Finish This Sentence #4 – Unpredictable Moment

I have never done anything unpredictable, but that changed today when I woke up, packed a bag, went to the airport and randomly bought a ticket to __________. (Write a story that follows this line.)

Post your response (500 words or fewer) in the comments below.


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295 thoughts on “Finish This Sentence #4 – Unpredictable Moment

  1. sarbea

    I have never done anything unpredictable, but that changed today when I woke up, packed a bag, went to the airport and randomly bought a ticket to Maine. It wasn’t that I was fulfilling some life long dream of traveling to the frigid Northeast, more of give up, throw in the towel move.

    “I hope you brought a coat,” the flight attendant said as I boarded. “The temperature in Portland is -8 this morning.”

    I looked down at my thin fleece coat (not even from LL Bean). I had a baseball hat from my last 10 K and a pair of thin cotton gloves that I wore when I ran before sunrise. They weren’t going to cut it.
    I laughed weakly and said, “I guess I’ll be making a stop at the mall first thing.”

    I hunched down in my seat and avoided eye contact. Even though it had been 22 years, I remembered how small the Portland Jetport was. Whoever struck up conversation would inevitably want to share a cab once we arrived and I was in no mood to be friendly or hospitable. I planned on going directly to the lawyer’s office, settling the whole thing, and getting back to a climate that was tolerable by tomorrow afternoon.

    I never thought I would return to Maine. The New Englander in me was gone, having taken her last breath when I first got on a plane to St. Augustine. I had a life there, one that was free and easy and that had few reminders of my past.

    The first email from the lawyer had arrived last month. I let it sit there for a few days, until I could take the bold typeface no more and had to click on it. “Due to a lack of response on your part….” it said accusingly, the house was going to be sold at auction.

    My first inclination had been to let it go. So what? It could go to auction. I pictured new owners tearing off the rotten roof, and all the horrible images of what happened inside flying out and away. Maybe then the last of the chains of my youth would break loose.

    But then there was another email from the lawyer, this time mentioning the shed where my grandfather had done all the work on the bicycles, and then a third one saying there had been interest in selling the tiny garage and apartment above it separately. If I wasn’t going to try and stop the auction, the lawyer said, did I at least want to come see if there was anything worth saving before it sold?

    For a week I tossed and turned. I didn’t want to go north. But slowly this picture of my grandparents standing proudly in the yard of their new house, circa 1932, formed in my mind. It refused to go away, and then there were others. My grandfather selling the first bike he fixed up, my grandmother sweeping the floor of the apartment in anticipation of the new tenant. I began to see them everywhere, in everything I did. Guilt and shame got the better of me, and now I’m on this plane.


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