Swallowing Your Pride
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In response to the prompt ‘You have just swallowed your pride and done something you didn’t want to do. Your friend wants to know why. The two of you are driving around an almost full parking garage looking for a space for the friend’s oversize pickup.’
The prompt is in the book 642 things to write about and asks us to write the scene. My is a work of fiction;
Although full the underground lot is eerily quite, only the sound of screeching tires breaks to silence until Joe speaks.
“Thanks man. Thanks for the ride.”
Piloting the oversized beast truck Joe smiles, “C’mon Charlie Brown. Friends for thirty years, I’m not going to give you a ride.”
Charles smiles and says, “You don’t want to know why?” Joe shrugs, “I figure you will tell me if you want to. Whatever you decide it’s good with me…shit missed a space.”
Charlie looks back incredulous. “You think this is a skateboard? You think you can plop this beast into a space the size of your seat?”
Joes laughs. “Who ‘da king brother?”
Charlie frowns and responds with “It is ‘Who is the King?’ you degenerate piece of work.”
“Woah, don’t go breaking my heart there man!” Joe says laughing. “Shit, missed another one. Listen tell me why or shut up. You are messing my concentration.”
“No! Does today end in a ‘y’?” They both laugh but then fall silent. Another screech of tyres on cold Tarmac and Charlie retreats. Up one level and he starts to come out of himself.
“Because I had too. Because maybe it wasn’t all one way street. Because fifteen years is too long brother, too long.”
Joe considers his response, “Yeah but all those beatings, all those cold words, all those…sorry man. My bad, your call. I’m here either way.”
“Wasn’t all bad you know.” Charlie speaks but in reverie.
“I didn’t say it was. I know it wasn’t. I was there remember?”
Charlie turns to him, his eyes moist with emotion. “Of course I remember.” He playfully punches Joe in the arm, “I love you man.”
“You love my truck is what you love.” He then struggles with what he has to say next. “Maybe I wouldn’t have played it like you, making that call. Maybe we are different. Maybe I would have held on to the bad too much, but you? You are different.” He slams on the brakes as he sees I spot and reverse into it. “ To swallow your pride like that and wear your heart on your sleeve.”
The car comes to a standstill and Joe chills the engine. They sit in silence until Joe stirs. “Come on man, let’s go see your Pop.”
Charlie nods. “But what if I am too late. What if can’t get in or he won’t see me?”
Joe gives it consideration. “Only one way to find out,” he says giving Charlie a hug.
They exit to now extremely silent parking lot, walk to the entrance and past the sign that quite simply says;
“Intensive Care. Close Relatives Only.”