Here there be dragons...

"I'm telling you stories. Trust me." - Winterson

Friday Flash Fiction 31: True Love

My world ended over tofu-burgers during a dinner break.

"I'm going to take the job at Mount Sinai," he told me.

"Wow! Congrats," I replied, with all the enthusiasm I could muster. Truth be told, the news made me smile while it broke my heart. "It's an amazing opportunity," I encouraged. An amazing opportunity on the other side of the country. Why couldn't he be a doctor here?

He lit up, as though my validation were the deciding factor, "I'm so excited!" and truth be told, he looked ten years younger. The stress left his face and was replaced by idealistic enthusiasm. "I'm giving my resignation right after dinner," he announced as we sat in the sunshine finishing our burgers and watching the ocean.

"Well at least the junk-food will be better there," I said with a grin, acknowledging the unfortunate healthy substitute we Californians prided ourselves on.

"I don't know what I'm going to do without you!" he stated seriously, but the sheer joy radiating from him made me think he'd miss me only slightly more than the tofu-burgers. To be thought of once-in-a-while in a nostalgic memory about the girl he'd been friends with once.

"I'm sure you'll be just fine," I stated with complete sincerity. I, on the other hand, maybe not so much.

"You'll have to come visit me." I made all the appropriate responses and continued to smile and nod while he told me of all his new plans; plans that did not include me; plans that would never again include me.

The two weeks passed too quickly. I flew with him to find the apartment, still his best friend for the moment. Never anything more. Truth be told I should've earned an Oscar for my acting those weeks.

I drove him to the airport. I never thought myself a masochist till that point, but evidently truth will out. "I'm sooo happy it all worked out!" I exclaimed as I hugged him at the departure gate. Truth be told, I lied. And he let it go -- either too excited to see it, or willing to allow me to salvage some pride. The look he gave me as he passed the gates made me think maybe the second.

I held it together all the way home. All the way up to my twelth floor apartment, where I finally gave in. My lungs constricted to the point where breath was barely possible and tears streamed down my face as the side he wasn't allowed to see, the side nobody was allowed to see, was allowed to mourn. And truth be told, I wish he could've loved me too.

1 comments:

What a sad story - but if she has no greater place in his heart than that, she's better off without him... truth be told.

Very well written - could absolutely feel the poor girl's pent-up emotion, and the relief when she could finally let go. Great work. :-)

 

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