Stories without Beginnings


Shocking in many ways. The man or boy, he was quite young, swore at his supervisor and walked out. Until a few months ago he had always been  pleasant and well mannered : one of the brighter stars. People were surprised. No one saw it coming. There was no choice in the matter. If he returned he would have to be disciplined for unprofessional conduct, or dismissed if he failed to reappear. People were at a loss to explain his conduct, and in the absence of anything else to go by put it down to jealousy.

When they met at work a friendship slowly developed. Both with other people in their personal lives they were drawn to each other, laughed at the same situations, jokes and shared much of the same outlook. He was sympathetic and understanding, gentle and looked out for her. Clever but undirected he used to help her with the more technical side of her job.They shared lunch hours, emails and coffee breaks but there was nothing to suggest there was anything more to the relationship, although they always looked right together. There was an intimacy of feeling between them but both were held back by their current commitments

Two people went up for the same promotion, a boy and a girl. There was nothing to choose between them. Both were excellent employees and could fill the vacancy with ease. It turned out, although it was not disclosed, that the girl had been to the same school as the sister of the manager, and in the absence of any other factor this got her the job.

A man came to this country many years ago, escaping the unrest in his homeland and through pitiless hard work, built himself a small business supplying lunch packs to large offices. The lessons of his life were harsh and his standards  unforgiving. When his daughter got into university it was the proudest day of his life. She left after one year, “because she wanted to find herself”, he was beyond frustration and lashed out at her verbally. He had long since forgotten the comment.

A boy was quieter than his siblings and somewhat younger than the rest. Living inside himself he seldom spoke, and found his opinion to be the last one sought. Clever but shy he seldom made new friends, and opened himself up slowly to their lives. When opportunity came near him he always seemed to be second choice and wished they would take him more seriously. He has a girlfriend who is decent in her way but once at work he made a friend with whom he could finally be himself. He trusted her with feelings never shared before.

She had never been taken seriously at home and her boyfriend always seemed to poke fun at her. Always the awkward one she normally sat on the fringes of crowds, a spectator rather than a leader. She was ambitious but didn’t know how to express it. Caught between her parent’s culture and her friends.  When she left university after one year her father, angry beyond measure had stated. ” You will never amount to anything by yourself. You need to smarten yourself up and find a good husband to look after you”. The comment revisited her on regular occasions and made her eyes sting with anger and frustration.

Now in her new position she couldn’t but help mention her promotion to her father on a regular basis. It was the first step. The vindication of what she had done. She longed to feel his pride in her. At work she loved the slightly larger desk. Her closest friend, who didn’t get her job, told her it was just luck, not skill which put her in that chair not him. She was  his boss, she thought, and should show her some respect.Why could’nt he just be glad for her. She made a point of examining his work more thoroughly than the rest, and ceased to lunch with him as it would just not be right, or so she thought..

So it continues, born of parents with histories of their own,ricocheting  from  almost forgotten events. No clean slates we must scribble where we can  Part of a play we joined half way through, or near the end: whose to say . Reacting to others strengths developed unconsciously, or over laboured or somewhere in between, we struggle to make sense of where we are, and seek for answers in the lives me meet. Some lost in thought seek out the wilderness  and pray for answers far from public gaze. Others, lost or muddled as are we, barge into us searching for common themes;  wishing somehow, they could start it all again. That person that you meet, is searching as you are, recovering and growing all at once. Could we step outside our own experience and validate a life that is not our own . Bestowing faith where only judgements dwelt.

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About Peter Wells aka Countingducks

Trying to remember what my future is
This entry was posted in childhood, creative writing, Environment, Life, Relationships and tagged , , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

12 Responses to Stories without Beginnings

  1. Christine A. says:

    I haven’t had the time to read your posts in a while and I’ve missed them so. Thanks for the morning cup of joe! 🙂

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  2. ElizOF says:

    Could we step outside our own experience and validate a life that is not our own . Bestowing faith where only judgements dwelt… YES! We must make the effort to see beyond our own stuff and trust that others will do same… You had covered many thought-provoking issues in this post. Lots of food for thought, Peter. TY! 😉

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  3. Big Al says:

    An apt description of the difficulties of relationships on several levels. Validation of others at the expense of our pride, ah, there’s there rub.

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  4. backonmyown says:

    Wonderful post. After I had been teaching long enough to be a little wise, I used to start my day by telling myself that I might be the only person in a teenager’s life who gives him/her a kind word on that day. “So do it.” I told myself. We never know what others are dealing with.

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  5. Julie says:

    “No clean slates we must scribble where we can” God blessed me — us — richly with discovering the scribbler you are. You have a knack for going into the soul, pulling it out, and setting it down gently into its pieces for us to take a look …and ponder.

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  6. Caroline says:

    Julie puts it so well. What more can i say. Brilliant. Thank you

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  7. You capture one of life’s paradoxes: we want to be understood yet we are unwilling to understand. Indeed, we all come to any relationship or situation with heavy baggage. Are we willing to open ours up for others to look in; and are we willing to rifle around in another’s set of lugggage?

    Great post!

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  8. —Reading your posts feels like a prayer… x

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  9. nelle says:

    We are all on some sort of trail in a maze of many, looking for the one that feels right for us, feels like the one we should be travelling. Life is not clear cut, nor is it all cut to equal size, and the size of a matter can appear quite different to the participant(s) and to observers. It is wise for us observing to remember the potential for perception to be real in its consequences. As we deal, we encounter others who deal.

    In this mix add how humans are judgemental creatures, likely because we constantly evaluate and assess circumstance, something that was a great trait on the evolutionary survival trail. Today, we do need to step back and assess, to look at life from a different direction. No one escapes this need, not even those who find themselves on the short end of judgement, because we too… form our assessments and opinions.

    I prefer a world where empathy is valued and honed, where we can see the issues, yet also possess the optimism, perhaps with a smidgeon or two of idealism, to listen, assess, and lend a guiding hand if asked or the need arises. Hillary was right on with it takes a village. I like to expand that beyond children to the whole of humankind.

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  10. Kirri White says:

    You always receive thought provoking comments and gracious praise but to be honest, I found myself fumbling through this story a bit. I felt it shifted too quickly from one thing to another and I felt ‘hurried.’ After pondering this a bit, I decided that the reason (for me at least) is that I was left wanting to know more about the characters, their histories and connections. The only way I believe this could be rectified is if you were to write a novel, a fable of some sort.

    I bet Im not the only one who feels this way. There are the beginnings of so many amazing stories here and maybe that is the magic of your writing…I am always left wanting more – but I also get frustrated..left, wanting MORE.

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  11. You know, you always hear people say you won’t or can’t make it. Or they tell you what your dreaming isn’t obtainable. Who says you have to listen to them at all.. even if they’re family :). Love this post

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