Tag Archives: what if

Someday

The last time Rita saw Theo, he was at a red light about to make a right turn onto a busy speedway that led straight into the city.
If it hadn’t been for that damn zigzagging biker, she wouldn’t have honked her horn.
He wouldn’t have turned towards her.
Their eyes wouldn’t have met one last time.
He shrugged and blushed.
She threw her hair back and laughed, shaking her head at him with a twinkle in her eye.
He waved, made the turn, and that was that.
Of course, there’s always that instinct…
That human survival skill that kicks in around your mid-thirties that makes you want to seize whatever opportunity you have left in life because it may not come around a second time.
She fought the urge to follow him.
Besides, she was in the wrong lane.
She drove forward towards her grandparents’ beach ranch.
One intersection.
No U-turn.
Two intersections.
No U-turn.
Three intersections.
She was going for it.
‘It’s now or never,’ she thought.
Never mind the milk in her trunk that would probably spoil.
Never mind her niece she was supposed to pick up from school. She knew the way home. She was old enough to walk.
She would make a U-turn at the next intersection, just past the railroad tracks.
Then she heard the train coming.
She slipped her heel off her right foot and jammed down on the accelerator.
She passed the tracks nice and clear before the rail started to come down.
She made the U-turn and then- No.
It was too late.
The silver late-model railcars reflected the intense summer sun one by one.
Beyond the glare she imagined happy couples falling in love at first sight and dining together for the first time.
By the time they got to their destinations, they would have exchanged addresses and they’d send each other post cards until they were ready to move in together.
50 years from now they’d be celebrating the anniversary of the date they met on this very train.
Rita clenched her teeth and lay her head on the steering wheel.
What was this, the 300th car? 400th? She’d lost count after seven.
Finally, the rail started going up and she didn’t know whether to try to find Theo’s car, who by now was probably a good five minutes ahead of her, or to turn back around and go to the ranch.
“Ah, what the hell,” she said to herself. “What do I have to lose?”
But the rail came back down again.
She rolled her eyes in despair.
Was the train going to go in reverse?
Yes, the train was going to go in reverse and switch tracks.
Ludicrous engineers.
How dare they.
But it was a momentary false alarm, and the train went forward again on its way.
Rita wouldn’t have known that, having made another U-turn and taken a back alley over to the speedway.
She thought Theo would be at his brother’s house and took that exit.
She wove between faster cars down the boulevard, looking for his car, which he would have to have parked out on the street.
She went around the neighborhood three times, unable to recognize the house.
“Perhaps they painted it? Added a second story?”
She hadn’t been there in five years.
Finally, she gave up and pulled over at a gas station.
She thought she saw Theo’s car, but there was a young woman driving it.
Up until then it had never occurred to her that Theo might have moved on.
The notion had been there- the fear– but not the belief.
After all, why should he move on, if here she was daydreaming about him after all these years?
Her imagination had been enough to fuel her affection, so why shouldn’t he feel the same way?
Suddenly, it all made sense.
Why he’d stopped texting her all of a sudden.
Why he’d been so curt every time they happened to run into each other.
Of course.
He’d moved on long ago.
How could she be so dumb?
It was there before her eyes all along.
She didn’t finish filling her tank and went home.
The truth is, it wasn’t Theo’s car at the gas station that day.
Theo had been headed into the city, but after he got on the speedway, he got off at the first exit and came back around toward where he’d seen Rita.
In fact, he would have seen her were it not for a passenger train blocking his view.
When the rail finally lifted, what with the sun in his eyes and the eagerness to pull out of there, he didn’t see Rita turning her car around and Rita sure as hell didn’t see him.
He went to her grandparents’ ranch, didn’t see her car there and waited half an hour for her to show up.
A little girl passed by the gate.
“Is Rita around?”
“Aunt Rita?” said the girl. “She was supposed to pick me up. Something real important musta come up.”
“Will you tell her…”
“Huh?”
Theo saw he was making the young girl nervous.
“Never mind. Thanks.”
He drove off back into the city, where he made a decent living and lots of friends over the next couple of decades, letting time roll down his back.
Rita found the strength to move on too.
She married a real nice man whom she gets a real nice alimony check from every month, which kind of sort of makes up a little for his real nice new wife that’s taken her place.
But no one’s taken Theo’s place.
If they’re not so knuckleheaded, perhaps they’ll find that out someday.

Flash Fiction: the Day Naboo Was a Human

Ever since she was a kitten, Naboo just naturally assumed one day she would grow up to be a human like her mom, dad and grandparents.

“But you are not human,” her sister, Fifa, would insist in vain. “You are a cat, like me. You have stripes and whiskers like me.”

“Nonsense, Fifa, you may grow up to be a cat if that’s what you choose to be, but I’m sure I’m gonna grow up to be a human, just like Mommy.”

image

The years went by and Fifa taunted Naboo.
“Ha! See? You still have a tail and all.”

Naboo replied aggravated, “Wait until I graduate kitten-garden! Then I can start working like a humans do.”

Fifa rolled her pearly cyan eyes while Naboo worked hard at eating up all the garden plants, believing that was the fastest way to graduate from kitten-garden.

Finally, her graduation day came and Mommy and Daddy said, “OK, Naboo, that’s enough munching on plants. No more garden for you.”

They had a two-week long graduation party in which no one ate anything but canned gourmet food and sedatives.

Naboo applied to a number of jobs but none of them called back because she didn’t have enough work experience.

“Do you think it’s ok I used Dr. Mowry as a reference?” she asked Fifa.

“Our vet? What if she tells them you had a UTI?”

“Oh. But nobody knows what that is.”

“People know, Naboo! You don’t know cause you’re a cat!”

“Stop calling me that!”

“Cat! Cat cat cat cat cat! C-A-T, CAT!”

And they’d start to wrestle on top of their mommy at three in the morning.

Naboo was beginning to lose all hope of ever going to work as a human and was beginning to think a life of sleep, play and laziness might be all she was cut out for.

Then one day her mom woke up hideously ill.

“Naboo, darling, I cannot go to work today. Please call the office and tell them I am sick.”

This was the chance Naboo had been waiting for.

While Mommy was busy emptying out the previous night’s tuna from her digestive system, Naboo cunningly swiped the green button on the cell phone and meowed that due to unforeseen circumstance, she would be filling in for her mom that day.

Of course, it didn’t matter what she was meowing.
None of the people at the office spoke Meow.

She arrived at the office and sat on her mommy’s chair.
“Hello,” said her mommy’s nearsighted boss, Mr. Galapagos.
He handed her some papers.
“Please shred this stack.”

Naboo was an experienced shredder.

Her mom’s manager called.
“I’m out today but do you need me to buy more sticky notes?”

Naboo replied, “Mrror.”

Customers came and rubbed her belly.
She told them it would give them luck, and they gave her money.
She didn’t know what money was, so she shredded that too.
She made copies of lots of papers on the paw-friendly copy machine, before shredding those as well.
When she wasn’t sure if she’d shredded enough, she decided to go ahead and shred every paper in the office, just to be on the safe side.
Then she filled stacks of empty boxes with the shredded paper and took a hard-earned nap inside.

And when the day was over, the boss came and congratulated her on her efficiency.

Naboo had worked so hard she had missed her lunch break.
When she got home that evening, she explained to her parents, “Mom? Dad? I am grateful for the opportunity but I think I’m gonna keep being a kittens for now.”

Fifa rolled her glossy Venus-shaded eyes and waited til three in the morning before picking another wrestling match against her obstinate twin sister.

Daily Prompt: Worst Case Scenario- Take 2

I read this in the morning and thought about it and now that the day is through, my answer would differ.

In the morning I thought the best thing that could happen to me would be to run into an old friend.
The worst would be to find out someone I care about was in a fatal accident.

This takes me back to January 25th of this year.
It started as one of the best days of my life.
One of my Bible students got baptized that day.
Our baptisms are rather simple.
Hundreds of us gather to hear different talks on Bible topics and then at noon, they bring the candidates to a pool outside and submerge them in water.
That day, my Bible student was the only female getting baptized.
It was a great blessing to have had the honor of helping her.

That same evening, my uncle got hit by a car while he was walking home from work.
He died on impact.

Granted, I didn’t find out until the next day-

<long pause>

He was a painter and a guitarist. My dad’s younger brother.
I guess we had a lot in common with him.
Just one of those people who cannot be anything other than poetic.

<long pause>

Now that the day is done, I think the best thing that could have happened today would have been for me to have gotten sucked into another dimension.
A dimension of peace.
Fast forwarded through this world and all its vices, violence, harassment, illnesses, accidents, poverty, debt, envy and all, into a world where the delicate balance between man and nature has been restored.
The worst thing that could have happened to me would have been to have run into an old friend.
Or to have hypothetically yelled at them over the phone.

…I probably don’t belong in that peace dimension quite yet.

I’m just tired of feeling used.
But really, upon further reflection, nothing hurts more than losing someone you care about, except failing someone you love.
Like God, for instance. Or your own self.

Is my one month of prompts almost over?
I’m beginning to considerably dislike this.

Whoops! I forgot the pingback 🙂 WP blablahblah click here