Contest entry: 500 words allowed.
| First, let me say that this is a true story. There I was, no sheet, really, no sheet or umbrella or anything to protect myself from the rain and it was raining fiercely at Home Depot, the store for every real man or woman. To step into the rain would mean an instant soaking and I could tell by my friend’s sour look that he knew it too. We must be tough, we got this. I said as much. Of course, my friend takes off running and for a moment, I stand and look at him as he takes off into the rain. He looked rather pitiful hunched over in a stooping sort of run and I laughed because I knew his running stance would be no protection at all. Already he was sopping wet.
At the door stood three young men, perhaps in their early twenties and each looking very determined to wait out the rain. They were smart enough to wait. Of course, it wouldn’t do to not get wet myself once I showed those young men what I had in my hand. “I’ve got the keys!” I said boisterously, then sauntered through the rain followed by a rich cacophony of laughter. I think I made their day, or I imagine so, anyway. I don’t think less of them for not walking into the rain and I hope they don’t think less of me because I did. Real men and women make different decisions every day that wouldn’t do for other people. Once, I would have said if it was safe and sane, it was okay. Being a bit older now, I admit if it is just safe, then that is good enough for me. If I must decide what I’m willing to live with, getting thoroughly soaked is easy.
Arriving at the car quite soaked, I noticed the look I got. It wasn’t angry, thankfully. How can one be angry at a person equally soaked? Of course, I did take my time walking through the pouring rain. It was a look that told me it was on. I could expect a verbal barrage. Actually, looking back, it was a quiet ride home.
It didn’t stop raining once I got in the car, though I expected it to. That would have been the icing on the cake, as the saying goes. Nope. It kept right on raining. Now, the whole reason I went to Home Depot was to pay a bill and get wiring staples. I got the wiring staples and was so intent on the weather outside that I forgot to pay the bill. Eventually, I received a bill showing the late fee and I felt really, really dumb. I tried explaining it to the wife, but I could tell from her no-nonsense stance that I had nothing. A sorry and a shrug was all I could give. I could tell she wanted to rub my nose in it a bit but she let it go.
Word count: 500