Practising Conflict

The following scene is when the heroine (Kate) see’s the hero (Harry) when she’s out having lunch with her friend. She’s already met him, through work, and liked him, but now she’s seeing him in a new light…..

“Isn’t that Mr Rayner over there?” Francesca gestured with a nod of her head towards the back of the cafe. Kate turned and saw Harry Rayner sitting at a table with a young boy. She tried to look disinterested and turned back to the large display of sandwiches.

“Do you want a panini Francesca?”

“That must be his son. I wonder where his wife is, I told you he’s wearing a wedding ring.”

Kate pushed her friend forward as the queue moved slowly towards the cashier.

“Two medium skinny lattes and can we have these toasted please?” Kate placed a twenty pound note on the counter. It was her turn to pay today.

“Francesca, stop staring.” She whispered.

“I’m not, am I? Oh but Kate, he’s gorgeous.”

Kate gave a sideways glance to Harry’s table, just in time to see the boy knock over his drink.

“Oh for heaven’s sake Danny, what is the matter with you? Can’t I even have a coffee in peace?” Harry bellowed.

Kate and Francesca watched open mouthed along with the rest of the customers as Harry stood up, his chair scraping violently against the floor. He made his way to the sugar stand and grabbed a handful of serviettes. As he rushed back to his table his eyes met Kate’s.

“Oh, hi, sorry, I’ve…” He held up the handful of white tissues.

Kate smiled sympathetically. “I can see.”

“Yeah, child minders let me down.”

“Oh dear…” Kate was interrupted by the cashier.

“Two skinny lattes. Take a seat; we’ll bring the food over. Don’t forget your change.”

Kate turned to the cashier and took the coins, but when she turned back to Harry he had returned to his seat. She could see him talking to the boy through a clenched teeth whisper.

“Well, and there was me saying he seemed like a nice bloke.” Francesca huffed as she flicked her bleached blonde hair out of her eyes.

“Can we sit outside?” Kate asked. “You can work on your tan.” She knew exactly what to say to distract Francesca from the situation.

As they made their way outside with Francesca wittering on about her upcoming holiday Kate noticed the small boy sitting with Harry looked miserable. If she had stayed a few seconds longer she would have seen Harry apologise and for the pair of them to hug.

By the time the waitress brought them their panini’s Francesca had told Kate for the four hundredth time exactly what she still needed to buy for her trip to Cyprus.

“I can’t believe you’re not coming Kate, it would have been such fun!” Francesca pouted. “I’m sure we could have found you a rather attractive waiter, a summer fling?” She winked and laughed.

Kate smiled. “And that’s exactly why I’m not coming. Really Francesca, I don’t care if I stay single for the rest of my life.”

“You don’t mean that Kate. You will find someone nice, someone who won’t let you down. I’m sure of it.” Francesca lent forward and put her hand on Kate’s arm. “They’re not all like Ray you know.”

At that moment the door opened and out walked Harry. “Come on, come on Dan, I haven’t got all day.” He held the door open and frowned as the boy came out onto the pavement.

“Come on.” Harry urged and began to stride up the street. The boy ran to keep up.

Francesca turned to Kate. “And I’m sure they’re not all like Harry Rayner.” She giggled. “He may be lovely to look at but hey, I don’t envy his wife.”

Kate stared up the street and watched as Harry grabbed the young boy’s hand, pulling him across the busy main road.

“No, I hope not.” She muttered.

The idea of the exercise is to introduce conflict.

Did it work?

22 thoughts on “Practising Conflict

  1. Did he really hug the boy and apologize or was that what she imagined happened? I get the impression that she still may be attracted to him regardless. Lots of conflict namely in the form of Harry being a douche.

    Mmm, cupcake.


    • Lol…..hmmmmm, it’s what actually happened, but, I see what you’re saying. It’s hard isn’t it, because although she didn’t see it, I wanted to add it so that you would know that he’s not THAT bad. Thanks honey, I think I need to word it differently and possibly go for omniscient rather than 3rd person.

      Oh yes, she’s definitely still attracted to him 😉

      Ha ha ha 🙂



  2. Worked for me 🙂 I found it easy to visualise the characters in my head as I read. I did feel sorry for Harry and felt his frustration. – i am sure we have all had days Like that, I know I have.



  3. Definite conflict and I could really picture the scene in my head. Nice one Vikki. Your snippets always leave me wanting more and in this case possibly more cupcake. 🙂


  4. Nice job with the conflict, both in the dialogue and gestures. There’s a definite sense that Kate and Harry have something smoldering despite the uncomfortable situation. ‘Wittering on’ — I’m not familiar with the term but I love it, it’s so evocative.


  5. I felt tons of internal conflict in Kate trying to reconcile her obvious feelings for Harry with the actions he displayed at the cafe. That was intriguing. There is a hint of the Harry/Kate conflict, but needs more. I would keep reading, though. Good stuff.


  6. I really like this more subtle conflict, which you’ve handled well. It’s so true that ‘conflict’ doesn’t always mean arguments or overt differences – it can just as effectively be internal conflict, as we have here. I want to read more x


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