This post, my first-ever fiction piece, won the best short story prize
at Writer’s Ezine in April 2015!
So, this is farewell. I can’t do this anymore. It’s not working.
Believe me, I’ve tried.
I met her at the supermarket the other day. She was standing in the middle of the aisle, as the cans of soup tumbled all around her, pushed from the shelf by a couple of rambunctious toddlers. Sensing an opportunity, I moved in, but she ignored me. She swiftly turned her back on me and bent to pick up the cans. There was a smile on her face, as though she was enjoying a secret. In vain, I tried to catch her eye, but she looked through me.
Then, it was at the park that we almost crossed paths. I watched from afar as she sat amidst piles of leaves, picking at the fibres of her overcoat. A few hairs escaped from the brown beret that partially covered her red locks. Her hands trembled lightly as they clutched the divorce notice from the lawyers. That’s my cue, I realised. I leapt out of hiding and hurried towards her, but as I moved closer, she rose abruptly, determination writ large on her face, crushed the paper and threw it at me. Brushing the stinging tears aside, she walked away, head held high.
It was two for two, but I couldn’t let it go without one last try. She stood by the kitchen sink, shedding silent tears. Next to her, on the counter, the laptop glowed an azure blue, displaying that dreaded, apologetic mail. ‘We’re sorry to inform you that the company is downsizing ‘, it began. She didn’t need to read further. Her hands came up to cup her face. This was it, I thought. I raised my hand to knock at the window, but suddenly she threw her head back and laughed – a loud one filled with freedom and rippling joy.
She then ran into the parlour , lifted her infant and swung him around, while her toddler danced at her feet. They all hugged Grandpa in his creaky armchair and settled around him,huddling near the warm fireplace, as the snow fell in soft flakes around me, creating a veritable winter wonderland. Grandpa told the best stories. Joy echoed through the house and I watched once again. I was unwanted, unwelcome and ignored.
It was the end. I had failed. She didn’t give in to me, no matter what the situation.
Hope and Joy saw me leave and didn’t fare me well.
Do I stand a chance elsewhere? I don’t know.
This is my contribution to the Yeahwrite Speakeasy Challenge grid #139