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American Graffiti

Day 5 of 16 – Writer’s Digest Writing Prompt Bootcamp

You’re downtown, and see graffiti in an unlikely place—graffiti like you’ve never seen before, concerning someone you know.

Have you ever seen something that just gets you to your core?  Something that seems so unbelievable that you think it must be true?  Well, it happened to me.  I saw something today on my walk home from lunch with a friend.  Something that puts me in quite the dilemma.

My day started out great.  My husband and I had a nice breakfast together.  Then I had plans to meet a very old friend for lunch.  A friend I have known since the 4th grade.  I was then going to finish up my day by enjoying a quiet evening at home alone because it was my husband’s turn to meet an old friend.  Me, some microwave popcorn and Netflix was the plan.  Perfection.

I had a couple of glasses of wine with lunch, so I was feeling energetic and giddy.  You know…that feeling before the “comedown.”  I’m sure I’ll be snoozing on my couch in an hour when it wears off.  In the meantime, I decided I would take a different way home.  A nice, long linger on this beautiful day.

I stopped in an unfamiliar florist for some flowers.  I love to add a splash of color in the house.  It just makes it feel that much more alive.  At this point, I was starting to lose my buzz, so I decided to step it up.  I took the alleyway to the right of the florist to save some time.  I walked down the alleyway and turned left for my shortcut.  Suddenly, I find myself distracted by large writing in bright colors on the back wall of the building that houses the florist.  When I look over, I see a familiar name.  “Grant Goodacre.”  My husband.

Sure there could be another Grant Goodacre in this large city.  And I would have thought so if whoever had written this didn’t paint Grant’s cell phone number in bold letters beneath his name.  Okay, so someone painted my husband’s name and number on the back of a building.  So what?  Except that wasn’t all.

What I read rocked my world and smashed it to pieces:

FOR A SEMI-GOOD TIME CALL GRANT GOODACRE @ 222-5252
GOOD IN BED BAD FOR THE HEART 

In smaller letters below this exclamation, there are notes from several women. To sum things up, it seems Grant is a frequent patron of “Leela’s Florist” and it looks like he buys flowers for all of his conquests.  These women refer to these special posies as “Break-up Flowers.”  From what I can gather, he makes them fall for him and when they get too close for his comfort level (because he is married after all), he sends them a bouquet with a “Dear Jane” letter.  As if that will send them quietly on their way.

Grant and I have been married for 7 years, no kids.  Living the good life in a great rental downtown, dinners out, vacations with friends.  We want kids.  Or so I thought.  Every time I bring it up, he reminds me of the fun we are having, tells me we’ll try the following year and talks me right out of it.  It suddenly becomes quite clear why he keeps putting me off.  How could I be so stupid?

I am very much in love with my husband.  He’s the only man I’ve ever dated.  He was my first and last lover.  Grant is the total package — tall, dark and so handsome he seems make-believe.  He’s a real charmer.  His charm charmed the pants right off of me.  That should have been my first clue.

I’m what you would call a Plain Jane.  I get that look from people.  You know that look that gives their thoughts away?  “What is HE doing with HER?”  People are shocked by our pairing.  When he brought me home to meet his parents, his dad hesitated to shake my hand.  As if I wasn’t really there. That should have been my clue #2.

Clue #3?  Late nights at the office, meeting a friend for a drink, weekend with the boys a bit more often than I cared to admit.  Oh dear God.  I am married to a Cliche.

So, here I am.  Seven years (eight if you include our courtship) into a relationship I thought was going pretty well.  My first reaction is to forgive him.  Move on and don’t confront him with what I discovered.  I’m passive and absolutely dread confrontation even in a case such as this.  It frightens me to imagine my life without him.  He is the love of my life.  My family.  My world. Maybe it’s something I did to send him into the arms and beds of other women.

Then I have a moment of clarity and snap to.  Fortunately for me, but not so fortunate for Grant, one of his paramours left her number.  It was one of those, “call me and let’s ruin his life” kind of deals.  Except Grant’s life doesn’t seem to be ruined because he is still standing.  I was about to change all that.

I reached into my purse and pulled out my phone.  Jennifer answered on the second ring.  Jennifer, my friend from 4th grade.  My friend who I just shared a bottle of wine with.  My friend who I just shared my most intimate thoughts.  My friend who I unwittingly shared my husband with.

With shaky fingers, I quickly hit the “off” button.  It was here that I made the decision.  I walked back into that florist and asked what kind of flowers Grant Goodacre sent to his lovers.  They knew him well.  “Good ole’ Grant.  He is such a sly devil, that one.”  I had a bouquet sent to him with a card.  The card read, “Enjoy your very first bouquet of “break-up” flowers.  My lawyer will be in touch.  You’re about to get as screwed as you screwed me, sans the orgasm.  Signed, your screwed over in more ways than one soon to be ex-wife.”

As for Jennifer?  It’s called Karma.  And it’s a bitch.