First Sight

Kara stumbled off the escalator after her sandal caught the last step.  She regained her balance and dropped the Macy’s bags at her feet.  With her hand that didn’t touch the escalator, she rummaged through her purse for hand sanitizer and squeezed a generous amount into her palm.  The tightness in her chest let up as she rubbed the gel into her skin.  Ryan always said I was an OCD freak.

Kara frowned.  She didn’t know why he still invaded her thoughts.  She signed the divorce papers last month, granting his wish.  Minutes later, she stood at the end of the Paradise Bakery line.  A man laughed nearby and her heart twisted; he sounded just like Ryan.  Kara’s gaze tracked the noise.

She gasped.

A brunette with long, shiny hair sat across from Ryan, her hand resting on his.  The woman tossed her head back and laughed.  Becky!  Before the divorce, she’d been a close friend.  Kara teetered like the last indecisive bowling pin of a strike.

“Are you okay?”  A man reached out and steadied her.

Kara couldn’t answer.

Ryan and Becky leaned in toward each other.  Kara leaned on the stranger’s arm.

The man guided her forward.  “You’re next.”

Kara tore her stare away and ordered.  “I’ll have a turkey sandwich on wheat and a small- no make that a large- Coke.”  In that split-second, she decided to take radical action.

She paid the cashier and grabbed her sandwich and Coke.  She squared her shoulders in feigned confidence and approached their table, waiting for them to notice her.  It took several seconds- Ryan looked first.  Kara enjoyed the slack-jawed stares from her two exes.

“I-it’s not what you think,” Becky said.

Kara smiled and raised her Coke.  She paused and looked at both of them.  Finally, she lowered her drink and shook her head.  “I forgive you.”

She left, satisfied that she did something extreme and saved her drink.  Today, Coke was sweeter than revenge.

Tomorrow may be a different story.

~~~-~~~-~~~-~~~-~~~-~~~-~~~-~~~-~~~-~~~-~~~-~~~-~~~-~~~-~~~-~~~-~~~-~~~-~~~-

This is my entry in the weekly Trifecta writing prompt challenge and it’s inspired by forgiveness.  Our pastor compared not forgiving to drinking rat poison and then yelling at the rat to die.  I know forgiveness is best, but sometimes the temptation for revenge is strong.  (Just like I know I shouldn’t eat Reese’s Peanut Butter Cups for breakfast, but I’ve been known to do it anyway :))

This week, we were asked to us “radical” as defined below in a 33 to 333 word response (my came in at 333 words.)

RADICAL (adjective):  a : very different from the usual or traditional : extreme

b : favoring extreme changes in existing views, habits, conditions, or institutions

c : associated with political views, practices, and policies of extreme change

d : advocating extreme measures to retain or restore a political state of affairs <the radical right>

If you’d like to give the challenge a try, click on the tricycle picture to view Trifecta’s site and the complete instructions.

As always, thanks for reading!

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46 thoughts on “First Sight

  1. Trent Lewin September 11, 2012 / 7:37 AM

    Love the ending. I guess forgiveness can be sweet, yet so hard.

    • jannatwrites September 11, 2012 / 5:13 PM

      Thanks, Trent! Forgiveness isn’t easy for me, but it’s something I’m working on because it doesn’t make sense to carry that baggage.

      I’m glad you stopped by and liked the story’s end.

      • Trent Lewin September 11, 2012 / 5:32 PM

        Well, I liked the whole thing. Appreciate reading lovely things.

        • jannatwrites September 11, 2012 / 5:35 PM

          Well, thank you. I do appreciate you taking time to read and comment on my story 🙂

  2. Debbie September 11, 2012 / 7:58 AM

    It’s human to want revenge, divine to choose forgiveness. Sometimes our “humanness” feels more satisfying, though, doesn’t it? Good story, well told, Janna.

    • jannatwrites September 11, 2012 / 5:16 PM

      The thing about revenge is that it never felt as good as I thought it would. I ended up feeling just awful. Glad you stopped by to read the story, Debbie!

  3. nrhatch September 11, 2012 / 11:07 AM

    Good for her! The best revenge is a life well lived . . .

    Things go better with Coca Cola . . . things go better with Coke!

    • jannatwrites September 11, 2012 / 5:17 PM

      I like your comment about the well-lived life being the best revenge, Nancy. I bet the cleaning people were glad she didn’t dump the Coke – that stuff is a pain to clean up!

  4. lumdog September 11, 2012 / 11:19 AM

    This is a great piece of writing. It’s very real. I’ve been through similar experiences and it’s always best to take the “high road”.

    • jannatwrites September 11, 2012 / 5:19 PM

      I’m glad it seemed realistic, Lumdog. I agree the high road is better. (I’ve taken both and can attest to that :)) Thanks for stopping by and sharing your comment.

  5. kgwaite September 11, 2012 / 2:20 PM

    Nicely done – Love that she ended up saving her drink while still leaving room for possibilities tomorrow.

    • jannatwrites September 11, 2012 / 5:20 PM

      Sometimes repeat forgiveness is required before it finally works…she might wake up tomorrow and feel the need to purchase another Coke 😆 Thanks for reading, Kelly. (P.S. congrats on your weekend win :))

  6. Annabelle September 11, 2012 / 2:29 PM

    I think telling them she forgives them is more of a burn than the Coke would have been! Well told. I like that she thought ahead enough to order a larger soda.

    • jannatwrites September 11, 2012 / 5:22 PM

      Thanks, Annabelle. If it dissolves the bitterness, then forgiveness is the better route, for sure 🙂

  7. diannegray September 11, 2012 / 3:47 PM

    This is great – I loved the ending. What a strong character Kara is! Excellent work 🙂

    • jannatwrites September 11, 2012 / 5:25 PM

      Thanks, Dianne! I’m afraid my impulse control would’ve failed and I’d have unleashed the Coke anyway. I’d have felt just awful later, too 🙂 Glad you stopped by to read the story and share your thoughts!

  8. deanabo September 11, 2012 / 5:49 PM

    I love how the ending suprised me. I would have so thrown the coke!

    • jannatwrites September 11, 2012 / 9:10 PM

      I might have too, Deana! As much as I like to think I could take the high road, I just don’t know.

  9. rosross September 11, 2012 / 10:05 PM

    Subtle but profound.:)

    • jannatwrites September 12, 2012 / 11:47 AM

      Thanks for stopping by to read my story, Ros 🙂

  10. fivereflections September 11, 2012 / 10:27 PM

    Very creative!

    And I love Reese’s PBCs

    • jannatwrites September 12, 2012 / 11:49 AM

      You have excellent taste, Five Reflections…Reese’s PBCs are the best 🙂 Thanks for reading my story.

  11. Sharp Little Pencil September 11, 2012 / 11:15 PM

    Janna, I have asked for forgiveness in similar circumstances and was rebuffed. So I had to forgive myself, finally. It’s hard to confront these situations, but your character was mighty gutsy to stand up and take the high road. Forgiveness is always best, once you’ve worked out the kinks in your resentment and are ready to truly offer the olive branch.

    Thanks for a thoughful story, Janna. I loved it. Amy
    http://sharplittlepencil.com/2012/09/11/comes-the-revolution-for-riley/

    • jannatwrites September 12, 2012 / 11:55 AM

      I’m sorry you weren’t granted the forgiveness you sought, but I’m glad you were able to finally come to terms with it yourself.

      Forgiveness isn’t an overnight thing. That’s why I left the story open, because tomorrow, revenge might seem more appealing…until she reaches the point she wants to let it go again. Thanks for your comment, Amy. 🙂

  12. natalieamatera September 12, 2012 / 6:21 AM

    I like this. The forgiveness comes as a surprise at the end, reminding the reader that it takes more strength to forgive than to harbour resentment and take revenge on those who hurt us. I also like The OCD reference (being somewhat OCD myself!). She is much better off without a man who makes fun of her idiosyncrasies.

    • jannatwrites September 12, 2012 / 11:45 PM

      Thanks for reading, Natalie! I’m a little OCD myself – welcome to the club 🙂 Forgiveness is a long process that can ultimately take years to accomplish. This was her first step.

  13. Renada Styles September 12, 2012 / 7:38 AM

    as soon as she ordered that coke large i was sure it was going all over becky! but i think her choice in action was far more of a shock and punch-to-the-face, so to say.

    • jannatwrites September 12, 2012 / 11:46 PM

      I’d hoped the ending provided a bit of a twist. Thanks for taking time to read it and share your reaction, Renada.

  14. RogRites September 12, 2012 / 4:43 PM

    The power of restraint – well written.

    • jannatwrites September 12, 2012 / 11:46 PM

      Thanks, RogRites. I appreciate you reading it 🙂

  15. Linda Vernon September 12, 2012 / 6:26 PM

    Very very good Janna! I love the way it starts with the engines already running and the ending is quite satisfying!

    • jannatwrites September 12, 2012 / 11:47 PM

      Thanks for sharing your opinion of the story, Linda. I appreciate you taking time to read it!

  16. Ruby Manchanda September 12, 2012 / 7:06 PM

    I enjoyed this story. Very beautifully crafted.

  17. pattyabr September 12, 2012 / 9:16 PM

    I was held in suspense to Kara’s reply. Surprised. She took the high road and shocked Becky and Ryan all at once.

    • jannatwrites September 12, 2012 / 11:50 PM

      I hope she sticks to the high road 🙂 Thanks for reading and sharing your comment, Patty.

  18. Stephanie B. (@B4Steph) September 13, 2012 / 8:59 AM

    I forgive you. I like the ending. I was wondering if the large Coke would be poured on their heads. She’s well on her way to moving on. Great take on radical.

    • jannatwrites September 13, 2012 / 9:23 PM

      Thanks, Stephanie. I entertained the idea of them wearing the Coke, but then decided it would be too obvious. Thanks so much for stopping by!

  19. Gina September 13, 2012 / 9:05 AM

    That ending was stellar, Janna! Full of restraint and the “I forgive you” is a perfect touch. When she ordered the Coke, I had my fears! Well done!!!

    • jannatwrites September 13, 2012 / 9:27 PM

      Thanks for reading, Gina. I’d hoped the ending would be believable. I appreciate you sharing your thoughts 🙂

  20. debseeman September 13, 2012 / 8:03 PM

    Nice! Taking the high road when they expect you to get down and dirty. Always feels a lot better in the end.

    • jannatwrites September 13, 2012 / 9:38 PM

      I agree, Deb. In the heat of the moment, revenge feels pretty good, but once it sinks in, it feels pretty awful.

  21. Tara R. September 13, 2012 / 8:20 PM

    I’m glad Kara took the high road, but dumping that Coke would have been satisfying too.

    • jannatwrites September 13, 2012 / 9:40 PM

      Yes, in the short run, the sacrifice of the Coke would’ve been good. Thanks for reading, Tara!

  22. trifectawriting September 14, 2012 / 5:01 AM

    Thanks for linking up with Trifecta this week. I enjoyed this, especially the setting. My favorite part was about her “two exes.” It’s interesting to think of old friends as ex-friends, isn’t it? Nice job with the prompt.

    • jannatwrites September 14, 2012 / 8:29 PM

      I had fun with the challenge. Always look forward to seeing what will be next!

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