My Flashing Friends have another week of stories up, this time on the theme "Unintended Consequences". My story again fell short of the bar, so here it is anyway: "Running Late". I actually thought this was kind of good, for once. Ah well.
I slid into a seat towards the back of the auditorium, on time, but only just. The professor, a tweedy looking guy with thick glasses, had already started.
"When one undertakes an act, one undertakes the risk of all possible consequences of the act, wouldn't you agree? Or, to use the vernacular, don't do the crime if you can't do the time." He got a laugh, but it was a perfunctory one.
I slid down lower in my seat, bringing the brim of my Red Sox cap in line with the top of his head. I didn't want to fall asleep, but I didn't want to listen to this crap, either. All consequences? You can't do anything without imagining all possible outcomes? Like hell. She said she was safe. It's not my fault. It's not like I made her do it. She wanted to.
"Who is responsible, we must ask ourselves. Whose fault is it when things go awry? Who do we blame when an undesired event, however unlikely, occurs?"
She said it was OK.
When I reminded her of that, on the phone this morning as I dashed for class, she spat back, "I know what I SAID, Richard. And I know what this is, and I know now that I was wrong. And I know one more thing, too. I know you're not going to discard me. I'm not some dumb little mistake."