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“I’d like to return this,” I said.

“Sure, sir. But I don’t see anything,” said the customer service agent behind the desk.

“Just like all of this,” I answered, gesturing wildly at the air around me.

I was met with a look of nonchalance.

“I guess it’s a bit of a metaphor, more than anything else,” I explained, arms settling down by my side.

“Well what is the metaphor symbolizing? Because I am not sure if we take metaphors back.”

“It’s not a specific thing. Just like the whole last two years. You know?” I offered, hoping for a bite.

“How would we even take back two years’ worth of time?” she replied, not biting even a little bit.

“I don’t know but the sign says ‘Returns. No questions asked.’ Plus, isn’t the customer always right? That sort of seems like your problem now.” I knew I was grasping at straws. I hoped I wouldn’t need these until much later.

“Well what could I even give you for these two years? Which is—to be clear—something that I can’t actually take back because what would that even entail? Also, in terms of an exchange, do you want to walk out of here with two more years? I am not a sorceress.”

“I don’t know,” I replied exasperated. “Can I get credit, or something?”

“Not to go all ‘Sir, this is a Wendy’s’ on you but, Sir, this is a Best Buy.”

“I get that,” I say. “I really do.” I want her to know I’m a reasonable man, but these last two years have not been reasonable in return. And we all have our limits.

She squints at me and tilts her head. “Sir, unless you have a physical item to return, there’s nothing I can do for you.”

“I know,” I say, putting both hands on the counter and dropping my head in resignation. “But you get it, right? These last two years? What are we supposed to do at this point? I know you didn’t expect to be stuck like this for so long. Did you ever expect the best part of your day would be guessing a five-letter word?”

“Today’s was tough,” the clerk says empathetically.

“Another double letter,” I replied, shrugging. “I guess that’s just the game now.”

Josh Bard

Josh Bard is a guy. A sports guy, an ideas guy, a wise guy, a funny guy, a Boston guy, and sometimes THAT guy. Never been a Guy Fieri guy, though.

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