flash fiction

Where by Rhea Bryce

Where | Rhea Bryce

I am telling you this fact that I know well and you nod at first but then interrupt with something different, so I argue my point and tell you that I’m right, right?

You say it’s cute when my face gets flushed with blood red belief and then I feel my cheeks tingle because I don’t know if you’re making fun of me or being serious so I look up and ask, really?

You smile and get closer and ask will you go out with me sometime? 

Where should we go?

I keep asking that question for months even when I know I want food from that Korean restaurant at the end of the block but you don’t like kimchi and I don’t have strong preferences so I ask again, where should we go? 

To Paris! you tell me, eventually, one day, which makes me smile and you whip up an itinerary while you cook pasta carbonara which you are making because I said I don’t like white sauce but I don’t have a good answer when you ask me, why? 

We’re moving.

I tell my friend while we sip drinks we ordered one minute before the end of happy hour and she asks, are you happy? and I tell her we’re happy and she asks again, but are you?

We move. 

Didn’t you hate them?

That girl’s weird, don’t you think?

Why do you hang out with her?

Why don’t we stay at home tonight?

Why do you need anyone else?

My friend wants to visit and I ask if it’s okay and you say just a day but don’t I know that you don’t like people staying over because of your anxiety and I do know so I agree to just one day and ask, where should we go?

The three of us sit in the square that you like and you go to the bathroom and my friend puts her hand on top of mine which makes me smile and she tells me she hates you and I pull away and she says she can’t stay quiet any more so I tell her that you are nonnegotiable and she says that she loves me but that she’s worried and then you come back and ask what we were talking about and I say nothing because I’m a bad liar so you assume it was about you and then you yell at me in the square which makes me cry in the middle of everything and then you push over a chair and she puts her arm around me and pulls me back and you yell and I let her guide me out and she tells me we can take public transit to her hotel room and for all that I tell you that I am sorry, I am so so sorry, will you forgive me?

You go to visit your family far away and I catch you on the way out the door and say don’t forget that you love me and kiss you and then you’re gone and then the next day you’re still gone and then the next day I start to realize that the door won’t ask questions or demand answers and maybe I could just walk through and maybe I want to. 

I call my friend because she said I always could. 

She holds four boxes and I hold five and I ask where we should go and she says wherever I want.

About the Author:

Rhea Bryce is a writer and adventure-lover living in Bend, Oregon. She graduated from Stanford University, where she studied Computer Science and Creative Writing. She is currently working on her novel which explores rock climbing in Yosemite.