The Chalk Outline

Amanda Bussman
6 min readJul 27, 2021
Photo by Frederico Almeida on Unsplash

“I almost wish you’d fall” she could bet that the woman with the silver hair who’d watched them walk out of the grocery store would have scowled had she heard the sentence that had just come out of the young black boy’s mouth. The wish that she’d stumble and fall from her tight rope walk along the ledge of the library’s high walk, down onto the broken and cracked sidewalk. Instead, it was a remark that made the slightest quirk happen to the corner of Avery's mouth.

Of course, he wished that.

“Sorry to disappoint you, babe” the lightest sigh dropped between them as he hung his head, the silver chain around his neck catching the light as she stared at him.

“You kill me miss vee.” pressing the pads of her fingertips against her lips she blew him a kiss. The best she could do.

“One day you’re gonna let me do it, you know. one day”.

He wished.

Maybe one day she wouldn’t know that the gentlemen that rang them out at the market would go home to find out that his wife’s lung cancer had returned. or that the woman they’d passed on the bus had just come from a doctor’s appointment confirming that the child she and her husband had spent both of their retirement funds on was no more.

Maybe one day she wouldn’t know things that would cause him to feel the pain of the…



Amanda Bussman

If you're looking for a writing coach and someone who is working through generational trauma, you've come to the right place. OH! I hope you like Taylor Swift!