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Something So Familiar

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Status: Finished  |  Genre: Flash Fiction  |  House: Booksie Classic

Submitted: October 22, 2018

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Submitted: October 22, 2018

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Something So Familiar

Phil opened his eyes. The relief he felt when he saw Anna laying beside him was immense. It was all a dream; the fight, the tears, the squeal of brakes that was followed by that lethal thud. Just a nightmare, nothing more.

Anna turned in her sleep, rolled away from him. He started to feel that something was very wrong between them, just as he had the previous day. Shaking his head, Phil walked in to the bathroom.

The toothpaste tube was empty. How? It had been empty the day before and Anna had promised to pick a new tube up on her way to work. Had she forgotten?

Downstairs they briefly passed each other on the way to the kitchen. “Toothpaste’s out,” Phil heard himself say, just as he had the day before.

Don’t worry, Phil. I’ll pick some up on my way to work.” The exact same words from Anna too.

Phil shook himself mentally; maybe he was still asleep, still dreaming. He certainly did not seem to have any control over his actions, his words. “Look, Anna. What’s going on? It’s like you are never really here any more.”

He’d seen that look of stunned disbelief on her face before too. “Like I’m not here! I’m doing my best to forgive and forget your ‘office romance’, Phil, so don’t go putting the blame on me.”

How many times do you want me to say I’m sorry, Anna?” Inside his mind there was a voice telling him to walk away, to let it drop and not turn it in to a fight. The fight was too familiar.....

I didn’t start this, Phil, you did. I don’t have time now, not if I’m going to stop off at the drug store.” Anna had moved to pick up her jacket.

Phil saw his hand reach out, grab Anna’s arm. His grip was tight, painfully so, and she had glared at him, pulled away. “You never have time for us now.”

The words echoed in his head. They had been said before, just as she had turned away with tears in her eyes before too. Phil wanted to reach out, pull her back in to an embrace; he needed to make things right. Above all else he needed to stop her from going through that door right then.

He couldn’t do any of them.

Anna slammed the door, strode down the path, stepped on to the street and there was a squeal of brakes, a lethal thud, and just as before he dashed out to find her broken body laying on the tarmac. She was still alive, just barely. Her voice whispered, “I love you, Phil,” and then she died.

He had sat there stunned, in shock, with tears streaming unashamedly down his face. The truck driver sat with his head in his hands.

It was his fault, Phil thought. If he had just done something differently, Anna would still be alive.

The rest of the day had gone in a blur of questions, activity and confusion that had left him feeling both empty and exhausted. He took a pill, went to bed and escaped in to oblivion until he had the dream then woke to find Anna asleep beside him. She turned over in her sleep, rolled away from him.

The toothpaste tube was empty. Anna had promised to buy a new one on her way to work. He’d been here before, this moment, those thoughts...he was stuck in a moment of guilt and remorse. A moment in time that he would live through over and over again.

 

 


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