One of the new features of the Wednesday posts this year will be what we’re calling “Promptly Penned.” Basically, we get a prompt of some sort and then have to write something inspired by it. Here’s our first prompt of the year:
Some choices are easy, like fudge ripple or
butter pecan, some choices aren’t. Can you guess which one this was?
“Oh my god, can you please just make a decision?!” my brother said with a groan and dramatically dropped his head to the table. “It’s not that hard…” he then added in a muffled voice against the Formica surface.
I looked down at the choices before me and sighed. “Yes it is. It’s really hard and the more you bug me about it the longer it’s going to take. Why don’t you help me, loser?”
“I tried to help you, dweeb!” He lifted his head to look at me and rested his cheek on his hand as if it was seriously stressing him out to hold up his own head. “You swatted down everything I said.”
I nodded without looking at him, “Because they were all stupid suggestions.”
He laughed, “I thought they were good.”
I tried not to smile but failed, “Going up to the old guy in the brown hoodie over there, calling him Obi Wan, and telling him that he’s my only hope won’t exactly help me decide. Nor would offering the girl behind the counter a lap dance.”
“No, but it would be funny.”
I ran my fingers through my hair in frustration, “Not helping…”
“Dude,” he said and took the photos to look at them. “You like all of them, right?”
“So no matter what, you’ll be happy.”
“But what if I decide later that I didn’t really like the one I chose?”
“Listen. We’ve been sitting here for over an hour. You’ve got to choose. The dude is starting to look at us like we’re crazy.”
I smiled and stage-whispered, “We are crazy.”
“If you don’t pick out something in the next three minutes I’m calling Mom and I’m telling her what you’re about to do.”
I watched as he took out his cell phone and set its timer for three minutes. The added stress of a time limit didn’t help me at all. In fact, it seemed to suck away what little decision making abilities I had. I fake glared at my brother, “You wouldn’t tell Mom. Because if you did, you’d risk turning her wrath on yourself.”
He shrugged and motioned to the timer that was now reading 2:10. “Two-oh-nine, two-oh-eight, two-oh-seven… time’s ticking away, Dweeber.”
“You’re such a pain in my ass…” I sighed and took the photos back. I’d looked at them so many times I’d lost count. He was right, I really did like all of the choices laying on the table in front of me. That was part of my problem, of course. I’d looked at them all so much that I was starting to see flaws in everything that I’d originally loved about each of them. Kind of like when you write a word over and over it starts to look like it’s spelled wrong even though you know it’s right.
“How did you decide when you did it?”
“I opened up a book, pointed and said, ‘That’s what I want.'”
He chuckled and nodded, “True, but I knew what I wanted before I got here and I only showed up with one option so I wouldn’t sit here like this fretting over what to pick.” He glanced at his phone, “One minute…”
I was starting to feel nauseated. Contrary to my brother’s belief, this was a big deal and a big decision. I ruled one photo out and put it in my bag with all of the other discarded choices. The two left had ironically been my first two choices. I took this as meaning that I was destined to choose one of them for sure. Or something like that.
I shot him a look and resumed my choice making. I considered doing eenie-meenie-miney-mo but I knew that with only two choices that it wouldn’t work. Every little girl knew that when you were down to two, all you had to do to catch the tiger by the toe was to start the rhyme on the choice you didn’t want. I tapped my fingers on the bottoms of the pictures. It wasn’t like I was choosing which flavor of ice cream to get or something simple. This was way bigger than that.
“Twenty, nineteen, eighteen, seventeen…” I grabbed his phone and turned the timer off then stuck the phone into my bra where I knew he wouldn’t chase it. Sister cooties and all that. Just before he was able to get a whine out I pushed a picture across the table to him then put the other one in my bag. “This is it?” he asked with a smile.
I nodded, “Go give it to him right now before I change my mind, or throw up.”
He stood up with the picture and paused, “Please don’t puke. Seriously. If you puke they’ll never let me come back.”
“If you don’t go right now I’ll make myself puke on purpose like I did when we were seven and I didn’t want to be at Misty Robinson’s birthday party but mom made us go.”
“I’m going!” he practically yelled and then literally jogged across the room with my fate in his hand.
I chuckled at his retreat and tried doing some deep breathing to fight off the nerves. My knees were bouncing up and down under the table like I had to seriously pee, but I knew it was all nerves. He may have been my twin, but we were so incredibly different at times it was funny. I over-analyzed absolutely everything while he could make a decision, big or small, in a heartbeat and be totally okay with it. To be honest, I loved that about him, even envied it at times. He may have whined and set timers and given me ultimatums to get me to make a choice, but I knew it was all out of love. There was no way he’d let me make a bad decision.
He returned to our table with a huge grin, “He’s getting ready. You should probably pee.”
“I don’t have to pee.”
“Then stop with the pee pee dance or you’re going to make me have to go.”
I couldn’t help but giggle and then tried really hard to stop my legs from trembling. “Tell me I made the right decision.”
I looked him in the eyes, “Swear you’re not lying just to shut me up.”
He reached across the table and grabbed my hand, “I promise.”
Despite being a twin, he wasn’t a touchy feely kind of guy. He blamed our eight and a half months in the womb together as his reason for not liking to cuddle. To him, that was all of the snuggling he needed. The fact that he was holding my hand on his own was enough to let me know that he was being one hundred percent honest. I squeezed his hand and smiled, “Okay…”
“I’m gunna need you to take my phone out of your boobs so I can take pictures.”
I giggled and gave him his phone back. “If I cry and you post it to Instagram you will regret it.”
“Oh come on… you know me better than that. I wouldn’t post that to Instagram.” The guy called my name and motioned for us to make our way over. I stood up wrapped my arm around my brother’s waist. He gave me a one armed hug and smiled, “You’ve got this…”
I nodded, totally not sure of myself, “Yeah.”
“Afterward we can go get ice cream, and I’ll make all of the decisions for you.”
I giggled, “Deal.”
That’s all you get! The State of Union address has started so I’ve gotta run.
Don’t forget to check out what the rest of the girls came up with for the prompt!