Every Tuesday evening I meet with a group of writers, only a few who are actually paid to write. Nevertheless, we consider ourselves to be writers simply because we write.
Yesterday evening our prompt was “The One That Got Away.”
Here is what I wrote – freewrite style – 20 minutes, no stopping, no editing. However much I want to re-write what I wrote, I won’t.
I handed my seven month old howling daughter to the baby sitter, smoothed my skirt and walked out the front door without looking back.
I’d been eight months without a job. I left my last job (okay I lied, I am going to rewrite – I feel I should change actual names to protect the identities) six weeks before my due date. My daughter had her own calendar. She arrived twenty two days later.
I hadn’t been exactly sitting by the phone waiting for a call, nor had I been pounding the pavement. Other things, like not sleeping, had kept me busy. Then, I got the call to work on “XYZ.” My first job offer. I knew eventually I had to return to work so I agreed to an interview. I drove to Universal. The guard checked his list and cleared me on with directions to the offices for Mr. X’s company.
I glanced at my face in the vanity mirror before stepping out of the car, CV in hand. I walked into a comfortable office suite decorated with posters from past Mr. X projects.
A young Hispanic receptionist eyed me warily then told me to take a seat. Before I made it to a chair, the door opened and Mr. Y, UPM, stepped out hand extended. He was about to say something when Mr. X stepped out of his office to invite me in.
Fifteen minutes later the interview was over. I thanked everyone and stepped out. Mr. Y walked me out to the reception area. “Do you think you’re ready to go back?” I looked at him quizzically. I had intentionally not spoken about the child back home. I didn’t answer. Mr. Y nodded toward me. “The burp cloth,” he said. I reached my hand up across to my shoulder, a diaper sill carrying the aroma and spit up of the child I’d handed off. “I don’t think it’s time yet. Thanks for coming out. We enjoyed meeting you. Maybe next time.”