-- Chapter from It Wasn't How It Seemed -- Now You See It, Now You Don't Chapter from It Wasn't How It Seemed -- Now You See It, Now You Don't
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  Now You See It, Now You Don't from
It Wasn't How It Seemed
Short stories about people who jumped to conclusions

By Yehudis Samet 

Other Available Chapters
The Little Boring Speaker 
I've Got My Eye on You 

Now You See It, Now You Don't

Someone had to volunteer for the job, and I seemed to be the most likely candidate. Actively involved in our town’s well-attended lecture series, I took on the responsibility of posting the publicity in my area. One of the most frustrating parts of this weekly ritual is that the announcement flyers are often removed or covered over. It is not unusual to pass a notice board where two hours earlier I had put up a poster to see it removed and replaced with one advertising a computer for sale. My immediate reaction is to rip down the computer advertisement and put my sign back up. After all, mine was up there first.

Then my cerebral center takes charge and tells me that perhaps the person selling his computer did not pull down my sign at all. Maybe the tack became loose and the notice fell off or the wind blew it away -- and he came in all innocence and found an empty space. So I leave his ad alone and find somewhere else to put mine.

Just recently I caught someone red-handed, putting up a sign on a bulletin board and obscuring six other notices. There’s no denying it this time, I thought with conviction. He’s not going to get away with it. Someone’s got to set this guy straight. Doesn’t he realize that he’s depriving other people of the chance to sell their goods?

I approached him and let him have it. He heard me out. When I finally finished my tirade, he looked me straight in the eye.

“This is not my notice. I took it down for a minute to photocopy some information. I’m just putting it back where I found it,” his voice trailed off, as he turned on his heel and walked away.

* * *

But what about the person who put it there in the first place? What did he have in mind when he covered up the other signs? We cannot know for sure, but there is a chance that he also had a perfectly acceptable reason for what he did. He just deserves the chance to explain himself.

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