Personally, I think the writing is good here. As far as I’m concerned, “was” and “were” are pretty much invisible when used in this way. And maybe I’m wrong, but the other repetitions seem to be done on purpose. A choice made because of the rhythm it creates, and for emphasis. I thought that read fine (until the ending maybe, where it felt a bit overdone.)
“Mom” needs to be capitalized when using it in place of a name.
someone who had two affairs (each in a different country)
I’m not sure why it matters that the affairs were in different countries. I’d probably cut the part in parentheses.
For me, I found the story interesting and wanted to keep reading right up to when he first spoke to Lauren. I got confused starting with the first line she spoke (which I sort of felt was intentional on your part, to be cryptic or something, but it was over my head). The line “Whenever she turned to leave, something would happen…” felt like we jumped time there or something, as one moment he’s talking to her for the first time, and then it’s “whenever she turned to leave”, and I wasn’t sure whether she was trying to leave multiple times that first meeting, or if you were showing time passing, saying they met daily and every time she left these weird things would happen. Anyway, something in the wording there felt off, and I had a hard time following what was happening after that.
Thank you for your time.
Yes, the word repetition is on purpose. Per the other posters, I can’t imagine why they’d think I wouldn’t notice that, and NOT do it on purpose. That’s part of the style I mentioned earlier. I just wasn’t sure if they were referring to some descriptive words I may have used too often.
As for the second bit about Lauren, you’re right that it kinda feels rushed. I think when I was first writing it, I realized my word count was going to be a little too high, so I may have pushed to quickly to get to the end. I’ll have to look at that again and maybe add some clarifications/descriptors in there. 🙂
The wording was meant to be cryptic, of course, but if it’s TOO cryptic, that’s also a problem.