Flash Fiction: By the river

(429 words) 25 March 2018

by S.R.A. Markin

“I don’t want to go anywhere without you,” he said.
There is no response. The breeze blows over the river and rustles the branches causing a few debris to fall.
“I thought I would spend more of my life with you. This is too hard to go on,” he said. “I can’t help but think of you and how we were together.”
The features of her face show under the sun’s light in his mind. He thinks of them sitting together outside of campus under the blistering sun eating snacks. She would often bring almonds for him in a container that would hold a pear or an apple. She would even offer him a bite of the apple.
“I know it is over, but it is so damn hard,” he said. “Why did it have to end? I could have been better for you. I could have been patient, and-.”
He sits down on a log, with his feet in the snow. The current flows and decreases in size until each wave is a mere ripple in the water.
“And, I could have worried less. I spent my time worrying,” he said. “Such a waste of time. I could have laughed and enjoyed myself with you. It has been two-and-a-half months, and I have been getting better since we broke up. I don’t cry as much. I have found things that I enjoy doing. I do most of those things. Although some days are hard to get out of bed, I do eventually get out of bed,”
He laughs and moves his feet in the snow. The sun casts a perfect glaze onto the surface that becomes blinding after watching for so long.
“I know that we can’t get back together. It wouldn’t work for either of us. I wish I could be stronger, and a better friend. I could be your friend from a distance. I could help you when you need it, or be friendly when you say hi. I can be your friend as long as you don’t get too close for too long because I am still in love with you. I don’t want to ruin our progress. I don’t move on very fast.”
He sits by the river as he will for the rest of the spring and summer’s days. He knows that one day he will meet someone else and go through the emotions and lust of falling in love, but neither that will take away what he once had.


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