A short piece of flash fiction I wrote to a first line prompt of; 'The difference is, I lie for a reason!'
“The difference is, I lie for a reason!”
Kayla’s jaw jutted out as she spoke, spitting the words across the small sitting room. Her green eyes narrowed as she glared at Tom, an uncomfortable silence stretched out between them.
Tom looked away, wilting under her harsh stare, unable to meet her eyes and see the hurt that burned in them, the hurt that he had caused.
He knew Kayla, knew her better than anyone, and he knew now that she would never forgive him for this. He glanced up and could see her decision. It was written all over her face, her beautiful face, the face he loved more than anything else on the earth. He imagined her smile, how it lit up her eyes, in his mind he could almost see it, but in a blink the image was gone.
“So?” Her voice was raw, he could feel the venom in it, as if it stung his very skin. “Do you not have anything to say? After all this you can’t even find the words to defend yourself?”
Tom looked inside himself, but he was blank all over, like a brand new page of crisp white paper. Except he wasn't crisp, he was crumpled and smudged and someone had dropped him in a puddle at some point so he had dried a funny colour.
He opened his mouth, half hoping that the right words would somehow fall out, but they didn't. The air remained void and quiet, the only sounds the harsh intakes of his breath and the blood thrumming through his ears. He closed his mouth and swallowed, his tongue stuck to the roof and it felt like he was trying to swallow a ball of cotton wool.
She shifted position slightly, moving her weight from one foot to the other. He found he was acutely aware of the noise of her shoe on the hard polished wood floor, a slight squeak, followed by the rustle of her coat lightly brushing against her jeans. He tried to swallow again.
She sighed, the sound carrying through the still and quiet room, her impatience impregnating the air. He could feel himself starting to sweat, the flush of heat, the tiny cold wet beads of liquid beginning to form around his forehead and across his back.
He snuck a quick glance at her, she wasn't glaring anymore, she was looking down at the floor, her soft brown hair falling across her face, hiding her expression. Suddenly she seemed small and vulnerable and he was filled with the desire to take her in his arms and hold her, hold her and never let her go. He could almost feel her head on his shoulder, her soft skin beneath his fingers and the sweet smell of cherries, she always smelled of cherries. He almost moved, but he knew better than that, she wouldn't want him to touch her, not after this.
Tom stayed where he was, still, as though he were carved from stone. He looked away as she looked up, not wanting to meet her eyes. He raced for something to say, a word, a sentence, a reason, anything. But there was nothing.
He looked up and met her eyes, moss green and sparkling with unshed tears. She shook her head slightly, breaking eye contact and looking down at the floor. She pulled her coat tighter around her small frame and turned. In three short steps she had reached the plain wooden door and Tom could do nothing. He watched her as if in slow motion, her small pale hand reaching out and grasping the door handle, turning it until it made that small soft clicking noise, then push. The door swung open, gently, gradually revealing the corridor beyond the room that had, for a short space of time, become his whole world. She stepped through the door, impossibly slowly, one foot in front of the other, she didn't look back. The door swung closed lazily, as if mocking him, slowly cutting off his view of her retreating figure, until all that was left was him and the small sitting room and he could do nothing, without her, he was nothing.