A Life in 1117 Words

Reads: 103  | Likes: 0  | Shelves: 0  | Comments: 0

  • Facebook
  • Twitter
  • Reddit
  • Pinterest
  • Invite

More Details
Status: Finished  |  Genre: Flash Fiction  |  House: Booksie Classic
Robert is a simple man.

Submitted: October 28, 2019

A A A | A A A

Submitted: October 28, 2019

A A A

A A A


A young woman, head to toe in business and with a bright hairband squeezing her hair back from the front of her skull, walks through one of the office’s many hallways. She’s carrying a fat stack of papers and heading over to the other side of the room with a quick step in order to use the printing machine.

“You look like shit,” She says playfully as she glances to the side of one of the many cubicles in the room.

“Morning, Pam.”

Robert is as some people say, an average-joe. Average Robert, okay looking Robert. Robert the Fair. Decent Robert. He’s nothing special, doesn’t do anything special, doesn’t carry himself in a special way, wears default clothes and tries to keep his nose where he belongs: in his cubicle. Looking through his email and occasionally, “rarely” as he says, peaking behind his emails and taking a quick look at pornography. Exposed skin here and there, a couple of breasts, nothing special just as he likes it. He only looks at it a mere couple seconds before his heart begins to palpitate.

He covers the women with his emails and looks at his watch, 10:32 a.m. it reads. He looks back, turns his squeaky chair around and leans slightly forward, and as if he was some sort of clairvoyant, his eyes are in the perfect position to admire Pam’s ass as she bends down and picks up the stack of papers from beside the printer. See, Pam is a tall woman. Taller than an average gal and as tall as your average guy. Meaning, she’s as tall as Robert, who’s 6’0”. The printer is of course, smaller than her and lies below her waist. She needs to bend down in order to pick up the papers she’s made copies of. But she does this very subtly as she’s wearing your typical gray, wool skirt, but it’s subtle enough that it tightens her skirt from behind. Pam turns around when she’s done and at that very instant, Robert turns around in his chair to scroll through his 1,000+ emails.

“See you at the presentation, Robert.” Pam said, but this time, having her eyes glued at the stack of papers she was carrying.

Robert nodded and let out a “Right,” right before she disappeared around the corner due to her incredible pace.

That was it. The first human interaction of his day, of every day for the past 2 years. Not a special conversation, not a special thing to be said because average Robert didn’t have anything special to say. Later that day, he gave a flat presentation on the “hazards of GMO foods.” Something he doesn’t have any opinions about and something he doesn’t care for. The small group of a wickedly diverse population of two white men, a balding white guy and Pam, gave him a couple of pity claps after he finished. Robert nodded and formed a fake smile before sitting back down. It was Pam’s turn.

He didn’t remember what she said during the 10-minute presentation since he dozed off right when she opened her small mouth. He wondered how cute it would be to bump into her and her glasses fell from her face and he would say something like, “Oh, sorry! Didn’t see you there!” and proceed to pick up the glasses up and place them on her face and she would say, “Oh thank you Robert!” But he would imagine her voice to be more exaggerated and more flowery, as if she was starring in one of those bubbly soaps. He also imagined if she liked to have her hair pulled back from behind her or how embarrassed she would look if she spilled water allover her white flannel. Imagining her shirt was just a little bit tighter, a little bit lighter in color. Imagining her hair after she took a shower. The kind of food she enjoyed on a weekday afternoon. Imagining her in sweatpants while walking a dog. Scrubbing her makeup when she gets home. Simple thoughts, for a man of his caliber. By the time she was done, Robert ran about 34 scenarios through his simpleton brain before he even realized she sat back down. He forgot to clap.

That day was done and now it was time to return home. He flung his windbreaker, his keys and his phone across the living room and unto the sofa and they bounced off and landed on his carpet floor. He checked his fridge for a beer, opened one, and sat down on his sofa, his arm in the appropriate armrest. He picked up his phone and ran through his contacts and highlighted the name “Cathy” and sat there, motionless for a couple of minutes. He decided to dial the number. A woman answered a few seconds later.

“Hello?” the woman said.

Robert didn’t reply. Nothing special to say.

“I know it’s you Robert, Caller ID remember?”

Robert didn’t reply. He stared at the dark corners of his dingy living space.

Sigh. Robert, you’re going to have to stop doing this. You can’t keep calling me anytime you want. The kids...they,” She paused for a couple seconds, “They don’t want to see you for now. I hope you understand.”

Robert didn’t reply. His eyes were so focused that everything became a blur.

“I don’t want you to live like this Robbie, please.” She sounded empathetic.

Robert didn’t reply.

“Fine. I’m going to hang up now, okay? Little Emma, she begins 5th grade tomorrow. I need to catch some sleep alright? Robert?”

Robert didn’t reply. Just breathed.

“You take care of yourself. Do it for me, okay?”

“8 years.” Robert finally spoke.

“What was that?”

“8 years.”

She scoffed at him and said, “It was fun in the beginning Robbie. But that’s about it. The sparks were gone. They were gone the moment you swung at your daughter and you know it. I don’t want to talk about this right now, it’s getting late.”

Robert didn’t reply.

“I’m going now, Rob. Bye.” She hung up.

Robert sat there with his ear still on the phone for a good minute before sliding it off his face and tossing beside him. He took a couple sips of his beer and dropped himself into his bed.

The next morning.

A young woman, head to toe in business and with a bright hairband squeezing her hair back from the front of her skull, walks through one of the office’s many hallways. She’s carrying a fat stack of papers and heading over to the other side of the room with a quick step in order to use the printing machine.

“You look like shit.”

“Morning, Pam.”


© Copyright 2020 Manolo. All rights reserved.

  • Facebook
  • Twitter
  • Reddit
  • Pinterest
  • Invite

Add Your Comments:

More Flash Fiction Short Stories