I’m going to try and keep things on a more schedule-y basis, so I’m making Wednesday a writing prompt day! 🙂 It’s basically going to be a random prompt generator, and I’ll write a short story, poem, etc. based on it.
This one is another for my “Word Series” that I posted another story for before. Robyn and Dante again, yay! I’m definitely going to play around with this one a bit more, but otherwise I kind of like where it is for now.
Robyn was a pain to shop for. That being said, Dante wasn’t the world’s greatest shopper, either. However, for Robyn’s twenty-second birthday (her first birthday since they’d gotten together), he wanted to at least get her something she’d enjoy.
When asked, she was less than helpful. She either had no ideas or wouldn’t offer any; Dante wasn’t sure which. And so he chose to simply observe Robyn more closely than usual.
She loved to read. But she pretty much had that department covered. She enjoyed video games, but he had no clue, really, about those. She wasn’t too big on clothes. Robyn loved food, but that wasn’t really what he was going for. It was only recently that he began to notice she wore no jewelry, either… except a green rubber band around her left wrist. She fiddled with it frequently, occasionally even snapping it like a tween with chewing gum.
Which was how he decided on a bracelet (mainly green in colors, her favorite—luckily he did know some things about her that were handy for gifts) as her present. The beads were round and pastel, smooth and gradient-like with greens. It was even stretchy, so if she felt the need she could snap it, too.
So when Robyn shyly smiled and accepted the box from him on August thirteenth, he felt he had done fairly well.
She blinked in surprise. “A bracelet?” she asked, gingerly taking it from its resting place on soft cotton. “What made you think of that?”
Slightly put out by her reaction, even though he knew he shouldn’t have expected too much and knew she didn’t mean to be ungrateful-sounding, Dante shrugged and gestured to her wrist. “I asked, and you never really gave me any solid ideas. Plus I noticed you had that rubber band, so… I thought I’d get you something to go with it.”
If he’d been put out at her previous reaction, he was shocked at the next one.
Robyn’s eyes widened and her hand clamped over her wrist, covering the rubber band as if afraid he would steal it. Quietly Robyn stuttered out, “Er, oh, yeah. I’ve always had a rubber band on my wrist. Just… a habit, y’know?” Clearing her throat, she glanced at the clock on the wall before leaning forward to peck him on the cheek. “Ah, thank you Danny. Really. I gotta go or I’ll be late for work. See you later?”
“Sure…” he narrowed his eyes suspiciously as she turned, grabbing her things. “We still doing supper?”
“Yeah, that’d be great. Bye.”
Dante mulled over the whole thing all day, wondering what in the world the reaction meant to the gift he’d gotten Robyn. Even as he walked into the campus bookstore to buy his overpriced-but-conveniently-located books for the semester, he distractedly handed over an old receipt instead of cash for the purchase.
Even through dinner it distracted him, while Robyn seemed to be over it. Or was pretending the whole ordeal had never happened. Which was entirely possible, since she wasn’t wearing the bracelet.
In fact, it was days later, as Dante sat going through paperwork for the next semester and Robyn sat on the couch playing a game, that he finally found the words he wanted to say.
As he stared at his schedule and plotted the best routes to take to get to his classes on time, out of the corner of his eye he saw Robyn’s hand go to her left wrist. She pulled the rubber band there as taut as she could and let it snap her wrist. Her eyes were slightly narrowed in frustration, and she huffed before continuing with her game.
When a hand suddenly grabbed the lid of her laptop and shut it, nearly catching her fingers in it, she blinked and looked up. “What’re you doing?”
Must not have been one of her MMOs; she wasn’t yelling at him for ruining her game. He stared her down until she was practically smashing herself further in her seat. It was very rare for Dante to be so intense, and when it did happen it always threw Robyn for a loop.
“So what was up with your reaction the other day?”
“You’re going to have to be more specific, Dan.”
“Don’t play dumb, Robyn,” he said, and she clammed up and looked away. “The bracelet,” he explained anyway, “why did you act like that when I gave it to you? And mentioned the rubber band?” He fingered it on her wrist, and her hand clenched into a fist. “It’s just a rubber band.”
“If it were just a rubber band I probably wouldn’t have reacted that way, would I?” she grumbled, getting irritated. She turned away from him to sulk, and he rolled his eyes at her attitude.
Sitting on the floor next to the couch, facing the same way as Robyn and trying to get her to look at him, Dante watched her for a minute. When she still didn’t move or say anything, he sighed.
“So what is it for?” he finally asked, trying to keep a tone of understanding in his voice.
She kept up the silent treatment for a little longer before puffing out her cheeks childishly. She peeked at him before turning away again.
“You’re going to have to elaborate on that a little, Robyn,” he said, and she smirked a bit.
“Anytime I do something wrong, or stupid, whatever, I snap it. So that I associate it with correcting the mistake. That way it doesn’t keep happening.”
“So…” he narrowed his eyes in thought, trying to see the logic in that but coming up empty. “You punish yourself for simple mistakes? Uh…”
“There should never be mistakes to begin with,” she said matter-of-factly. “Simple or otherwise.”
This appalled Dante that she even thought that way. “Seriously?” he asked, his voice cracking and high pitched in his surprise. Robyn whipped her head around to look at him. “It was a ‘mistake’ to start that nasty habit. You shouldn’t hurt yourself just because you mess up sometimes.” He glared at her, and Robyn had a look of shame coloring her face. “That itself is stupid. You’re going to make mistakes, Robyn. It happens. That’s life. Hell, that’s like, common sense.”
“I know that,” she retorted, glaring back at him. “That doesn’t mean I want it to happen, though! If I can prevent them or at least make it so there’s less of them, I can…”
“Mistakes help you learn and grow. As corny as that sounds.” Dante stood and went to the bedroom, and Robyn watched him as he returned with a small box. The box with the bracelet in it.
Sitting next to her on the couch, Dante removed the bracelet from the box and motioned for her wrist. Reluctantly she held her hand out. As he stretched it around her hand and let it fall in place next to her rubber band, he leaned over and kissed her on the nose.
Wrinkling her face, Robyn looked down at the bracelet and sighed, fiddling with it idly. “I know you’re right,” she finally muttered, but before she could continue Dante was patting her head. She waved her hands at him, annoyed. “I’m not a dog—”
“So long as you know, and promise me you’ll try and break that habit, it’s fine.”
Robyn smiled. Reaching down, she took the rubber band off and shot it across the room, aiming for the garbage can and missing by at least three feet. ‘Tsk’ing softly, she lightly punched his shoulder. “Fine. Thank you for the present. I love it.”
He held her as his answer.