Picking one story for this contest was so difficult. They were all winners, but (because there are always buts in life) this summer short-short was too cute and truly embraced the theme, “I knew it was a mistake the moment it was over.”
Our winner, Katherine Lavallee, is a college student from Tampa who can’t wait to be a published author.
Please enjoy and Stay Inspired…
I knew what they said, “curiosity killed the cat.” And I wholeheartedly believed since I was a child that, “satisfaction brought her back.” And it often did. I’d been called a free spirit before. They couldn’t keep me tethered to their heavy lead chains that damned them to this cut, narrow path called life. I refused to give in.
I survived comfortably in the city with my boyfriend, but then I was tossed back by the waves of time to that little haunted town I hadn’t been to in over a decade. Of the four kids, I was the only one who volunteered to go back to the house left to us by my dead grandparents. My estranged parents had no plans to travel all the way to Maine.
It wasn’t a mistake to talk with an old friend. To laugh once again like I’d not laughed in years. To see his deep, beautiful green eyes from across the table and get lost watching him talk. It wasn’t a mistake to hug goodbye after and go back alone to the dark house filled with old memories.
It wasn’t a mistake to see him again. And in my eyes, it wasn’t a mistake to begin a fling with the man who I’d always been in love with. The way he loved me, no one had ever made me feel that wild, crazy, free.
It was a mistake to let myself go, to stop using my head. To spend almost every night that summer in bed drunk with the lover I dreamed about. To stop thinking, stop caring about the consequences.
It lasted until I had to get back to reality, although I never really lived in reality.
The moment it was over, logic set in. It had me thinking, reaching for the calendar, tracking dates. The irony was tragic, really. The morning I was set to leave, heartbeats after we said goodbye, before the tears of losing him once again, I found myself in the bathroom bent over the toilet. I had a plane to catch. I couldn’t stay, but every cell in my body wailed at the thought of heading back to my apartment.
I just wanted a taste of what I’d lost. Curiosity is, in itself, a curious thing. It drives people to do the unspeakable. Just to know. Well, I found out. And the price would be huge. Trapped with me for the rest of my life. The moment he walked out the door, the moment it was over. That’s when I knew it was a mistake.
A mistake with intense, gorgeous green eyes I would have to look into every day for as long as I lived.
Thanks to Katherine Lavallee and all who sent their flash fiction pieces into the contest.
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