Conflicted [500]

16 October 2009


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Flash Writing

Inspired by conflicted

Jeremy sat down at the foot of the bed. The room felt hot to him, but he didn’t want to adjust the thermostat. She may have set it to where it felt comfortable to her. He looked at the two beds and wondered which one might be used. She hated the comforters on hotel beds. He knew that no matter her choice, the comforter would wind up on the floor. He imagined it there, crumpled in a messy heap, an unknowing witness to an act, both of, and somewhat against nature. He flipped on the television.

Sasha sat at the bar. There was a fleck of something on her wine glass that she couldn’t stop staring at. She turned the glass slowly clockwise by its pedestal watching the little spot move. She was seeing cells dividing again and again. It starts as something so small, so miraculously small. She could hardly believe she was getting ready to do something so large.

Beverly was nervous. She wanted, needed a cigarette, but was afraid to leave. What if she was outside at that time. She knew she wouldn’t miss it, but she was afraid of delaying it. She had a knack for screwing things up. She didn’t want to be the cause of any potentially negative variable in the equation. Instead, she sat, spine unnaturally straight, fidgeting with her lighter.

Jeremy placed a cup next to the television before flipping the set off. He felt as though he should be in a hurry. He’d never before carried out something like this, in this fashion. He knew he had to leave and the sooner the better, but he‘d found himself stuck, gazing into the black screen. His future, his whole life was potentially minutes away from being radically changed forever. The magnitude of what he was doing hadn’t really hit him until that moment. Was it right? Was he really doing something good, or was he irresponsibly playing with lives? Was he really capable of what he had so carelessly agreed to? He breathed in heavily. As he exhaled he walked softly out into the hall, quietly latching the door behind him.

As he stepped off the elevator, he spotted them right away through the glass doors. They were seated side by side with their backs to him. Neither had any idea he was there. It hurt him to think that his invisibility might be permanent. His pace slowed. His necessity and his absence made him feel heavy. His limbs were suddenly unsure of their purpose, unsure of the correctness of carrying him. His body stopped at the door.

Beverly bent over to pick the lighter up that she had accidentally flipped onto the floor. As she raised up, she turned to see Jeremy watching them from the door. Beverly took Sasha’s arm exclaiming, “Sasha, he’s here! He’s here!” They both rushed out to him. “Well?” said Sasha. Jeremy closed his eyes. “Your baby is waiting upstairs for you next to the television.”

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