Wednesday, June 02, 2010

Short Story - Regrets

I was sitting at the table closest to the door of the busy café with John. He was talking enthusiastically about the concert and how wonderful it had been. I tried to pay attention to him, following his excited hand gestures with my eyes, but not registering what his moving lips were saying.

A group of young ladies walked into the café and I recognised them immediately. Just about an hour ago, I had been sitting with John in the impressive Royal Albert Hall, watching and listening to them play. John had bought us tickets to see the famous orchestra to celebrate our twenty-sixth wedding anniversary.

“What did you think about the show, Margaret?” I finally heard him ask. He was looking at me with questioning eyes. I looked at him, taking in his blue eyes, chiselled face and greying beard.

“I enjoyed every minute of it dear” I replied, pasting a smile on my face, but once again I was drawn to the group of young ladies ordering their coffees at the counter. I watched them talking and smiling amongst each other. One of them was holding a violin case that caught my attention. She looked like she was twenty years old – her face glowed with youth and pride. I remembered she had caught my eye during the concert as she played her violin. I stared at her with a feeling of awe and envy, for she reminded me of myself when I was her age.

I could have been playing the violin at impressive concert venues too, I thought to myself, if I had made the right choices thirty years ago. Instead I had wasted my musical talents pursuing frivolous goals. Now I’m condemned to sit in the audience and applaud. I would never take to the stage myself and receive applause.

I heard John saying something about another cup of coffee.

“Sorry?” I asked.

“Do you want another cup of tea, Margaret?”

I shook my head. “No I’m okay, thank you”

I watched John as he walked to the counter. Then I looked at the young girl again and I wanted to relive my life.


  1. It's good. your craft is showing. the time you've spent honing it
    there's a typo
    I too could have been playing the violin at impressive concert venues too,"
    well, tautology

    it's written to appear almost effortless

    One problem is that you state things explicitly. That works in non-fiction but may turn a reader away.
    I think you need to imply things more.

    the key thing is
    the reader wants to do some work
    the reader wants to unravel some aspect of the story
    if you remove the parts of this flash fiction that explicitly told us about Margaret's past life in music
    the story would be stronger.

    Good work tho'!

  2. nice work!

    It's never too late to learn to play an instrument.

    you should definitely start thinking of getting published.

  3. nice. are we to expect any more fiction? and this was fiction, right?

  4. I like this short piece very much. It contains an important message.

    Are you done with it or are we to expect another?

  5. Really good. is this part of your novel..cos its engaging. You might want to be on the lookout for tehuse of certain words...." pasting " a smile is ok but something more along the line of "forcing a smile" might sound better. just wanted to let you know

  6. Hellooo???You ok hon???

  7. mmm dat's deep choices choices but maybe had u chosen to play violin other blessings would not have come through in ur life u know..
    Regrets are not good friends to our soul sista..ans as someone said its not too late:)

  8. Cool...but...Don't always expect the constructive criticism always. It's nice i have someone i can flex my skill with...let's share ideas.

  9. I see your intent in this story and I am beginning to form an idea about what you aim for in a story.

    I was drawn into the story from the beginning until I got to the very end where I was expecting something more: maybe a twist in the tale OR a SINGLE COMMENT from Margaret that would perhaps EXPLICITLY answer John's question about wanting another copy of coffee and at the same time IMPLICITLY address the sense of loss of a life she could have had if her choices had been different: a SINGLE statement into which the rest of the story would dovetail into.

    A beautiful work all the same. Well done.

  10. Well, that's life (especially for writers)

  11. Hello, thats an interesting story. I guess we all have missed a good chance to do what we regret now, but im sure you havent really waste your time. Its just a feeling you have :)
    Im startin my new blog adventure in English and see whats out there.
    Hugs :)


I welcome your comments! Thank you.