Snap Decision

“I don’t know,” he said with resignation. “It looks like I’ve run out of ideas.”  Ben exhaled his cheap tobacco and flicked the butt into a yard in desperate need of mowing. All goes quiet after 10 o’clock at night, and the only action to be seen was a stray tabby trotting down the sidewalk. With a little bit of attention, I-69 could be heard somewhere off in the distance.  Yellow squares of lamp light hung in a random sequence down the street. When combined with the street light, it looked like indecipherable Morse code. It might as well be the S.O.S. for the time being, as everything seemingly lacked rhyme or reason in the past 48 hours.

This area of town was definitely known for its sloth. There were a fair amount of students from the local uni renting property nearby, and they weren’t diligent with chores. They were stereotypically spoiled Americans. Ben wagered their ancestors would have killed to be in that position in their living years. Since they’re not anymore, he later surmised it didn’t matter. George, Ben’s sounding board for the night, had given up on looking presentable for the neighbors a long time ago. That’s a shame. Exercise is exactly what George needed.

Smoothing his naturally curly hair over for the last five minutes, Ben started to grow impatient with himself. “This was happening now for a reason,” he thought. “The move to Texas definitely sparked this whole chain of events, but why did it have to start with such little time left to take care of anything?” He slapped the palm of his hand on the armrest of the rocking chair and crossed his legs the other way as to not let either of them fall asleep.

“It doesn’t sound pleasant,” his audience finally responded. “Though you usually fix things, and it comes out all right in the end.” The stout nature of the respondent allowed for a couple of rocks before he could start his journey to the refrigerator for a beer. “However, I have never seen you like this before. You really must be scared.”

“Oh, not scared,” he huffed, “just struck dumb.” His pride would never admit the slightest bit of fear. “She claims the child’s mine, but who knows? It could be an attempt to keep me from leaving for Dallas. She could also truly be pregnant, but from another guy. There’s no time for a paternity test. If it exists, or is even mine, she knew that I would be very tempted to stick around to raise it. I’m not one known to run from responsibility. One thing is for certain though: I’ve got to leave tomorrow, if I want that job. That’s my ticket out of here, to a better life, the life I’ve worked eight years on a shop floor to get. I don’t want to be a line worker forever, George.”

“Well, then, what’s the next move?” The generous host offered Ben another beer.

“No, thanks. I need to drive.”

“That’s a first.”

“…and to answer your question: I have no idea.”

“…and there’s another.”

© 2013 by Corvidae in the Fields, all rights reserved

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