Yes, it happens. Love. When we don’t want it. When we say, no. When we say, I am not ready. I’m too old. I’ve given it up. I’m over it. It still happens. It’s an accident, and there’s nothing we can do to prevent it.
For me, it happened like this:
It was a typical Tuesday, you know, like Tuesdays are. Typical. And I was late for work. And, running across the street, I stumbled. I always stumble, every time I run. I can’t help it. It’s the tricky ankle. But this time, I stumbled into a man who was walking the other direction. And no, I didn’t fall in love with him, when he caught me by the elbow to keep me from falling. Even when I heard his soft voice ask, “Are you all right, love?” I didn’t fall in love–not with him.
It was when I heard someone laugh, from across the street, that cheeky boy with the Starbucks to-go cup and the wink and his hat at the rakish angle–but I didn’t fall in love with him, either.
I fell in love with the woman standing next to him, who looked at me, with eyes so soft. She’s been there, too, rushing, hurrying, caught unawares, and held up by someone else’s hand.
When the man at my elbow left, and the cheeky boy stopped laughing, she smiled. I crossed the street.
“Life’s a bitch, sometimes,” she said, and that was when I recognized this flush. “And then, we get on, anyway.”
I walked the rest of the block to work. She crossed the street. I don’t know that I’ll ever see her again, but then, that’s not really the point, is it?
Author’s note: Not to be outdone by poetry, short stories have claimed the month of May! Dare I? I think I’ll give it a try… but here’s the deal: I can write short (like super-short) little snippets–they don’t have to be full stories–and I can modify the prompts as I choose. I’m also letting myself post rough stuff–think of this as like a writer’s sketchbook, filled with rough little pieces.
Prompt for May 1: “Write a story about someone who leaves the house for work, and on the way has some kind of accident,” from StoryADay.org (I modified the prompt, which was intended as a POV exercise, using only the setup.)