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Flash Fiction: White-knuckled

Even before the end, short of having to make a full and frank admission, he was prepared to admit to what he called “the occasional flutter.” When the end did come he was, oddly enough, less forthcoming. Now in hindsight I believe he never thought I’d leave. And I did love him, for so long, so ardently. Maybe, in a way, I still do. But I’m not the person I was when we met. Leaving became a possibility and I felt liberated, rejuvenated. But I’ve left a piece of me there with him in that little studio apartment. Perhaps the amount of my soul forever his is languishing beside that bookcase I bought him for his birthday, the one beneath the window. I paid little for it and he’d loved it; yet that which cost me the most he discarded with a gesture of contempt, brushing my hair off my face with the back of his hand. He might as well have hit me square, white-knuckled, for all the good any of it did.

R.H.