This flash fiction was inspired by Shannon Wendt’s (@wordswendt) #liblit writing prompt.
I saw the couple as I walked toward the potted plants at the grocery store entrance. It was a beautiful summer day, complete with sunshine, songbirds and a light, warm breeze.
They were arguing in sign language. I know a little ASL, but I could barely keep up with their angry, lightning-fast hands. She was a strikingly attractive brunette with golden, sun-kissed skin and wavy tresses falling to her narrow waist. She wore a gorgeous sundress, silver bangles and ankle bracelets. He was a thirty-something man with a shaved head and prominent tattoos on his arms and neck. His mottled, grayish tee shirt had at one time been white. Over it, he wore an orange vest with the store’s logo. He had been pushing a long row of shopping carts when the woman accosted him.
She looked about the same age, but that was all they had in common physically. They were quibbling about his mother, or possibly his baby’s mother. The conversation was punctuated with a slap to his cheek.
I felt petty for having eavesdropped. But when he followed her back to the parking lot, I was concerned, so I walked back to my car and pretended to get something from the back seat. She ran up to a nearby red Jeep and clearly signed “Mine” several times (along with several other things, including “F*** you”).
A pretty blonde girl, probably just a teenager, jumped out of the driver’s seat, hitting and kicking the brunette. I closed my car door and walked toward the melée with cell phone poised on 911. Fortunately, the young man at the center of the controversy finally did something useful and pulled the teenager away. The brunette took the opportunity to jump into the vehicle, and in a flash, she pulled out of the parking space and headed toward the exit, burning rubber.
The blonde now turned on her boyfriend, continuing the hitting and kicking. She accused him of lying and kept repeating that he had given the Jeep to her. Obviously, she was not hearing impaired, or at least not speech impaired. She shouted, “That’s my engagement present, you bastard! Get it back!”
“No, she’s right. The title is in her name.” He hung his head and shrugged his shoulders. “Come on, I’ll get you a ride home. Who’s watching the baby?”
“The baby? I forgot about the baby!”
“What do you mean, you forgot?”
About this time, the Jeep edged carefully back into the parking space. The brunette walked around to the passenger side and removed a child car seat from the back – with the child in it. She shoved it at the teenager, who immediately put it on the ground.
She signed once, “Yours,” then drove away.