Today is always a hard day, even so many years removed. Today’s #1lineWed is particularly apropo. This is an odd little snippet that I pulled out of the files. Originally written for a flash fiction challenge, it will find a home when I get around to the Moonstruck Mafia series.
She was a sucker for places like this—little shops tucked out of the way. The store had no name, just a sputtering neon OPEN sign. She slipped inside. Dust motes danced in murky sunlight drifting in through dirty windows. Books and kitsch occupied shelves and every flat surface . Old glassware. Tea cups. Clocks. Delicate vases shaped like women’s faces. A mannequin, wearing harem pants and a cropped jacket, occupied a weirdly curved plastic chair. She laughed when she saw what covered the thing’s hair.
“A genie in a beanie. All righty, then.”
Prowling through the shop, she found a wooden box containing a tangle of cheap jewelry. Carefully sorting the bits, a glint of faceted jewels caught her eye. She separated out chains until she held a beaded one with a stylized key topped with a semicircle of stones. Sapphire. topaz, peridot, garnet, emerald. September: their first date. November: moving in together. August: his birthday. January: her birthday. And May. The month they planned to marry.
“The key to my heart,” she’d said, when he opened it at Christmas. He’d carried it. Until he didn’t. Her heart lurched remembering how he’d never said goodbye, how she’d come home from work to find her suitcase packed and her few belongings tossed into a cardboard box and the scent of cheap perfume—the scent not hers—wafting through the open window, along with the sounds of vigorous sex.
Her breath hitched as she inhaled.
“Some brunette brought that in,” a gravelly voice said. “Her boyfriend gave it to her. Thought it was cheap. Didn’t tell her it was sterling. Gave her five bucks.”
Good to know she wasn’t the only one taken for a ride. “Figures,” she said glancing up at the man.
He was old. Grizzled. Shaggy gray hair and unkempt beard. But his eyes were kind. And knowing.
“I’ll keep it for you, until you’re ready to give it away again.”
“It’ll be awhile,” she admitted. “If ever.” The last came out as a mutter under her breath.
“I’ll be here.”
What about you, writers? Any goodbye words to share? And readers, do you have a favorite scene in a book or movie where goodbyes are said?