Emotions are the essence of who we are. They are easy to write internalized and hard to show. I’ve been showing one at a time and probably will with more. But what happens when someone is in turmoil? When their emotions fly but they can’t express them verbally or externally? I don’t write in first person so this can be tricky to express. For this show and not tell excercise it’s all about what a character does do when they can’t necessarily express their true emotions or thoughts.
Sometimes a person has too much going on and those around them add to the chaos generally unaware. While Sasha is dealing with her own abundance of problems, Amber, her tormentor has to deal with her own.
Amber’s hands shook as she rinsed them in the warm water. She looked at her tired reflection, frowning at the worry around her eyes. “What are you going to do now?” Blinking back tears, she took several deep breaths before returning to her desk.
“Hey Ambs, feeling better today?” Dale chewed on the end of his pen.
She sat slowly. “Sure.”
“I’m back to myself too, wanna do lunch? Scott has a lunch meeting thing.”
She rubbed her sweaty palms on her skirt. “Yeah sure.” Biting her lip, she turned to her computer. The unfocused screen too bright. There wasn’t anyone to talk to, nobody to confide in. With a sideways glance at Dale chatting away on the phone, she drummed her fingers on the desktop.
A slight smile etched the corner of her mouth. “Maybe it could be a good thing.” She mumbled and closed her eyes. “Yeah right and hell is a tropical vacation.”
Amber opened her eyes to see Rachael approaching with a stern posture. She had made her point and everyone stopped picking on her.
“Hey Amber, you okay?”
Amber opened her mouth to snip and smiled instead. “Sure Rachael. What can I do for you?”
With a raised eyebrow, Rachael held out a glittery pink card. “You’re the only one who hasn’t signed Alice’s congratulations card. If you want to chip in on the gift that would be nice.”
“Gift?” The word echoed in her head as Amber took the adorable card with a cartoon baby on the front.
“I’m picking something up at lunch, we’ll give it to her before she leaves today. What a wonderful thing. Isn’t it exciting?”
“Exciting?” Amber read over a few comments, all well wishes, happy comments and words of joy. It sounded like a good thing and not the end of the world. Smiling she wrote a small meaningful congratulations and swallowed hard as she handed it back. “How much?”
“Um, whatever you can spare is fine.” Rachael tucked the card in the envelope skepticism easy to see.
Amber dug out her wallet. Dale was openly listening now with rapt interest. What if this was her? Would anyone bother with card for her? Amber held her breath and handed her a fifty.
“I’ll get you change.”
“No.” Amber waved her hand. “It’s fine. I could do with some good karma.”
“Thanks.” Rachael turned and left quickly.
“You know that’s not how it works right?” Dale smirked. “You can’t ask for good karma, you earn it.”
“Whatever.” Amber clenched her fists staring at her screen.
“Besides if you want to make up for the crap you pull you’d need to give at least fifty thousand more.”
“Shut up Dale, or you fly solo for lunch.”
She avoided looking at him as her eyes misted and she nodded. Russo’s was fine, the food was good and the atmosphere quiet enough.
Poor mean Amber right? Even the bad guy’s are human. I think it’s important to make even the most disliked people somewhat likable. Even if during her only moment of kindness she was being selfish. An interesting side story is always welcome IMO so I generally include them in my writing.
My advice about inner turmoil.
Be careful with the POV, stick with one and try not to jump in and out of character’s heads. It can get disorienting.
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