A semi-sequential story.
Part Four: Happy Endings.
It’s been two years since the wedding. John and Charissa still see each other. When they first started dating, she would visit him in the square, eating her lunch at the foot of his statue. These days, though, neither of them go to the square if it can be avoided.
John still writes, but doesn’t do his makeup in the morning. He doesn’t need to, since the magazine accepted his first piece a year and a half ago. At first it was short stories, poems, these depressing, meaningful pieces. He moved on to writing his second book last week. It’s still meaningful, at least to him, if not depressing. Some of his fans say he sold out.
John doesn’t think he sold out. At least, John doesn’t really care. Selling out means he got a new apartment this month, with a twin bed and a television. It means Charissa lives with him these days, instead of a forty minute walk across town. It means he now has more clothes than costume pieces in his closet.
It also means he has a new, dark blue suit. He wears it for interviews and weddings, but he still has his purple one. Every so often, when he can’t write, he’ll put it back on, paint his face, and go back to the square. He’ll put a chalice out in front of him and collect whatever money he can make, then come back home and remember everyone he saw in the square while he writes.
He still remembers the classes he took back in his try at college. He still remembers all the death and love he read. He remembered all the sad endings everyone was always writing. And, with a knowing smile, he writes his novels with the happiest ending the story can possibly come to.
After all, he figures, everyone wants to read a happy ending. Someone may as well give it to them.
An America Story