It’s a saying for a reason, but sometimes I wonder. So as a Blogging 101 assignment, I played with my header and added some widgets (well, actually I did that a few days ago) so I creeped on the Writing 101 prompt for this beauty and wrote a contrast dialogue. As it happens in the piece I’m working on now–two of my characters are about night and day difference and they are currently in conflict with one another though they have been assigned as partners in their new jobs–tell me what you think of my contrast dialogue.
“Whoa there, Princess. Watch where you’re going,” Jordan ducked out of the way just in time before I bowled him over on the sidewalk in my inattentive musing. I resisted the urge to growl at him.
“Sorry,” I murmured, stepping to the side, but refusing to defer any more. A week and a half had done little to improve our relationship. In fact, my animosity had grown as his barbs stuck further and further into my skin.
“Latte, better enjoy it now. Not going to be drinking those for a while, princess,” he pivoted and fell into step beside me as we walked toward the office.
“I’m aware,” I rolled my eyes.
“Eric wants us in the conference room this morning. We’re talking emergency protocols this morning. Think you can handle it?”
I stopped, put a hand on my hip and stared at his back. He hadn’t noticed that I stopped walking. When he did, he turned and faced me with his wide, challenging stance.
“What is your problem with me, Jordan?”
“I don’t have a problem.”
I snorted and started walking past him again. “Could have fooled me.”
“I imagine there is a lot out there that could fool you, princess.”
“See?” I stopped and turned on him again. This time pointing my index finger right at his smug nose. “That, right there. Patronizing and smug. Condescending. What is your deal?”
“Fine, you really want to do this?”
“You don’t belong on this project,” he said it simply and then crossed his arms over his chest. The sun light reflected off his head and I squinted against it, staring at the dark and powerful force he’d become in front of me. “Look at you. Naïve, sheltered white woman with no experience in the journalist field. You think you can go to Africa to save and Christianize the poor little black savage children. But that’s not the way it works, and you’ll end up in Africa alone and scared, hysterical and exhausted and then you’ll go home and all our resources and time will have been wasted on training and sending you there in the first place. It’s abominable and selfish.”
“You think you know me,” I said shaking my head and pulling in a breath to calm the anger threatening to take over. “Just because I’m not like you. I’m not a black man, and I don’t have the experience you have so that gives you the right to become the almighty judge and jury over this project. Let me just tell you something. First, I’m not a princess. Nothing has ever been handed to me. I have had to work hard my entire life and I have experienced pain and heartache to a degree that you can’t possibly imagine so I’m not as sheltered as you’d like to believe. I may be a white girl, and I may have never been to Africa, but I’m not self-righteous enough to believe I can save anyone let alone judge them as you have done to me. I barely even believe in God so I’m not arrogant enough to try to force those beliefs on anyone else.
“Second, we are partners. I expect you to treat me as such, not as your problem. You are not my boss, and despite how you feel about me, I have nothing to prove to you. “ I tossed my braid over my shoulder and stomped off down the sidewalk.
I could hear his footsteps following closely behind me, though I’d hoped he would just disappear into the earth. Maybe we were just too different.
I didn’t stop. I had no desire to speak to that arrogant, self-absorbed…
I turned. “What?”
He stumbled into me, unprepared for my abrupt about-face. Placing both hands on my shoulders, he steadied himself and me, barely keeping us both from tumbling onto the sidewalk.
“I should apologize,” he said. I could see my cornflower blue eyes reflected in the deep pools of his dark charcoal eyes, which had softened for the first time since we met. “I guess I maybe have been a little hard on you.”
“You don’t owe me anything, Jordan,” I pursed my lips. His apology, half-hearted and choked out, meant little to me. We could work together, but that didn’t mean we had to be friends. “Let’s just get to work.”