[from Writer’s Digest Presents A Year of Writing Prompts – 2 weeks of writing prompts boot camp presented in a pdf file titled “Writing Prompt Boot Camp” – 2 weeks of craft, creativity and discipline, by Brian Klems & Zachary Petit]
You bump into an ex-lover on Valentine’s Day—the one whom you often call “The One That Got Away.” What happens?
Ex-lover, the one that got away? Here? Yep that’s him over there. Damn! I turn to face the opposite direction, lowering my voice down an octave while leaning in across the counter to the barista. She looks slightly frightened as I begin giving her my order for a Grande-double SF Vanilla-hold-the-foam latte. My one concession to my new diet plan is: it will include one fancy, expensive, decadent coffee drink daily. AND it’s Valentine’s Day, oh goody.
For standing there at the coffee bar, pouring sugar into what once was a great Venti-four shot-SF Vanilla-Carmel Macchiato is the aforementioned lover. Still adding multiple packages of processed white sugar to his expensive coffee, I see. It’s just wrong on so many levels, an argument that once occurred virtually every day. Pure jealousy on my part, pure smugness on his.
“Damn, what is he doing here?” I say this to myself, attempting to fade into the shadows of the retail area. I happen to be staring in his direction when he pivots and.. . Oh, God! No, he sees and recognizes me and is now strolling over.
“What good deed did I trash for this particular Hell to be my reward?” I mutter.
Derek is one of the best looking creatures the good Lord ever designed. Tall, muscular (in that I-don’t-have-to make-much-effort-these-days to keep way), emerald green eyes, chiseled features, sink-hole cleft chin dimple and against-the-law hair. It’s just a waste of good hair on a man; especially this man.
“Hey Alicia! You look great, fantastic in fact.” His voice tight, the words catch slightly.
“Thank you. It’s been awhile.” My attempt at cheerful and it feels slightly dull.
He presents me with a small white bag, which contains one red iced Cake Pop and a more cheery “Happy Valentine’s Day.”
He is caught staring at my chest, shakes his free hand down the front of his own shirt as if to remove any real crumbs there. That’s when I notice, he has a spot, no two spots just on the edge of his tie, and a button missing from his jacket coat sleeve. Looking down to the floor I spy scuffed black wing tips and in this moment I realize that life has taken a deep left turn for Derek.
As I try to keep the giggle of happiness that I am feeling from escaping and the sheer delight in whatever misfortune has landed upon him from appearing on my face, I ask him, “What brings you to Seattle, Derek?”
“Parents. They need support right now. Since I am the only unattached sibling, I volunteered”, he states as practiced and his shoulders move up slightly.
Translation: lost his job and he moved back home.
I can barely contain my body from not jumping up and down with glee. I know it is wrong, it is a sad, ugly thought. But standing here before him in my size 6, smoking hot body dressed in the charcoal grey power suit of a partnered attorney I realize that his ditching me at the rehearsal dinner was the best thing that ever happened to me. I want to thank him for telling me he just “couldn’t be married to a fat girl”. Oh, okay he said ‘large girl’…same difference. I realize again that I dodged a bullet and look heaven-ward.
My gift to him on Valentine’s Day will be smiling as I walk away. Saying no to the Cake Pop will be my gift to myself, as I ease it into the trash can outside the store.
Day 2 Writing Prompt completed Woohoo!