There. It’s done. It’s out of my hands now.
She’s reading it. Will she like it? I hope she does.
Wait. Why is she looking up? Did the exposition not grab her?
My writing can’t hold her attention! Oh, no.
The introduction does not invite you in. I’m a failure.
Okay. Okay. She’s reading again. Momentary distraction. Calm down. No need to jump the horse. It’s a good story. Just wait till she reaches the good part.
Her forehead frowned for a second. Was that because of the story? Or the grammar? Oh god. I hope there are no typos. I fixed those. I did. Right? But what if I left one out. Oh god. Oh god. This is no good.
Okay. She’s smiling. I think she’s reached the good part. That’s the way. Keep going. She’s —
What! Why is she looking up again? Oh, she’s adjusting her seat. Might as well get cozy with my story, heh? That’s good.
Start reading again. Come on! Aren’t you curious to know what happens next? Haven’t I created characters worth caring for? God! I knew it. The story sucks. My characters suck. I knew it. I’m a failure.
Okay. Okay. She’s reading again. Better look elsewhere. If she looks up and sees you looking at her, she’ll know how nervous you are. Act cool. Look away.
She must be near the end now. It’s not a long story. Just 1426 words. A 5-minute read. She should be done any time now.
Just a peek. It doesn’t take so long.
She’s still reading. Was the story so long? It doesn’t take me such a long time to read through it. Maybe I’m just used to the words.
Are the sentences so complex that it’s taking her a while to follow them? But the story scored a 3 on Hemingwayapp. It must be simple enough. But that’s just a score derived from a computer program. How much can it tell?
I need to edit this more. Edit better. That one sentence near the end, which doubles as a paragraph, I’ll break it up. That’s the only long sentence. That’s where she must be now. It’s not easy to follow. I’m going to break it up.
As soon as she’s done, I’m going to whisk away and edit this story again, till it is perfect.
She must surely be done by now. What’s taking her so long? Is she reading it again? Is the plot so hard to follow? It’s a simple short story, it isn’t complicated.
Don’t look at her. Look elsewhere. Be patient. She’ll tell you when she finishes. She’ll tell you what she thinks. Good or bad. Calm down. You can’t do anything till she finishes reading it.
Or maybe I can simply disappear forever, never to be seen again. That is an option.
Just another peek. Oh! She’s looking at me. She’s done reading.
“I finished,” she says.
Did she…did she like it?
“So, what do you think?” I ask in my most cool, calm, and collected voice.
Akshay G. is an aspiring writer who is convinced his pens talk to him. He is currently recruiting allies for a war against his greatest foe — Pigeons.