What is it about getting the last word? Sometimes people don’t care if they are right or wrong, or how much they hurt each other or themselves. Ending a conversation, or hurtful action, on a dismissive note is all they need. That’s why getting the last word is so important: it reinforces who you are, that you matter, and that your vision of the world is the true one. (To hell with someone else!)
Such is the case with the two characters, young professionals Danny and Meredith, in the second story of my first collection of three stories, Trio 1, The Man in the Gray Tie and Other Crimes. As the title suggests, who do you believe? It’s a ‘he said, she said’ situation. But doesn’t the person with the last word often get to re-write what happened? Isn’t history written by the victors, and the quieter, smaller voice, gets erased?
Danny and Meredith, old school fiends who lost touch during ‘the university years,’ meet up for a drink in a London pub. They were never romantically linked, but outside of the friendship circles of their younger days, dressed formally and working, and with a little alcohol in their bellies, perhaps now is good as time as ever. But do sparks fly, or signals get misread? Are they being friendly, too friendly, or just plain abusive?
And who do you trust? Who encourages whom? Who gets seduced, and who goes along for the ride? Everything looks so much worse in the morning, when explanations are needed, and self-justifications. Social shame can be a powerful force, not to mention having to text with the same person the morning after about the night before. Who wants that?
To see how far Danny and Meredith go in the battle of the sexes (and of whose story is to be believed), my website has the first page of “(He) Said, (She) Said.”
More importantly, will they talk again after the fact?