November 26, 2014

“This is not what I wanted,” she said, pulling a face and crossing her arms across her chest.

Her voice, shrill and annoyed, made a strange contrast to the splashing of the oars against the water and the quiet hum of tourist chatter.

“Don’t be ridiculous,” he said. “This is exactly what you wanted… A big, romantic trip together… Gondolas and moonlight.”

“Don’t tell me what I wanted,” she huffed. “I know what I wanted and this ain’t it. Where’s the romance? Gondola my butt. I wanted Venice. This isn’t Venice. It’s floating on some boat with a wannabe mime, in the middle of the fakest place on the planet. Hell, I can even hear the cars honking on the strip from here. This is not romantic.”

“You’re being ridiculous,” he said. “You can’t hear the cars. No one can hear the cars. All of a sudden you can hear through walls? You’ve developed magical hearing all of a sudden?”

“Don’t patronize me, Brian.”

“I’m not patronizing you,” he snarled. “You wanted this trip. You insisted on it. And now you’re complaining because it isn’t perfect, like you always do. Like that stupid sweater.”

“That sweater was wrong,” she sniped. “I said I wanted the raspberry-colored one. Raspberry, Brian. You got me the fuchsia one. The difference is obvious.”

“Not that anyone else could tell,” he muttered under his breath.

“What did you say?”

This came out in an almost shriek.

“You’re muttering,” she hissed. “You’re always muttering. I hate when you mutter. If you want me to hear what you’re saying, why don’t you say it out loud like a normal person?”

“Maybe,” he said. “I don’t want you to hear me.”

“Then why would you say it if you don’t want me to hear you?” she asked.

“Jerk,” she muttered.

“Now who’s muttering?” he muttered.

“You’re ruining this for me,” she said. “You took all the trouble to bring me out here on this romantic trip. And now you’re ruining this for me.”

“Ruining it?” he said. “I thought you didn’t want it in the first place!”

“You never listen to me, Brian,” she said. “That is exactly –“


Neither of them saw the oar even come out of the water. With surprising efficiency, the gondolier pulled the oar out of the water and gave them each a sound and damp thwap on the head, before returning it to its’ task.

“You two,” he said. “Are the worst couple I’ve had in here all month. No – you know what? Scratch that. You’re the worst couple I’ve ever had in my gondola ever. And I didn’t think it was possible, but you are actually ruining this for me.”

The two sat stunned. The gondolier took a deep breath.
“You two,” he continued. “Will stop your childish antics now… And you will sit still and behave yourselves for the rest of the ride. Or else.”

They decided they didn’t want to find out exactly what ‘or else’ meant.

Facing forward, looking around quietly, she actually noticed how pretty the gondolas were on this little mini-river, the golden glow from the shops and the sunlight dappling the blue water in front of them.

Gently, she threaded her fingers through his.

“I love you, Honey,” she said.

He gave her fingers a gentle squeeze.

“I love you too,” he said.

Writing Prompt: Passion Car Gondola

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