Kiss-off – April 19, 2021

A bit of Flash Fiction, coming in at a nickle and change, easy-peasy.

“I think I owe you dinner.”

The vaguely familiar voice on the phone was no more a clue to who the caller was than the local number on the screen when the phone chirped.  More out of wariness and stubbornness than to stall until recognition kicked in, I didn’t reply.

The unfamiliar voice suspected I was waiting and wouldn’t answer without some clue.  “You don’t know who this is?”  After the question, a snicker. 

The snicker was the clue.  I knew.  “It’s been five years.  Maybe more.  This is a new number.”

“Left the state. Got a local number there.  Moved back.  Another new number.”

“So, what can I do for you?”

“I’ll buy dinner.”

“Rather have an explanation.”

“For what?”

“Why?”

“I’ll try.  At dinner.”

“Nope.”

“When we last spoke, you said you didn’t understand my reasons…”

“Still don’t…  Maybe you don’t either.  Sounds like it.”

“…but if ever I needed help in any way, to give you a call.”

“Don’t say things I don’t mean.  So, you’re in trouble?  Need help?”

“No.  Doing well, actually.”

“So why call me?”

“With time on my hands, got to thinking about things I’ve missed.  Maybe mistakes I’ve made.”

“The way you treated me was a mistake.”

“You think so?”

“I certainly do.  Left me thinking I’d done something wrong.”

“You didn’t.”

“Seemed like it. What was I to think? No explanation. Just a clever disappearing act after a rude kiss-off.”

“Wasn’t rude. I tried…”

“But it was a kiss-off?”

“Yes. I tried to be civil, to explain.  To say it was my fault.”

“You never made that clear.  Never said ‘why.’  It was like that ‘it’s not you, it’s me’ thing.  Pretty damning.”

“It was difficult to explain. Still is.”

“Might be worth a try.”

“Don’t think I can.”

“Not yet?  Or not ever?”

“Not yet.  Maybe never.   Feel guilty.”

“’Sorry’ might help.”

“I’m not sorry. It was the right thing to do.”

“Was?  Not anymore?”

“Not now.  Was then.  I think.  Not sure.”

“An apology might be a good place to start.  Might help you sort out all the ‘why’ of it five years back.”

“Thought about it.  A lot.  Don’t like the reasons I had myself.”

“You don’t like them, I probably won’t either. But if you can’t tell me, we’ll never know, huh?”

“You could start by letting me buy dinner.”

“Dinner is nothing.  An explanation would go a long way.”

“You’re not interested?  Curious?  Not even a little?”

“You ready to explain?”

“No.  Not yet.  Dinner?”

“Nope.”

“Curious?”

“Not at all.”

“You’ve moved on?”

“There was nowhere to move.  I was in a good place.  Still am.  The same place.  Don’t even feel bad about it anymore.  Explained myself out of any blame.  Without any help.”

“No dinner?”

“Not without some explanation.  An I’m sorry, or an apology is a start.  But I need to know:  why?  Don’t care to resurrect questions I’ve already put to rest.  Call it a show of good faith. No reason for dinner otherwise.”

“Maybe over dinner, face-to-face, I’ll see I can trust you.  Maybe explanations will be easier.”

“No change here.  You didn’t trust me then, you won’t now.”

“I trust you.  Trusted you then. That’s not exactly what I meant.”

“What exactly did you mean?”

“I’m not sure.”

“Sounds to me you still have a lot of questions you need to answer for yourself.”

“No.  I understand.  Then and now.”

“But you won’t explain?”

“Can’t.”

“Can’t or won’t?”

“Not yet.”

“Probably never.  Call me back when ‘never’ gets here.”

That was going on three years ago.  I’m still waiting for ‘never.’

PSA: If you’re looking for one of the “creative” pieces that used to be under “Writing” off the home page – “Conversations,” “Milestones,” “Flash Fiction,” or something else, you’ve found I’ve withdrawn them. I will restore them on request. It’s obvious one or two folks visited the “Contact” page, but I’ve seen no requests. Don’t be bashful. I pulled those creative pieces in preparation for shutting-down the site. That may yet happen. Dunno.

Published by spwilcen

Retired career IT software engineer, or as we were called in the old days, programmer, it's time to empty my file cabinet of all the "creative" writing accumulated over the years - toss most of it, salvage and publish what is worthwhile.

5 thoughts on “Kiss-off – April 19, 2021

  1. Brilliant dialogue SP! Loved the energy and the rifi-rafa (Spanish expression for back and forth). What do you mean closing down your site? Have a great Tuesday my friend!
    All the best,
    FBC.

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