't reveal/confirm the husband and wife in this piece until the end. The challenge Casey was facing was to make the anime series Sailor Moon into a believe able novel.
Also, I am still working on Unblended. I also have a few other stories in the works that I hope to be able to premiere soon. Thank you for reading and I love feedback.