Day 4: Write a story/excerpt to include the line, “Sorry, we can’t insure you for a journey like that.”
[Sorry, this is posted from my phone and I can’t find a button to make a defining line. I hope the little squiggly line will suffice. Also, Happy 4th to all of my American readers :)] ~
Mr. Worthington was ready for his next adventure in life. A professional bachelor still at the age of 49, when Mr. Worthington wasn’t wooing the desperate housewives in his neighborhood, you could find him swimming the deepest depths of the oceans, climbing the tallest peaks in the world, and wooing other women in other cultures. He can’t thank his grandfather enough for the inheritance he left behind; without that money, Mr. Worthington wouldn’t be so cultured, and his game would surely be down the gutter.
For his 50th birthday, Mr. Worthington was going all out with an African safari, exploring the desert plains and getting up close and personal with some of the more dangerous animals in the animal kingdom. It’s a trip he’s been wanting to take since childhood excursions to the zoo.
A couple of weeks before his grand trip, his insurance agent, Mr. Gibbles had left a voicemail:
“Mr. Worthington, it’s Mr. Gibbles. I’m looking over your life insurance policy and I think we need to sit down and chat. Please call my secretary to make an appointment. Thanks, have a good day!”
Sure enough, Mr. Worthington called back and made an appointment for the next day.
Mr. Gibbles’ office was small, cramped with stacks of paper and binders, very unorganized for such a cautious man. His life revolved around planning for other people’s lives, you’d think the man could take care of his own office. Mr. Worthington sat very carefully in the chair across Mr. Gibbles’ desk.
“Mr. Worthington,” Mr. Gibbles began, “I see you’ll be turning 50 in a couple of weeks. Any plans?”
“African safari,” Mr. Worthington said, no hesitation, all confidence.
“I see,” Mr. Gibbles said shakily. “Mr. Worthington, I’m sorry we can’t insure you for a journey like that. Or any of your ‘journeys,’ really, to be frank.”
“What do you mean?” Mr. Worthington now speaking shakily.
Mr. Gibbles shuffled through his paperwork. “Sky diving in Thailand. Almost falling down Mount Everest. Jellyfish stings in Australia,” Mr. Gibbles read. “The list goes on and on.”
Mr. Worthington slumped in his chair dumbfounded, remembering his grand adventures, living a high adrenaline life. “Are you saying I’m uninsurable?”
Mr. Gibbles got up to pat Mr. Worthington on the back. “I think it’s time you settle down for a while,” he suggested, “Spend some time smelling the roses in your own backyard.”
Mr. Worthington left Mr. Gibbles’ office conflicted: live out his childhood dream or “settle down,” whatever that means. The words kept flowing through his mind: “we can’t insure you for a journey like that.”
On his walk home, he found a bench in a nearby park to take a seat and just think. It’s been a while since he’d actually taken time to just relax. Right behind him, a woman sat on the same bench, sipping her expensive coffee, eating her Madeline cookies, and checking her emails on her phone. Mr. Worthington sighed rather audibly at the thought of canceling his trip. The woman turned to him, her arm extended offering Mr. Worthington a cookie.
“They’ll make you feel better,” she said, once he finally looked her way. “They do the trick for me.”
Mr. Worthington took the cookie with a smile. “You know,” he began, after taking his first bite, “I had a ‘real deal’ Madeline when I was in France not too long ago.” He examined the cookie. “Compared to that, this tastes like garbage.”
The woman, surprisingly laughed. “It’s that good ole American food processing!”
The two laughed, perhaps out of sorrow for a horrible day or joy in finally having someone to talk to.
“What’s your name?” Mr. Worthington asked.
“Heather,” she replied, sweeping her hair behind her ear in one swift motion, like she had done in her youth when a cute boy talked to her.
“Well, Heather, I’ve got sometime to sit and chat, settle down, if you will. Do you mind just sitting and chatting with me?”
“I would love to,” she replied, offering the last Madeline in the package. Mr. Worthington politely declined and the laughing ensued.
It wasn’t long into the conversation when Mr. Worthington thought canceling his African safari wasn’t such a bad idea after all.