#RaceTheDate Week 11 : Reunion

Timothy read the e-mail message again.

Dear Timothy,

This is Gina. I know you remember me. I am writing to ask you to come to the company’s thirtieth reunion party on April Fourth. I know you have received Dawn’s invitation, and I know you have not responded.

Please. Come to the reunion.



Gina. A name he hadn’t heard in a decade. A name he remembered too well.

“I considered you my friend, once.” He looked at the e-mail message, torn between deleting it, or keeping it. “After what you did.” He almost pressed the delete button on his keyboard, but something inside him stopped him. He himself whisper, “Listen to your heart. It won’t lie to you.”

He knew she’d told the company management he was wrestling with depression, taking an antidepressant, and had started counseling. Beyond that, he knew nothing.

He’d used to wonder if she’d defended him. “Don’t fire him! He’s ill. He needs help.” Or if she’d played a role in what happened. “Force him to take leave. He needs to work things out.” He’d never found an answer. All he’d been told was, “The decision to ask you not return was unanimous.”

She’d never contacted him. He’d sent a friend request on Facebook. Her profile vanished the next day. He’d known it would.

She told him once, “You’ll be a writer one day. Published. I’ll tell people I knew you when you started.” But she’d never learned of the books he’d written. Never read the stories of people finding their way in life. He called the stories, “Heartsongs”. He knew she’d never seen them.

He’d ceased to exist, and had to start his life over. And his heart knew what to do. “No. I won’t.” Timothy deleted the message. “You don’t exist.”

300 words

A little story I wrote for Cara Michaels‘s Race The Date flash fiction challenge. Hope you enjoy it. Please, go read the other entries in the challenge this week. I find it amazing the stories people can create in 300 words or less.


#MWBB 21 : Further Up The Road

People lie. Even worse, they believe lies. Like that one, “You reap what you sew.” Yeah, right. Let me tell you about Steve.

It started on a Monday night in December. Steve went grocery shopping. Wearing a $75 shirt, $100 pants, a Rolex watch, and $200 shoes. He was on the prowl, looking for a woman. And it didn’t matter which woman, so long as she looked good.

He talked with countless women in the produce department, “How do I pick out the best cantaloupe?” They showed him how to pick it up, smell the end, squeeze it gently, look for yellow color in the rind. In the liquor department, he’d ask women, “What wine do I need to cook my pork chops with?” and “I need the perfect wine to complement my steak.”

That’s when a woman took pity on him, the poor, helpless male, and helped him do his grocery shopping. They stood in the checkout line together, and he helped her put her groceries in her car. “Thank you for the help.”

They exchanged phone numbers. On Wednesday, he called her, “Let me take you to dinner. I want to, as a thank you for your help Monday night.” At dinner, he picked the wine, poured it for her, and asked if it was OK if he called her now and then.

After a few calls, he asked her out on a Friday night. They went to a movie, always one she picked. They talked about the romantic threads through the movie. How it was a love story, and how they loved those stories. When the movie ended, they went to a restaurant, for a light snack, and a couple of drinks. Then he took her home, and gave her a good-night hug and kiss.

He called her more frequently, asked her on more dates. Even a weekend trip to the amusement park, where they rode all the rides, and watched the shows. They spoke of how talented the dancers were.

Steve carefully grew the relationship with her. Finally telling her, “I like you. It’s fun to do things with you, and spend time with you.”

One night, he took her to a concert. Her favorite band was in town. He got tickets, and they watched the show. When the show was over, he took her home, and she asked him to come in. They cuddled on the sofa, watching TV. She kissed him, long and hard. One thing lead to another, and Steve spent the night.

Steve spent many nights with her. Always in her apartment, never in his.

One night, after a glorious round of sex, bringing his and her fantasies to life, she asked him if he would consider moving in with her.

The next day, Steven didn’t even know her name. She called him, but he ignored the calls. She left him messages on his phone, he deleted them all. She sent him text messages, he deleted them. She sent him pictures and he deleted them too. As far as Steve was concerned, he didn’t know her. It didn’t bother him at all if she had a broken heart. If she had emotional scars. If she grew to hate men, and learned to never trust any of them again.

Steve had gotten what he wanted. Steve had gotten laid.

And on Monday, Steve was in a different grocery store. Wearing that same $75 shirt, $100 pants, $200 shoes, and Rolex watch. Trolling for another woman to satiate his hunger.

No one can remember how many times Steve has done this. How many women he’s taken advantage of. How many he’s slept with, and left. He’s a love ‘em and leave ‘em kind of guy. The lie, of course, is that some day, he’ll get what’s coming to him. But that’s never going to happen. I know that. So do all his friends.

The man’s going to break a lot of hearts before he dies. And that won’t ever mean a thing to him.

670 Words

My entry, in all its unedited glory, for week 21 of Jeff Tsuruoka‘s Mid-Week Blues-Buster flash fiction challenge. Please, go read the other entries in the challenge.