Thursday's 3 Word Wednesday

The word prompts over at 3WW are apology, consider and distant. It’s the 75th prompt for 3WW’s creator, Bone, and I just want to thank him for helping people across the world create, rather than destroy.

Ménage à trios, unintentional

As a form of apology, she nailed a huge cardboard sign of love and affection on what was left of that big valley oak stump on Route 97, where the highway skirts the city to the south and it drops to two lanes between a subdivision and a cattle ranch.
It was that oak that went down in last year’s winter storms, the one that blocked traffic for two hours until the county crews hacked it up the best they could and brought out a Cat D8 bulldozer to push the carcass onto the shoulder and firewood vultures hacked on it for weeks until the county brought out the jail inmates on work detail to haul off the rest.
Anyway, the cardboard sign was painted with red spray paint, so he would see it on his way home to her doublewide near that seedy nine-hole public golf course, the one filled with elderly golfers and tattooed kids hacking at brownish grass and drinking beer.
Problem was, she miscalculated like most everyone does when writing with spray can, and the sign came out pretty wonky. Why she didn’t start over, I don’t know; maybe she couldn’t find anymore clean cardboard.
“I Love Jake Wilson” was what it was supposed to say, but she ran out of room on Wilson and she began to scrunch letters together and then started to curve the whole word up the right corner of the sign and it ended up looking like someone’s small intestine. Especially in red paint.
I asked her why she didn’t consider taking the sign down and start fresh, but by this time she was pretty pissed at Jake and had lost that loving feeling during the sign’s creation that had been replaced by a ton of resentment.
She huddled on the barstool and played with her plastic lighter – it was pink – and clicked her nails on the bar’s varnished surface until I asked her to stop. Then she started to drum those nails – when you’re a nail tech, you make sure that you’ve got the classiest claws in the shop – on her beer glass.
Jake’s my best friend, but he can be an ass. Most of the time he’s distant. Most of the time he’s dark and brooding. He gets away with it solely on looks; blue eyes the color of glacier ice, thick curly dark hair that spills down his neck, the nose that was broken as a kid and now gave him an air of cautious mystery, full lips that he was always coating with a layer of Chapstick.
I was the sidekick, Jake’s wingman; the plain one that most girls forgot about the minute we’d walk away, looking for a dance and maybe the chance to buy them a drink and take them home later, or at least get a number on a soggy bar napkin.
And I slept with her, Jake’s main squeeze Dawn, the nail tech. The maker of signs.
“You could always try again,” I said.
“Another sign? No way.
“And you breathe a word of this and I’ll tell Jake and he’ll kill you.”
I drained my beer, dropped a $10 on the bar and leaned into her ear:
“Tell you what, I’ll be around, the next time you feel another apology coming on.”

7 comments:

TC said...

This was interesting.

I'm left wondering if he slept with her to get some revenge on his best friend who treated everyone like crap, or if he really did have a thing for Dawn, or if he, cold as it sounds, was just horny and she was handy.

noahthegreat said...

Ooh, that's good.

Assholes get what they deserve, I suppose.

LittleWing said...

oh, that was good....very good....hopefully he will continue to enjoy her apologies...

tumblewords said...

Great little story. Much there to mull and enjoy!

ThomG said...

You know, re-reading this, I found two large - I'm talking truck-driving-through - holes in this. Correctable; but what I wanted to impart was that the wingman was right for Dawn, but she just couldn't see it. His quote should have said, "We should try again" to which she confuses "them" with the sign. Which, by the way, actually exists on a road I drive on every day.

Amarettogirl said...

This was a clever and thought-provoking story, with some pretty amazing visuals -the red intestine-like spray painted sign (brilliant), the finger-nails, the bar counter. I really enjoyed it!

gautami tripathy said...

This is good. One gets what one deserves.

lubricating