Friday, July 31

Friday Fiction: I'm Thinking

Thanks for stopping by for Friday Fiction! Our host this week is Laury Hubrichat her blog "In My Daddy's Arms". (What an awesome name, eh? Makes ME want to go there.)

My offering today originally submitted for the FaithWriters challenge topic "Embarrassed". I tweaked it a little bit, (hey, it was TWO years ago!) and now present to you the new and improved...


It all started when Jenn commented on the new girl’s dress. I probably wouldn’t even have noticed that her hem had started coming out, let alone the thread that fluttered behind her like a wispy tail, if Jenn hadn’t pointed it out.

I saw the scenario play out in my mind’s eye. As New Girl walked by, I’d grab hold of the thread, and when she kept going down the aisle, the stitching would pull out and the whole hem would come undone.

What damage could there possibly be? It would even be a blessing in a way; the bottom of her dress would at least be even. A little harmless mischief; a joke to break the ice; a laugh between new friends.

You know, now that I’m 18, supposedly an adult, I should know better. How many times will I only see only as far as how funny something will be? Hopefully not many more. I’ve got a whole new appreciation for the saying “look before you leap”.

It all started going according to my plan. I stood up nonchalantly as New Girl headed toward Jenn and me with her full lunch tray. I casually bent down, pretending to look for something on the tile floor. As she walked past us, I grasped the thread and wound it around my hand. New Girl kept walking; the stitches started popping out.

That’s when it all began to go horribly wrong. It turned out the thread wasn’t from her hem; it was from her seam up the back of her dress. Too late, I saw the slit in her skirt grow higher and higher, getting closer and closer to the danger zone. Before I could get loose of the snarled string, and before I got the brilliant but belated idea to simply snap the flimsy thread, New Girl’s bottom was exposed to the entire lunchroom crowd. She must have felt a breeze on her behind and realized something was amiss. She balanced the tray on one arm, and reached back to see what was going on. When she felt satin instead of skirt, she dropped the tray and frantically tried to cover herself.

Unfortunately, the school’s aged principal, Mrs. Hickey (who bore an eerie resemblance to the Wicked Witch of the West), chose that moment to totter along in the cross aisle. The second she shuffled into the spilled goulash, pudding, and iced tea all topped with a smattering of grapes, her feet came up and her backside hit the ground, causing her to also unwillingly display what God never meant to be displayed.

I was mortified. I had caused this calamity. I was personally responsible for the humiliation of two innocent, undeserving souls.

And I still had that thread wrapped around my hand. I couldn’t even feign innocence.

Later, the vice principal asked me that dreaded question: “What were you thinking?”

I’ve been asked this a lot, and I’m never bold enough to give the true answer: ‘People would have laughed, and I would have gotten attention. People would like me.’

I looked at my shoes, and softly but clearly said, “I wasn’t.” (I find adults are usually satisfied with that response. I guess it validates their opinion of me.)

That’s when the truth hit me for the first time. I really hadn’t been thinking.

I hadn’t thought about where else that thread might have led to. I hadn’t thought about how just speaking to New Girl would have been a much better, and safer, way to introduce myself.

I wasn’t thinking about a lot of things yesterday.

I think today might be different.

(c) Catrina Bradley 7/30/09

"God rewrote the text of my life when I opened the book of my heart to his eyes."
Psalm 18:24 (Msg)