Eating some cereal, playing scrabble and relaxing with hardly a care in the world.
I was woken from my day-dreaming state by the rude sound of my phone buzzing and beeping to tell me that I had a new text message.
I hurried to check the message, maybe it was a sweet note from my wife. Excitedly I grabbed the phone and read what was on the screen.
It wasn't from my wife. It wasn't from my wife at all.
It was from Katdish. Another request for me to do something for her.
It was then that a thought entered my mind, one which I had previously kept firmly at bay one which, had my mind not been dwelling on the disappointment of the text NOT being from my wife, would never have made it past my mental barricade.
"What If I said "NO"?"
Oooo, the thrill just of thinking that swept over me.
What would that be like? Could I do it?
There would certainly be a back-lash. Did I have what it takes to survive such an onslaught?
Billy Coffey, the great writer of fictional truths (as he describes himself) has often told me he'd 'have my back' in these situations.
I've never been quite sure what that phrase means, but I find it quite comforting and even emboldening.
YES! I could do it. I could grow a spine and say NO!
Boldly I reached out to type the word but as I did so, something prodded at the back of my mind... the phrase "fictional truths" started spreading doubt through my consciousness.
What does Billy Coffey mean by fictional truths? Does he mean that not every word he writes is the complete truth? If so, how do we know which words to believe and which not to?
How can I believe that he would 'have my back'? Maybe that was just a fictional phrase he created to trick me into stepping into a minefield from which there was no escape.
I slumped back in my chair.
The doubt was too great. I couldn't run that risk.
I resigned myself to my usual answer of "Yes, Ma'am" -until, that is, my cunning mind thought of another possibility:
What if I said no anyway, even though I didn't mean it?
How would that be?... A shiver ran down my spine.
I could say no, and do the work at the same time thus experiencing the thrill of saying no yet having the protection of being able to prove I was only joking.
Without a second thought, I typed those two glorious letters:
Clicking send, I waited for the expected emotional rush....
It never came.
Maybe it was the fear or reprisals at my little joke, or maybe it was the knowledge that I was lying. Whichever it was, I felt strangely empty.
After the emotional roller coaster of the last seven seconds (which is all this whole process had taken), this was a huge let down.
I don't know... is this how it would feel to say no for real?
Would there be no adrenaline-filled payoff to offset the retaliation which would be sure to follow?
Have you ever said no to her?
If so, how was it for you?