Peer Review by anemoia (#words) (United States)

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Raphael and Maya

By: BizzleWrites


Raphael screamed with all his heart. It felt like choking, unable to breath, yet unable to stop the flow of screams. He knew she was gone, the girl he had given all his love to, and more than that, he knew it was all her fault. The way she'd smiled the first time they had met, Raphael, is it? We will be great friends, I think. Now, she was gone. She hadn't even looked back as she stormed out into the rain, away from Stormdale, away from Raphael. The girl had been right, they had been great friends. But at what cost? Raphael's breath was short, his amber eyes were red from crying. He felt helpless, he would surely die here, alone by the river. He tried not to scream, to hold it in so people wouldn't find him. He gulped, his chest felt broken, his throat was sore from crying. It hurt more than anything else, that the girl he'd trusted had turned out to be heartless, that he'd been played pawn in the worlds harshest game of chess. So Raphael cried more, his breath coming out in short, shallow gasps, his teeth gittering every time they touched, like an electric shock. He wondered, had that girl every really been his friend? Of course she hadn't, he'd been fooled by something that was merely an act, Raphael meant nothing to that snake, of that he was sure. 

On the other side of the river, in a clearing in the woods, Maya was staring blankly at a rock. She felt terrible, she knew that Raphael would never want to speak to her again. If only she hadn't stormed off, if only she'd kept her cool and spoken calmly. But being calm and polite when people were mean wasn't in Maya's nature. She had just meant to go outside for a minute, to calm down, but when Raphael had screamed that he was sorry, after her, it had been to much to deal with so soon. How could that git be sorry? Maya felt her chest tightening, tears sprang to her eyes. If only she hadn't acted how she did. If only Raphael hadn't wound her up so much. If only she wasn't such a horrible person. Maya stood up, this was pointless, she couldn't sit on a look weeping like a Disney Princess. She didn't realize it, but her teeth were clenched so tight that her jaw hurt. Maybe Raphael had really meant it when he said he was sorry, maybe she could forgive him. She walked down the path out of the clearing, wondering what would happen if she went back to Stormdale. Raphael himself said he was sorry. If he'll take it, I'll give him another chance. Standing on the bridge, Maya could see something on the other side of the river. There was something sitting on a rock, maybe a person, maybe just and animal or another rock that looked like one. She walked briskly across the bridge, holding back the tears. She clenched her jaw harder, trying to tell herself that she'd done nothing wrong, and that everything was Raphael's fault. On the other side of the river, she could see Raphael, he was sitting on the rock.                                 
    "Raphael! It's me, Maya! Please, I just want to talk," Maya shouted to him. But her words came out with a sharp edge, she was still mad at him. 
    Raphael turned to her, even from a distance she could see that he was crying. He then turned away, ignoring her. This wasn't right, he couldn't ignore her. They'd been friends just hours before. 
"Raphael, please! If any of this was my fault, I'm sorry!" Maya cried, but the sorry came out sounding very much the opposite. She put an emphasis on SO making it sound as if she just wanted him to listen to her.     
    Raphael finally turned back around. "I'm sorry, Maya. But I know you hate me. It's too late to pretend to apologize," his voice cracked. He was clearly holding back tears. "I thought I knew you, Maya. I thought we were friends."              
    Maya was within a few meters of Raphael now. "We are friends. If you ruin everything, then tell me you don't know me, the very fact that I'm forgiving you should be a miracle."
    "Well, everyone hates me anyway. I'm Raphael, the one there's legends made up by village kids about, the one who is a horrible person. You have been my friend, that in itself is a tremendous thing."

I guess this is about what loosing someone you think is a friend is like, or about how you can want to still be friends, but be furious with them and hurt. And crying, lots of crying. 

Peer Review

The very first sentence drew me in. Raphael just screamed with so much pure agony, the letters themselves seemed to cry out with all the pain he feels. It hurt. It made me feel. And I think that's one of the most important things. Then, I became intrigued at the time period and setting. River and bridge in the woods? Stormdale? Village legends? I'm pulled into something in a distant or past place. I also love POVs where it shows both sides of the same coin, like this. Both of them are hurting so clearly, but for different reasons.

Ordinarily, I might suggest more paragraph breaks. However, the stream-of-consciousness style also works super well. It conveys so much raw hurt and emotion. It just depends on exactly the mood/tone and impact you want to hit the reader with. I really do like the way you wrote it, and it makes sense, like I'm seeing into their minds and their emotions are running wild. On the other hand, more paragraph breaks could make it feel more dramatic. But that's totally up to you, because both styles would stir the deep emotions in a reader and make them ache with sympathy and anguish.

Reviewer Comments

I think you did so well in conveying the conflicting emotions that we humans have. Like you said in your footnotes, I can feel, not just see, how Raphael and Maya want to be friends again, how much they miss and need each other, but also how furious and hurt they both are.
In my opinion, stirring emotion in a reader is one of the most important things that writing can do, especially fiction. It can be any emotion. In this case, it was the agony, the anguish, the visceral pain, the hurt, the sorrow, the longing, the regret, the frustration. You made it REAL. And that, I believe, is a noble achievement. You focused on emotion and made me FEEL it.
Keep writing, please. The world needs words as powerful as these.