Hello Readers, Writers, and Friends,
Friday has returned to us as it does every week (may it always be so). And that means flash fiction. As has become the tradition around here, I pull a couple of prompts and construct a piece of short fiction without the net so to speak. No editing. No second guessing. Straight off the cuff. Here we go!
This week’s prompts: artist, a knock on the door at two in the morning.
I’d always thought we were a little star crossed. Not to the death or anything, just a little. Lots of missed opportunities, timing never quite right. That sort of thing.
See, I’d written that letter years ago. I’d taped it to the back of a canvas, knowing how you prepped each one before you began to cover it in oils and emotions. I figured it wouldn’t be long until you found it. But then your mother passed.
Something about the way she’d begged you to take care of yourself had translated into the urge to get a “real job.” So you did. And that stack of canvases sat in your studio, neglected and unloved. And my letter rested there, its contents unread. And coward that I was I could never quite make myself go get it and just give it to you. I settled for texts back and forth, the occasional lunch, listening to how writing grants for other people was slowly killing you.
And I took it as a sign. A sign I should be dating other people. A sign I should sort of move on, and let go of the dream of waking up to you sketching my face, mouth agape in sleep. Of being on your arm as you open your first gallery installment or the reveal of a friend’s new work at the Met.
Those were the insubstantial dreams of the young.
But they were replaced by other dreams. Holding you while you let a few tears fall over a bad review. Going out for noodles when the work got blocked. Catching you with a pint of ice cream and your favorite movie because it’s tax season and you’d rather be doing anything but getting your receipts together.
So that banging on the door at 2 a.m. scared the hell out of me. I didn’t think I’d see you for at least a week, since your dad was in hospice, and I’d left you only a few hours before. But there you were. Letter in hand. Looking at me like there was something on my face you’d never seen there before.
I just nodded.
I never got the chance to thank your dad for telling you in no uncertain terms that he would haunt you to the end of your days if you stopped painting completely. And I never got to thank your mom for giving you the chance to see what the path not taken actually looked like.
But I can thank you. Come here.
I hope you enjoyed that little slice of second chance romance. I know I did. I can’t wait to see what you come up with. Post it to the comments, or link to where we can find your Flash Fiction Friday.