A Second Chance – Flash Fiction

The challenge:

Create one fictional story of 500 words that starts with the sentence “I cared what she thought, so when she dared me I knew I was in trouble.”

To participate go to:

http://othersideof40.wordpress.com/2011/04/06/now-hear-this/

Here is my entry:

A Second Chance

I cared what she thought, so when she dared me I knew I was in trouble. An hour later I frantically searched the flat for my passport. I had one but had never used it. Then I spotted the dust-covered box under my bed. I was going to have to look in there. Was I strong enough?

My hand shook as I lifted the lid. I was about to release fifteen years of suppressed emotions into the room.  On top was the coroner’s report. I didn’t read it, I had done that so many times before trying to make sense of it all. Most healthy twenty-five year olds don’t just die from a heart attack. I put it to the side. Then there was Jake’s birth certificate. That was the proudest day of my life. I held him in my arms and promised to always protect him. That was the first promise I made to him that I couldn’t keep, two-year old little boys shouldn’t have to lose their mother.

As I shifted through the box I came across the ring. I gave it to Caroline one sunny autumn day, she looked stunning. We had enjoyed a picnic by the lake and as we were walking to the car I held her hand, it fit mine so perfectly and I just knew that was the right moment. We were married three months later.

Layer by layer I relived my life with Caroline through the mementos I had kept. There were the poems she had written me, the cork from the wine bottle on our first date and the ticket stub from the concert where we met. I sat there smelling a bottle of her perfume and sobbing for an hour. In the end I nearly lost the courage to carry on.

Then I looked down and there was Kate smiling up at me among the other photos from the good old college days. Kate was a good friend back then. We spent a lot of time together. She was fun. Her boyfriend was a bit of a dick but she would come out with the rest of us to have a good time and leave him sulking in the corner. I always had a soft spot for Kate.

I was pleasantly surprised when she rang me up about a year ago, we have talked to each other every other week or so since but I would never have imagined getting into this predicament. Today Kate phoned me and we got chatting about the good old days. Then she shocked me by saying, “I’m off to Rome for a week, I dare you to get on a plane and join me,” I could hear the loneliness in her voice even though she tried to be playful.

I pushed the box back under the bed and picked up my bag which now contained my passport. Jake would stay at my mom’s. It was time to move on.

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About Billie Jo Schinnerer

Born and raised on the edge of the Helderberg Escarpment in eastern New York. Formerly a primary and middle school teacher. Moved to the North West area of England in 2003. Now a mother of three and a wannabe author.
This entry was posted in Flash Fiction Stories and tagged , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

8 Responses to A Second Chance – Flash Fiction

  1. Great story once again. With such a gripping opening I was expecting a more dire dare than to travel to Rome so that was quite a surprise. I look forward to reading more of your flash fiction stories!

  2. yikici says:

    This was very gripping, a lovely read…

  3. Another amazing little package of emotions. How do you do it? So much in such a short time. Wonderful!

  4. KenBroad says:

    Another great story Billie Jo! A beautiful mix of pain and joy all in 500 words. Wonderful!

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