Monday, October 10, 2011

Three Couples, One Story

First published in Eclectic Flash (2010) - read editor interview

The Promise

She promised not to leave again. Karen was the entertainment at my friend Chuck’s bachelor party. I was jealous of the way the other guys looked at her even before she removed her clothes. We went out twice before her trip to St. Louis to be with her sick mother, fell in love over the phone, and married one year after we met. I thought everything was fine between us—until I kissed her goodbye on the morning of our fifth wedding anniversary, and she wasn’t there when I returned home. I don’t know what I did wrong, or if she’ll be back. She turned thirty.

Kissing a Frog

She turned thirty, and Alice’s passion wire disconnected. We met our sophomore year in college. She was shy, with the most outgoing smile I’d ever seen. We spent as much time together as we could, almost got caught by a security guard doing the naughty in a science lab. It was Alice’s idea. Now her hugs are platonic, bland, like sugarless cotton candy. And when our lips meet, it’s like kissing the frog that doesn’t turn into a prince. I asked our doctor what I should do. He said to give her time. Six months later the old Alice is still missing. I want to help her, help us, but I don’t know how.

A Good Day

I want to help her, help us, but I don’t know how. We were both on the rebound when a mutual friend suggested we meet. Eight months later, I moved into Paula’s apartment and everything was good, until Max showed up while I was at work. She left me a note saying she was sorry; but he was her husband, and we were only living together. I thought that was how she wanted it. The doorbell rang last night. Paula stood on the porch, arms and legs bruised, her left eye nearly closed. I held her in my arms and told her I loved her. She promised not to leave again.

1 comment:

  1. To quote Harlan Ellison "Hard candy" indeed. Two aspects of decay and one of violent destruction. All three hurt in different ways. Cool.