Fleeting Wishes

15 Jul

“You just left,” Craig stated simply, no trace of anger or accusation in his baritone voice. I watch as he wiggles out of his heavy winter coat. The waitress, a tired woman whose face maps out her life’s hardships, gives a smile as she pours coffee in his cup. He waves her away, irritated, when she attempts to ask if we want anything else. For the briefest of moments, I see hurt wash over her features. Anger surges in my heart at him. My eyes follow her as she turns towards the counter. I wonder what her story is and if she’d be willing to trade lives for just one day.

There aren’t many of us in the run down diner. The cook, sitting at the counter, stares into space, a cigarette burning dangerously close to his yellowed fingers. In the corner, away from any possibility of human interaction, sits a young man, focused, a pen in hand trying to keep up with his flurry of thoughts.

I look at Craig. I think about his rude gesture to the waitress. He looks at me as if to say he knows what I’m thinking. How many times have we argued over his rudeness to people who wait on us, I wonder. It’s not as if he were born with a silver spoon in his mouth or privileged in some capacity the rest of us mere ‘commoners’ aren’t. I strongly suspect it is Craig’s own fear of being inferior which makes him target those he thinks might be a little beneath him.

“I turned around to pay and you were gone.” Again, his voice holds no accusations or anger at my trademark disappearance from the line at the movie theater.

I sigh, take a sip of my coffee. I have nothing to say to Craig. We’ve spent the last few weeks arguing the way a couple does as a relationship is on its deathbed. We’ve slung ugliness and immaturity at one another, creating places of contempt, leaving no room for true forgiveness. At least on my part. Craig seems to let painful words and arguments roll from his back without much problem. I, on the other hand, take the words to heart much as if they were delivered on a dagger.

I stare into his grey eyes and my heart bursts into a million pieces as I accept, after tonight, I’ll never see him again.

He stares at me, searching for a sign. He knows me better than I know myself at times. He knows my silence isn’t a good thing. He can handle me disappearing because it’s what I do. He struggles to find the words to a conversation he hopes will place us on even ground again. He looks sad as he reaches for the menu. The waitress glances our way. I give her a smile, discreetly hold one finger up to allow Craig time to make his decision. She nods and turns to say something to the cook, who looks our way.

Craig clears his throat. “I think I’ll have some pancakes. It’s been awhile since I’ve had breakfast for dinner,” he says. He sips from his cup, keeping his eyes on my face.

I nod and smile in the direction of the waitress and cook. She reluctantly pushes herself from the stool and heads our way. Craig reaches into his charm bag, as if to make up for the earlier discretion and places his order. I shake my head when her eyes turn swing my way. I glance at the clock behind Craig; my heart speeds a little in anticipation. Soon, I will need to slip out the door and head to the bus station.

Endings are a funny thing, I think. We both know it’s been over for weeks. Yet, we still fought, as if to save the love we once had. I think of the quote, ‘Don’t worry when I argue with you, worry when I stop because it means there’s nothing left to fight for.’

I think of all the couples we’ve known throughout our relationship. Some, still together, others not. Arrogantly confident in the beginning of creating our history together, late nights whispering how we were different. We wouldn’t travel down the same roads as the fools before us. I struggle to pinpoint the exact moment we became the fools we once judged. My mind is blank. There is no one certain event. It is a mesh of time, words, and broken promises.

As his food arrives, I excuse myself saying I need to use the restroom. I give him a quick kiss on his stubbly cheek. I make the pretense of heading to the restroom, slipping out through the exit door next to it, almost wishing things could have been different.

This week, at The Lightning and the Lightning Bug, Flicker of inspiration #59: Wishing  prompt fit in great with a random story that sprang into my mind.


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12 responses to “Fleeting Wishes

  1. JS

    July 15, 2012 at 9:59 PM

    Oh, I know what this wish feels like…

    • Chelle

      July 15, 2012 at 11:10 PM

      It’s a mixture of 🙂 & 😦
      Thank you for stopping by.

  2. May

    July 15, 2012 at 10:13 PM

    Very true to life. What is with people who feel the need to be rude to the waitress? You had me irritated with him from that point on.

    • Chelle

      July 15, 2012 at 11:11 PM

      I’ve heard so many times you can tell a person’s character by how they treat a waiter or waitress.
      Thanks for stopping by.

  3. Author M.J. Wille (@mjwauthor2012)

    July 16, 2012 at 12:30 PM

    I didn’t feel any irritation. I felt sad for the couple. Sad to see it all end. You portrayed all of the emotions perfectly so I felt like I was right there, watching the relationship end and feeling what they felt. So beautiful, yet sad. Thanks for sharing this 🙂

    M.J. Wille, author

    • Chelle

      July 16, 2012 at 9:06 PM

      Thank you, M.J.
      There was a lot of sadness in this piece.
      I appreciate your feedback. I’m always striving to improve my writing with the characters, emotions, and the scenes as they jump into my mind.

  4. Writerly Wanna Be

    July 18, 2012 at 10:03 AM

    Well done. I love the setting, the mood, and the characters. And I agree with others, all that made it so real. It makes me want more…I want to know the befores and the afters. Thanks for sharing.

    • Chelle

      July 26, 2012 at 12:08 AM

      Thank you so much. You never know when characters might come back to have their story told further.

  5. SAM

    July 25, 2012 at 9:35 AM

    Your portrayal of emotions, particularly over the parts where she realizes its over are poignant. You have a little tense shifting in the beginning (Craig stated, should be states), but overalll its a solidly written piece.

    • Chelle

      July 25, 2012 at 12:11 PM

      Thank you. I still struggle with my wording. I do tend to drift in and out of doing that. Any suggestions on how to catch it when I’m proofreading?

      • SAM

        July 25, 2012 at 3:10 PM

        Read it through looking only for tense. I often have to read through several times looking for something different each time.

      • Chelle

        July 25, 2012 at 4:37 PM

        Ok thanks. 🙂


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