|Title: Clever – I like it. Pearl, like as in a clam, a hidden treasure to be discovered. The “Maybe,” leads the reader to think, “Maybe what?
Plot: Jeremy has a problem in that he has no job and is apparently inept at keeping the ones he does get. His mother rides him constantly about this, although she continues to provide him with an allowance. Because of the latter, I find Jeremy’s actions to propose to Angela a bit heavy in response. Now, if she actually cut him off, or said “One more month and that’s it!” I could find his response more realistic. Also, I’m not sure getting married is necessarily a responsible move, but perhaps it is in her eyes.
Style and Voice: Generally good, but you might want to look at the repetition of “Jeremy” when the reader knows who is being addressed. “He” or “his” could occasionally be substituted. I mention this because the continual repetition pulls me toward a child’s story, as if I couldn’t figure it out on my own.
Referencing: It’s not entirely clear what year this is or the time era. Without obvious pointers, it seems a piece of modern drama and I have no problem with that. The Honda Civic is the only clue and my gosh, they’ve been making Honda Civics since about 1971, but I don’t feel the story has lost anything by not having a specific timeframe.
Scene/Setting: I would love to know what town or city or country, for that matter. I was working on London, with the grates, but could be Wash, DC, although I don’t think DC has anything called “uptown.” We all have a tendency to think the whole planet knows where we live, but if we are in London, I would love it. I can see the rain better, the traffic, know how the people are because I’ve been there. Along these lines, the city can contribute to Jeremy’s sympathy factor. If this is a dead mining town, no wonder he has a problem. If this is London or New York, well, I don’t feel so bad for him.
Characters: I find myself annoyed with Jeremy, at his excuses. As if having a car was a necessity, (I realize it sometimes is, but I don’t get this from Jeremy) I feel he is taking advantage of his mother and is about to take advantage of Angela. And so, I am quite pleased when Angela has left the scene, although not terribly surprised, especially at the long timeframe since their last encounter. (I can’t find it now, but seems like it was “weeks.”) That’s enough time for most people to come to their senses and realize they just avoided a disaster. And so, I am not surprised she is gone. But, what if they just saw each other last weekend? THAT would make me wonder – will she still fall for him? How will she avoid that mistake because I KNOW it will be a mistake. This will create more tension for you. And what makes him think he will have a car of his own? I don’t get that Angela’s situation is all that well off. A Honda Civic, while an excellent car (I owned one) is hardly a sign of wealth.
Mom is a character out of sight. Other than saying what many mothers would say, I don’t see her as an antagonist. I don’t see her pulling the rug out from under him, other than threatening the allowance. I’m not sure her actions, or even the threat of them, are enough to propel Jeremy to move without some other explanation. Like the allowance runs out at the end of this month and he can move back in with her. Now, THAT would be motivating!
The roommate is the only other “live character.” I see why you have her speak and act the way she does – promotes the question in your title. There’s not much to her, though. Think about having him remember the roommate earlier in the piece, what a piece of trash she is, then your ending will be more powerful because he is so easily “bought.”
Grammar: Good grammar – nothing I noticed!
Just My Personal Opinion: I think you need a more powerful motivation for Jeremy and the whole piece will be stronger.