Flash Fiction No.9

Flash fiction statement was provided by Henry Saro on my Facebook Fan Page.


I remained afloat in my thoughts…

I closed my eyes. The water was icy cold like winter’s breath. It swirled around me, slipping down and splashing over my cheeks.
I could have taken his hand moments before. I could have stepped away from the edge of the bridge and dried my tears. I could have given up on giving up.
I opened my eyes and watched the air bubbles escape, circling up to pop on the surface. It looked so far away now and so filled with white light from the icy skies. The sound of him yelling was slow to reach my ears.
It was like time was breaking into pieces.
I blinked, keeping my arms by my sides as I sunk deeper into the water.

Hair spilled out around my face and my head filled with fog. My body felt sluggish with the lack of oxygen. If I wanted to swim now, I couldn’t. The last ebbs of air left my lungs. I opened my mouth without thinking. Cold water flooded in.
I tried to fight the urge to breathe. Everything that had happened swirled around in my mind. My body still sunk deeper. I couldn’t see the surface. I couldn’t swim that far. My limbs had turned to lead.
But, even as my pulse slowed and I closed my eyes for the last time, I remained afloat in my thoughts…
*
Lewis stood on the edge of the bridge, holding on to the railings with white knuckles. He should have jumped. He should have jumped after her. She shouldn’t have overheard him earlier. Her nerves were too frayed to understand the truth. He should have jumped in. He should have saved her. And now he couldn’t see her.
But he didn’t move.
 
He stepped away from the edge, wiping his dark eyes. The purple smudges could be explained to his wife as stress and tiredness. She would think it was business. She would tell the girls to go to bed early and not to bother daddy.
No. Never bother daddy.
He rubbed his forehead. At least there was nobody to explain this to. Her mother was too far into dementia to notice. Her brother had died of a drugs overdose when she was young. There was nobody to miss her.
There was only him.
He felt around inside his jacket for his cigarettes. He’d quit, but she hadn’t and he’d bought them for her – something to calm her down. What had he been thinking? Cigarettes were no substitute for her tablets. She’d needed to see a doctor.
Maybe he would have gotten there if she hadn’t heard him talking with his brother. If only Alex hadn’t had to dig. They would have been happy.
If only for a while.
And now she was gone. He couldn’t say that he was too sorry. His heart hurt, but it was the best thing for him and for Stella. She was at peace and her death was saving him from ruin. He took a drag of the cigarette. If Alex hadn’t started digging they would never have known that she was their half-sister. The affair could have carried on and nobody would have been wiser. He exhaled the blue lilting smoke.
He’d slept with his sister and now she was dead.

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