Laissez Faire

Letting Life Lead

Yeah Write #72: Coveted ( #amwriting #flashfiction )


“There’s a drought coming. I can feel it.” Ilsa barged through my apartment door her stylish ensemble (no doubt from the depths of a sale in Filene’s Basement) a burst of color in the bargain white of my apartment. She sunk into the couch almost crushing my hand beneath a couch cushion.

“Is it your birthday again?” I plucked lint from my cardigan with the holes in the sleeves. “You’ve never had to beg for company, and I don’t think you’ll start at thirty-five.”

“That remains to be seen.” She snorted and raided the peanut bowl I lifted from the bar down the street. She plopped her head in my lap and I fiddled her impossibly straight hair. “Move in with me, I’ve got plenty of room.”

She waved her hand around my empty apartment which was a better fit for a fraternity.  Egg crate shelves, a sidewalk-salvage couch, and a twenty-year old television from the recycle center.

“It’s fine.”

“Hell hole.”

“It’s mine, more or less.  I want to try living by myself for a while.”

Ilsa sighed.  “Charlie you’ve been living by yourself for years.  Being married to that jerk didn’t mean he was ever there.  I still can’t believe he took everything.  Asshole. I never liked him.”

I hung my head knowing that I chose a man Ilsa didn’t want and a man she wouldn’t give the time of day to because he flattered me. The attention I coveted wasn’t what I thought. The divorce was as ugly as it needed to be.  I was okay being on the bottom swiping packets of sugar from the coffee shop and supplementing my income with bottle returns. I had no desire to climb up and out.

Ilsa sat up and grasped my face in her hand.  “Let’s go. Up. Up!”

I groaned. “Can’t we celebrate your birthday in?”

Ilsa had a way of coloring a world I only saw in grays and whites.  Supremely happy or just pretending to be, I could never decide.  She was the type of creature that if she couldn’t poke her head out of a hole, she’d jump just to catch a fleeting glimpse and tell everyone around her what fabulous sights she could see.

“My day, my choice.” She tugged and pulled and carried on until I relented.  She removed her dangle earrings and put them on me.  “We are going someplace perfect for you and where I am supremely bored.”

“The library?”

“Your wit lacks. Nope. An outdoor ballet.”

“Where people drink shitty beer out of open cups, belch hotdogs, and sit on wet grass?” I laughed. “You’ll ruin your fancy heels; they’ll sink in the turf.”

She put a warm arm around my shoulders. “They’re just shoes.”



2 comments on “Yeah Write #72: Coveted ( #amwriting #flashfiction )

  1. unfoldingfromthefog
    August 2, 2017

    Great dialog! I appreciated the friendship of this story.


  2. Asha Rajan
    August 2, 2017

    You captured the friendship between Charlie and Ilsa very well in the casual way they speak to each other, almost with disdain. I also really liked the way you showed how very different the two friends are, and developed a sense of empathy with both of them, without ever making the reader feel pity for either. This was a really sweet vignette of these two characters.

    I’d love to see how they each react to a problem or issue. Would they work together? Would their differences split them apart, or complement each other? Who’d have the more appropriate skills — Charlie with her ability to survive on very little, or Ilsa with her worldliness? I hope they’ll make another appearance in a future submission and put their friendship to the test.


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