Student or Learner
Would you please correct my mistakes in the first part of my short story?
A young man sat in the orchard under the blossoming cherry trees. Bees buzzed around, birds chirped, and butterflies fluttered over the lush grass. The spring sun had poured its light and heat upon the earth and made both nature and humans bloom and radiate. Close to the chair, clusters of flowers bloomed, and their scent lingered in his nostrils. Though the open window wafted the aroma of freshly baked cake, his mother had just taken out of the oven. The young man opened the book at random and skimmed the first page, which was a poem, but his mind was not receptive. He lifted up his eyes and gazed towards the neighbouring garden about twenty meters away, just across the road. There he saw flowers and few trees blooming just as his own did. He glanced at the house, which was to the left of the garden, and was disappointed that nobody had come outside. It was a modern, two-storey house, painted white, which now was dazzling in the sun. He could not avoid thinking that compared to that elegant, pretty house his own was old and shabby. He turned his attention back to the book, read another poem and gave up. His gaze drifted again towards the garden, but it was still empty. Disappointed, he let his eyes wander towards other houses, orchards and gardens, which his neighbours were so proud of.
Here people knew each other well. Orchards and gardens were places where one drank coffee, drinks and exchanged the latest gossips with the neighbours. What they thought of him—a shy, quiet seventeen years old man who loved books and mostly kept himself to himself? His father prodded him to become a member of some sport club, but he had no desire to run on the track, chase a ball or wield a racquet. He could not understand what the meaning of competition was. Why were some people so eager to win and set new records, which would be broken anyway by a new generation? Occasionally he played basketball or football in the street with other boys, but his fitness was poor, and he would easily become breathless. Father teased him for not having a girlfriend. “When I was your age girls clung to me like grapes, and you are afraid of them. If you don’t make a first move, you’ll never get a girl.”
“Leave the boy in peace,” his mother said. “There are more important things in life than girls. Not all men are skirt-chasers, you know...You a womaniser? Don’t make me laugh.” He liked to hear Mother defending him, especially when she occasionally put Father in his place. Lately, because of Father’s teasing, he started to feel animosity towards him. He studied his thinning grey hair, his wrinkled face and his paunch, and thought, Would those girls who clung to you when you were young, still clung to you today? Father would never understand how he suffered because of his shyness, how he was disabled, incapable to overcome his fear. Whenever he blushed a wave of panic swept over him, and he was paralysed. He looked in the mirror many times every day. Would ever be an end to his plight? He was a keen reader of teenage magazines, especially the columns in which the experts answered the readers’ letters. Apparently, some affliction like acne, warts and halitosis could be easily cured with ointments and pills, but shyness and blushing was something the youth should not worry about, according to the specialists. Some recommended antidepressants for those who really suffered, but that was a short-term measure, which had some negative side effects and did not solve the problem. The good news was that with time and growing self-confidence these problems would disappear or became irrelevant. Their advice, however, was of no help to the young man who wished to get rid of his plight now.
He glanced at the pretty house repeatedly, and his pulse quickened when the door opened, and a girl stepped onto the patio. She wore a blue dress, and as she walked towards the garden, the breeze ruffled her blond curls and the dress. Lightness rushed through his body, as if adrenaline were injected into his veins. The girl ambled with dignity--the sun sparkling in her hair transforming her into a nymph. She strolled among the flowerbeds, bent and picked a red flower. She smelled it, walked for a while, leaned over the raspberry bushes, swept the leaves aside and held the unripe fruit between her fingers. She then squatted, potted among the strawberries, and returned into the house.
The young man breathed in deeply, as if he would be able to suck the scents from the garden after the girl had left. Now he could return into his house, do his homework, write his poems, read books or watch TV. The girl was his nourishment; although at times he wished he could get rid of his desire which haunted him like a strange dream. Was he going mad? Would he ever be normal again?
TO BE CONTINUED
Thank you for your help. I am really grateful that you have taken a time to look at my short story and correct the mistakes. Regarding my story, I can tall you that it is semi-autobiographical. Not everything what I describe had happened to me, but I think the feelings and the mood which comes out of it are mine. I have tried to fictionalise them and make them interesting so that other people can enjoy in the story. Everyone was young and in love. Sometimes you love a real person and sometimes you love an illusion. But the feelings are almost the same. Therefore, I gave the main character the name "the young man". Many men can identify with him and his feelings. Actually, I wrote this story as an exercise in third person point of view. Before, I have written mostly in the first person, but now I have decided to write it in the third, keeping close to the main character as much as possible. I have avoided to use "he thought" or "he wondered", and presented his thoughts directly. I think this is the right method for this story in which feelings play such an important part.
I posted more than what shows here, but it disappeared.
Bassim, you continue to improve. After a while, there won't be anything I can tell you. (Of course, the way my memory is going, going, going there won't be anything I can tell anybody pretty soon. )
I'll go back to part four now, and catch up later.
I am glad that your mind is still functioning as it should.
I have to tell you that I would not have improved without all you teachers who have helped me correcting my texts on this forum. I remember all of you, and I am grateful to all of you. A few years ago, it was "Svaneska" who have helped me much, than "Gil," "tedmc" and also you and especially "teechar" in the last weeks. I know that behind every nickname there is a human being, who has taken his or her time to help me. You have all shared your knowledge with me, and you should be proud of yourself.
Last edited by Bassim; 02-Nov-2015 at 18:59.
Actually, I seem to be forgetting things faster than ever. (My epilepsy doctor in St. Louis (Dr. Attarian) told me that would happen.) As you can imagine, it can be frustrating when you read something and then promptly forget what you read. (That happened with "apposite", and hours after I needed it I was able to remember what I needed to remember.)
I am now on Facebook, and it must be the home of the worst spelling on the Internet. (I don't know why people think "lose" and "loose" are the same thing. The same goes for "no" and "know" and also "new" and knew". And there are worse examples than those.)
Your generation, Tarheel, went to a proper school. Your teachers probably urged you to speak and write grammatically correct. But nowadays everything is relative. Many students do not bother to spell correctly, and believe spelling is not so important, but they are not aware that incorrect spelling makes their language careless. When I ride a bus, I see young boys staring at their iPhones all the time. They do not even talk to each other. They send SMS messages to each other and do not bother about grammar. I grew up without mobile phones or computers, but I think I had more fun than the generation of today.
By being on UE I have learned more about grammar terminology. Although, come to think of it, probably not that much. For example, I don't think I ever studied conditionals in school. I have read that stuff on conditionals a couple of times, but I have just as quickly forgotten it. I have no trouble whatsoever understanding sentences with conditionals in them, but I couldn't tell you the difference between a first conditional and a second conditional if my life depended on it. (It has something to do with English grammar. )
Some things are easy, and some things are not.