I thought I would work my creative muscles and write another Flash Fiction Story. There were no rules to follow, other than to write for twenty-minutes straight. I would love to hear your feedback!
I think it was the green sweater, or maybe it was aquamarine. I never asked the name of the color, even though I make a note to ask whenever you wear it. It’s the sweater that made you stand out from our red brick distance and sharp ledges, the one that made me notice you, that made me want to keep on seeing you for the rest of my life—or at least every day and night for a month.
Your smile was the next thing, that electric spark that generated the lighting of your face, your eyes, even the raise of your Adam’s Apple as if you were so happy at that moment that you had to swallow it down just so there was room for one more thing—one more word, one more thought—or for me.
I don’t know what you were thinking that first time, standing there in your sweater, in your green sweater, your cell phone at your ear—or was it aquamarine? I know I will forever wonder about that—but you seemed nice like it wouldn’t matter who you were talking to, you wouldn’t mind me interrupting, you would get off the call, and that electric spark would start lighting you up all over again.
I think it’s green, definitely, green-ish, with only a hint of blue.
Ours seems kismet, natural, animal. We are here together now. We’ll stay together forever. And if I said let’s get out of here, now, today, if I said, we should rent a convertible and drive down the coast of California, or take a hike to the dome of Mt. Rainier, or go scuba diving in Bora Bora, or else, just go, you’d nod your head, and we would be off.
I like the new haircut. The sunlight shines circles onto your crown, showing rings of mahogany and soft chocolate around your ears. It’s a good haircut, and I’m glad you got it, even if you didn’t think to ask my opinion in the first place, but then, we are the kind who don’t have to ask permission from one another. We only ask to be together, for as much and as long as possible. I love that about us.
With one nod of that head of yours, we go down to the street. We race to see who can make it there first, you from your seventh story, me from my sixth.
You always win, waiting for me, even if it rains, you are there waiting for me. You don’t mind the rain, even though it drenches your new haircut.
You don’t care. You don’t care what I look like either, or care that the rain smears my mascara and makes me cry black tears.
You take out a small pack of tissues and dab at the black and tell me I’m beautiful and make me believe it with your kiss.
I make a joke. You laugh. You tell me about your loneliness, and I take your hand, all ten digits line up and curl with mine. You’ll never be alone again.
We are in love, but not that regular kind, the passionate kind—that fills up the air as your mouth fills in my emptiness, as the smell of your skin mixes into mine. Your fingers and warm hands, so eager to touch me, my hands, shoulders, and waist. It fills us both up, and we can’t get close enough—can’t get full enough, can’t stop even if we wanted to.
I never thought I could be with someone like that, like you, until I saw you.
You tell me you love me, too, with that look in your eyes. I love your eyes. I love your forehead, the line of your jaw, the stubble you can’t seem to keep away, at bay. I don’t mind the stubble.
I love the way you tilt your head while you’re concentrating or while you’re flipping through the channels, the blue of the television flickering off your face, capturing you in the ceiling.
This could have been us. It would have been once. Forever. Or once very soon. You have broken that part—splintered all the one-days and somedays, all the possibilities of a happily ever after. But don’t worry. The break is not irrevocable. We can mend.
She comes by. I haven’t known about her. You have given no sign to say she existed. How long has it been since you stood in your green sweater gazing into my apartment, into my heart, my soul? And you waved—and maybe it was aquamarine.
Three weeks, two-hours, and forty-five seconds. We were one. It was you and me. She wasn’t there. She is now. I can see that now.
I don’t like her. I don’t like how perfect she is. Her blond hair, razor-sharp at the ends, landing across her shoulder blades. She wears too much makeup, the unnatural kind, the kind that’s water and smear-proof and would look the same from standing at a bus stop on a sunny day, running in the rain, or still the same while held underwater. Even her lipstick doesn’t smudge—except a little red bit on the tip of her front teeth.
Your face doesn’t electrify when you look at her. Although, because you are you, it must have once. She’s worn it out of you, forced you to wear a fake smile, as fake as her eyelashes and breasts. She blinks too much and often arches her back for no reason. Her t-shirts are too tight. A ploy, why can’t you see that? Why don’t you know that you can’t be with her and be yourself? But you can with me. Always.
You know this! We both know this! Even she knows this, but you can’t seem to stop her, to control yourself, and so I will help—no need to ask.
You won’t be burdened with making a choice. She won’t have to worry about letting you down. There won’t be a moment, any moment, in the future—near or far—in which you will feel awkward when you bump into each other on the street or in the market check-out line. You won’t have to fill up the empty air with nervous questions or fake answers.
She will go peacefully. There will be no damage to her perfect face. Not one jagged, ragged piece of her hair will disrupt her sharpened ends.
She will go quickly. In a blink. A snap. She will be gone before anything nasty about her can surface, and you won’t have to explain yourself as to why the two of you were together in the first place. I’ll do it for that for you, for her. I’ll do it for that.
Maybe after a few days of her not coming around, you’ll gaze out your window, and you’ll see me there.
I’m embarrassed that you’ve caught me spying. I’ll drop my binoculars and write out the words on my notebook page, “Oops!” The letters are really large and round and apologetic. You wave it off.
You sign to me, asking if I want a drink? I point to my watch and shrug.
You check your watch, and then your perfect hand spreads out, showing all five fingers, and then you point down to the street.
I nod and raise my own five fingers back. You smile at me.
You’re wearing that green sweater, the one you were wearing a month ago, that day when I first saw you and you me. I’m sure it’s the one. I’m sure it’s green.
I throw on my jacket.
The lights in your apartment switch off.
I rush to meet you. Rush out my apartment, run down the hall, and to the elevator. I hurry out the glass doors of my building and wait.
You’ll be here soon. Where else would you go? She’s not coming. She’s not coming ever again.
I was right. Her makeup is both smear and waterproof. And she looks very much the same wet, under the light of my bathroom, that buzzes and shines blue, over the surface of her in my bathtub.