Four By Flash Piece 5: Parting Ways

bouquet

As I mentioned in this blog entry, I entered a Flash Fiction challenge despite a) Not having written Flash Fiction before, b) not really having time to enter such challenges and c) not actually knowing what Flash Fiction was. We’re now well into the first month of the challenge, and at a four piece per week rate, I should be posting the 11th or 12th piece by now,but reality intruded. Here’s my fifth piece. This one clocks in at 344 words, which fits comfortably in my stated goal of “300 – 500 words, hopefully closer to the 300 end.” So read it, and leave my some criticisms and comments so I can do better with the next few pieces.

Parting Ways

It contained so many memories for such an innocuous looking thing, Gina thought. A white, lace-covered binder with the words “Wedding Album” picked out in gold faux-calligraphic text. She sat on the newly erected wrought iron bench and flipped the album open.

The first picture showed Gina herself looking, to her mind, impossibly young and thin. In the photograph she wore her white bridal gown. Back then, I had earned the white dress she thought. It had taken Tommy and her more discipline than either of them realized they had possessed to wait until that day in May before consummating their relationship.

Gina wistfully turned the page, and saw two women she no longer recognized wearing pomegranate-colored bridesmaid dresses. Faded pencil scrawls proclaimed their names  “Heather L.” and “Dorothea H.” To tell the truth, Gina could no longer remember what the letters even stood for. Still they had to have been important to her once upon a time to get pride of place in the wedding party.

“I wonder where they are now. And do they remember me?” Gina said. Her voice seemed so loud against the silence of the evening. I remember when we promised we’d keep in touch forever, she thought. Who knew that ‘forever’ didn’t last five years? Life moved on at its own relentless pace, little caring who got left behind.

One more turn of the page and she saw Tommy’s image. He had looked damn good in the bespoke tuxedo that day. It nearly made her earning the right to wear white worth it to see that. Gina couldn’t stop herself from smiling at that memory. On the facing page the photograph showed the two of them together at the altar.

Gina slid the two photographs out of the album. “Of course, I could never lose track of you, Tommy,” she said, stifling a tear as she placed the pictures against the black granite and read the words that had come to define her relationships:

“Thomas Alex Such

October 31, 1984 – June 4, 2009,

Beloved Husband, Son & Brother”

Stock Photo courtesy of Åse Meistad Skjellevik.

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