I’ve been so wrapped up in reading for (and distracting myself from) my dissertation, that I almost forgot to post my entry for ‘Timony Souler’s Resolution Confusion challenge! The challenge was to take one of six resolutions and make it go wrong, and my resolution was:
5. I will go to anger management classes.
I’ve noticed that most of my flash fiction pieces end up as a fragment of a scene, so I think that I need to set myself another challenge to write a proper self-contained short story. I’d be interested to know what other people think though.
“So how did this happen?” Sadie asked, dabbing gingerly at the cut on my forehead with the alcohol wipe. For a trainee nurse, she was surprisingly squeamish when it came to the sight of blood.
“It’s all Emma’s fault.” I grumbled, wincing and pulling away as she attempted to cleanse the wound. “Her and her stupid anger management classes!”
“Oh?” Sadie’s face, a picture of concern only a moment before, was now taking on a pink tinge thanks to the effort of containing her amusement. “So they didn’t go well then?”
“I went to one.” I explained, in what may possibly have been an exaggeratedly long-suffering tone. “The instructor made us sit on the floor for two hours doing breathing techniques. Two hours, Sadie! I’ve been breathing perfectly well on my own for the past twenty years, I didn’t need her telling me that I was doing it wrong!”
“Maybe…” Sadie began, before trailing off when she saw the expression on my face. “Never mind. What happened next? One failed anger management class does not explain why you’re bleeding all over my kitchen.”
“Well I tried to explain what a disaster the class was to Emma.” I continued. “But she wasn’t having any of it. Said that I’d made this resolution for her, and she wanted me to see it through. And then she said that if I really didn’t think the classes were working for me, then I should explain why in a calm and rational way.”
Sadie cocked an eyebrow at me. I glowered back.
“Sorry, John.” She said, pressing a bandage to my face and securing it with what looked like masking tape. What was wrong with plasters, that was what I wanted to know. “But this does not look like the result of a calm and rational conversation.”
“Oh but it was!” I defended myself. “It was very calm and extremely rational…right up until the moment I punched him.”
Sadie blinked, her expression the same one that she wore whenever I explained my messes to her. It was the ‘tell me you did not just say that’ face.
“It might still have all been OK.” I continued, not wanting to deprive her of the full explanation. “If he hadn’t had anger issues of his own. And a black belt in karate.”