Friday, March 16, 2012

Short Story Saturday: Entrance Ramp

Writing Assignment: Tell a story about a fork in the road and a life changed because of the harder road taken.  (reference - Robert Frost, The Road Not Taken)

Dear girl,
I know that today you’re happy.  Today you think you have everything you’ve ever wanted.  Today your life is perfect.  But let me tell you a story about tomorrow.  Because, baby, tomorrow is going to change the course of your life forever.  Tomorrow is going to be the first day of your life.
This is your story.

You will wake up in the room with a dull headache.  Perhaps it is from sleeping too hard, but more likely it is from sleeping too little.  You will look over at the sleeping boy, knowing when he wakes up he will probably say something like “Happy Birthday babe,” or “Another year older, huh?”.  Or maybe he’ll say nothing at all, hoping the diamond earrings that he has tucked away in the tiny wrapped box are enough.  He'll wrap you in his arms and it will be perfect.  
You'll decide that you can't wait any longer and you’ll try shooting lasers from your eyes into his forehead, willing him to wake up, but he won’t even stir.

After some thought you decide to start the day off alone, because letting him sleep on seems like something a good girlfriend would do.  You’ll stumble off to the bathroom and stand under the falling water thinking about how great your day is going to be with him.  Your birthday.  He must have something amazing planned for you. He must.  After getting ready, you decide that you’ve taken long enough.  He’s probably waiting for you in the room, on the edge of his bed, excited to wish you a happy birthday and to sweep you off your feet.

Only you’ll be wrong.  He’s still sound asleep, except now he’ll be breathing just heavy enough to completely drive you mad.  You might as well go get some coffee while you wait.  You attempt to wake him up to tell him you’re going out, but he barely lets out a groan as he turns over in the bed.  You’ll start to feel a little jaded, but this will only be temporary baby.  You see, you’re used to feeling jaded lately.  

Your coffee will taste exquisite.  In fact, it will be the best coffee you’ve ever had.  You’re still drinking it with lots of milk and sugar, aren’t you baby?  You’ll look out the window and think about how excited you were to come out to visit the day before.  You drove for hours well over the speed limit because you couldn’t get here fast enough to see him.  You’ll remember that you love him.  You’ll remember that you knocked on his door with so much anticipation....or were they expectations?

You won’t know it at the time baby, but he’ll still be sound asleep in his bed, not realizing how critical every minute is.  If he would have just woken up and found you, he could have changed the fate that will be delivered in those moments.  He could have cooled the hot coals that were flickering with heat in your chest.  

You'll see a family walking down the street together.  You'll see an old couple holding hands.  You'll see two friends sharing a laugh.  You'll see your own reflection in the window.  
You’ll look at your watch and realize that you’ve had enough.  Enough of the dull listless date nights that end with you feeling unfulfilled and disappointed.  Enough of driving two hours just to eat dinner at the all-you-can-eat buffet with him and his friends.  Enough of the promises of marriage that no longer seem appealing to you.  Enough.


This is where the road gets bumpy baby.  Because tomorrow you’ll walk back into his room and tell him it’s over.  You won’t be able to tell him why, because you yourself won’t know.  You won’t be able to make any promises, because you have no promises to give. And you won’t believe it’s happening, because today you just cannot imagine it.  

It will hurt baby.

And it will be hard.

But there are better things on the other side.
Things that will take years to get to you, but are worth the wait.

Be patient baby, because this intersection will guide you down the road you were meant to be on.  This is the road map of your life baby.  And tomorrow you’ll be entering the freeway.