Flash Fiction by C. N. Nevets, (c) 2010
I slipped into the bathtub and cried out as my body stung.
All I could see was her, walking out of the house, taking our daughter with her. The woman I loved, the girl I would have given my life for if my life were only good enough.
All I could hear was the sound of my boss on the phone, giving my hours for next week – plenty of hours. Plenty more time punching the clock.
All I would think of were all the things that could never be. The modest dreams that were out of reach. The simple desires that could never be fulfilled.
As if I sat on a dock, drifting ever further away from a sailboat that gleamed white with hope.
As if I sat at a table, reaching for my glass, only to find my reach never quite making it.
As if I sat in a concert hall, listening to a symphony of men and women living out their passion while I sat in my three-button self-loathing.
All I could could hear was a scratch –
a crack –
All I could smell was rich and bitter.
As if the world was too
As if I just weren't
As if I were a child sitting in a high-chair while all the grown-ups danced, painted, discovered the mysteries of the universe, crossed another item off their list with a while, looking at it, and seeing that it was
All I could feel was heat, as I dropped the burning match into the bathtub full of gasoline.