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Breaking the Rules

Saturday March 27, 2010

Write a story about unknowingly breaking a rule, in 500 words or fewer. (Feel free to break some “rules” in writing it, too.)

“The moment I realized it?  I couldn’t tell you that.  I don’t even know that there was a moment.  It was more like an accumulation of moments.  I guess I don’t really know what it’s like, I just know what it is.  I know what it feels like to me.  Or what it felt like.”

The tremble in her voice rippled around the room.  She could feel that ripple in her own body.  What was she doing here?  Why had she even agreed to this in the first place?  Yes, she could see that gay folk sharing their stories with a bunch of straight folk was somehow useful and progressive and “opened the dialogue”, but why her story?  At this moment, she didn’t even really feel like she had a story.  She was, as her Mother would say, dropping the thread.

“Ok, well yeah.  Maybe that would be a better approach.  OK, well her name was Alison.  I thought she was the most unbelievably cool person I had never met.  Within days of meeting her, I was consumed.  Entirely.  Sixteen years old and wholly overtaken.  She occupied me completely.  Seamlessly really.  It was all ‘Alison this’ and “Alison that’.  Crazy as it sounds, it happened so totally that I never saw it at all.  I guess you don’t always see everything at sixteen though, do you?  Although my parents seemed to see plenty, or my Mom did for sure.  You know,actually, maybe there was a moment after all.  Or at least the start of one.  She was driving me to school.  My Mom I mean.  It was just the two of us and I was rattling about a movie that Alison had raved about that I just had to see.  Going on and on without any awareness of how quiet my Mom was being.  How she wasn’t really participating in the conversation.  We slowed for a stop sign and I glanced over to her side of the van.  She was just looking through the windshield, but I could see something in her face.  It surprised me, made me aware of myself somehow.  Like she snapped her fingers and everything came into focus.  That face told me that I had gone off the track.  Until that morning I didn’t even know I was playing a game, but the set of her jaw let me know that I was breaking the most important rules”.


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