This little piece of flash fiction was a part of my writing exercise; I tend to experiment when I do those, so you can expect a variety in my writing. This story kinda grew on me. I hope you’ll enjoy reading it. Comments and feedback appreciated.
Matter of the Heart
I caught glimpses of her from across the bar, the occasional patron blocking my view. She sat with her friends in a private booth. Her uneven smile revealed a cute overbite. Twenty-three freckles splattered across her nose, golden brown in color. Yes, I counted: consider me stalkerish. Hair the color of a summer sunset frizzled in those unruly, tiny curls around her heart-shaped face. Her olive green eyes always sparkled. Well, they had since the night she came to me.
It was six months ago when she first slumped on a bar-stool in front of me. Sniffling, she ordered “something strong.” Three drinks later, I learned that her name was Anna and she had just been dumped by a “prickly asshat” of a boyfriend. She worked as a vet at the local ASPCA, and she only wanted someone to love her for who she was. Was that really too much to ask for, she whined, and sobbed. She wished for, yearned for, that kind of love, and I could not help but oblige her desires. I set her up with the perfect guy.
She continued coming to the bar after that night. Caught off guard, I fell deep into the abyss of my own endless love. I didn’t think of the consequences but just drowned in the feelings. They were so warm, cozy, thrilling … so fuzzy. I was high on love.
She was celebrating her engagement tonight. It hurt, burned a hole in my heart, but she was so happy.
Ah! There it was, the snort that escaped her when she laughed out loud, making her laugh even more. I couldn’t help my own goofy smile. She was perfect, but I could never tell her so. She was forbidden to me.
She waved me over. My heartbeat sped, drumming in my ears, and flutters burst in my belly. It was the anticipation, that maybe, somehow, she had changed her mind and chosen me instead. But, as always, my hope was in vain. She was only ordering a new round.
My hands shook as I put the glasses on the tray and carried them over myself. The pull to be near her was magnetic… masochistic.
She smiled at me and said, “Thank you, Samantha. You should join us for a drink. After all, I met Michael in your bar, and you’ve been such a good friend.”
My heart melted, and I was so close … so, so close to that edge of breaking all the rules and taking her for myself. But I couldn’t. I loved her too much. I loved her enough to let her be happy on her own.
“Congratulations, once again, but I will have to skip tonight. Saturday is always busiest. You ladies have fun, though.”
She jumped up and stumbled into my arms, hugging me. I held on, squeezing my eyes tight, inhaling her lavender-honey scent. The tears I held at bay, I would let them flow later… when I was alone once again.
It was the curse of what I am, of helping others connect and fall in love.
Artwork by Alexandre Salles.