The Short Story

Entry by: Olivia

21st May 2015
The Short Story
I suppose there is always a long story, but that’s usually too tedious and time consuming. I reckon we really only need the short, sharp stuff, the headline news.
I wonder what they will say about me? I had hoped for ‘she was kind’, ‘she will be missed’. (Have you ever noticed that no one ever says ’she was totally obnoxious and the world will be a better place without her’?) But I am not sure what I will get now. The long story would explain everything, but I expect that the short one will have to suffice.
Everyone will know that I took my own life. I will make sure that it is completely obvious. No need to hide that. The coroner will be able to say ‘whilst the balance of her mind was affected’ because everyone can testify that I was unhappy, cross, deranged. No one can unravel the multiple strands that tied me to this place.
I have always been an upbeat sort of person really. I was upbeat and positive the first time I got married. I thought I had paired up for life. The insurance of the Church service and the secular trimmings of cake. Why wouldn't it work? I was even upbeat when he decided that the young bitch down the road fitted the bill better than I did. Upbeat because it meant the end of the pain and heartache. You really don’t want to know what happened - that’s the long story and we are only going for the short version.
Living alone I was upbeat, I had my garden and my car, what more could I need? People leapt into my life but I kind of drifted away. Still I was positive, well you have to be don’t you? The job didn't go too well to start with, I was bored but overtaxed with the complexity of the figures and the issues. My colleagues were lovely, I suppose, but they didn't really bother with me. Clearly they didn't like my only too obvious flaws. But I stayed positive, I had to really.
Once, just once, the rather sweet lady from stationery came over to my desk. ‘Hi’ she said standing awkwardly, clearly not at all comfortable, ’we wondered if you’d like to come out for a drink with the girls this evening’. ‘Very kind’ I said, ‘But I don’t drink and I’m very busy this evening’. No one ever asked again.
The long story is just that, long, tedious, boring if you’re not me and boring if you are me. None of you has any time for that, you only want the abridged, easy version. The short, snappy headlines, not the why or the how, just the shock and the moment of truth. No one cares for long these days. Short, sharp shock; short, snappy stories. Short leaves you space to make up your own mind. You've made up your mind about me, ‘stupid woman, clearly spoilt. She had everything she could want. Fancy killing herself, how selfish’. You have thought all that based on a snippet of a view through a tiny window. You don’t know the backstory, the long story, do you?
That’s what short stories let you do; make judgements, put your own opinion in sight. Short stories invite you to fill in the gaps anyway you see fit.
So, read between the lines, fill in the gaps. Put your own spin on my life. I've given you a snippet – the rest is there for you and your imagination.