This week two winners will each receive a hardcover copy of Divisadero by Michael Ondaatje.
In the last LitWit Challenge, we asked you to write the scene in which you meet the beloved for the first time. You like that stuff, huh? Alright, let’s fast-forward to the breakup. One of my favorite partings takes place in another Ondaatje novel, The English Patient.
He untugs himself from her and walks away, then turns. She is still there. He comes back within a few yards of her, one finger raised to make a point.
“I just want you to know. I don’t miss you yet.”
His face awful to her, trying to smile. Her head sweeps away from him and hits the side of the gatepost. He sees it hurt her, notices the wince. But they have separated already into themselves now, the walls up at her insistence. Her jerk, her pain, is accidental, is intentional. Her hand is near her temple.
“You will,” she says.
This bit is rendered brilliantly in the film adaptation by Anthony Minghella: Kristin Scott-Thomas turns away from Ralph Fiennes and there’s a loud crack as her head hits the post. Oww.
Your assignment in the Weekly LitWit Challenge 2.9 is to write the scene in which two lovers decide to part. Unlike in the previous challenge, you do not have to be one of the characters. This way you can observe your subjects from a safe distance and spare us the schmaltz.
We don’t have to know why they’re breaking up, but we have to know what they’re thinking at that exact moment.
Post your entries in Comments; the deadline is at 11.59 pm on Saturday, 1 May 2010.
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LitWit Challenge 2.9: The end of the affair is now closed. The last entry is #58, which we’re accepting even if it came in two minutes past deadline. Thanks to everyone who joined this challenge, stay tuned for the next one.