An Older Lady

Vanessa waited impatiently for the bartender to notice her signaling for another drink. He looked through her for the third time. He served two businessmen who had just come in. He served a couple frantically typing into their cell phones. He served an attractive single girl who flirted with him confidently.

Vanessa was not bothered by the businessmen or the couple. But being ignored because of the attractive single girl annoyed her. Not so very long ago, she had been just like that confident girl.

Now, Vanessa sighed and waited impatiently for the bartender to notice her signaling for another drink.

 

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Little Blue Lies

Darrell thought about justice. He wondered if it was possible.

Three boys had been tried and acquitted of a terrible crime. A crime they’d been unquestionably guilty of committing. A crime Darrell had witnessed. Justice certainly hadn’t been done. Not in the case of those boys.

For some legal reason, Darrell hadn’t been called to testify during the trials of the three boys. Darrell, who’d been present at the scene and had clearly seen the faces of the criminals, had been ignored three times. However, there was also a fourth boy involved. Darrell would testify at that fourth boy’s trial the following day.

Darrell thought about his cousin. His cousin had been in the wrong place at the wrong time ten years ago. Innocent but convicted. Just eighteen years old and convicted on the lies of a police officer and the testimony of a frightened old woman with poor eyesight. Justice certainly hadn’t been done. Not in the case of Darrell’s cousin.

Darrell remembered the night he’d witnessed the crime. He’d been walking home from work late at night and was nearly home when he saw four boys illuminated by the alley security lighting. Three of them were hitting something on the ground with baseball bats. Every time a bat connected there was another thump, like the sound of a hundred-pound sack of feed corn thrown into the back of a pickup truck. A fourth boy stood nearby, empty-handed.

“Hey,” Darrell had yelled. He was a big man and tried to look bigger. The boys with bats didn’t even look up at Darrell. They just ran. But the fourth boy looked directly into Darrell’s eyes before running after the others. This boy had looked young, just a kid really. And he’d looked scared – he’d clearly been crying. The man on the ground had already been dead when Darrell called 911.

The day of the trial was very hot. The air conditioning in the courtroom rattled and thumped as it tried to keep up. Darrell took the stand. He promised to tell the truth. And then he testified. He testified he’d seen this fourth boy in that alley, hitting the dead man with a bat. This young boy who’d been guilty of standing nearby, watching and crying. Perhaps nothing more. But someone needed to be held responsible. The guilty boys had been acquitted. And Darrell’s cousin hadn’t.

Darrell thought about justice. He wondered if it was possible.

 

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Heard Mentality

Katherine repeated herself a third, consecutively louder time. Eddie had a hearing problem and sometimes it was frustrating to communicate with him.

On Eddie’s part, he’d learned to wait until the third time before responding to Katherine, even if he’d understood on her first or second try. Most things went away before the third time. Especially with Katherine, who tended to say a lot of things that were not profound or important, or even interesting.

On this occasion, he only caught about half of what she was now saying, even after the third time. But he got the gist. She was pointing out something he hadn’t done, or maybe that he had done, but incorrectly. Eddie decided not to respond.

Some things were best put off until the fourth time.

 

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