Speakeasy 153 – Remaking Hugo

Okay, so this week’s sentence prompt, provided by last week’s winner, Stacie, must be used as the FIRST line in your piece. And the media prompt is a painting by Dutch artist, Piet Mondrian. Mondrian is best known for his modern work, using primary colours and straight lines, which he called “neo-plasticism.” But his early work was really interesting too. This painting is called Avond (Evening): The Red Tree. You can see the hints of how his work would evolve, especially with his use of primary colours.

avond-evening-the-red-tree

“Looks can be deceiving.”

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Looks can be deceiving. Of course I am talking about the superficial visual looks you first take in of another. To judge the whole of someone by taking the measure of their exterior is nothing more than shallow and selfish fallacy. What if they are having a bad day, or had no time to attend to their looks. You could throw away a perfectly good chance at love over your inability to allow for the vagaries of life.

That is the way I reconciled the difference between the way Hugo looked and what I could see in the way of potential. He was tall, with broad shoulders, a head full of messy hair, emerald colored eyes and a shy smile. But I could see the Hugo hiding and knew I could bring him out. My girlfriends, Courteney and Caitlin said I was mad, that nothing good would ever come of our relationship. I disagreed. Anyone who knows me understands what a challenge means to me.

Hugo was not ready for what I brought to bear on him. He enjoyed my attention, I could tell that much without asking. He bristled at my suggestion to change his wardrobe, but gradually warmed up to the idea. The change following this was dramatic and I think it showed him just what I had in store. He was always looked at like a second class citizen due to his inattention to such things as his wardrobe. My friends were astonished at the change and began to buy into my vision.

As Hugo accepted the idea his personality warmed and the hidden jewel I saw began to shine. A stylish haircut added to his zeal and before long we were crisscrossing the city enjoying events as a couple. It was more than I imagined, but everything I had wanted. Hugo turned out to be a perfect gentleman and showed a side I hoped was lurking beneath.

The trouble began when Allison Whitney, the debutant caught sight of him. He had morphed from near caveman to the closest thing to a prince you would find in our parts and Allison took notice. She began finding her way into our path and making conversation with Hugo. I could tell he was resistant at first, but before long she had enough of his attention to signal trouble.

I tried to pull him back, but it was too late. Allison was much more versed at this game and easily made him swoon for her. My project was a success, just not like I imagined or desired. I felt desolate like the trees in the park as winter descends. How could I let this happen? Why couldn’t I have been enough? 

 

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About Joe Owens

Can you tell from my writing I love God? I hope so because that is what I want you to know most about me. I am also a writer who loves taking on fiction prompts and crafting a story. One day you will read my work in print. Until then enjoy it here! For free!
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8 Responses to Speakeasy 153 – Remaking Hugo

  1. Esther says:

    Ugh, a rough situation. I felt bad for her until I read Janna’s comment — she’s so right! The narrator kinda deserved what she got. Of course, who knows, maybe Allison will manipulate Hugo just like the narrator did. Love the irony at the end.

  2. zeudytigre says:

    Hard to feel sorry for someone who sets out to change another person. You drew me into this and raised lots of emotions. Very well written :)

  3. Suzanne says:

    I love the way that last line is a lesson in her own attitude toward Hugo at the beginning. Nicely done! Great take on the prompts, Joe! :)

  4. atrm61 says:

    Ah,as they say,not all changes work in our favour!With the change in his wardrobe ,Hugo got a taste of other “fruits” too and mist have seen his won “potential”-Allison was too much of a temptation to avoid I guess!Well,hopefully ,the narrator will find a better person:-)Well written Joe!

  5. Christine says:

    Ah – this is like an alternative version of Pygmalion (or My Fair Lady, if you prefer). Great story!

  6. jannatwrites says:

    I’d like to feel sorry for her, but I can’t. It kind of serves her right for turning him into a project – someone she could be proud to flaunt on her arm. For his part, being so easily swayed by another’s attention will no doubt lead to heartache. I hope he can find a love that’s real as well.

  7. cshowers says:

    Dear Joe,

    What a sad story. How sad that the girl took Hugo on as a “project” in the first place. Perhaps, if she had chosen to love him as he was in the beginning when they met, their relationship would have been stronger, and Hugo wouldn’t have dumped her for Allison. I enjoyed your interpretation of the prompt.

    Blessings,
    Cheryl

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