Flash Fiction: Holding On
The Monday morning light glimmered off the chandelier and the birds sang in its arrival. A new day. My eyes were not even accustomed to the light before I thought of Gary, and the sun’s rays suddenly seemed mocking and sinful. I dropped my head back onto the pillow and groaned, pulling up the covers over my face not knowing whether it was because I couldn’t face the brightness in the room, or the truth that he was dead.
Every move I took held that bitter knowing in it. As I splashed water over my face, I felt drenched in pain. As I contemplated breakfast, I felt hungry for companionship. My sanity had died with him. My metaphors and similes had taken such a toll that I felt grateful for a distraction when I heard the letterbox flap open and shut and the scuttle of papers cascade onto the floor.
I hurried my way to the door and lifted the envelopes: John Lewis, Local Council, a postcard, Oran—a postcard? I flicked back nervously and my brain tugged at a distant memory. What did I see? As I found the glossed card, I felt the need to sink to the floor. In the picture, the rich mahogany complimented the pasty tone of a hand that danced on the white keys. A hand I’d recognise anywhere.
I whipped the postcard around, forcing my eyes to focus on specific words, trying to make sense of the letters as tears clouded my eyes.
Jane, I’m not dead. 12 am at Berkshire Park. You know where. Gary.
I glanced at the clock and it read 11.30 am. Screw it, I thought, knowing it’d only take my ten minutes to walk there – what if he gets there early? I took hold of my keys and rushed out the flat and down the flight of stairs, tripping up twice. I questioned myself over and over, frustrated I couldn’t give myself any answers.
I tried to maintain a normal pace as I got to the park, heading almost automatically to the willow tree that had provided shade and privacy to us many times before. I sat down and took the time to look at the postcard again. I ran my fingers over where his pen had touched the card…over where his fingers may have touched the card. Somehow the break that penetrated my heart seemed to grow indefinitely bigger, like a black hole.
A shadow blocked the rectangle of light over where I was reading, and I threw my head up.
* * *
I watched the girl throw her head up suddenly, as though someone had called her name. She said something. One word. Dropping the paper that she had held so dearly only a moment ago, she stood up, clasped her hand around the air, and then wrapped her arms around an invisible figure.
* * *
Note: I’d be very appreciative of any comments or constructive criticism 🙂