Flash Fiction No. 77


Fools Rush In

Once, I touched your skin. And you didn’t seem to mind.

Now I touch your skin but neither of us can feel it.

They say fools rush in where angels fear to tread. I wonder how they knew and why it came to be said, sadness in my eyes as I stare at you from across the table.

You stir your coffee, gaze trapped in middle distance, and let the spoon fall on the pale saucer. Umber froth collects on the china. I put my hand on your clasped hand, but you pull away. Not like the last time we embraced.

Cooling lips are all you must remember. And I wish it could have happened another way.

You shrug, pulling your collar high around your throat. It doesn’t matter. It isn’t cold in here. I can tell by the sleeveless patrons’ clothes.

I tell you that you’re safe, but you ignore me, cup balanced between your fingertips. Elbows on the table, as I always complained, you bring the vessel to your lips and sip. I remember the taste of that bittersweet on your lips. It is my last taste of life.

I crave it like I crave you now, but I say nothing of that, closing my eyes tight as if I’m breathing you in. You murmur my name under your breath, staring at my seat, then turn sadly to the window as if you can’t finish. I know I told you to meet me here after it was all over… But I didn’t expect you to keep your promise.

Is this our final goodbye?

I know you can’t stay. I wouldn’t ask you to. But I know I will.

I’ll stay until it’s time. I won’t leave you unguarded like I did that day. You don’t seem to understand that I had to do what I did.

I know you wish there was some way to go back. Especially when I confessed.

That moment will be treasured forever. I lock my memories away, tight, in a golden box where I know I touched you once… The last time.

Our last kiss.

You brush back your hair in that irritating way that makes the plumes of chestnut stick out at the back, bobbing in the slight current from the café door. You tell me that you came to meet me in words that I can barely hear.

“I know…”

You close your eyes, straining for my sound. You tell me in low words that the poison was yours to taste, but that you’re glad I came. You’re glad that you finally knew.

In this moment, I know you too are remembering the way we looked into each other’s eyes as you lowered me to the ground. One long touch. One fool’s rush. The press of your lips so urgent, tasting of coffee and the salty heat of your tears.

I caress your face with incandescent fingers, guarding wings outstretching. I know that somewhere in your heart you feel all my meaning. And that you’re still glad you finally know.

That I loved you too.

I know it isn’t my usual Friday posting day for fiction or even the last instalment in the #MarchMadness challenge but for some reason this piece wanted to be written and read. So I hope you enjoy the out of sync fiction.

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3 thoughts on “Flash Fiction No. 77”

  1. Definitely enjoyed it–loved the feeling of distance between the lovers that seemed to close even as we came to realize that she was dead.

    I especially love how long you drew out the question of what separated them–in increments I came to suspect she had died, but didn't know for sure until "you tell me in low words that the poison was yours to taste" which besides confirming my suspicion also conjured for me a charming reminder of Tinkerbell and Peter Pan.

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