How many ways can I express the surprise that today is Wednesday? It comes along every week. Been like this all of our lives. I don’t see it changing anytime soon (unless that bill for spleenday I proposed to congress finally passes).
The point, of course, is Indies Unlimited and their flash fiction challenge. Comes along every week and every week we write something in an effort to make it to the voting round. Not every story makes it past the first round of judges but for the ones that do, it is up to the readers to vote on the best. All for the idea that the readers need stories to feed their brainpans. That is actually a good thing.
Jeremy sat across from Heather in the little hole-in-the-wall Chinese restaurant. It was just his style to take her some place like that to “unexpectedly” pop the question. She waited eagerly to see the ring box appear on the table. He’d been hinting at it for nearly a month now. At least, she was pretty sure of it.
But the lemon chicken came and went. So did the fortune cookies. Heather felt her temper boiling up, but she batted it back down. Surely he would take her somewhere for dessert, or maybe a romantic walk along the lake, and ask her then. He had to ask her tonight, didn’t he?
All through the night, Jeremy had been looking at his phone. Heather thought it cute at first. He slipped a glance from every now and then and played it cool. But by the time the fortune cookies had arrived, he had stopped playing it off.
“Are you breaking up with me?” She blurted it out as the server returned with his credit card. She started the night with such hope to be dashed now, tossed aside like yesterday’s kung pao.
He gave the server his crooked smile (not so cute anymore) as he accepted the payment book. As she walked away he said, “What are you talking about?”
“Our relationship. Apparently, you aren’t asking me to marry you tonight, so you must be breaking up with me.” The flow of tears down her cheeks ran unchecked. “I can’t believe you’re doing it here, of all places.”
He glanced around the restaurant. Only the old piano guy was witness. He played “As Time Goes By.” Jeremy started to speak when his phone lit up. “I have to take this.”
“Screw you!” She slammed her chair back as she leapt to her feet and then marched toward the door. She didn’t see him chase after her with his phone firmly attached to his ear.
He caught her arm at the door to stop her. That damn crooked smile, again, couldn’t quite quench the fire in her eyes. “I got the fellowship. We’re moving to Paris. That is, if you’ll have me.”