Thursday, 7 October 2010

Short Story: A Listening Ear

This story includes words inappropriate for young children.

A Listening Ear

You think I’m a good listener don’t you? You come to see me often and while I’m getting on with my work you blurt it all out. Perhaps it’s because you visit me regularly and feel like you know me.

You think we’re on the verge of a fabulous friendship don’t you? Well in a few cases it has happened, but most of the time it’s just a job to me.

You walk in here with your, “Poppy did this at school,” and I smile as I sound enthusiastic. You tell me all about the award winning vegetables that your neighbour grew. Do I care? Hell, no. But I put on my soothing voice as I express an interest.

Then there was the time you visited for two hours. You said, “My husband’s away on business”. But your eyes said it all. You knew he wasn’t, didn’t you?
The following visit you spat “I can’t believe he went for the stereotype; his secretary for fuck’s sake!”
‘More like a fuck for the sake of it,’ I thought, but I offered you my listening ear.

I listen to you, and it’s not only you. Others visit through the day and they treat me like a counsellor. Affairs, illnesses, engagements, separations, deaths, and visits to the goddamned vet. I hear it all.

You think I’m a good listener. I am. I never forget a word.
And one day, I may surprise you.

20 comments:

  1. oooh, I'm dying to know the context in which she comes to hear all these stories from other people?

    But great stuff, we all know someone like this, or we need to know them!

    Marc Nash

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  2. Wait a sec, after a second read I have to ask, what exactly did her eyes say? Was husband upstairs during the two hours?! Or am I reading too much into it?

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  3. This is fantastic Rebecca. I love the play on words, and the voice is perfect.

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  4. I'm thinking bartender. I LOVED your writing in this one, Rebecca. The voice was amazing. Great job!

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  5. Really well done, Rebecca, and kind of scary for those who confide. I know what it feels like to be a listening ear, and I know that sometimes when I need someone do that for me, they suddenly aren't available. Funny how that works. Great story here, it really made me think.

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  6. You never realize how much you can burden others by asking them to listen ... that's what I get out of this. Good story!

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  7. Oh I like this...Not sure quite what her job is.Maybe she's a stay at home mum who always has the kettle on. But I can't wait to find out what she's going to do with all these secrets!

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  8. I thought toilet until she claimed to have a husband. My bathroom puts on a really good listening face. She's a pretty prickly listener. I don't doubt whoever she is, she only had the guts to say it to herself. Reads like the sort of thing people tell themselves to muster personal spark.

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  9. She's a beautician!
    This is great.
    Glad I read this, now I'll think about what she is all night!!

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  10. Loved it. I think she may be serial killer by night and a hairdresser by day!

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  11. She listens so well. I loved the inner dialog when she played with words. How often do we do that even when we really are empathetic? Those stray thoughts....

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  12. Ooh, sounds like a blackmailer in the making to me.

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  13. Short and sharp this one Rebecca, listening to other people's crap is a reality of life for many professions.

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  14. This one certainly hints of fireworks to come. Good story!

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  15. Fantastic story! I too am very curious about the listener's occupation. Absolutely loved it.

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  16. Slightly sinister at the end... you should be careful how much you share with anyone, knowledge is power, after all!

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  17. So many people seem to forget that just because they like to mindlessly unburden themselves doesn't mean that others don't take conversations seriously. This stuff can always come back to haunt.

    Good one.

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  18. Ooh this was really wonderful! I bet hairdresser. People tell their hairdressers everything.

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  19. hairdresser or bartender, hell maybe even a bank teller.. I hear a LOT of stories as a bank teller! LOL

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  20. I feel her annoyance at times!
    Liked the "muhahahaha" ending :-D

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