• WIP-It Chick

SNAPS1000 Story: Holding Pattern

With precision, Dalia structured a quiet and good life.

Every morning at 6 a.m., she leapt from bed, thanking God for the ability to do so before straightening her bedding and exercising on her elliptical for thirty minutes to an hour, depending on how quickly she needed to leave her home.

After, she wrote her morning pages, leaving whatever worries she had on the page to start her day.

With pages written, Dalia showered; dressed; had her scrambled eggs, toast, and coffee; and then called her mother for their morning chit-chat before leaving to show homes during the day.

This morning, she had an 8 a.m. showing with a young couple looking to purchase their first home. The wife was six months pregnant, so they hoped to get into a home before the baby’s birth.

Dalia smiled as she thought of the couple. They were so excited to be starting this new journey in their relationship. Dalia had never experienced that, but her heart still warmed at the thought of what that would feel like.

She had left her sour grapes on the written pages atop her desk.

While tapping her fingers on the steering wheel, Dalia thought about the first house she’d shown the couple.

“They’ll love it.” She prided herself in studying potential home buyers so she could select the perfect homes for them. She had spent hours with this couple and could not only see what they wanted now but could also envision what they might desire in years to come.

By the time she pulled into the first home’s wide driveway, Dalia deemed the house bought and mentally marked the sale as a win in her to-do list.


“Babe, I want this house.”

Sitting on the staircase, Dalia smirked.

Dane and Sloane were upstairs in the master bedroom; Dalia could hear the excitement bubbling through Sloane’s every word.

“This is the first house we’ve seen,” Dane said.

“With Dalia, yes,” Sloane agreed, “but we’ve seen over 20. How was this house not on other realtors’ lists?”

Because I’m that good, Dalia thought. She didn’t often pat herself on the back, but when it came to her job, Dalia knew she was the real deal. For fifteen years, she’d studied her city, its trends, population changes, the wants and desires of home buyers, especially first-time home buyers, those with young families or those looking to start a family. She’d worked as an apartment manager and as a landlord and had even flipped a few houses, reaping great rewards for her hard work.

This she knew she was good at. Never a discouraging word was made about her stellar performances. She had leaned on the positivity of this truth—hard—for years.

“Can’t you see us here?” Sloane asked. “Our bedroom, one for Caleb, a guest room—until we have more children. The finished basement.”

“There’s space for a pool in the backyard—later,” Dane acquiesced.

“See,” Sloane sang, “you’re getting the picture.”

Dalia chuckled and stood, making her way out onto the large front porch. Looking left and right down the quiet street, she smiled. This was a great neighborhood for families. She had seen half a dozen women in leggings jogging past, rolling strollers before them. A few kids already populated front lawns, driveways, sidewalks with bikes, trikes, and skateboards, anxious to get in every last bit of summer before school began the following week.

A tick quirked her right cheek, causing her right eye to blink rapidly. She tried to smile the moment away, but the tick continued.

“Two more showings today,” she told herself. “You could get the hat trick today.”

Not even that thought kept her emotions together.

When her phone rang, she checked the screen and placed the phone back into her purse.

Marie. Her best friend.

“I love you, Rie,” she whispered, “but not right now.”

Over the last several weeks, Marie had been trying to convince Dalia to get out, date, meet people, do something besides selling homes.

“You’re 42, for God’s sake,” Marie had bemoaned, “not 242. Fall in love. Be happy.”

Although Dalia smiled, promised Marie she would think about it, in reality, Dalia was firm in her belief.

She had been there, done that, failed miserably at it, and devoted herself to setting up a life that was as predictable as a mere human could create.

She didn’t want to admit she was thisclose to failing yet again.


By the time Dalia trudged through her front door with her hat trick, her life didn’t feel as quiet and good as she had believed.

The shades of black and gray that muted her home mirrored her muted mood. Briefly, she remembered the colorful autumn tones her home had just fifteen years ago—before the ectopic pregnancy, the hysterectomy, and the end of her five-year relationship with Gary.

“I love you,” Gary had said. “So damn much. But I want kids. My kids—”

“—from your woman,” Dalia finished. She had offered him a broken smile. “I get it.”

And she did. That didn’t keep her from feeling like less of a woman. She hated herself for having severe endometriosis yet still desperately wanting to be a mother.

In her office, Dalia spied her morning pages on the desk. Standing over them, she zoomed in and focused on the last lines… I thank God for letting me be good at SOMEthing—if I can’t be a mother. Having my job gives me a life, a reason for still being here.

What had seemed like praise just hours ago depressed Dalia; she wanted to pull at her hair and scream for thinking so lowly of herself.

As she slipped her morning pages into her journaling binder, Dalia realized she had no idea what to feel or do next.

She did, however, know that she was ready to progress, to change, to land firmly in her life and make it meaningful in some way while she still had the chance.


Taken from the saying "A picture is worth a thousand words," SNAPS1000 flips the adage, taking 1,000 words or less to tell a story that engrains distinct images in the reader's mind--images to never be forgotten.

#shortstories #stories #flashfiction #fiction #snaps1000 #amwriting