Story Exercise

Write a story in which someone is snooping around in his or her ex-boyfriend/girlfriend’s apartment.
The ex- comes home with his/her best friend and the person has to hide in the closet. Describe what he/she finds there and what happens.
[June 16, 2007]
     Susan woke up to the sun coming through her bedroom window, the brilliant glow almost blinding. She had broken up with her boyfriend, Jake, several weeks ago in an argument she later herself declared to be stupid and juvenile. She had been doing well and not thinking of him most of the time they had been apart. This morning was different, it was Jake’s birthday, and she remembered. She remembered his birthday, and missed him.

     Susan laid in bed until she found a way to appease her emotions. She tossed many ideas around in her head. She thought of things like calling him and trying to be friends, or trying to apologize and maybe salvage the relationship. Both of those options seemed terrifying to Susan, the thought of facing Jake that way made her pull the covers over her head. Susan then had a memory, she remembered one of the last times she had hugged Jake, she remembered the smell of his shirt, a very faint scent of cologne, mixed with a slight vapor of sweat, which she found very pleasing. She began to cry, as suddenly all of her emotions of missing Jake came back to her stronger than they had before.

     Susan finally got out of bed and got dressed. She ate breakfast and headed out of her house. She wondered if Jake would still be asleep or if he would be at the gym working out as he often does in the mornings. Susan decided to walk to Jake’s house instead of driving, to give a little more time for Jake to be awake, and herself a little more time to think about what she was going to say to him. It was a thirty minute walk to Jake’s house, when she arrived, she felt calm, relaxed and prepared to talk to him. She ran up the front steps with a great burst of energy, only to discover that he wasn’t home. Disappointed, Susan turns around to leave, but halfway down the stairs, she remembers that Jake always keeps a spare key to get back into his house somewhere in the yard. Last time she saw him use the spare, it was attached to his basketball goal. She checked the goal, nothing there. She checked under his front mat, nothing there. She checked under the back mat, nothing there. She finally went to the front yard, and sat down under the small oak tree. She sat down and then looked up at the clouds, trying to give herself something to focus on while she waited for Jake. A breeze came through the tree, and she saw something above her head glowing gold in the light, dancing with the wind. It was the key, attached to a string and hanging from one of the lower branches. She tried to reach it, but was too short, she jumped, still too short. She looked at the tree and thought to herself “Jake always did say I needed to be more of an outdoors person”. She thrust herself at the tree and climbed towards the branch. She was clinging to the trunk with one hand and trying to reach the key with the other. She grabbed the key, but then lost her hold on the branch and went flying to the ground with the key in her hand.

     The stairs were calling to her. She looked up to them, picked herself up and headed back to the door. She was a little nervous. She was worried that someone would see her going into his house, something she wasn’t worried about when she was swinging from the branches of Jake’s favorite tree. Susan slowly pressed the key into the door. The key clicked against the chamber of the lock cylinder. Susan’s world fell silent. With a deep breath, she turned the key, until the click of the lock opening rang through her ears like thunder. She opened the door with a hiss and a squeak. She scurried inside and quickly closed the door behind her. She stood there, on the threshold to Jake’s most private world. She looked out across his living room, she was shocked at she saw, it was spotless. Then, she noticed, on the far wall, there was something different. The very thing that she had been so unreasonable about that ended the relationship, a graphic movie poster for “Doom”, was missing. In its place was a poster size copy of a picture that she had taken of a waterfall on a trip she took with Jake to the mountains. She hated the movie poster, but he thought it was “cool”. During the argument, he refused to give it up and sacrifice his personality because she didn’t like it. She asked herself out load “Why would he change that if it meant so much to him?”. She worried that she had somehow ruined his self-esteem, or in some way managed to take away something he cared about. She walked around the room, and then wandered into his bedroom to find that it too was fairly clean, although, not as sterile as the living room.

     The trance of awe that had overcome Susan was broken as she heard the sound of the front door opening. She heard the voice of Jake’s friend Mike “Dude, You have to stop working yourself so hard at the gym, you are going to hurt yourself”, then she heard Jake’s reply “shut up, I have to do something to keep my mind off of Susan”. Mike sighed and agreed that after such an abrupt end, things would be hard for him. Jake then reminded Mike of what he had planned weeks ago, “I was going to propose to her the next day at dinner, and then she lost her mind and went on a rampage about my tastes in things and the way I maintain my home”. Susan was surprised, she didn’t think that Jake was that serious. She heard Jake’s footsteps getting closer to the bedroom, so she dove into Jake’s large walk-in closet that she was so envious of. As she got in and closed the door she thought to herself “what does a guy need with so much closet space?”. She was soon glad that he had so much space. Jake walked into his room with Mike following behind, he headed for his closet, he undressed himself, then opened the closet door and threw his clothes into the basket in the corner. Luckily, Susan was able to hide behind some of Jake’s hanging clothes and the closet was dark. Susan reached for the clothes that Jake had just taken off, she picked up his shirt, and felt the warmth still contained in the shirt from being on Jake’s torso.

     Jake and Mike continued talking, primarily about the plans for Jake’s party in the evening. Jake mentioned that he might be able to have a good time if he goes back to the gym for an afternoon workout to ensure his ability to clear his mind. Susan stood at the door of the closet, and peaked through the grate. Jake was still naked. She had never seen Jake naked before. After previously having a relationship based purely on physical infatuation, she swore she would never allow herself to see a man naked until she was certain she had emotions for him for the right reasons. Susan couldn’t help herself, she admired Jake’s body as he stood there and talked to Mike. She noticed how well defined his chest and abs were, the gentle sloping curves, and the visible tension in his abs from his morning workout. Chills went down her body as she analyzed his body, and realized that she had given up her dream of having both sides of what she wanted, someone to be emotionally attracted to as well as physically. She breathed deeply from Jake’s shirt while she watched him put on his shorts and another t-shirt, both of which he had laid out on the bed before he left. Susan planned to leave Jake’s house as soon as he was gone himself, and intended to wait in the closet until that time. She sat in the closet with Jake’s shirt in her hands. She was reviewing everything that had occurred in her head, focusing so much on the thoughts that she didn’t hear Jake announce that he was going into the closet to get a different pair of shoes. The door to the closet flung open and the light came on. Jake grabbed a pair of shoes from the shelf in the closet, beside where Susan was sitting, he then sat on his bed and put them on. He then looked up and asked, “Susan, are you planning to come to my party tonight?” Susan was stunned. She knew he had seen her, but she didn’t expect him to be so calm. She didn’t say anything, she just sat there stunned. Jake walked over to her, stood in front of her. At six feet and four inches tall, he towered above her as she looked up at him. He reached his hand down to her, she reached up to his hand, and he lifted her from the floor. Jake had a ridiculously happy smile on his face as he looked straight into Susan’s eyes. “Well?” he said, “Are you going or not?”. She responded, “Sure, I’ll be there, that is, if you really want someone who is overly dramatic about neatness” He chuckled and sighed, “Of course I do”.
Note: This is quite obviously the straight version of the story. I will consider re-writing it.