Dating : flash fiction: an ocean away

h2>Dating : flash fiction: an ocean away

i’m dining

Nick Sheri

among whiskey and wine glasses with my worst enemy sitting across the table from me, picking her teeth of fish and crab bits, looking at me sideways, the way she looks at her own enemies — she says, would you like some more of the merlot or something like that? but really i don’t answer, i decide not to, which is 100% in my right, because i am done with this dinner and i’ve had my fill of her — she chuckles at my lack of response but she says it’s okay sometimes things just work out this way and it’s nobody’s fault, she’s playing with her napkin and she’s looking over her shoulder for the waiter, who should get here soon, anytime soon —

because i worry that maybe i had a few too many, tasha paid, being kind, and she gave me a wink, again being kind, and so the least i could do was say thank you, and that, more or less as i said, it was nice to see her — it shouldn’t be true but it is true, tasha was funny in her own way, she was funny too when she was my neighbor, when she tried to take my husband away from me — we’ve never discussed it directly, she’s known for a while something is up — landon my husband says it was completely a one-off thing, a quick kiss, that lingered too long that i happened to see —

that create the impressions that happen to stick with us for a long time–i arrive home and landon is at the kitchen table with his computer reading slumped forward with his glasses on, his eyes focused, he doesn’t even look at me, so much intelligence and kindness — i don’t want to belabor it, it was years ago, tasha’s no longer a neighbor, she’s happy and moving again, but this time a long way away, she got transferred to hong kong, she says all those chinese lessons finally paid off, and now she has her chance — her husband isn’t as excited but he can adventure too, she says, he’ll get over it —

and he rolls a pen a bit back and forth on the kitchen table he’s not sure whether–i just tell him that tasha’s fine, you know she’s always fine, so comfortable in her skin — and landon smiles and he says that’s good and he takes his glasses off and he leans back, satisfied — tasha will be a an ocean away — i say, it was nice of her to call to have dinner and tell me all about her big move, in person, to take the time — landon stands up and hugs me from behind and he tells me he loves me and that i smell like fish — and i hold landon’s forearm, and I say alright, it’s alright —

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