Becomes One Hundred Stories #22: Solves a Heavy Problem

This is a piece of short fiction in the style and universe of three of my novels: Becomes the Happy Man, Becomes God’s Silent Prophet, and Becomes the Meaning Blossom.

Solves a Heavy Problem

The young man looked at the rock.

The young man looked at the rock and wondered if he could push the rock. He wondered if he could push the rock over on its side.

The young man pushed on the rock. He pushed on the rock but it didn’t move. It didn’t roll over on its side, and it didn’t move at all.

The young man looked at the rock again.

The young man thought about the young woman. The young man thought about the young woman and he wondered if he loved her. He did not think he loved her, but he had never loved anyone before, so he did not know if what he felt for her was love. But he didn’t think so. He thought maybe what he felt for her was what other people called love when they felt for someone the way he felt for the young woman. But he didn’t think so.

The young man thought about his mother. And then he didn’t.

The young man saw a friend of the young woman walk toward the rock. The young man had not met the young woman’s friend, but he had seen her from a distance and the young woman had talked about her.

The young woman’s friend approached the rock and she approached the young man. She approached the young man and asked what he was doing.

The young man said he was thinking about the young woman.

The young woman’s friend said she could see that but that wasn’t what she meant. She said what was the young man doing with the rock.

The young man said he was looking at the rock.

The young woman’s friend said she could see that but that was not what she meant. She said why was the young man near the rock.

The young man said it was a good question.

The young woman’s friend looked at the young man. She wondered if she could push him over on his side.

The young man thought about a book he had read in school. The book had been about a married man who had an affair with his wife’s friend. The young man wondered if this was how such things began. Inane people making inane conversation. The young man forgot how the book ended. He forgot what happened to the married man and his wife and his wife’s friend. He hadn’t cared at the time he read it, and he still didn’t care.

The young man thought about his dinner. He was hungry and he hoped he could settle his problem with the rock soon so he could eat. Then he knew he had to settle his problem with the young woman’s friend before he could settle his problem with the rock. The young man did not know if the young woman’s friend was a problem, but he knew that as long as she was nearby he could not solve his problem with the rock. That was a problem because he was hungry and he could not eat until he solved his problem with the rock.

The young man looked at the young woman’s friend.

The young woman’s friend asked him if he had ever.

The young man said not when he was with someone else.

The young woman’s friend said he could only ever if he was with someone else.

The young man said unless the other was with someone else.

The young woman’s friend asked if he had ever when his other was with someone else.

The young man said yes.

The young woman’s friend said so had the young woman.

The young man said he knew it.

The young woman’s friend said she hadn’t ever.

The young man said he was sure she could if she wanted to.

The young woman’s friend said that was not what she meant. She said she had not because she didn’t want to and didn’t believe in it.

The young man said he didn’t doubt her.

The young woman’s friend asked if the young man had ever while he was with the young woman.

The young man said he had already said he never had ever when he was with someone.

The young woman’s friend said he could if he wanted to.

The young man said anyone could if they wanted to and were prepared for the consequences.

The young woman’s friend said she wasn’t afraid of the consequences, but she didn’t want to ever because it was not right.

The young man said so he had heard.

The young woman’s friend asked the young man if he would ever when he was with the young woman.

The young man said he didn’t think so but one could never know.

The young woman’s friend said could never know what.

The young man said could never know what life might have in store. What situations one has never prepared for.

The young woman’s friend said that’s why you should never do it because you know it isn’t right. Then you’ll always be prepared to avoid any tempting situation.

The young man looked at the rock.

The young man looked at the rock and he thought about how hungry he was and he thought about how much he wanted to ever with the young woman’s friend just to show her what she could do with her righteousness. But he knew the young woman’s friend wanted him to feel that way, so he let the feeling pass, and he said she was probably right.

The young woman’s friend said she wouldn’t tell the young woman what they had talked about.

The young man said he didn’t care if she did. He knew she would tell the young woman anyway.

The young woman’s friend said why didn’t he ever.

The young man said because it wasn’t right. Then he added in his own mind with you.

The young woman’s friend said the rock looked heavy.

The young man said it was.

The young woman’s friend said she was glad she didn’t have to solve that problem.

The young man said he was too.

The young woman’s friend asked what he meant by that.

The young man said it was a nice day.

The young woman’s friend looked at the young man. She looked at the young man and said she didn’t understand him at all. Then she went away.

The young man looked at the rock, and he pushed on the rock in a different direction. The rock did not move. He tried again and again and again, and when he put a lever under the rock, it rolled on its side.

Having solved his problem with the rock, the young man went to the place where he lived and he ate and he was no longer hungry. At least, that is, until the next morning.

To read more stories in the series, see the Becomes One Hundred Stories page.