My writing group’s prompt this time was “Hope”. I wrote a dialogue.
[Ex-husband and wife sit at a Starbucks, each with a cup of joe in front of them]
Him: You say that too much.
Her: Say what?
Him: Hope. “I hope you get the job.” “I hope everything turns out alright.” Hope, hope, hope. It’s irritating.
Her: [disbelieving] Having a hopeful attitude is irritating?
Him: No, you’re right. It’s not irritating.
Her: Thank you.
Him: It’s infuriating.
Him: Seriously, the more I think about it, the angrier I get! It’s just so banal! Like when people say they’re sending their prayers and thoughts after a tragedy. What does that even mean?
Her: It means that people care!
Him: Then say you care or don’t say anything! Just don’t waste my time with useless hopes.
Her: Now wait a minute!
Him: Seriously, how does your hoping I’ll get the job help me get the job? It doesn’t! And guess what, if things do turn out alright, it won’t be because you hoped they would, it will be because I prepared and planned and worked my ass off, and things just happened to go my way. It has nothing to do with hope.
Her: It has everything to do with hope.
Him: Give me a break. Hope didn’t help you keep from getting depressed after Donnie was born! It didn’t help your mom with her Alzheimer’s or Lacey with her cancer!
Her: [Standing] No, you give me a break. I didn’t survive depression because of preparation! Planning didn’t give me the strength to take care of mom! Working my ass off certainly didn’t get me through Lacey’s cancer! It was hope. It was all hope. I hoped that there would be light at the end of the tunnel, and that hope got me through the tunnel.
Him: [shrugs and looks away]
Her: I thought it got you through, too. I hope that it does.
[She exits, leaving him looking at his coffee, which has now grown cold.]