Prompt Images

There was that time you drove to the airport,
Early for once.
A storm was seeping in from the north.
You were determined to get out ahead of it.

The airline had other plans.

Too delirious to be dejected,
You headed home,
Still speeding to beat the impending weather.

You booked a flight for the following Monday.
Two, in fact.
But switched the first before penalty.

You never sleep
The night before an early morning obligation.
5 A.M. finally.

Goodbye, sleeping mate.
Goodbye, baby cat.
The last clock you read glows 5:23.

You warm up the car longer than usual, because
“You have time.”
You always have time.
(You never have time.)
((Does anyone?))

You nod your head
When the woman being interviewed on the radio
Agrees that the most irritating platitude to have been patted and told is
Everything happens for a reason.
You don’t believe that philosophy either.

You fiddle around with an additional task
Upon arriving at the car park.
“You have time.”
The shuttle departs without you.

It’s okay, you tell yourself,
There’s another one right behind it.

Fifteen good minutes go by;
Regret sets in.
Impatience manifests itself in your right foot.

You board the bus in four seconds flat;
What is taking everyone else so long?!

Terminal A,
The driver calls, and a couple disembarks.
Why didn’t I book a flight out of Terminal A?
You protest silently.

Another vehicle blocks in your shuttle
As seconds slip preciously away.

Traffic deprives you of more of the fifty minutes remaining
Until your gate closes.

You bolt-in-a-backpack
For the shortest line,
Which of course,
You’re not eligible for.
You, the woman directs, need to go there,
And points towards the longest line.

Don’t worry, it moves fast,
A man reassures someone who is not you.

Forty minutes.

‎The line moves in chunks;
To the man’s credit, fast chunks.

Thirty minutes.

Upstairs now, on another line.
‎It’s moving well, and then
You turn the corner and it slithers on for another hundred persons.
You groan dreadfully.

What good luck!
You may leave your shoes on today.
What bad luck!
A stray coat is caught in the conveyor belt.

Twenty minutes.

“You have time‎”
To get a coffee.
The process is new,
New-fangled, even,
Not intuitive.

Ten minutes,

And you’re finally accepting the coffee.
“Oh my God,”
The barista says.
“What? My voice?” you rasp.
(You left your voice somewhere on Saturday.)

“No, not you,”
She replies mysteriously.

Andre 3000,
You conclude,
As you spin around to face him,
Clutching a box of chocolates
For the pretty girl he dips and kisses.

For a great many people,
That’s unimpeachable proof that
Everything happens for a reason‎.
Not you, though.
Today your comet caught up to that bright star because
“You had time.”

Happy Valentine’s Day indeed.


Jillian Conochan

Jillian Conochan is a professional amateur; writing and editing just happen to be two current pursuits. Opinion range: strong to DNGAF.

learn more
Share this story
About The Prompt
A sweet, sweet collective of writers, artists, podcasters, and other creatives. Sound like fun?
Learn more