“You Just Had To Do It (1963)”

A boy talks himself through his situation in the aftermath of a fight between his parents.


You just had to do it, didn’t you?
I could have told you she was in a pissy mood today, if you would have asked me. Saturdays are always like that with her. Saturday is her cleaning day. I used to look forward to Saturday mornings like the other kids do, then I learned and tried to escape them by going to the Junior Bowling League up at Reitch’s. But she caught on to that quick and just left my chores for me to do later and got all over me if I didn’t do them right. But even that was better than having her follow me around while I cleaned and her yelling at me for not doing something right.
Of course, she doesn’t really yell at me with words, she just shoves me aside and redoes the chore I’ve just done, silently, like if I got close enough or watched long enough or enough times I’d eventually “get it.” It must be a girl thing…a guy would call you a dumb shit and maybe smack you on the side of the head and talk you through what you were supposed to do instead of just pushing you aside and glaring at you.

“You Just had To Do It (1963)” is one of three stories in the short story sequence “Trinity” in Gary Lawrence’s debut collectionBaffled and Other StoriesBuy Baffled and Other Stories NOW!

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First-edition hard-cover hardcopy books will be available here starting October 10, 2013. The book will also be available as an audio download READ BY THE AUTHOR (!) that contains author commentary and discussion questions. E-books and audio books will be available here sometime soon.

You can also buy Baffled at www.shortstoryamerica.com or through the www.rockfordwritersguild.com . A portion of the proceeds for books sold through SSA or RWG goes to that organization.


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