Lies

Her name is Kasey, so she says, her husky voice so sexy sounds older than 22. Says she’s an accountant, a cosmetologist before that. Okay. Says she’ll be wearing a yellow dress. Okay. I park in front of the restaurant and wait. Figure I can get a look and run if I don’t like it. I’m early.

She pops up ten feet in front of my windshield in the yellow dress, waves, smiles, tucks her long blonde hair behind her ear. I open the door, climb halfway out, lean on the frame, say hi. She says she remembers me mentioning the black Nissan, says I’m playing it safe in my get-away car, and funny seals the deal. I step out and swing shut the door. She looks me up and down, smiles, makes her decision, too.

She’s not as hot as her voice but hot enough. Says she doesn’t wear underwear, and that’s something. At the table, she asks for margaritas, eyes on me like she wants me to make them, pour them down her neck or else she’ll come across the table. Do I have a girlfriend?

No.

No way.

What?

No way a guy like you doesn’t have a girlfriend, she says, licking the salt off her lips, letting her dress fall to the floor. Not sure what she means by guy like me, but she’s in my bedroom, stepping out of the dress and there is nothing underneath, so that part is true.

Well, yes way. I don’t. You?

She shakes her head, smiles, husky voice, grr, pushing me onto my back and straddling. This is a lie I want to believe, do very well at believing. Couple weeks later and she’s given me a key to her apartment. She stops the car at a convenience store, says she has to get out, give him his ring back.

You have it with you?

Yeah.

Why?

He’ll be here.

Why do you have it?

Because he’s here, he’s always here.

I have more questions but she gets out, slams the door, holds her skirt down in the wind, nothing underneath it and that’s really something. She passes two shady guys sitting with their backs against the building, one elbows the other, both heads turn as she passes, big smiles. I’m alone in the car going what the fuck am I doing alone in the car with guys lounging against the side of a convenience store in the middle of the day? I wonder will they hear the click as I lock the doors, will it trigger them.

She’s walking back, head down, holding her skirt down and the breeze wants it up, and so do I, we. The guys against the wall stand up, and this time they’re talking, walking, triggered.

At the restaurant, a different one, it’s breakfast, not dinner, fall not summer, same side of the booth at a rooftop grotto, so they call it. Side by side in iron chairs, my hand on her thigh, too far up considering it’s breakfast and we have nothing to say.

She turns and gives me a peck on the cheek, and we don’t speak again until I’m in the restroom and the door opens, closes quickly and the latch clicks and I turn. Her arms lock behind my neck and my hands raise her skirt where there’s nothing underneath and this is a bathroom in the middle of the day and not who I am.

Inside the grocery store is a little make-up counter where the girl working there rents movies too, and they stop and chat about who still works there, who doesn’t, and now I realize what she actually meant by cosmetologist. Never did find out what she actually meant by accountant.

On the couch with the tv on she climbs off me and I pull out my contacts, put on my glasses, thick wire-rimmed honkers out of style, and she’s got so many cats in her place that my asthma’s bothering me. I ask her where’s a pharmacy and leave by myself kind of wondering why she doesn’t come with but not caring either and when I get back she’s in bed with the door shut, tv off, and I’m like okay good thing I had the key.

One time we shot pool at this dive where some guy came over, challenged her to a game like I wasn’t there, and I let him. He kept playing after the first game ended. Only then did I speak up, and it was probably too late, but this was not who I was, that was obvious.

Didn’t hear from her for a few weeks after, but I bought something for Valentine’s anyway. A big ass bear, some chocolates, a funny card and another piece of bullshit. She called to say sorry she hadn’t called but she got pulled over and put in jail, if you could believe that. I didn’t, but it wouldn’t surprise me, either and I said that sucked. She said she’s out but had things to work out and would love to see me so she could give me my Valentine’s stuff. I said yeah we should do that, she said okay.

I returned the bear, and the card. They even took back the candy, which was nice, because we never spoke again, and I think we both knew we wouldn’t.

31 thoughts on “Lies

    • This person is forever and directly attached to Lou Bega’s Mambo #5, for me, which is not necessarily a good thing, but not all that bad either. Ah, memories…

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  1. I like the pace, the imagery, style — “snackable,” a current corporate phrase Dawn’s told me about, which I hate, but this was like that, a microwaveable burrito. Would be curious to riff with you sometime on what you think about this here flash fiction format. For me, this was the perfect amount of ‘in and out’ detail that held me, and at the same time I have a different standard and level of attention for online vs. print (which I’m sure I’m not alone in), and I wonder how as a writer you adjust to meet that perceived, different need. I know this comment is reading poorly and I don’t care, I’m hoping you understand me just the same, as you’re used to me. I’ve been picturing you there in the dark, in the late night with your monocle and your iPhone crafting this next post, and I’m glad you got it out and hit the right button this time. Because I was ready to jump all over your bony ass if it was another 404.

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    • Thanks, man, I like the pace of the first half quite a lot, which came naturally. The second half took more work, and I’m not sure how well it works, despite the work. Not sure what I think about the flash format, I’m not sure there’s much consensus on what it is or how it works, or should work, either. There’s not much agreement on the word count, for example. You could call a super-short story ‘flash’ fiction based on the word count. But I’m starting to think there’s something to the ‘flash’ part of it that’s important. Like, akin to a flash bulb illuminating a moment in time. I don’t know that a moment in time has a beginning, middle and end, which some proponents of flash fiction insist it must have. The more I think about it, the more I think flash fiction should feel like a page torn out of a book. But not just any page. It should be a really good page, selected with care, that gives you a sense of context. I’m hoping you understand me too, for the same reasons. Worth having speaks about, definitely. I’ve been thinking of doing a post on the subject too, but haven’t gotten there yet. Just happy to want to be writing again. As opposed to wanting to want to be writing, which of course is entirely different. Good to hear from you, hope all is well. ~ W/M

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  2. I’ve had friendships that mirror this relationship (without the sex, obviously). Where we both say “let’s get coffee and catch up!” even though we both know we won’t. It’s a very real aspect of life that I haven’t seen told before. Great story.

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      • Yes, it is. The older I get, the more I try to only extend/accept invitations that I REALLY want to do. Sounds selfish, and maybe it is, but it saves everyone a lot of time in the long run.

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  3. Sorry I’m late to this one, but what a story. Love your character’s choppy voice, the clipped sentences – a great rhythm throughout. And just aghast at how you get across the character. ‘It’s not who I am’ is very telling here – he’s behaving out of character because of her and he knows it won’t last, I think, but he’s making out like a bandit while he can. Love the unspoken – and there’s a lot of it. How different they are, how she constantly lies and he knows but won’t pull her up on the lies. Brief but detailed too, somehow and very visual with a hint of Noir about it.
    It’s a keeper, Walt 🙂

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