Sarah’s Prompt: Summer is all about making choices, so this time I’m giving you an option. Check out the Instagram account called Yeah_Write, an account dedicated to daily visual writing prompts. You can pick an old picture (and it’s accompanying prompt if you wish) or go with the one for whatever day you start writing. Please link us to whichever picture you decide!
I chose this link: http://instagram.com/p/nyLcoIke8h/ (Copy and paste it into your browser! It wouldn’t let me save from my computer from some reason.)
And now… the story. Disclaimer: I’m not posting this on my Facebook and will lead those that I know will understand this story to this link. Monica will get it though. 🙂
On Top of Mt. Future
There we were sitting on one of the most beautiful places in God’s green earth when Kara turned to me and said, “I think we should break up.”
I didn’t look up from the book I was reading. Not because I was really interested by it, but because I didn’t know how to respond to the statement that I sensed was coming. So I waited, the fog rolling in from the mountains and turning the tension heavier. I looked over her shoulder to see what page number she was on.
“I’m on page two-seventeen,” I told her. She shrugged, seemingly uninterested. “That’s only three behind you.”
“Great,” she said, shifting so that our shoulders had at least a foot apart. I wish I could say that I had no idea why she was treating me this way, but let’s face it, I knew exactly which cause was to blame.
“We were bound to break up anyways,” I said, turning the page in my book. “I mean, think about it. We’ve only been going out for a year.”
“That’s an infinity in high school years,” Kara snapped, pulling at her novel’s binding. She only hurt books when she was angry.
This fight wasn’t a new one for us. It all started five months ago when I told Kara I loved her. It seemed like the right thing to do. We’d been dating for seven months and had already been deemed the school’s cutest couple. At least, that’s what it looked like to me. I didn’t anyone else walking down the hallways with smiles as big as ours. I discovered happiness but forgot to calculate in the power of those three, overused words: I love you. Let me explain.
I loved pizza. I loved staying up late and watching footballs games. I loved the internet. And I loved Kara Newsbury. But eating pizza every day would make me fat. Staying up late to watch football games would make me tired the next day at work. Bumming around online all day would make me miss the real world. And loving Kara Newsbury would only end in a heartbreak that I would cause.
Kara wanted something I could never have: a family. She had a mom, dad, two sisters, a brother, and one ugly looking bulldog, but she wanted her own family. The kind that you get by getting married and popping out babies.
“What are you so afraid of?” Kara asked, setting her book off to the side. Her brown eyes turned to mine. “Is the thought of being with me after high school that terrifying?”
“Well when you make that face…” I winked to show her I was joking, but she didn’t laugh. She sighed and moved to sit on the bench across from where I sat, her hands wringing in her lap. “That was a joke,” I said for clarification.
Kara shook her head. “No, what’s a joke is your disregard for anything dealing with your future.”
I scoffed. “Why? Because it doesn’t involve you?”
“Because you think you’re only going to be a drunk that comes home and beats up his family every night. But Caden, that’s not you. You’re not your dad.” She slammed a hand over her mouth, her brown eyes wavering with tears. “That came out mean.”
I shrugged. She wasn’t wrong.
The bench creaked as she rejoined me, her presence near but still not touching. “Listen,” she said. “I’m just frustrated because I think you’re a good guy. But you see yourself as this guy destined to fail and that sucks.”
“It has nothing to do with you.”
“But I care about you.” Finally, her skin made contact with mine. Her hand reached for mine and brought it to her lips, the softness of her kiss brushing my fingertips. “But I can’t be in a relationship where you don’t even want to try and be happy.”
“I was happy.”
She dropped my hand. “Forget it.” She snatched up her book and threw it in her messenger bag. “I’m going to go away to college next year.”
“What does that have to do with anything?”
She growled and hit her fists into her hips. “It’s a sign that I’m moving forward in my life. I want to have a career and get married and live happily ever after.”
“I blame Disney,” I said.
“And I blame you for the way your life is going to end up. You can’t deny that you felt somewhat happy when you got accepted into college.”
“My dad went to college,” I said, standing to my feet. I could feel my voice gaining a volume that I wasn’t proud of. “He went to college and became a lawyer and you know where that got him?”
The wind blew Kara’s hair to the side, keeping it there even as she shook her head. “Your dad made stupid decisions. They don’t have to be yours.”
I turned and started back towards my shitty car parked at the bottom of the walking path. Kara had her opinions, but she didn’t know the whole truth. Dad wasn’t the only abusive person in the lineup of my ancestors. The grandfather I never met was apparently a real ass. I can’t count on all my fingers how many times Mom told me that he’s the reason my dad was what he was. And don’t even get me started on my great-grandfather. He ended his days behind bars.
I stomped my boots on the trail as I started my descent. I couldn’t—wouldn’t—talk to Kara when anger threatened to burst from my chest and destroy everything in its path. How terrible would that look on my part to blow up at the first girl that said yes to my asking them out?
“Look out!” I heard Kara shout. But it was too late. Before I knew it, I was on the ground with my palm pressed against my bleeding forehead. Opening my shut eyes, the only thing I saw was a bright shade of blue. I blinked, but it didn’t go away.
“I’m blind!” I shouted, rubbing my eyes with my knuckles. I felt the tiny fists of Kara’s hands come behind me and help me up. She was laughing, only it wasn’t her laugh. And when I spun around, it wasn’t Kara’s face that I saw. It was as if someone had taken my girlfriend’s face and mixed it with another’s features. It was a cute face, but not the face I was expecting.
“Hey, sorry,” the not-Kara girl said. She had eyes similar to my mom. Grey, but without the sadness darkening them. She smiled at me and I gasped. I’d seen that smile before. I saw it every night after I brushed my teeth while checking for any leftover food.
A bump behind me pulled my attention back to the present. A man—I could not see his face—knelt over Kara, her sleeping face lifted to the clouds. “She’s brilliant, this woman,” the man said. “She’s the one.”
Not-Kara studied me over. “And this is him.” That eerily similar smile stretched upwards to her eyes. “Hey, Dad.”
“H-hey,” I said. When dreams took over your consciousness you went with them.
“Tell him he’s not dreaming and then give him the message,” the happy and old sounding man chimed. “Then we best be on our way.” He dashed back inside the blue box, his voice trailing behind him. “Hurry along, Laura.”
“Kay, boss!” She spoke over the sound of levers being pulled and buttons beeping. I tried to look around her to see inside, but her mess of curly hair blocked my sight. “Gosh you look pale,” she said, holding me out at arm’s length. She smoothed over the wrinkles on my shirt. “So what’s going on?”
I had no idea.
“Real helpful.” She walked over to Kara and pulled the book out of her bag. “Oh, she’s reading A Walk to Remember. How many times has she read it now?”
“I don’t know. Twice. Maybe?”
That answer didn’t suit the girl claiming to be my daughter. “C’mon, Dad. Think hard. This is why mom teases you about being forgetful.”
“I’m not marrying her,” I said, surprised at how unsure my voice sounded. After all, that was what we were fighting over in the first place. “And you’re not my daughter. I’ve never-” I swallowed the rest of my words.
“It’s okay. I already know you and Mom were virgins on your wedding night.” She glanced down at her wrist and ran back towards the box. Above her head read the words Police Box. “Well I guess I came back too soon. Oops.”
I dug my hands into my pockets. “Came back?”
“Yeah. From the future!” She waved her hands over her hand in the shape of a rainbow. “Long story. You’ll probably see me again soon. I mean… maybe. Time is wibbly-wobbly. At least that’s what I’m told. Just make sure you marry mom and have a daughter. Kay?”
“I said I’d never be a Dad,” I said, looking away from the girl. “So sorry. You can’t exist. This is just a dream.” I jolted as a rock hit off my shoulder. “Ow!”
“Oh, I’m real. Geez. You are so much cooler at forty-nine.”
“Only cool dads sneak their kids dessert before dinner.”
I found myself smiling.
“What day is it?” Laura asked.
“Happy Father’s Day!” shouted the man inside the box.
“Kinda cold for June 15th,” she said, ignoring the voice. She took a good look at her surroundings. “I guess that’s because of the mountains, huh?”
“Well, I gotta go. Planets to visit and jerks to stop.”
“Bye,” I said lamely.
“Do me a favor? Don’t let Mom make my middle name Anita. I hate it.”
Then they were gone. At least I thought they were gone. Call it shock or call it a panic attack, I was frozen in my stance, the wind wrapping around my chest, threatening to knock me over.
Did I imagine the blue box?
Was Laura a figment of my deranged brain? Was it a dream after all?
“Caden, are you okay?”
I turned around. Behind me stood Kara, her eyes round with concern. Her hands reached out for me, but did not make the grab.
“I’m fine,” I said. “Are you okay?”
She cocked an eyebrow at me before closing the distance between us. “You ran into that tree and then froze for a minute.” She chewed on her lower lip and took off her beanie. Slowly, she pressed it against my forehead. “Should I call someone?”
I’d answer her, but only after I asked something important first. “How many times have you read A Walk to Remember now?”
“Um, three. Why does that matter?”
I committed the number to memory. “Cause I want to keep track of it. I might get quizzed by it one day.”
“Okay?” She crossed her arms over her chest. “I’m really confused right now. Who’s Laura?”
“That’s what we’re going to name our daughter. When we have one.”
Fireworks blew up in her eyes as her arms threw themselves around me. “What are you saying? Does this mean-”
“It means that I make my own decisions,” I said, confident this time in my words. “And I’m choosing you and desserts before dinner.”
Kara giggled, the sound tickling into my neck. “What’s that supposed to mean?”
I lifted her chin up and placed a single kiss on her lips. “I’ll explain later.”
On June 13, 2014, there was a “Honey Moon” lighting up the sky. Some saw it, others (like me) had to hear about it online. Monica’s prompt is to use the “Honey Moon” in her short story any way she sees fit. With her imagination, I can bet she’ll spin out a story better than Rumpelstiltskin spins gold.
Link to get you started: http://www.space.com/26240-full-moon-friday-the-13th-photos.html