[Flash Fiction writing prompt, time = 30 minutes]
Didn’t expect to be here again.
Then again, didn’t expect it to be me standing before her, she, crumpled against the ground, crying. From my position at the height of the stairs I’m looking down at her, legs splayed, black dog on leash to one side, dressed in all black, hair wrapped back tightly. From her vantage I must look menacing.
I wasn’t expecting to be here, like this.
I expected her to be larger.
She continued to wail with her dog in her lap. He didn’t have to introduce me, but I think he did it more for his validation of the moment than everyday cordialities.
“This is Karen. Karen, this is Sam.”
That was my cue to descend stairs and leave. I had a fleeting thought to tell him to call me, but of course he can call me. We just made up a week ago. Tonight was our first night together since the fight.
I tightened Bob’s leash and circled around the pile of woman and her dog, both of them too immersed in their drama to notice or care of my leaving. Leaving I was doing, freeing myself of any incident.
The hardest part was bringing myself back to consciousness. I had two bowls of his stew and rice in my stomach, I was high, I was well on my way to 4th stage sleep when he woke me. I pressed the heels of my hands into my eyes, coaxing moisture from the reserves, switching to my purse to get the eye drops. Fuck I hate driving like this.
Perhaps I wasn’t moving fast enough. I heard his voice approaching the car, but it was his typical admonishment of the dog. Her dog that lived with him while she was “finding herself,” the same dog I’ve grown fond of and enjoyed caring for. She had broken loose and ran towards my car. Does she think this is another one of our car rides? I felt him pacing. He needed me to leave. I needed to wake up. Finally, I twisted the headlamps on. I’m going, I’m going.
My last sight was of he and she entering the courtyard with the dog.
I eased the car up Roosevelt, down the boulevard, across Hempstead, down Chester, over onto my street, and back to the house. Bob was confused. He was used to staying the night. He was happy to be asleep on top of him. Why are we here?
I wasn’t expecting to be there when this day came, but I’m glad he wasn’t alone when she appeared. That’s the heaviest strike one woman can lay upon another without touching; face-to-face with the physical embodiment of his moving on.