Fiction, Short fiction, Short story


Oindrila Gupta, December 7, 2022

Last year’s thoughts linger on the hem of your maroon dress.

Every Wednesday at 8 a.m. I lean forward from my desk to root on the little boy racing the bus to Willow and 5th St. with seconds to spare.

I once became an explorer in my backyard, among the worms and grass.

You drag the chair closer so we touch, and you take my face in your hands to ask: “Are you okay?”

The entries in her journal ate his future slowly.

We left for a week’s trip to California and ended up in Vancouver eating candied salmon sticks and asking if we knew where we were going.

I witnessed a small bird frozen to death perched in an empty nest alone.

She couldn’t stand to look at your clothes and books anymore, but I couldn’t stand to see they were gone.

The scar on his wrist reminds him of anger and sadness, but the ring on his finger tells him to be hopeful and happy.

In the afternoon I went to the vet for the last time.

She asked me if she could pay for dinner and I said, “Oh wait, I’m sorry, are we on a date?”

It makes me feel like I’m back in school each time I hit “Add to Dictionary” in Microsoft Word.

My wife and I despised our neighbors before they put out the gnomes.

One day he opened the microwave while the food was still hot and realized he wasn’t happy living with her.

Over the past year, she never changed the burnt-out light bulbs in the house. Each room growing darker and darker so that death wouldn’t come as such a surprise.

At night, I press “1” from the main menu to listen to the saved voice message. The only way I can remember what you sound like.

I pondered the menu carefully and ordered success – failure was too far out of my price range.

I changed my relationship status on Facebook to single on a Tuesday. By Wednesday, my best friend’s girlfriend did the same and I received a text from her seconds later.

I imagined nights of crowded concerts and fine dinners with you. But that would require me to talk to you first.

Everyone says that pictures are worth a thousand words. I must have burnt a book’s worth of hers yesterday.



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