I wrote a little bit of flash fiction this morning. It’s still pretty raw. It needs some work, but I wanted to share it with you. I hope you enjoy it.
“If you want something you’ve never had, you have to do something you’ve never done.” Jerry had heard that many times, but only now was it beginning to make sense.
Vanessa was the fifth woman in five years he’d brought to this scenic overlook, with the waterfall bounding down the mountain beside them. Each time he planned to tell her why they needed to spend forever together. Each time the conversation inevitably turned to why they couldn’t, followed by a long, silent walk back down the trail and a longer ride back to town with the radio covering the mutual discomfort.
It was painful and, with this iteration, was shattering what peace there was in Jerry’s life.
“You’re a good guy, Jerry, really,” Vanessa was saying as she brushed her shining auburn hair out of her face. She patted the stone next to her, inviting him to sit and look out over the valley carved by the river. “We’ve had a lot of fun together. I loved the trips to the amusement parks, going hiking, and going down to the shore was fabulous. Six months, now, though, we haven’t grown any. Things haven’t moved.”
“That’s what I want to talk about,” Jerry blurted, plopping down beside her.
“Honey, it’s no use. If we haven’t grown in the last six months, all we’ll do is have a stagnant rest of our lives. We can’t settle for that. I won’t let you, and I won’t let myself.” A single tear slid down her cheek as she turned to look into his eyes. “We both deserve better than we can give each other.”
Jerry stared at the waterfall, the mist catching the sunlight and casting crisscrossed prisms across the vista before him. Or was it merely the sun catching the tears in his eyes? He blinked and the tears began to fall.
“This is the most beautiful place in the world,” Jerry said, dangling his feet over the ledge. “It’s the perfect place to tell someone they are the most beautiful person you know and you want to spend your life with them. The sun will be setting soon. It will be amazing.”
“It’s wonderful here,” Vanessa replied, smiling at Jerry, and placing her hand over his. “I can’t thank you enough for showing me this grand view, Jerry. I will never forget it.
“I wonder if I’ll ever have peace again, Vanessa. It’s been stolen from me so many times.” Jerry stood, then reached out to Vanessa, taking her hand and lifting her beside him. “They say if you want something you’ve never had, you have to do something you’ve never done. I think I understand that now.”
“What do you mean, Jerry? Do you see a way forward from here for you to have peace? There is one, you know.” Vanessa was still holding his hand as she turned to watch the sun begin to fall behind the distant horizon.
“I’ll have peace,” he said, pulling her alongside him, at the very edge of the cliff. Their eyes drifted from the sunset to the rocks hundreds of feet below.
“Yes, Jerry, you will,” Vanessa said as she started to retreat from the edge. It was much less safe standing up.
“Yes, I will.” Jerry pulled Vanessa toward him again, but stepped aside and pushed, sending her tumbling over the ledge.
He whistled all the way back to the car.