Yesterday afternoon I wrote some flash around the photo below. I left the story at an early juncture, but even as I hit “Publish”, it was obvious that there was a second part, and I began writing it straight away.

A picture containing grass, outdoor, nature, smoke

Description automatically generated

“Now, are we clear?”, gloated Billy, taking a triumphant swig from his half-full bottle of Corona, then slowly wiping his mouth.

From staring at my own bottle, which we’d knocked onto the floor during the contest, I looked up at him. “You know I ain’t gonna stop seeing your sister, Billy.”

“I beat you fair’n’square, Nate. I want you to call her up tomorrow and cancel your date.”

“I can’t do that, buddy. If she wants to cancel, that’s up to her, But I’m planning on turning up Friday.”

Billy was becoming frustrated, “I told you, Nate, I don’t want you horsin’ around with my sister. Am I gonna have to explain that to the both of you?”

“I guess so. Let’s ask Mary Beth and see what she thinks.

Fired up, Billy wasted no time careering us the seven blocks over to Mary Beth’s place in his beat-up, cream Yaris. He was already hammering on the door as I was climbing out of the car. I recognised the plum door that Mary Beth had described to me last night, as she’d delivered a blow-by-blow account of her disastrous exploits decorating her new house. I was still in the front garden as her diminutive auburn frame opened the door.

“Mary Beth? I’ve told Nate, we wrestled for it, and now I’m telling you. I don’t want you two seeing each other. Okay?”

Poor Mary Beth was caught completely unawares – I would have been, too – and I watched on helplessly as Billy was forced to elaborate. Finally, she leaned in toward Billy, lifted her arms around his neck, and uttered a consoling “Come here” as the pair hugged. She then brought her right knee up hard into his groin.

Despite Billy now being doubled up, Mary Beth was not yet finished her scolding. “And let that be a lesson to you! Ain’t nobody tells me who I can and can’t go out with. You got that?”

I was about to run as she turned her attention on me.

“And you!” She was about to come after me, too. “You think you can play your stupid games over me?” She moved towards me and instinctively I ran out to the safety of Billy’s Toyota.

But Mary Beth had stopped dead in her tracks, possibly sensing the futility of a cartoon chase around the car. Still in her front garden, she sighed and took a deep breath. “Well, leastways you know where I live, for when you come by Friday.” And with that, she turned back toward her house, for good measure kicking Billy lightly up the ass as she passed his still-doubled figure.

“You got that?”, she chided as he groaned. “I decide.” And without waiting for an answer, she re-entered her house and slammed the door behind her. That wouldn’t help her new paintwork!

When Billy finally staggered back to the car. I thought I did quite well. As best I could, I suppressed my grin and just asked, “Would you like me to drive you home?”


    • It had to be. I’m lucky – I can write an ideal world. Now all we need is for it to be true in real life.

      The only bit that wasn’t “ideal world” was letting the other guy off, because I think that would probably be fatal. But, hey, it’s a story and that line provides a chink of daylight in an otherwise dark scene.


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