Best of Flash Fiction: September
Published: September 26, 2012
Love: it's just a fantasy. Of course I don't believe that, but so often we fall in love with fantasy and let life grind away at the difference until it opens up a hole. You've got to make sure you wall off that fantasy — wall it off with glass and go ahead and look at it but don't let it out. That's when you're in trouble. Send your fantasy flash, your brilliant mindsprings to firstname.lastname@example.org. Enjoy. — Lyle Rosdahl
No Tuesdays by Drew Jennings
I want a hipster girlfriend in tight black jeans named Tuesday. I want her legs thinner than her knotted swath of hair that's browner than tree bark. Ann has frizzy blonde hair and swimmer's shoulders but she doesn't swim or exercise at all so her belly is round. If it's too far to walk, Tuesday rides her bike. She's so fit.
My phone vibrates next to me, pulsing through the bed comforter. I know it's Ann without looking. It's nine and she just got off work from the pharmacy. I don't pick up. She's always in a shitty mood after work. She's always in a shitty mood in the summer. She sweats a lot for a girl and it ruins her makeup. She hates Austin and talks about moving to California even though she's never been.
Tuesday wears whatever she wants no matter the weather — fingered socks with her sandals in August. She thinks it's cute how I ride a bike like her now. We ride late at night through the unlit Eastside where Ann won't go. I run out of breath fast and have to stop often. Tuesday understands it takes time to change your lifestyle. Tough relationships take up your energy and it's hard to find time to exercise.
I get a text from Ann: R u mad?
Tuesday has been in some bad relationships too and understands. You get used to a certain way of being treated.
Ann doesn't like me, not anymore anyway. It's like she's annoyed by my wanting to be with her. Tuesday has a healthy appetite for sex and isn't ashamed of it. Sex should be fun and stress-free. If I want sex, I just ask. We keep an open dialogue. sorry ive been kind of a bitch lately
Tuesday has been in bad relationships too and is done with all the games. She has a sleeve of tattoos. There's a dragon on her shoulder that represents a guy she was with. I slayed him, she says proudly. She's past all that and knows she's worth more. Ann calls again and I let it ring.
U wont even talk to me??
Ann has a tribal on her lower back that she says expresses something that can't be put into words. She says she got it before "tramp stamp" was a thing. I never know what she's thinking. She'll be so happy with me one minute then she'll be crying the next, telling me I should know why.
Me and Tuesday keep an open dialogue. We talk about how couples stay together out of habit or because they just can't stand being alone. Im so done with this shit
The problem is there are no Tuesdays. Sure I see them sometimes, riding their bikes past me and in coffee shops not glancing up from a book but they live in a different world and you can't talk to them.
Ann calls. I hold the phone in my hand. She can be so sweet sometimes, that's what makes it hard. The good times are great. If we could just stay calm and talk and not get off track. I answer and brace myself. She speaks softly. She's sorry and wants to see me.
I go over to talk because some things should be talked about face-to-face. When I pull up, she is standing on her parents' hot stone porch with her hands on her hips. I turn to get out of the car but when I look up she's gone, the open door the only thing there to greet me.
Drew Jennings is from San Antonio but currently resides in Austin. His work has been featured in Kudzu Review, Midway Journal, and Write From Wrong.