Passamore holds a special place in my heart. It is a busy street that has a ton of shops and lots of traffic, both pedestrian and vehicles. For years mom refused to let me walk down Passamore by myself. I remember begging her to let me do it. It is on the way to school and lots of kids walk it. Those of us who donâ€™t are called babies, but none of this bothers mom. She says to remember the line about sticks and stones, tells me that one day Iâ€™ll be old enough.
Eventually the day comes and I rejoice. I am eleven years old and I walk to school via Passamore. Dad gives me a dollar to celebrate with and I use it on an Apple Fritter in the same Dunkin Donuts that we are sitting in. This is a happy place or it was then. These days it holds a different place in my heart, one that is far darker than before.
Dad and I order two cups of coffee, his small, mine large. He tells me that one day my metabolism wonâ€™t work quite so efficiently and that my body might not appreciate all that caffeine I am injecting into it. I laugh and tell him that â€œI hope I die before I get old.â€Â He nods his head. I donâ€™t know if gets the reference, music isnâ€™t his thing. For a few minutes we talk about my new job and I tell him that I miss having vacations. He laughs and tells me that I better get used to it, college is over. We talk about this and that and he mentions that he wants to take mom on a trip to Europe, says that as soon as my sisters are out of the house theyâ€™ll start traveling.
I nod my head and excuse myself to hit the john. Dad makes a crack about me aging before his eyes, not even a full cup of Joe and I am running to the bathroom. I am only in there a minute but it is one that will haunt me forever. When I come back out I see a man pointing a gun at dad. Stringy hair, dirty jacket and torn cargo pants with a gun. His back is to me. Dad never looks away from the man, but I know he knows I am there.
Dad is seated and I am worried about what might happen. I canâ€™t stand still.Â Two quick steps and Iâ€™m airborne. I slam into him and we hit the ground.
Twenty some years later Iâ€™m seated in the same Dunkin Donuts, except this time I am in uniform. The kid I am training is in the same john I was in the day of. One day I might tell him why donuts make me cranky, but not today. He hasnâ€™t earned the right to know. One moment in time changed everything for me and nothing will ever be the same.
Editor’s note: This story is fiction. It originally appeared here.
I decided to run it with some small edits because I really do believeÂ Â Content Marketers Should Write FictionÂ and there is merit in revisiting and repurposing old posts. It is why I say I run aÂ greenÂ blog.
More discussion to come about how to draw in a reader and hold their attention. If you have comments I would be grateful if you shared them below.