Wednesday, August 31, 2016

All The Time in the World

10 minutes

The man in the black hoodie stuffs his hands in the pockets of his jeans. He'd exhale into his cupped hands but he writes that off as being less than masculine. Not that it matters. No one is paying attention to him. He kicks a tin can across the sidewalk periodically. He has been kicking it for 7 blocks now.

The young woman is putting on her face for the day. She's highlighting her cheekbones, coloring in her dark circles and lining her lips. Outside her one bedroom, ground floor apartment unit, the world is waking up.

The toddler in the car is smiling wildly at her mother as she points to the world outside. It is sunny — just the way she likes it. The sun's rays piercing through the tinted windows take kindly to her frizzy, red hair.

The construction worker is a quarter way through his shift for the day. His muscles burn with every weight he lifts and yet with every weight he sets down, a little of the weight on his shoulders falls off.  Because he is making an earning, he is going to put his son through to college even if his muscles rupture.

5 minutes 

The man in the black hoodie realizes there's some gravel stuck on the back of his shirt and the bottom of his jeans. He brushes it off carelessly, still kicking the can. The clanging noise it makes on the pavement shakes him out of his abstraction every time he reenters it. He doesn't want to think about the night before. About the reason for his black eye. 

The young woman exits the apartment, a half eaten cereal bar in her hand. She puts earphones on and selects her current favorite album, Coldplay's A Head Full of Dreams. She puts in on shuffle and it skips right to her favorite, Everglow. After finishing the bar, she hops onto her bicycle, heading to work. She is an affordable tutor for elementary school kids.

The toddler asks her mother to change the radio station. She wants happy songs, the kind that summer would waltz to if it were a person. 

The construction worker claps a co-worker on his back. It's going to be a great day.

The last minute

The man in the black hoodie walks in a straight line. Funny how he walks straight but everything else about him isn't. Funny how drunk people who can't see straight are the ones who decide the penance for being deviant. He kicks the can with a ludicrous amount of force, it sails into the street.

The young woman hears construction happening a block away. She turns the volume of her music up. As she is doing that, something shiny flies into the street, right into her path. She loses control of the bicycle. The tires hook onto the aluminum and she is thrown onto the asphalt. 

The toddler covers her mother's eyes, thinking she can convince her mom to play peekaboo with her. The ride becomes bumpy. Her mother reflexively wrenches her little hands away. She sees a girl with an overturned bicycle lying in the middle of the street. The toddler begins to cry as her mother slams on the brake, instinctively turning the wheel to avoid the obstacle.

The construction worker hears tires squealing against gravel. He is on the top floor. He takes off his hardhat and squints into the distance, trying to discern the reason for the noise. Then a car turns abruptly onto the compound, out of control. Men in hardhats have dived out of the way. The car swerves and hits the unsteady foundation of the building. A shudder runs through the entire structure and the construction worker loses his footing. His closest co-worker grabs his wrist then buckles and slides under his weight. The hold lasts an eternity, both pairs of irises colored with desperation. 

An hour later

The man takes off his hoodie and places it around the shaking woman. He crosses his arms around his chest. 

The young woman thanks the kind gentleman for walking her home. She received a call from the child she was supposed to tutor today. The 8 year old's father has died in a tragic accident. He cannot think about school now. She can barely think about anything herself. Three deaths before noon. She feels like she has aged a century. 


  1. It only takes a second for something to go horribly wrong. Time is everything to us, and sometimes we choose the wrong choices in that time. Beautiful writing! :)

    1. It certainly does. So much so that it is taken for granted. Thank you!

  2. WOW <3 ALL THIS TALENT, more people need to read your blog.

    1. Thank you for the read! I really appreciate it. xx

  3. wow I'm speechless and don't know what to say but this is very deep and profound and it reminds that anything can happen in the blink of an eye than life is over are you a writer of novels because it felt like I was reading a very tragic and heartbreaking short story.

    1. Yes, I do have one in the works. :)
      Thanks for the comment!