Friday, October 4, 2013

Flash Fiction by Me: Moving Regrets

I wrote this piece and submitted it to Three Minute Fiction on NPR. It didn't make it on the air, but it was a fun write. Theme: Finders Keepers--Write a story in which a character finds an object that he or she has no intention of returning. 600 words maximum.  Here is my submission:

Moving Regrets

By Kent L Johnson

I hated moving. I'm supposed to be packing, but the lure of my momento box was too strong. Eighth grade report card entered into my grip and I felt the smoothness of the card stock, as I remembered him. His eyes were copper, not brown, and his face light olive. Ricky had a broad smile and eyes shaped like almonds. He was my first kiss. He offered me my first alcohol drink, a rum and Hawaiian Punch. I smiled, remembering how he was the first boy that tried to put his hand down my shirt and he wound up with a chest full of rum puke. I was a curious young lady, but I wasn't going to be a pushover for a high school freshman. We girls all talked about the big deed, but so and so's reputation really suffered for it. She's probably going to wind up a prostitute, we'd say. Not until after marriage for us.

I wasn't married in my junior year, but it happened. Spence was linebacker for the football team. He was tall, broad shouldered, hair the texture of straw and a perpetually goofy look on his face. But God, his stomach had hard ripples of muscle just under the skin, plus you noticed the manly outline under his swim trunks. I couldn't resist.

There were a series of boyfriends and I tended to go with bad boys- tough, good looking jocks used to getting their way. Most of them treated me like dirt. I was kind of bitchy too, so maybe I gave as good as I got. I looked at Walter's driver's license in my hand. He was my last serious boyfriend. We split about two months ago and I almost had him out of my mind when I found the license tucked between the couch pillows.

The license hadn't expired and I should give it back. Walter was a genuinely nice guy, with a sense of humor so dry sometimes I started laughing hours later when I finally got it. I dumped him after a year and hooked up with a bodybuilder that smacked me across the face on our second date--a real jerk.

I dialed Walter's number.


"How are you Jen?"

"Good, Walter. I just wanted to call and..." I wanted to tell him what a bitch I was and he was better off without me, and how I really wanted him back in my life and how good he was. "...tell you that I'm moving to Arizona."

"Arizona? What's up there?"

"Promotion to a better job, but the real reason I was calling..." He looked comfortable and happy in his license picture. I remembered him giving me a massage on a Friday night after a tough week at work. We'd sit and have a glass of wine, finger food and snuggle. He was the best I'd ever been with. Why the hell did I dump him? "...was to say I'm going to miss you and I want to stay in touch, that is, if you don't mind?"

"No, that's fine."

His voice sounded happy, it always did. I looked at the address on his license as I asked him, "What's your address? So I know where to write."

I silently read the address off the license as he spoke it. We said good-bye. I placed the license in the box of keepsakes. He's worth remembering.

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