Writing Exercise #2

Prompt: Think of a fight you've had recently. Now rewrite the argument from the other person's point of view.

“So Sarge finally got back to me.”

He didn’t have to see her face to know she was unhappy about it. She huffed theatrically and tossed her cell phone back onto the night stand.

“And?” The bed creaked as he sat up and reached for a pair of pajama pants. Casey was whining, big black claws scraping against the plastic of her crate. She’d heard their alarms and the old springs of the mattress, signaling they were awake.

“He says he wants to move in, but not right away. He can stay where he is through September.” She paused for a beat before continuing, “What I want to know is how long he would have waited to fucking tell us if I hadn’t kept texting him about it. What, two weeks until you leave and ‘Hey, by the way, I need to move in’? What the fuck is that shit?”

Here we go… “Let me walk Casey first.” It was too early in the morning to have this fight.

She sat up and rolled her eyes. “Whatever. I’ll be in the shower.”

When he returned from walking Casey, the shower was running in the master bathroom. He walked into the bathroom and sat on the closed toilet lid. Casey whined and pawed at the closed door. “Hey,” he said, voice echoing off the tile.

“Why the fuck do we have to let him move in?” she asked. He glanced to the clear mirror and knew she hadn’t been in there for very long; but she’d been waiting to say that since he left to walk the dog.

“Because it’s the right thing to do,” he answered, not for the first time. “He doesn’t have anywhere else to go—”

“I don’t see how that’s our problem.”

“We have the means, and he’s our friend.”

“They’re means we’ve worked our asses off for, means that we’ve earned. Why the fuck should we let him impose on our lives, because he made a slew of bad decisions?” She couldn’t see him through the shower curtain, so he picked at the fuzz of the toilet lid cover and waited. “We’re always bailing him out,” she continued, like he knew she would, “you got him that internship, I got him that job. Both of which he fucked around on and we had to defend him for. And remember the last time we let people move in with us?”

Of course he fucking remembered; it’s not like he’d forgotten since the last time she’d mentioned it the day before. Between caring for three child-adults, being freshly unemployed and attempting to meet the qualifications for the US Air Force Officer Program, he knew exactly what she was referring to. They’d had to defend and hoard their food if they didn’t want it eaten, and had to threaten their friends with eviction unless the bills were paid. While Danny, Aiden and Katie were supposed to be saving money to get their own apartment, they instead decided to buy a pure breed dog from a puppy store; it had been the deciding factor between the compassionate ‘Sure-Take-Your-Time’ and the livid ‘Get-The-Fuck-Out.’

“Sarge already promised he won’t spend $900 on a puppy.”

“I’d let Casey eat it if he did.”

After a pause, he said, “I just don’t want to look back on this and regret not helping out, knowing that we could have. He’s a good friend. And what if we need help down the road?”

“We won’t. Not from him.” She pulled the shower curtain back and fixed him with a disappointed look. “You realize that, in order to quell your conscience, you’re creating an inconvenient living situation that you won’t even have to live in, right? You’re not going to be here living with him. I am.”