1,000 Awesome Writing Prompts by Ryan Andrew Kinder…having a lot of fun with this book!
Prompt #457: The note left on the windshield of your car made you think…
“You think I’ve forgiven you? I haven’t. I’ll never forget.”
It was stuck to his windshield like a parking ticket; hell, he thought it was a parking ticket at first, which would have made the perfect end to the perfect evening. He was being sarcastic, of course. Even though there was no one there to say it to, even though the thought only crossed his mind, he still smirked as if he’d delivered his sarcasm to an appreciative audience. That’s just the way George was.
He closed his eyes and sighed. His first thought was to throw the note away, to crumple it up and toss it to the wind and be on his way. It had, after all, been a rough day. Any day that you have to tell a dozen people that their jobs are gone, that there will be no more paycheck coming in to feed that new baby, to pay off that new car, is a shitty one. He was the manager, though, Chief Asshole in Charge of this wing of Global Dynamics, and the only one who walked away from it with his job intact.
He felt guilty about it. Terribly guilty. Outwardly, he made a good show of being aloof and professional but inwardly, it was killing him. This note didn’t help. Didn’t they know that he felt bad enough as it was? He liked his employees, hell, he considered some of them friends! Frank had let him crash on his couch for a week when he and Miriam had reached a breaking point.
Ah, Miriam. It could be her, he thought. It would be just like her. Divorced now for only a handful of months, she still managed to make his life a living hell whenever possible. It wasn’t enough for her to get the house, get half his paycheck in alimony, to have destroyed the friendships they had as a couple. No, she had to go around pulling stunts like this, leaving hate filled notes on his windshield wiper and constantly reminding him of his failure to her.
Or maybe it was the guy who parked next to him at his apartment complex. The guy who always came in so damned late, with his engine roaring on that stupid ass muscle car. The guy who drank to much and played music too loud, and who served as a constant reminder to George that he wasn’t sleeping in his own bed, in his own house. Maybe it was him…the wind picked up when George was unloading some boxes the other day, and caught his door. It flew out of his hand and smacked right into jerkwad’s precious car. The ding was pretty bad. Maybe he’d seen George move his car away from the incriminating spot?
George’s mind continued to speculate, continued to ponder, continued to dwell on the grievances he’d given others in the past. Doubt and fear and anxiety washed over him in waves, and finally, it was too much for him to take. He collapsed to the ground, sobbing. clutching the note in his hands, tears of regret and remorse streaming down his face.
“I’m sorry, I’m sorry,” he repeated over and over, “so sorry.”
He didn’t even hear the sound of approaching footsteps.
“For fuck’s sakes,” a male voice spoke. His voice was tinged with frustration and annoyance. George looked up, wondering.
“Look, pal, can you just move away from my car, huh? I gotta be somewhere.”
Confusion flashed across George’s face. He rose from his knees, staring at the man who stared back with a look of incredulity mixed with irritation. In his hand was a key fob. The man pressed it. George’s car honked twice.
George turned. This wasn’t his car! Same year, same model, same god damned color…but not his car! He must have forgotten where he parked in the day’s stresses, and just assumed.
“S-s-sorry,” he babbled, “I must have the wrong car.”
“Yeah, well, you mind moving on?”
George paused, and looked down at the note in his hand. Would this guy care? Would he even give two shits about it? Would he have broken down over his guilt, his pain, his memories?
“No. You’re right. Sorry.”
George sighed. and stuffed the paper in his pocket.
“You’re right,” he said, “it’s time for me…to move on.”