Fiction Friday: Broken

This was one of the hardest things I’ve done for my blog. After reading some of the beautifully created fiction pieces by some of my blogging buddies, I was inspired…and invited to join them in their Fiction Friday Challenge.

I’ve never been a good fiction writer. Real life? No problem. Make stuff up? WAY harder. I admire the people who can create whole worlds away from our own (Yes, even Stephanie Meyer has a place in my heart for taking vamps to their very own new level of her creation…)

So how does Fiction Friday work? Molly Field, the brainchild behind Fiction Friday, provided us with the same prompt on Wednesday night. Using the prompt, each of us has come up with our own interpretation and transformed it into fiction. I’ll post the prompt at the end of the post and link to my fellow fiction writers.

That being said, this is my first public work of fiction, so don’t be too harsh. (Also I had some formatting issues that I’m working on, but if the type is a little jacked, I promise I’m working on it!) Rome wasn’t built in a day.

Broken

He walked out of the room with purpose. The letter fluttered to the ground. Confusion, agony, hope, and memories flooded him like a tidal wave. Why now?

Mel had left him standing there. 15 years had gone by. Fifteen slow, long years. He wished that he could say he had forgotten her. But he hadn’t. Of course, he had moved on. He had to. He met Claire. He loved Claire. Claire was his wife. His love. His best friend. She was his everything. But before her was Mel. Melanie Jane McDaniels. His once best friend. The girl he thought he would love forever. The girl that ran away.

Down the stairs, out the door, and into the car, he calmly navigated himself through his daily motions. It was days like these that he wished he didn’t work the overnights. The long and painful shifts that seemed to drag for hours longer than they should have. The world was quiet at night. He needed sound. He needed energy. He needed to not be alone.

He got to work, his thoughts racing, and he went about his nightly routine. Where did she go all those years ago? Not a word. Not a letter. Not a phone call. Nothing. She just. Disappeared. Her image kept popping into his mind. The way her long brown hair fell past her shoulders in a tangled mess. Her blue-grey eyes gazing at him as they talked about life and their futures.  I loved her. She was my first love. For years, no woman could compare to Melanie. But then I met Claire. Claire. No one could ever understand me better than Claire. She loves me unconditionally. Her patience. Her kindness. Her determination. She’s strong. So much stronger than me.

Melanie was never strong. That’s why we were so great together. We understood each other. We braved the world together. But she couldn’t stay. She just. Left.

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The muffled tone had made its way into his dreams.  He awoke to the sound of his phone ringing. What time is it? 2? 4? What’s that noise? Oh. Right. Phone. He looked at the number… 542-611-3754.542-611-3754. 542-611-3754. I know that number. How do I know that number? 542-611-3754.

As he stared at the number he recognized from the days of landlines and memorized phone numbers, the ringing stopped suddenly. It’s her. Well, it was her, anyways . Immediately, he knew that he had to call her back. He looked at the clock. It was 11 AM. Can I handle this on 3 hours of sleep? As if on autopilot, his hands were already pushing the call back button.

“Hello?” a quiet feminine voice pushed through the speaker.

“Mel.”

“I need…help,” she whispered softly.

“Really? With what?” Out of nowhere, anger sparked in him. Anger from the lonely little boy she left in the dust. Anger from having to do it all alone. Without her. Having to finish high school. Having to go on to college. To get a job and start a life…All without her by his side.

“I’m going through something right now, and it would be nice to have someone to talk to. I miss you.” The words she spoke were the last that he expected from her.

“Are you fucking kidding me?”

“I just need a friend, Jack.”

“You disappeared. You left. You never said where you were going. You never called. You DIS-A-FUCKING-PEARED! And now you want help? You want a friend?” His voice echoed through the house he shared with Claire.

“Yes.”

“Is that it? Is that all you have to say? 15 years and you can’t even start with some semblance of a greeting. Just a request for help…you can’t even tell me what’s wrong?”

“You sound so angry. ”

“Yes. I’m angry. ”

“You never used to get angry. You were always such a sweetheart.” She sounded wistful, as if she was longing for the days past to return.

“Well, I get angry now. It’s been 15 years. Things have changed. I have changed. But you wouldn’t know that, because you weren’t there. You left, Mel.  You left. You. Not me.”

Jack heard Mel’s stifled tears through the phone. He knew that he had made her cry…and he was…glad. He felt. Better.

“Look, Mel. If you want to talk to me, you need to understand that you broke me. You changed me. I am the person that I am partially because of you. I’m not the same guy you left standing in your front yard. I’m not the same, dammit. I’m just…not. So, if I’m not rolling out the welcome mat, you’ve got to understand why. You hurt me all those years ago. That doesn’t just go away.”

“Jack…I’m…Just listen…I…” Melanie broke off into heavy sobs. “I’m so sorry Jack. I’m…so…sorry.”

“Melanie, why don’t you breath for a minute and just tell me your fucking problem.”

“I’m all alone, Jack.” she cried into the phone. “I’m all alone and I’m pregnant.”

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The Story Continues Here.

Now that you’ve read my fiction piece, you can find some truly amazing writers by checking out the rest of the Fiction Friday Challengers:

Oh! I promised you the prompt: Years later, the character’s first love shows up on his or her doorstep again. Both your character and his/her first love are surprised at how the other person has changed (How?) This encounter causes a disruption in your character’s life (How? What does your character do about it?) Write the story.

Hey! Did you know you can buy my book on Amazon? 37 women wrote about the struggle for perfection, and I'm one of 'em. Go check it out!