Winter Workshop - Characterization. Assignment #3
|Assignment #3 - Create a character that is a protagonist or an antagonist, from the outside in.
“Your table is ready.” I followed my sister and the hostess. I watched Jennifer command attention as she sauntered; her slim hips swayed exaggeratedly with each step tracing a slow, deliberate figure-eight pattern. Infinity. The hostess handed us oversized, leather-bound menus as we took our seats.
“Bring us a bottle of Chateau Margaux, 1982 if you have it,” Jennifer commanded. I looked at my watch, 11:50 a.m. What the hell, I thought. A drink is probably a good idea. The hostess said she’d ask our waitress to bring a bottle, but Jennifer had already dismissed her. “So,” she addressed me. “Can you believe we’re planning Mom’s retirement party?”
It was never easy for me to talk with Jennifer about our mother. Although I was barely one year older than her, we hadn’t been reared in the same way. Maybe it was because Mom identified more with Jennifer’s easy laugh or spontaneous personality, or because she just assumed my independent streak needed little nurturing; whatever it was, Mom’s affections had always been aimed foremost at Jenn. As an adult, I’d rationalized it and made peace with it; but when I was face to face with either of them, I still struggled to ward off the painful memories of being the invisible child.
“Yeah,” I began, “I was thinking of renting out that little Victorian restaurant she loves--” I was interrupted by a man who had stopped at our table.
“Excuse me,” he said to Jenn. “Aren’t you Mandy Goliath?”
My sister smiled salaciously at him. “Why, yes. How sweet of you to recognize me,” she added coyly.
“I’m a big fan of your work.” They hadn’t broken eye contact.
“I’ll bet you are big,” she breathed. I looked at my watch again. He seemed to notice me for the first time.
“Jonathon Shill.” He extended his hand to me.
“Dr. Nadia Beaulieu,” I said, shaking his hand.
“Doctor?” He sounded impressed.
“Oh! She’s not really a doctor,” laughed my sister. “She just teaches at the University of Albany!”
The man had lost interest in me the moment my sister spoke. They conversed a couple more minutes, then he told her it was a pleasure to meet her. As he was taking his leave, my sister offered him a kiss. He leaned down and she kissed him long on the mouth. Shocked, I glimpsed their groping tongues before looking away.
The waitress arrived, thankfully, with the bottle of wine.