*Soap opera announcer voice* And today on Flash Fiction Friday, we now resume our story of “Any Response”.
Any Response (Part 2)
“Look me in the eyes and tell me that’s all I’ve ever meant to you. We both know you’re lying.” Graham stares at me, relentless for a change of heart.
It’s been six months since I dropped that bombshell of a truth on him. I’ve been waiting on a response that garners more than silence for half a year, half-agonizing he’d change his mind about the admittance, and half-hoping he’ll forget it in its entirety. I never thought to consider, though, that he secretly felt the same way. Or, in fact, that I’d dismiss my feelings altogether once he’d tell me.
“What else can I say after you left me hanging–your best friend–for half a year, beating myself up over the fact that you not only considered me crazy for saying ‘I love you’, but that you couldn’t bring yourself to be near me any longer. If you ever loved me, you sure have a deranged way of showing it.” I turn to open my car door, the stinging January wind nipping at my face.
Graham’s palm clicks the door shut as soon as it inches open, forcing himself between me and the car. “Don’t leave, Jamie.”
“You left!” I rage, glaring daggers into those emerald eyes I once thought contained the next sixty years of my life. “The best thing we can do is move on and try to forget all this happened. If I’d ever known saying those words would cause a riff, by God I would’ve never said them. But I’ll never be able to continue on as if you didn’t leave, Graham. You can’t just shed a little light on a period of darkness and hope it’ll be all fine and dandy. You of all people should know love doesn’t work like that.”
“Are you honestly comparing us to my parents? Jamie, I’d never cheat on you. I’d never start a new family and only come back to you when I wanted something. Can’t you see I’m all in? Don’t you want that? Isn’t that why you told me in the first place?”
Blowing the bangs out of my eyes, I sneer. “Yeah, you could have fooled me about being all in. You loved me so darn much that you disappeared. Like your entire existence and all those feelings I had to you were just some figment of my imagination.” My words are full of ice, leaving Graham frozen in silence.
His eyes go downcast, contemplating my words. “Did you ever once think that I was scared? That maybe Mom and Dad’s fiasco of a marriage’s made me gun-shy about the whole love thing?”
This bullet of a admittance hits me square in the heart. I, of all people, should’ve known this about him.
“But, more than that,” he says, his eyes finally meeting mine, “did you ever once think that I felt the same way about you?”
“Of course, you idiot. Why else would I have said it?” I spit back, the question bringing back a flood of memories I have been doing my best to forget.
Graham remains unfazed by my insult, watching me tentatively. A moment later, he speaks again. “So now the question is, if you knew it to be true, would you say it again?”
My heart palpitates, threatening to burst if he says one more word to me about the matter. Without a word, I pull the door open again, slamming it as I crank up the engine. I stomp the gas, sending the car flying forward, escaping this portal of heartache once and for all.
Yet, as my tires squeal in the parking lot, I know this isn’t the end. Silence is never better than any response. Unless, of course, I had kissed him the way I wanted.
©Allyson Kennedy, 2017. All rights reserved.
Thanks for reading the conclusion of “Any Response”! Please feel free to let me know what you think of it in the comments section! Be sure to check back next week for more flash fiction.