Ten Questions for a Fictional Character: Harvey of Honesty

Photo by southernfried at morguefile.com

Photo by southernfried at morguefile.com

***SPOILER ALERT!!!*** This post contains information about my story Honesty. If you haven’t read it, click here before reading on.

Harvey offers me a seat on a brown leather sofa, taking his place in the arm chair across from me. He smiles despite the dark circles rimming his eyes. “Can I get you anything?”

“No,” I say, noticing the bowl of assorted fruit on the coffee table, grapes included. “Your story gained many different reactions from my readers. What exactly happened when it ended?”

His adam’s apple bobs, and he shifts his position. “I was charged with petty theft,” he says, blinking rapidly.

“For the grapes? One reader commented saying they thought there had to be more to that situation since you were bringing the grapes up to pay for them. Was there?”

“It wasn’t the first time I’d done it, but I see people doing stuff like that all the time. I thought it was okay.” His gaze drops to the ground. “The officer explained to me that because grapes are sold by weight, even eating one is stealing. It alters the price.”

“Before this incident, did you have any idea what you were doing might be illegal?”

He meets my gaze, hiding his hands. “I always wondered. I’d see people eating stuff they didn’t pay for and it used to bother me when I was a little boy, but as I got older I stopped really caring. I figured I was paying for it, and even if something might not be wholly right, the company was big enough to take the hit.”

“Did some of the other things bother you?”

Harvey tilts his head, raising his eyebrow. “What do you mean?”

“What about when you cut in the coffee shop line?” I see him tense and raise my hand. “I’m not here to shame you, or judge anything you’ve done, but my readers might like to know how some of those things made you feel.”

After a second of considering, he relaxes. “The cutting in line doesn’t bother me because people do things like that in traffic all the time. I figure there isn’t much difference.”

“What if I told you one of the women who went to the counter after you was a single, working, mother of two with a severe food allergy?”

“What does that have to do with anything?”

“I talked with her too and she said the wraps you took were her only option for breakfast. The coffee shop is the only place open between her home and work. She didn’t have a chance to eat again until she got home that night.”

“Oh.” He looks at the ground. “If you talk to her again, would you apologize to her for me?”

I nod. “But you did do good things by giving those wraps to the homeless man and his family, and then helping that lady. What made you do those things?”

“If I was in either of their places, I’d want someone to help me.”

“One reader wanted me to ask you about tucking the tag back into the sleeve of the shirt you bought and planned to return.”

Again he gives me a quizzical look. “What’s so wrong with that?”

“This reader is a woman who works in the retail industry. She talked about how people buy clothes they planned to return after they had worn them, and they’d often come back with visible wear. She’d be forced to take back the item, though, because of policy. She then has to sell it for a lower price, or mark the item as damaged and be unable to sell it at all and that takes food out of the mouths of her employees’ children, and her own. But what upset her the most was the knowledge she had been lied to. She was selling the item to the person and not renting it to them for an event. What would you say to her?”

He shifts uncomfortably in his seat. “I never thought about it that way.” He scratches his chin. “I guess I would tell her I’m sorry and I won’t do it again.”

“Final question. One reader made the comment that what your fiancé was doing by talking on the phone while driving was illegal too. Some people might even consider what she was doing worse than what you did. What do you think about that?”

He gulps, excusing himself and getting a glass of water. I sit in silence while he composes himself. “I would tell them that they were right, what she was doing was wrong, but I no longer believe one wrong is worse than another.”

“Why is that?”

“Because she paid for talking on the phone with her life. She was hit by a truck and died three hours later.” His tears begin to pour. “I paid for stealing the fruit with not being able to say goodbye to my other half.”

Thank you so much for reading! It always mean so much when you, my wonderful readers, spend a little time in my imagination. I hope you have enjoyed this post. A writer is nothing without readers. Check back next week for another story. And, if you really enjoy what you read here, why not tell your friends? Readers like you are what keep this blog popular, and keep it going!

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4 Responses to Ten Questions for a Fictional Character: Harvey of Honesty

  1. seraph4377 says:

    Oh, Caroline. You poor, Type A, nervous-breakdown-waiting-to-happen, this is what I was afraid of.

    Anybody else seen that episode of Mythbusters where they determine that driving while talking on your cell phone is just as dangerous as driving while drunk?

    Like

  2. I’ve nominated you for the One Lovely Blog Award. I’ve loved your blog for a while and so thought it fitting. Check out the rules on my post http://bornabookjunkie.com/2015/09/13/one-lovely-blog-award/
    Thank you for being such a great blog!

    Like

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