A Sidewalk Extending into Forever


Seth knelt before me; took my hand.  “Marry me, Cecilia.”

I’d dreaded this day since my eighteenth birthday.  I looked at the ring he’d slipped onto my finger, stuck at my knuckle.

I slid the ring off and handed it back.  “No.”

He stood.  “We can size it…We…”

“I don’t love you Seth.”  Despite thirteen years of Catholic education, I found the lie slipped off my tongue easier than the truth of Madame Maria. 


Just so we’re clear, seeing a fortune teller doesn’t sit well with the Church either, but after so many years of rules and regulations and requirements, I was ready to let it all go.

Yet, I needed somewhere to place my faith.

The fortune teller told me I would injure my right knee.

And I did.

The fortune teller told me I would switch colleges after my sophomore year.

And I did.

The fortune teller told me I would reject my first marriage proposal.

And so I did.

Seth walked away and out of my life. 

The fortune teller didn’t tell me if he would be happy.

The fortune teller didn’t tell me if I would be.

* * *

The fortune teller didn’t say that at the age of thirty-two, I would still be single, teaching in a far-away place, still trying after all these years to forget Seth.  She didn’t mention that I would be walking down an isolated road one day and come upon a cow foraging in a street without cars.  She didn’t tell me about the little girl paused in childhood, feet prettily arranged on a sidewalk extending into forever. 

She didn’t tell me about the pain of standing alone.

I smile at the girl; admire her stuffed bear.  I slip my cell from my pocket and dial Seth’s number from memory. 

I wonder whether he still has the ring or if he placed it on another’s hand.

I wonder if there’ll be a second proposal.

I wonder if I should call Madame Maria.

This post was written in response to a photo prompt, from Trifecta Writing Challenge.

Labels:

Writing in the Margins, Bursting at the Seams: A Sidewalk Extending into Forever

Saturday, June 16, 2012

A Sidewalk Extending into Forever


Seth knelt before me; took my hand.  “Marry me, Cecilia.”

I’d dreaded this day since my eighteenth birthday.  I looked at the ring he’d slipped onto my finger, stuck at my knuckle.

I slid the ring off and handed it back.  “No.”

He stood.  “We can size it…We…”

“I don’t love you Seth.”  Despite thirteen years of Catholic education, I found the lie slipped off my tongue easier than the truth of Madame Maria. 


Just so we’re clear, seeing a fortune teller doesn’t sit well with the Church either, but after so many years of rules and regulations and requirements, I was ready to let it all go.

Yet, I needed somewhere to place my faith.

The fortune teller told me I would injure my right knee.

And I did.

The fortune teller told me I would switch colleges after my sophomore year.

And I did.

The fortune teller told me I would reject my first marriage proposal.

And so I did.

Seth walked away and out of my life. 

The fortune teller didn’t tell me if he would be happy.

The fortune teller didn’t tell me if I would be.

* * *

The fortune teller didn’t say that at the age of thirty-two, I would still be single, teaching in a far-away place, still trying after all these years to forget Seth.  She didn’t mention that I would be walking down an isolated road one day and come upon a cow foraging in a street without cars.  She didn’t tell me about the little girl paused in childhood, feet prettily arranged on a sidewalk extending into forever. 

She didn’t tell me about the pain of standing alone.

I smile at the girl; admire her stuffed bear.  I slip my cell from my pocket and dial Seth’s number from memory. 

I wonder whether he still has the ring or if he placed it on another’s hand.

I wonder if there’ll be a second proposal.

I wonder if I should call Madame Maria.

This post was written in response to a photo prompt, from Trifecta Writing Challenge.

Labels:

30 Comments:

At June 18, 2012 at 1:55 AM , Anonymous Teresa Smeigh said...

Nice story. It really amazes me at the different way people see things and respond to these prompts.

 
At June 18, 2012 at 1:55 AM , Anonymous Jessie Powell said...

I love this character and her anger with herself for not accepting in the first place. I want, for her to get a second proposal. I don't hold out my hopes.

 
At June 18, 2012 at 1:55 AM , Anonymous Ruby Manchanda said...

I do hope she gets a second chance. This is a beautiful story and written in a naturalistic manner.

 
At June 18, 2012 at 1:56 AM , Anonymous Maryellen Brady said...

Wow that is pretty emotional :) Love it!

 
At June 18, 2012 at 1:56 AM , Anonymous Olddognewtits said...

Agreed. The story merely ended with the picture but had a really interesting and sad beginning.

 
At June 18, 2012 at 1:56 AM , Anonymous JannaTWrites said...

I like how you pulled the little girl into the story, but the story wasn't about her at all. That's a different perspective from the others I've read so far. Nice job!

 
At June 18, 2012 at 1:57 AM , Anonymous jaum said...

The paths we choose, and more interesting in your story... the WHY

 
At June 18, 2012 at 1:58 AM , Anonymous Mary said...

Yes, if we only knew. But, then again, much is wasted on wondering what could have been.

 
At June 18, 2012 at 2:00 AM , Anonymous Sandrasfiberworks said...

Oh love how you worked this challenge into what seems another story you started -- smart! And quite moving.

 
At June 18, 2012 at 2:00 AM , Anonymous Trifectawritingchallenge said...

Thank you so much for linking up to Trifextra this weekend. The challenge this weekend will be judged by the community. So please come back to the Trifecta home page and click the stars next to the three posts you most enjoyed. You only have until Monday at 8 am EST, so hurry!

 
At June 18, 2012 at 2:01 AM , Anonymous Andrea said...

Great post. I had trouble coming up with anything about this picture so I didn't participate. Interesting how you used it!

 
At June 18, 2012 at 2:01 AM , Anonymous Gina said...

I hope he still has the ring! I love love stories.

 
At June 18, 2012 at 2:03 AM , Anonymous Renada Styles said...

ah, the interesting reasons as to why we do what we do. and the consequences that follow. one could spend hours contemplating the what-ifs only to have something entirely unfathomed happen.

 
At June 18, 2012 at 2:03 AM , Anonymous Leslicollins said...

"She didn’t tell me about the little girl paused in childhood, feet prettily arranged on a sidewalk extending into forever." THIS IS FABULOUS!

 
At June 18, 2012 at 2:04 AM , Anonymous anonymous said...

:) hahahaha

 
At June 18, 2012 at 11:17 AM , Anonymous kgwaite said...

Thanks!

 
At June 18, 2012 at 11:17 AM , Anonymous kgwaite said...

Thanks for reading!

 
At June 18, 2012 at 11:17 AM , Anonymous kgwaite said...

I'm thinking he's married. Happily, I hope.

 
At June 18, 2012 at 11:17 AM , Anonymous kgwaite said...

I really struggled with this one, too. Thanks for reading.

 
At June 18, 2012 at 11:17 AM , Anonymous kgwaite said...

Thanks, Sandra! Looking forward to your prompt this week.

 
At June 18, 2012 at 11:18 AM , Anonymous kgwaite said...

There's actually a story behind this story...

 
At June 18, 2012 at 11:18 AM , Anonymous kgwaite said...

Hopefully not many people would choose that path based upon Madam's words.

 
At June 18, 2012 at 11:18 AM , Anonymous kgwaite said...

Thanks Janna! I really wanted to focus on how seemingly implausible it was to find a cow in the middle of the road and a little girl on the sidewalk.

 
At June 18, 2012 at 11:18 AM , Anonymous kgwaite said...

Thanks, Maryellen.

 
At June 18, 2012 at 11:18 AM , Anonymous kgwaite said...

I think her chance with Seth is over.

 
At June 18, 2012 at 11:18 AM , Anonymous kgwaite said...

I don't either! Thanks, Jessie.

 
At June 18, 2012 at 11:18 AM , Anonymous kgwaite said...

Thanks, Theresa. It was fun to see all the different responses.

 
At June 18, 2012 at 11:18 AM , Anonymous kgwaite said...

Yes, wasn't sure how to work that picture in! Thanks for reading.

 
At June 18, 2012 at 11:18 AM , Anonymous kgwaite said...

I figured you'd enjoy it.

 
At June 18, 2012 at 6:59 PM , Anonymous Annabelle said...

Nice. I felt the regret there.

 

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