THE VERDICT IS IN – A Short Story
real decision is measured by the fact that you've taken new action.
If there's no action, you haven't truly decided. ~ Tony Robbin
“And furthermore”, she said, looking over her half-eye glasses, “repeating the same actions over again identically and expecting different results is insanity. So why is it every time we get together I hear the same monologue from you and yet you ponder your sadness?”
I toyed with my coffee, lifting the dark brown liquid in the spoon and watched as it fell back into the cup, making ripples. I inspected the handle noticing how it is not so much joined, but an actual part of the cup. Outwardly I was a simpleton daydreaming my life away, not hearing, not responding. Inside I was screaming at her, “Shut up! Shut up you condescending fool! You know nothing of what I feel, what I do, what I’ve tried.”
“Do you not hear me? Or do you enjoy your misery so that you won’t let go of it for the seconds it would take you to acknowledge the wisdom I offer you? Are you so engulfed in your self pity that you could not at least make polite conversation if nothing better?”
I curled and uncurled the cloth napkin around my index finger, “I have started writing.”
“You have what? Started writing. Writing what, a letter, an apology to all of the people you have let down with your absences from your responsibilities? That, as ineffective as I’m sure it would be, could be considered a start I suppose, though a small gesture.”
“No,” my answer was barely audible, “not a letter, a book, well a story rather, my story.” But inside,
“There I have put it out where you can openly scoff and have a merry laugh at my expense. You can laugh that dreadful shrill laugh that should shatter every crystal in this room.”
She is not laughing, she is not scoffing, from the way the veins are protruding and the pulse is pounding in her throat it appears she is quite afraid. She dismissed the waiter with an impatient wave of her gloved hand. “Your story is it? Well, what a unique venture. And this story, just what does it entail, if I may ask?”
If she may ask? Oh yes, she is frightened. She would demand, not ask. “Well, it is about my growing up. Our home, my childhood …”
She gathered her purse, leaning into my ear and I fought not flinch as she came closer. “You will do no such thing, Do you hear me? You will not spew lies and filth even onto a sheet of paper which no one would ever be the least bit interested in reading. If you feel you must write I will pay for you to attend a writing camp, a get away. It will do you good to get out of that musty apartment of yours and be around some people of culture and imagination. Better yet, we’ll send you to some lectures so you can learn of writers. You have no skills to apply to this venture. You will need to be taught the basic appreciation of the craft. One does not simply …write. I will phone you when it has been arranged.”
“No,” I manage to find my voice, "I will not go. I already have an instructor, well a mentor and he is helping me by editing as I write…”
She fairly fell back into the chair. ‘You have what? You have shown someone these ramblings? Who, who is this person, this man? Someone from that horrid “group” you attend? A fellow bedraggled soul with whom you share your lies?”
“No, actually he is an author and a splendid friend. He says I have great promise and that I have a natural gift for using language in a unique and wonderful way. He is connected to people who can help publish my work and …”
At this, the color drained from her pinched face and her voice was a hoarse whisper as she stood, not even bothering to lean toward me. “ I will see you dead before you spread your vicious tale. The doctor’s all agree this is nothing more than your psychosis, your sick twisted and delusional mind, making up false memories. Nothing more. And you will not be believed, not now, not ever.”
“My friend believes me and he believes in me. He says I will be published and when I am I will have my own income and you will no longer be burdened with my care.” I knew this should please her.
“You are a foolish, pathetic little being and I should pull all of your support right now. As a matter of fact, if you choose to pursue this madness, that is exactly what I shall do. How would that suit you? She rose and turned her back taking a few steps. “We are finished, come.”
I looked down at the table, tears threatening to spill from my eyes. “I prefer to stay a while, maybe have another cup of coffee.”
“Yes, she laughed contemptuously, “do that, and you can pay the tab. You can cover that, can’t you, an up and coming author that you are.”
I slipped silently from my chair and followed her out-of-doors and waited as the driver assisted her into the car. As I was about to get in she instructed the driver that I would not be coming with them, to close the door. She let down the dark tinted window and with a smile she said, ”You can start your new found freedom this minute. A good twenty-two block walk back to your apartment may clear your head, get you thinking about all you’ll be missing.
To be continued …
- THE VERDICT IS IN part 2
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