General Fiction posted May 20, 2017

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Falling down or falling for?


by Maria Jose Garcia

When I was sixteen, my father changed jobs and we moved to Vermont. Our new house was much nicer than our New York apartment. I loved the wraparound porch, and I used to spend hours sitting there reading or just thinking.

'We should move your room down here,' Mum told me one day.

Opposite us, there was a derelict house. A boy in a wheelchair used to sit outside, hour after hour, doing nothing, just staring into thin air. There was a permanent scowl on his face.

At first, I said hello whenever I saw him, but he never answered, so in the end I gave up. I wondered what had happened to him. Had he been born like that or had he been involved in an accident? I guessed he was more or less my age and wondered why I'd never seen him at school.

One Sunday, three months after the move or so, I was sitting outside reading Pride and Prejudice and looking at Mum's beautiful hydrangeas, when I heard a loud thump.

'Shit!' somebody shouted.

I realized it came from the house opposite. Our neighbour had apparently been trying to walk with the help of crutches and fallen down the steps that led to the sidewalk.

I ran across the street and said, 'Let me help you up.'

Without waiting for an answer, I started pulling on his arms. Unluckily, I lost balance and fell on top of him. I noticed his eyes were green and his face was covered in freckles.

'You clumsy girl,' he said. 'Get off me.'

'I was just trying to help.'

'I don't need any help.'

'Suit yourself.'

I turned around and left.

Funny how the greatest love stories start in the most inauspicious way sometimes...

A Good Turn Gone Wrong writing prompt entry
Writing Prompt
Please write a very short story based on trying to help someone, but it's not appreciated. Fun or serious. No poetry.

MAX words - 300
Pays one point and 2 member cents.

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