Next Time

Next time I’ll stay calm.
Next time I’ll listen.
Next time I’ll be positive
And supportive.

Next time I’ll understand.
Next time I’ll know what to do.
Next time I’ll be smarter
And learn.

Please use the open space below to share your first 50 words on the topic “next time.”

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Author: Virginia DeBolt

Writer and teacher who writes blogs about web education, writing practice, and pop culture.

9 thoughts on “Next Time”

  1. “Next time,” he growled, one hand around my throat, his other meaty fist punching a hole into the sheet rock to the right of my head, “do you understand me?”

    “Yeah,” I said as the hand around my throat loosened, “I hear you, Carmine.” I didn’t break eye contact with him, this man of mine who had just promised to strike me the next time I “back talked” him.

    “Now I’m gonna sit in my chair and you’re gonna get me a beer.”

    “Sure thing, honey,” I moved into the kitchen and opened the fridge. I got the Pilsner glass and started pouring as I heard the TV come on…the sports channel, of course.

    “Fuckin’ Yankees,” you bellowed, “can’t get on base.

    You never even heard me pour the Drano into your glass of beer.

    “Here you go,” I handed you the full Pilsner glass, which you started to guzzle from immediately, “oh, and Carmine, next time there won’t be any next time.” You didn’t ask me what I meant, didn’t bother to look away from your beloved TV.

    1. Having been married to an abuser, I loved the concept of Drano. Made me laugh. Nice to say I’m out of that horrible nightmare & married to a lovely fella….gentle, loving, and I can actually give him my own opinion. But you made me laugh today. Thanks.

  2. Sal had almost hit the tree along the curb as he sped down the deserted stretch of road. The scare jolted him to reality. He thought he could drive himself safely home after rejecting offers from his friends at the bar to allow them to call a cab. Sal cradled his head in his hands—What was I thinking? Did this prove that I was more of a man just because Laurie was there with another guy? He took out his phone and began dialing his best friend’s number. The next time, he would listen to his drinking buddies…

    1. Yee Gods. Two comments and each name an Italian: Carmine and Sal. Well, mine’s was Joe. Too funny. I think that says something about the macho image. Run – don’t walk away from these fellas.

  3. Next time I won’t do it again. Honestly! You can get me as mad as you want but next time I won’t do it again. I won’t push you down a flight of stairs. I won’t slap your face. I won’t scream at you during childbirth to shut up when I was screaming with pain. I won’t choke you until you black out for a very brief time. Tears fall down his handsome face. Next time maybe I’ll kill you – bitch! All the while telling everyone what a wonderful wife and mother I was. Never ever showing one sign of tenderness and real love. Just me me me! I am the center of my world. I am the center of your world. And you better remember that. You will dress as I wish. You will behave as I wish. You will stay home and not have a life of your own. You will never speak to another male who is the least bit attractive. You will take care of my businesses and my sons and my house. You will entertain my friends. You will set up the family room with food and whatever I need for my poker games with my friends. You are my property. Mine. Mine. Mine. I will buy you whatever I think you want. A car. Jewelry. Trips to Vegas so I can gamble. Vegas shows so everyone will look at you and think, “she’s beautiful; look at what he has.” Well, he doesn’t have me any longer. (An aside: ooh, this felt so good saying it the way it was.)

  4. “Next time you come to visit, there won’t be nobody here but me,” she said. “I swear!”
    She whimpered as she dragged the body through the back porch screen door.
    Plop. Her gentleman caller was leaking another hue of red on the autumn leaves.
    “Dig two holes,” he told her. “We’ll fill one of them tonight and we’ll see about the other one next time.”

  5. Long time back I read this comment somewhere that said , man is the only animal that can laugh or weep, for man is the only animal that can see the difference between the state of the things, as they are and as they should be .
    This and the fountain of eternal hope.
    This is what produces the concept of next time .
    Next time , when I cross the road , I will not land in a puddle of fresh rain water(as I watch out for post-rain exuberant traffic)
    Next time , the mynah I was so avidly watching will not drop her droppings on my shoulder before taking off in an exasperated screech

  6. I was sitting on the only chair available for customers in a Chinese take-out when a big guy came in. The young Chinese cashier cheerfully asked, “Can I get your order?”
    The man looking annoyed said he wasn’t ready to order and continued looking up at the menu listed in on the board. After a couple of minutes, the guy said, “I want number 4 and 8.”
    The cashier took the order and then asked, “Can I have your name please?”
    They do this now in most take-out so everyone gets the correct order. Or, they just want to emulate Starbucks. Whatever.
    Anyway, the guy looked at the cashier and curtly said, “No.”
    The young cashier looked embarrassed and didn’t know what to do next. So I said, “His name is No.” and winked at the cashier.
    I didn’t look at the guy but I could feel his burning stare on me.
    I thought next time, I should mind my own business.

  7. “Can you pick up some milk on the way home?”

    “I’m busy.”

    She hated when he did that, just flipped her off. “Fine.” And she’d hung up.

    She should have said thank you. Drive safely. I love you.

    Not just fine.

    She smoothed her hand over the casket. “Next time.”

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