September 8, 2011 by Susie Finkbeiner
This is story #4 of the second week of The September Challenge Contest. To catch up on this week’s reading, check out The Timpanist, Playing Debussy and Farmboy Soldier. Also, check back later today for a story inspired by Megan Kidd. AND, make sure to stop by on Sunday and Monday to vote for you favorite story of this week!
Today’s first story was inspired by Rachel Tear. I met Rachel at a 10 mile walk to benefit an anti-trafficking organization. Rachel is an abolitionist. She is also co-owner of Big Break Publishing. Here’s Rachel’s idea…
“Sara is 25, smart, creative, quiet, sarcastic. Modern day park. Break up. FLASH FICTION.”
Marcus asked me to meet him here. At the park. At sunset. Where we had our very first kiss ever. This is a romantic and magical place. Seriously. I know what’s going to happen. So, I got here early. I set up a video camera. Because I want to capture this moment. We can show it to our kids and grandkids.
Ah. The moment that Marcus asked me to be his bride.
Epic. Monumental. Earth shaking.
Should I scream with glee? Or should I wave my hands toward my face frantically as if I’m warding off the tears of joy? Well, I suppose I could do both if I wanted to.
In my anthropology class we learned that a kiss between lovers originated in France. How romantic. Therefore, I think that I shall have a French inspired wedding. All in the language of the most romantic land in all the world. Très romantique. Mon mariage va être fabuleux! (That means, “Very romantic. My wedding will be fabulous!” But everybody knows that, right?)
Oh my word. Here he comes. I’d better turn on the camera.
“Hey, Marcus.” I’m waving at him from behind this bush. I don’t want him to miss me. But I can’t seem to remember which button…oh, got it!
“Hi, Sara.” Oh, the way he says my name! I just know he’s in love with me. “Let’s go for a walk.”
Wait. No! How am I going to get this on film if we WALK???
“I actually hurt my elbow today. Walking would hurt.” Elbow? No. Not elbow. “Sorry, I meant foot.”
“Whatever.” Marcus sits down. Good. At just the right angle for the camera. I tried to make it so that if he goes on one knee, as he should, the camera will catch my expression.
“So, how are you, Marky Mark?”
“Please don’t call me that. I really hate that name.”
Oh. Why didn’t he tell me that before? I’ve been calling him that ever since we started dating. Maybe he’s just determined that, since we’re taking things to the next level, we should be a little more mature.
“No problem, Marcus.”
“Listen, Sara, I need to talk to you.”
He’s acting so nervous. I bet he’s already talked to my Daddy. How romantic if he asked for my hand in marriage. It’s like the proposal before the proposal.
“Yes, Marcus, dear?” I put my head on his shoulder. Such a strong, tanned, shoulder. A little bony. But that’s okay. I’ll take the good with the bad from this man.
“So, I’ve been thinking about us.” He just cleared his throat a little. Oh, he is trying to hold back the happy tears.
“Yes?” I’d better sit up straight. I don’t want to look fat in the video.
“And, I’m just thinking that I have to make a decision.”
Here it comes. Here it comes!
“Yes! Yes! My answer is an absolute, never ending, undeniable YES!” I’m screaming! Why am I screaming? And I’m jumping up and down. I have no idea why I’m doing this! He didn’t even ask yet.
Calm down, Sara. Relax.
“I think we should see other people.”
No. No. Oh no.
“But, I thought everything was going so well.”
“It’s not you.”
“We were young, in love…”
“It’s me. I just don’t feel ready for a big commitment.”
“But you’re the one for me.”
“It’s time for a clean break.”
“Who asks a girl to go to a park just to break up with her?” I’m hitting him now. With my purse. There are chains for handles. And I know that he’s going to be bruised. Maybe he’ll bleed. But I just can’t stop hitting him. “Oh, yeah, Marcus. This was a great idea. Just so romantic. Way to get my hopes up and dash them to the ground to shatter into a kazillion pieces.”
“Stop it! What’s wrong with you?” He’s the one who’s screaming now.
“I thought you were going to propose to me!”
“We’ve only been dating for a month!”
“But it’s been the best month of my entire life!”
The look he’s giving me is of complete horror. Or confusion. Probably both.
He’s running really fast. I had no idea that skinny boy could be so quick.
Well, I’d better pack up the camera. Oh well. Another failed engagement for my collection.
Oh, would you look at the guy jogging around the pond over there…