Waking... (A You Story)

So, I was in this Creative Writing class in college, and I asked the teacher what "person" or point of view is writing in the "you" sense. (like, chose your own adventures and such)

She had no idea what I meant, and asked me to write something for the class to see and get and idea of what I was asking about. The following is what I came up with...it's a bit short, but wasn't supposed to be too long (students have short attention spans).

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You wake up. It's difficult, like swimming through sludge. Your head is fuzzy, and your eyes are having a hard time focusing. Everything seems dulled, blurred.

It seems a bit chilly, and you realize you are outside. How did I get out here, you think, as you try to get your bearings. People seem to be milling around in the distance, gathered under a tent, sheltering them from the bright sunlight.

Your body seems to be disconnected from your mind. You can't seem to get up. What's going on here, your mind races. You think back to the last thing you remember.

It was a party. It was your boyfriend's party. Hundreds of people were there. But of course they were, for he's a popular guy, you know. He had conned his older brother into buying kegs for the "shindig" as he called it. Between that and the jungle juice (who knows what was in that!), you had gotten pretty hammered, hadn't you?

Wait. You had been upset. Something he had done. What was it?

A voice startles you out of your reverie. It's him! Jason is kneeling there in front of you. You smile at him, but he seems despondant. He doesn't smile back, but instead you can see pain in his eyes. Tears are on the verge of rolling down his cheeks. He begins to speak.

"I wish I knew what to say to you." He looks away, off into the distance. You follow his gaze, seeing again the throng of people gathered under that odd black tent. You give a shiver, and go back to watching his face.

"I'm sorry if I hurt you...I didn't mean to do anything that would ever hurt you." His voice seems to lock in his throat, and the tears do spill from his eyes, falling past his cheeks onto the grass he is kneeling on. Your own voice seems trapped inside you, for you can't seem to say anything to comfort him.

He seems to sober. A stern, accusing look crosses his face. "Why didn't you tell me?"

Lost, you can only stare at him, trying to unbury the meaning to his odd question.

"Did you think I would leave you? You knew I wanted children...it would have been hard at first, but we would have made it."

You are shocked. How had he found out? You hadn't told him about your pregnancy yet. It had been a week since you had gotten the results back, and still you hadn't told anyone! You had went to the party, his party, to be with him. You were going to tell him, but you started drinking instead. You didn't want everyone to know about you being pregnant, so you drank. They wouldn't wonder then, now would they?

A man in black goes walking past, passing behind Jason. You seem to recognize him, but his name remains elusive to your memory. He stops, and looks at Jason's back, a look of pity crossing his face. He looks at though he wants to speak, but then he shakes his head and walks on. Where have you seen him before? The question irritates you. You should recognize him. He was important for some reason.

You jump as you realize Jason is speaking again. "...screams from the hallway. I ran...I saw you there...I tried to help..." His voice breaks as his body is wracked with a horrible sobbing sound. What on earth?

"I wish I knew why," he says. "I wish I knew if it was something I had done. If it was those silly freshmen girls that were talking to me, you should have known they are just friends to me. Nothing else. You shouldn't have been drinking. It's bad for the baby." Again he cries out, just a sound of anguish squeezed from his being.

You feel numb. You don't know what to say to him. Yes, those girls had made you jealous, but that is no reason for him to be upset now. That was days ago. Wasn't it? It seems that way, but as you think about it, you can't seem to recall anything since then. That overpowering anger that had taken ahold of you when you saw those little trollops trying to throw themselves at your boyfriend. YOUR boyfriend. Of three years! Well, three years, four months, and 18 days. Or something around there.

It had seemed almost wrong to burden him with a child though, you think. As you stood there and watched him, you had decided he was too young for the responsibility you were going to push on him. Another drink, and then another. You had gone upstairs, yet another beer in your hand, going in your mouth, down your throat. How many had that been?

Jason clears his throat and looks again at the tent of people. You look again, and you realize you recognize many of them. They are your classmates, friends, family, loved ones. You smile as you realize they must be gathering for a BBQ. Just the thing to cheer your love up. He looks like he needs another party, something that would make him smile again.

"Well, I should go talk to the others," Jason is saying. "'Comfort' them. As much as they can be, given the circumstances." He doesn't wipe the tears from his face, for once seemingly not embarassed for crying.

"Let's go," you try to tell him. But nothing comes out. He stands and looks at you. Squeezing his eyes shut, he takes a deep breath. Once again appearing calm, he bends down, as though to kiss you. You raise your lips toward his, but they do not meet. Instead he lays a bouqet of flowers in front of you. Red roses, mixed with blue. Your favorite. He used to buy them for you a lot more often, and this is a very special treat.

But then he is walking away from you. You try to call out, but your voice betrays you. You try to follow, but your limbs seem to be deaf, for they aren't listening to your commands.

The feel of something cold and hard presses against your back. You turn slowly around, and it dawns on you that you aren't in the park. This is a graveyard. What an odd place to have a BBQ, your mind screams at you, trying to keep the truth out. Unwillingly, your eyes are drawn downward, and what you see there completes your memory of that night.

That night at the party. When you had been so jealous. So enraged by those flightly little tramps. Drunkenly you had stumbled up the stairs. You had been crying, and people had gotten out of your way. No one wanted to get involved. Comforting a crying girl would have ruined their good time. And so you had found yourself alone in the bathroom. Some girl was passed out by the toilet, but the unconscious don't count for company. You had downed the last of your beer, and stolen her jungle juice. You had gone to the medicine cabinet then, hadn't you? That damned headache you always get when you drink was already coming on. Tylenol was what you were needing. But then your eyes had caught something else.

Jason's mom had a sleeping disorder. Her doctor had finally prescribed some pretty heavy narcotics to help her sleep. Without them, she would be up for days on end. They were enough to drop a horse. She would take one with a full glass of water an hour before bed, and could sleep the night away peacefully.

Before you really realized what you had done, twelve of them were going down your throat, helped by that confiscated glass of j-juice. Then you cried. You cried for you. For the baby in your womb. For Jason, and what he would think, and how he would feel. For your parents. And then you had fallen asleep.

And you are crying now. Cries of disbelief, of rejection. The rejection of the truth. Of what you had done. That cold, horrible hardness you had felt on your back before seems to materialize in stone in front of you. A tall slab of granite, carefully carved with words. You try not to read those words, try to keep reality from rushing in around you, making you a part of it.

But your eyes cannot stop, and the words pour into your mind.

Karmen Furtado
1981-2000
May you find peace

Your name, your tombstone.

You scream. A scream that even you cannot hear, nor the people, your loved ones, that stand under that black tent, mourning their loss.

For you are dead, and you know you will have no peace.

And the sun goes on shining.

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BTW, the teacher still didn't know what point of view it's called...she suggested "Removed First Person"...hehe...apparently teachers have short attention spans too. :P

Verileah 18 years ago
I always thought that was second person /boggle
Nastirith 18 years ago
Yah, that's what I asked her too...cause we were talking about first person, and third person...so I said something like "Is second person writing like telling a story to a person about what they're doing?"

She said that she didn't know if there WAS a second person form of writing... Heh... I guess I should have just Google'd it.
Verileah 18 years ago
I shall holler to David Bowles the english teacher to explain the shit we should have learned way back in high school .
Nastirith 18 years ago
Oh, crumb...we were supposed to LEARN in high school!?

Crapola...why didn't anyone tell me that!?

*snickers*
Verileah 18 years ago
He said "Oh, crumb."

That's funny
Mai 18 years ago
LOL, so he did.

I was just taking a break from writing a piece in the same perspective.. how wierd. Nice scene btw!
David Bowles 18 years ago
Okay, uh, someone's teacher is clueless. This comes from personal pronouns, and in languages other than English, the conjugation of verbs:


First Person Singular Plural
I we

Second Person you you

Third Person he, she, it they


So, yeah, a narrative that is talking to a person, telling him or her "you did this, you did that" would be a second-person POV narrative. It isn't used much, but, for example, Gertrude Stein employed it in some of her work (*The Autobiography of Alice B. Tokas*) as did Samuel Beckett.