Wednesday, September 9, 2015

Flash Fiction: Encounter at daybreak

A new day brings new beginnings...

Linda and Patrick's relationship had been a chaotic one from the start. When they met, both had been coming off from tumultuous relationships and each was still filled with baggage from these previous attachments.

It had been 10 years, and Linda was sitting in a coffee shop booth thinking back to that single day.She remembered how they first met at this shop neither one frequented, but both happened to be sitting in on the same morning. The sun hadn't yet risen, and the darkness suited the state of mind both were in on that day.

Despite his gloomy mood, Patrick noticed Linda and grinned. Linda smiled back. She heard a voice, but it took her a few minutes to process what was happening.

"A bit humid out this morning," Patrick had said.

"Just a little," Linda replied, suddenly feeling awkward.

She looked up and there sat Patrick smiling. After a few minutes Linda felt less tongue-tied and conversation flowed easily. The duo talked for hours, until they realized it was already closing in on noon.

"I have to get going," Linda said, remembering an appointment she had and would probably be late for; suddenly not wanting to go.

Patrick eased her hesitance by inviting her for a date for the following Friday evening. She quickly agreed.

It wasn't long before the two became a couple and decided to get married. Soon afterward the chaos began. His ex-wife and her ex-boyfriend continuously caused discord; Patrick had gotten passed over for a promotion and Linda lost her job. The stresses were too much on the relationship and after two years they'd parted ways, eventually getting a divorce.

As the years went by, they never spoke. Linda had moved out of town. Both had wondered "what if" many a time, but neither tried to contact the other.

On a muggy August evening, Linda decided to go for a ride, and ended up driving around all night. Just before daybreak she found herself in front of the same coffee shop she'd ventured into so many years before. Parking the car, she went in, ordered a coffee and shrunk deep into the booth.

Suddenly, the silence was broken.

"A bit humid out this morning", a male voice quietly said. Linda looked up and smiled.

After several hours, Linda and Patrick walked out together into the sunrise, hand-in-hand.

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