Creative writing day: write a (very short) fictional story that starts with this sentence: “To say I was dreading the dinner party would be the understatement of the century.”
To say Anna was dreading the dinner party would be the understatement of the century. She would rather be at home lounging on the couch in sweatpants, eating a tub of Ben & Jerry’s and feeling sorry for herself. But not tonight. Sarah had texted her, called her, and eventually just showed up at the apartment forcing her to go out with her tonight. Since the breakup, Anna hadn’t wanted to do much of anything, definitely not be here now in a too tight dress that showed way too much cleavage, that she knew she was lacking anyways, black pumps that made her feel taller than necessary, and on a double date with a guy she had never even met.
Sarah barged into Anna’s apartment, dresses and heels in hand, forcing her company and that of her boyfriend and his marine friend just back in town. Sarah knew that Anna was having a rough time, but not this rough. Walking into the apartment, there was Anna, hair in heaps and knots, eyes swollen and dejected, wearing those damn holey sweatpants and the t-shirt he left. Glancing over her she thought, “I have a lot of work to do.”
Two hours later, Sarah’s masterpiece was complete. Anna sat patiently, not moving or saying much. Just nodding at the right intervals and pretending enthusiasm. Slipping into the dress, strapping into the black heels, she glanced at herself in the mirror and didn’t even recognize herself. She couldn’t remember the last time she had actually smiled at her reflection. Anna was glad that Sarah had came, she needed this, if not to help out a friend but to help herself. Anna knew she was a ticking time bomb and about to explode, but for once the fake enthusiasm began to grow into real enthusiasm. The color was coming back into her cheeks. But upon realization of going out in public and meeting someone new, she began to panic.
“What if he doesn’t like me,” asked Anna.
“I thought you didn’t care whether he liked you or not,” smirked Sarah.
“I don’t! I just, haven’t been out in awhile and I want to make a good impression, especially if he’s a marine. I mean it’s kind of intimidating.”
“Yeah, right,” replied Sarah. Smiling to herself. This was the Anna she knew and loved.
Sitting down to dinner, the girls walked up to the men at the table. Sarah embraced her boyfriend Todd, while Anna and the marine stood there awkwardly, awaiting there introductions. Todd introduced the marine as David. David and Anna greeted one another, he seemed just as embarrassed as her. “Good, I’m not the only one,” she thought to herself. Dinner wasn’t terrible, and neither was David, he was lean, but still muscular, taller than her even in her five inch heels, he had brown cropped hair, and she secretly wondered underneath his button-down if he had any tattoos. But out of all of his physical qualities, he had the most sincere blue eyes she had ever seen. She would catch herself in the midst of the conversation going back to his eyes. She was used to looking into brown, she was used to her ideas and thoughts being shot down. She was used to being the subject of every joke among friends, she was used to trying so hard for something that would have never worked.
When she looked into David’s light blue eyes, she didn’t see all of her flaws, she didn’t see herself as a joke. For the first time in four years, she saw herself as she really was and she believed in that person. While she was wishing to be back at home in her worn sweatpants and the last t-shirt she remembered of him, she was now wishing to be home, but to burn that t-shirt and all of the memories that it held. Anna finally saw that she wasn’t all of those terrible things that her ex had told her she was, and all it took was the look of a stranger to make her realize that. Even if her and David would never see each other again, she would always thank him for making her believe in herself again. What she thought would be a painful dinner party, turned out to be a fresh start for her, and she smiled for the rest of the night.