Break Even: A Ratatouille One-shot

I wrote this a couple weeks ago and submitted it to dA and just the other day. I’ll warn you ahead of time, it runs in a more melancholy, depressing vein, so if you don’t like my darker work then you probably won’t like this. :stuck_out_tongue:

I’ve gotten a number of surprisingly great reviews on this over at dA, so I’m anxious to hear what you guys think. :slight_smile:

I rated it K+ for slight mature themes and like one bit of language. And yes, I’mma include my author’s notes from dA and, if you don’t mind. It helps to tell the story, I suppose.

Here’s the link on if you want to add it to your favorites or something.

Author’s note:

[i]They say bad things happen for a reason,
but no wise words gonna stop the bleeding.
'Cuz she’s moved on, while I’m still grieving
And when a heart breaks, no it don’t break even.

What am I gonna do
when the best part of me was always you?
And what am I supposed to say
when I’m all choked up, but you’re okay?
I’m falling to pieces,
I’m falling to pieces…

You got his heart, and my heart, and none of the pain
You took your suitcase, I took the blame
Now I’m trying to make sense of what little remains
'Cuz you left me with no love, and no love to my name

I’m still alive, but I’m barely breathin’,
Just praying to a God that I don’t believe in.
'Cuz I got time, while she got freedom,
And when a heart breaks, no it don’t break even.[/i]

This song could not describe the situation more perfectly.


Be warned, this ends abruptly and quite horribly. I just couldn’t bring myself to finish it, and I figured that this ending described the situation well.

My sister and I had watched Ratatouille sometime during my hiatus, and I got so incredibly inspired to revisit some of the characters and write out some of the scenes that have only ever played in my mind; scenes I’ve never put on paper yet. This was one of them.

I have this whole continuing story planned out, of what happens to Alfredo and Colette and what becomes of their relationship. This is… ultimately what it all came down to. When she discovers that she’s having Nolan, she freaks out, and Alfredo ends up a single dad, because Colette refuses to help out.

The idea for this was heavily inspired by the song Break Even by The Script… I heard it a while back, and the first thing that came to mind was this particular situation.

I hope this came off as powerfully as intended. :confused:


Alfredo glanced down at his cell phone, which was sitting a few inches away from his laptop, when he heard it vibrate. The screen glowed softly, silently announcing 1 New Message. He reached for it and quickly read over the short text message, which the phone told him was from Colette.

Alfredo I need to talk with u. im busy so txt me.

With a small smile on his lips, he hurriedly replied to her. He loved every minute of talking with her, whether they were talking or texting. They’d been dating since La Ratatouille had opened… just about a year now, he quickly figured in his head. And it had been the craziest, most incredible, and happiest year of his entire life; and he could never remember being happier in all his eighteen years of existence.

Hey, what’s going on? He replied.

She sent a message back only moments later. A lot. there’s something I need to tell u.

Alfredo furrowed his brow a bit and tilted his head, tapping the keys lightly as he thought about how he wanted to respond. Oftentimes, Colette went through hormonal mood swings and would use Alfredo to vent to; and although he loved her with everything he was, he had to admit to himself that sometimes it was really draining to listen to her unload.

Go ahead and talk, I’m listening. Or… reading.

He held his breath a bit while waiting for her reply, as if anticipating a huge, mashed-together wall of 160 characters all at once.

U want me to explain evrything or do u just want it straight up?

Not as bad as he expected at all.

Though, there was something about the way it was worded that implied what she had to say was going to be heavy.

However you feel like telling me, I guess. I told you I’m listening, he quickly tapped out and sent. Her reply came after a good five minutes, which seemed unusual because he knew how fast of a texter she was.

Her reply wasn’t a wall of text at all, and it didn’t have to be… her simple and concise message was enough to make Alfredo catch his breath and bite down on his lip.

I want to break up.

All he could do was stare, wide-eyed and silent, down at the screen of his phone, with those words glaring back at him in mockery. His fingers trembled, barely gripping the phone, as a million words, memories and feelings flooded over him at once. He recalled things she had gently whispered into his ear as she caressed his neck, making him believe that she wanted him and would never trade him or his love for anyone else.

“I love you; I love everything about you, and I don’t want anyone else,” she had said, and he could remember clearly every single tone of every single word; how they had slipped so gently and tenderly off of her wet, shimmery lips and into his mouth. The nerves in his neck began to tingle with the memory of her fingers slowly brushing his skin; how it had caused his entire body to tremble and his heart to completely collapse under the weight and heaviness of his feelings and hormones.

His mouth hung open as he continued to stare at the cold message, and his heart was thumping hard in his chest. He’d never given his heart to anyone before, because no one had ever given their heart to him… until she did. And she had given him so much more than that. Now, suddenly, she was taking it all back.

Just yesterday she made sure to kiss him before heading home from work, leaving him with the statement “I love you,” just as she always did. Nothing was different. She’d never shown any signs of disenchantment or dissatisfaction with the relationship.

He bit his lip, hard, fighting tears.

He’d been so lost in thought, he didn’t realize that he hadn’t replied yet. With all honesty, he had absolutely no idea what he was going to say. If he couldn’t even form a coherent thought, he didn’t know how in the world he was going to properly respond to her.

What did I do wrong? He typed out. Rereading it, he shook his head and erased it.

Is there something that I… No, that didn’t sound right, either. Tap tap tap tap…

Colette, why didn’t you say anything earlier? You could have just told me…

God, why couldn’t he write something that made sense?

His eyes began to sting, and his vision started to get blurry enough that he couldn’t see what he was typing anymore.


It was all he could say. All he could ask. All he could think, even.

Approximately seven minutes after receiving her message, he finally sent his reply. One word. The only thing he could possibly think to ask.

It almost bothered him how fast she was to answer his simple question.

Its just not gonna work. ur not rly the one I guess and I need 2 move on.

Alfredo felt like throwing up as he gagged on the sobs in his throat.

This was the most impersonal way to talk about it all. He had her number on speed-dial and called her up moments after he had received her last message. She didn’t even say “hello” when she answered his call.

“Colette,” he choked. It was painful to even listen to his own voice. “We… it was all fine yesterday, and the day before, and the weeks and months before. Wha… what’s going on? What happened?”

An uncomfortably large amount of silence followed his heartbroken question. She finally heaved an audible sigh.

“I told you not to call me,” she eventually spoke. Alfredo couldn’t recall ever hearing her voice sound so cold.

“Well, texting isn’t really the best way to break up with someone,” he sputtered, his voice shaking despite his attempts to hide how he was feeling. “Kind of… cold, you know?” He closed his eyes and ran his fingers through his hair. “Did I… go wrong somewhere? Is there something I did that, you know… made you feel this way?”

No reply.

Alfredo gulped. “Just tell me the truth, Colette.”

She hesitated. “The truth?

“That’s what I asked for, wasn’t it?”

“Well… yes.” There was another horribly long silence. “I… I found someone else.”

Alfredo could have sworn he’d been physically punched in the stomach.

“I found out I was pregnant, and didn’t want to tell you,” she continued. “I didn’t want that, so I went and found someone else.”

This time, Alfredo was the one silent and speechless. And he was beginning to feel nauseous.

He’d been… used. He’d just been wrapped around her finger this entire time.

And he’d believed that she actually loved him back.

How could he have not seen it? He had heard countless times from the other chefs when he was working with them that Colette was constantly going through guys and could never stay on one for very long. Yet he had ignored all of their stories and pursued her anyway, and thought he had done something right when she seemed to love him, too.

All she wanted was to use him up and spit him out. And he had been so blind…

“And yes, you did do something wrong,” her voice cut into his thoughts, “you gave me a baby I don’t want, and I’m considering getting an abortion as soon as I can.” Alfredo’s lip quivered before he spoke again.

“No, you can’t do that!” he suddenly cried as an indescribable wave of fear flooded through his body. Wait, why was he saying this? He didn’t want a baby any more than she did. “You didn’t even ask me if I wanted to keep it or not!”

“Well, do you?” she asked, exasperated. “Because I sure as hell don’t.”

“Yes,” Alfredo blurted. In a flustered sort of fashion, he rubbed his fingers into his temple as if he had a horrible itch along his hairline. “If you don’t want it, then… I do. I’ll… I’ll take care of it, if you promise to keep it and not… not abort it.” He sighed. “Please, Colette.”

“All right, fine,” she spat. “You’re paying for everything.”

The line went dead.

The title of this caught my eye because I know the song and sure enough it was something about the song! :smiley: This is one of my favorite songs! So, what I did when you wrote “The idea for this was heavily inspired by the song Break Even by The Script… I heard it a while back, and the first thing that came to mind was this particular situation.” was I went you YouTube and started the song. I listened to the song while I read the fanfiction; when it ended I started the song over again.
You were right about this song fitting the situation perfectly. Seriously, it was perfect. To the point where it was almost as if you wrote this, The Script read it, and wrote a song about it. 8D
I personally enjoyed this. :slight_smile: I’m surprised you haven’t gotten any other reviews. This was very good. I wish it wasn’t a one-shot, because I would have loved to know what happens next!! :wink:
I loved your choice of diction as well. For example, when you wrote the dialogue in the text messages, you wrote is just as if they were texting, which was fun. :slight_smile:

Wow, I log on this morning to see a review on this piece… you just made my whole day! <img src=“{SMILIES_PATH}/love2.gif” alt=“:loves:” title="In

Love" />

Music is, often, a very strong source of inspiration for a lot of what I write and draw, and oftentimes a piece is literally based on a song, as in this case. I pretty much did exactly what you did when you read it… I listened to the song practically on repeat. :laughing: It’s one of my favorites, too. I actually did a couple random sketches of Alfredo while listening to this song long before I wrote this, describing the same scene you see here. :stuck_out_tongue:

But wow… what a compliment! 8’D I haven’t posted fan fiction here in quite a while, mainly because I’ve focused a lot of my creative energy on HtTYD these days, but believe it or not people used to actually read and review my writing. :confused: I pretty much poured my heart into this, and it’s one of my better short pieces of fan fiction, so I totally understand you when you say you’re surprised no one’s reviewed it here yet. (Another reason why you just totally made my day. :slight_smile:)

I wanted this to be very… real. Thought processes are one of my strong points in writing, but I felt like actually writing out their text messages would have a strong relation to the reader, because most everyone texts these days, haha. I’m always trying to keep my writing sounding fresh, so I’m glad you liked that little element.

Well, I could always fix that, if you want. :laughing: I have a few little scenes in my head that kinda describe how life goes on for Alfredo after this point, and I was actually in the middle of writing about the moment he sees his little baby for the first time. :slight_smile: I just haven’t had much motivation to write any more, cuz it doesn’t really seem like anyone would read it, so I kinda hold back if I don’t feel a demand for more writing.

Seriously though, your little review just means so much to me. <3 Thank you so much, and I’m beyond flattered that you enjoyed it so much!

little chef

Look, do you enjoy writing? Do you enjoy writing? I know you do, because you show it. Everyone who reads has an opinion. Every single person. That’s something you cannot turn off. You can try, but it won’t work. I promise you that. Whether or not they show their opinion shouldn’t have anything to do with the amount of affection you have for writing and it doesn’t. You said it yourself. Even though no one here has reviewed this, you still love to write.

So keep going. :slight_smile:

I most definitely agree with that. I also listen to music to help spark my imagination. :wink:

Another great piece! You write these emotional pieces very realistic. I really enjoy your writing.

I’m honestly so flattered you’re taking the time to read and review my work. It means more to me than you know, especially because these pieces in particular are the closest to my heart. Thank you so much. :slight_smile:

little chef

You are very welcome, I really enjoy reading it.