Opinion: IFs & BUTs’ Are My Guardian Angels

Annelise Lords

I am aware that life never goes in a straight line. So that’s why I create backup plans for all my backup plans.

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Cactus covered with cobwebImage by Annelise Lords.

Lorna’s phone interrupted her sleep. “You better shut up,” she barked at it, sitting on her nightstand beside her digital alarm clock. Three rings later, it stopped.

“Good,” she said, turning to the other side of her bed, following her sleep into dreamland. As she was about to make her final step on the soft Cumulus clouds to meet Idris Elba, her doorbell screamed. She slipped and fell off her bed. “Dammit,” she snarled, glancing at the digital clock on her nightstand as she stood up. It was 11:57 PM.

Angrily she snatched her phone off the nightstand, checked her doorbell camera, and was shocked to see Violet, her best friend.

“Stop ringing my doorbell!” she bellowed through the phone.

“Well, let me in!” Violet shouts. “If you answered your damn phone I wouldn’t be here.”

“Girl, you need a man!” Lorna teased, opening the door to let her in. “Do you know what time it is?”

Violet breezed past Lorna and positioned herself on the sofa, rolling her eyes and waiting for Lorna to follow.

Lorna nodded, then sat beside her, “hurry it up, girl. I refuse to keep Idris Elba waiting.”

“Still having nightmares about him,” Violet taunts.

“They are dreams, Ok. Now what do you want?” Lorna demands.

“Does your guardian angel has a single brother?”

“Say what?” slipped from Lorna’s mouth in shock.

“My life is a mess. No matter which bus I take I still come off at the wrong stop,” Violet complains.

“Girl, you are only twenty-nine years old. What is this? An early mid-life crisis issue at midnight?” Lorna asks, her eyes on the cable box a few feet away.

“Really?” Violet asked, giving her a sideways look.

Lorna sighed deeply and demanded, “What are you talking about?”

“Your life. Our life. You always take the wrong bus, but still get off at the right stop. Your life is like water through a sieve. Nothing goes wrong for you.”

“Girl,” Lorna said, staring at her angrily, “You drove more than twenty miles to disturb my sleep for this?”

Ignoring her question, she repeats, “Does your guardian angel has a brother. I am so desperate I don’t care if he is married.”

“My guardian angels are ‘IF and BUTS,’” Lorna informs her.

“I thought we were friends,” Violet pushed out.

“Girl, when I plan for everything in my life, I plan for ‘IFs and BUTs too.”

“That’s it?” Violet asked.

Nodding again, Lorna explained, “When we were in high school and were applying for college, I applied for more than one.”

“So what? I didn’t have to apply to two colleges. I knew which college I wanted to go to,” Violet reminds her.

“I didn’t get accepted by my first choice, but because I applied to two others I had something else to choose from.”

“Waverly University accepted me,” Violet refreshed Lorna’s memory.

“What if they didn’t?” Lorna tossed at her.

Violet’s face changed as shock held her.

Lorna pushed her down Recalled Road, “all of your life, you live without a backup plan. When you applied for a job. You send out one application. You only go to one store or supermarket if you want something to buy. If they don’t have what you want, you let it go. Restaurants, Doctors, and Beauty Parlors are the same.”

Violet sighs as reality slaps the truth into her. “Damn,” slid from her lips.

“Life doesn’t go in a straight line. Streets, love, hatred, happiness, sorrow, the weather, etc., don’t go in a straight line. Plus, straight lines are boring,” Lorna educates.

“Death,” goes in a straight line, jumped from Violet’s thoughts.

“I am choosing life,” Lorna notified quickly.

Silence absorbed the moment, and Violet said, “IFs and BUTs ah?”

“When I plan for anything in my life, if plan A doesn’t work, I can jump to B, C, or D,” Lorna enlightened.

“But what if none of them worked?” Violet inquired.

“There are twenty-six letters in the Alphabet, one of them always works,” Lorna states.

“So, your life is like water through a sieve because you have many backup plans?” Violet wonders out loud.

Lorna took her hands, stared into her eyes, and said, “now that you have the name and address of my guardian angels, get the hell out of my house so I can go back to dream about Idris Elba!”

I am aware that life never goes in a straight line. So that’s why I create backup plans for all my backup plans. I must plan for the ‘IFs and BUTs” life throws my way. And so should you.

Thank you for reading this piece. I hope you enjoyed it.

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I don't limit myself, because I learn from the actions, choices, decisions, and life of everyone I know. I study and learn from all of my life's circumstances and situations, and also yours. My power of words is about life, awareness, the value, and the simplicity of commonsense, especially when it's not used. Life lessons are in everything we do. I will show them to you.

Poughkeepsie, NY
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