Reunion

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Status: Finished  |  Genre: Literary Fiction  |  House: Booksie Classic
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The exercise was to write a short story from three different characters points of view.

Submitted: April 03, 2017

A A A | A A A

Content

Submitted: April 03, 2017

A A A

A A A


Reunion

 

I could have said ‘no’. I should have said ‘no’. But I didn’t, I accepted the invitation. And here I am feeling totally outclassed by my former best friends, Ruth and Abbie. I have not seen or heard from them in years so I found it rather intriguing when I was invited to meet with them in a high class hotel in the city.

There was an excuse I could have made. The distance I had to travel, and on public transport, made it quite a challenge to get there on time. I thought of it. I thought of writing or phoning to say ‘sorry, can’t make it’......but I didn’t. I made the effort because, quite honestly, I was intrigued.

Ruth and Abbie had left for the city, for the life of the bright lights, for the opportunities, while I had stayed at home. I think I received one letter from Ruth not long after, and maybe had been sent a photo of Abbie. After that they had just seemed to vanish completely from my life.

It wasn’t too difficult to get someone to sit with Mother for the day. She would not be any problem, being so tranquillised. And I that they were well-paid for their time. Mrs Wilson, our neighbour, was be happy to do it. I was . All she had to do was be there just in case Mother called.

I had worried whether I would even recognize Ruth and Abbie? They were no more than eighteen years old when I last saw them on our last day at school. Now, like me, they are thirty years old. But I knew them instantly. How had they managed not to age like me?

And what on earth can I say to them? Their lives are miles apart from my own. They have been out, experienced life, and from the look of them it has been a positive experience. Me, I’m in the same place really as the last time we had met.

How different it could have been if it hadn’t been for Evan!

 

* * * * *

 

Oh, Abbie is looking all dolled up as usual. But poor Sophie. She didn’t have a clue about how to dress at school and clearly she hasn’t learnt since. She’s as dull and drab as ever. But then, she stayed. She never really had much choice, not once Evan died and her Mom fell to pieces.

Abbie and I got out, even shared a flat together for a while until we found our feet. I met Martin, who is now my husband and my business partner in one. We might not be ultra-successful but we have a nice house in a nice area, and we are comfortably off.

Once I met Martin, Abbie and I sort of drifted apart. She was not interested in settling down, preferring to swap around. She used to say ‘never be seen with the same guy twice,’ and she lived up to that, at least while I was still in contact with her.

This reunion was her idea and she seemed very insistent that the three of us meet up. Martin was happy to let me shoot off for the day, and I looked on it as a break from the old routine – not to mention an opportunity to browse around some of my old favourite stores.

I have to say that I was surprised that Sophie made the effort considering the fact that we pretty much dumped her on making our escape.

But here she is, looking shyer and more withdrawn than ever. She looks ten years older than she is, at least. I want to ask how her mother is now, but that seems to be a bit of a risky subject to bring up. Going by her appearance, things must be pretty much the same.

But Abbie, she is fidgeting, not staying still for a moment. She looks nervous but I can’t imagine why when this meeting was her own idea.

 

* * * * *

 

They’ve come then. The two of them. I’m still not sure that I can go through with this ‘confession’. Perhaps I should have taken the easy way out, sent it in a letter. But Sam said that if I was going to go with him I should start with a clean slate. If only it wasn’t so hard to do, especially after all this time.

For a few minutes we make small talk. For once good friends we have remarkably little to say to each other. I’m not going to be able to stay. I’ll make my confession, but I’ll leave before Ruth and Sophie see the extent of the guilt I feel. I’ll leave the package, sneak away. I chose this place for the ease of making an unseen escape.

Ruth, Sophie! I have something I have to tell you. I am leaving the country today.” I look down at the table in front of me for a moment. “Yes, Ruth, I have finally found the man for me. But before I go I want to make a confession.”

I clear my throat. Why do I feel like I am about to admit to a crime? I should have spoken up at the time, not left it to drag on and on. For a second I consider if holding my silence would be the best thing to do. But Sam would disapprove and I don’t want to lie to him.

Sophie, I have got something to tell you that I should have said years ago.” She looks at me with large eyes. Do I detect some fear? “Evan and I were out on the ridge together. He was trying to put his arms around me and I pushed him away.” I can hear her sharp intake of breath but I won’t meet her eyes. Now I’ve started I must continue. “He was fine. He didn’t lose his balance or anything. I didn’t push him over that edge, the ground just crumbled from underneath his feet. Evan did not jump. He did not commit suicide. It was an accident but I was too scared to admit it. Too scared to even say that I was there.”

Neither of them say a word but I can feel both Ruth’s and Sophie’s eyes on me. What are they waiting for? I’ve told them what happened. I DO feel responsible, and that is why the deeds to my apartment, along with the keys, are in an envelope addressed to Sophie. Her mother’s madness had robbed her of a chance of living her own life and my silence had been a big part of the causes of that insanity. It was only right that I should give them to her. She deserves to at least have the chance!

I stand up. “Excuse me. I just need to go to the ladies room.” My hands are shaking as I walk from the table, as I walk out onto the street. My tears are falling as Sam wraps his arms around me. I compose myself and we head towards the airport.


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