Time to Speak Up

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

Time to Speak Up.

He places the letter, unopened, in the inner breast pocket of his jacket. He’ll read it once he’s on the move.

“Where are you going this time, dear?”

“All the way to Atlanta,” he replies.

“Make sure the hotel has clean sheets on the bed,” she says.

“I will Ma, you can stop fretting.”

“I don’t want any son of mine sleeping in dirty bedding.”

He’s dressed in a businessman’s suit and a felt Trilby – a salesman on a rail journey. He’s a head and shoulder taller than his mother. They stand on the station concourse. People pass them on their way to the platform - all on route for locomotives.

She is immaculately dressed to see him off – heeled brogues and a felted hat of her own. He’s embarrassed that she chooses to come to the station – he’s a thirty-year-old man, not a young boy. He feels foolish but can’t tell her.

She takes a five-dollar bill from her pocketbook and hands it to him.

“This will help.”

He’s not sure what she means but he takes it and places it in his trouser pocket with his spare change.

“Thanks Ma, I’ll use that in an emergency,” he says.

She smiles – reassured.

He moves towards the entrance to Platform Three and glances back. His mother waves goodbye and strides away. Her heels tap on the stone floor and her swing coat sways from side to side.

He boards the train for Atlanta.

He’ll use the five dollars to buy breakfast, lunch and dinner.

Alone, he retrieves the letter from his breast pocket. It’s handwritten in blue ink on pink paper.

Reading the contents takes seconds.

Immediately, realises the points of his life have changed.

Disembarking he returns to the concourse.

Another woman is standing there, her long, dark hair is styled in soft curls – she wears no hat.

“Did you like the note I sent you?” she asks.

“I wouldn’t be here if I did not like it, Rita,” he replies.

“So?” She says.

“Yep – pretty much since the first time I saw you,” he replies.

“You still haven’t said it though,” she responds.

He takes the letter out of his deepest pocket, the one next to his heart.

“I’ve written you a response,” he says.

She takes the letter back off him.

She reads the message she wrote him: Since we’re all going to die, if you are secretly in love with me - now is the time to speak up.

“Look on the back,” he replies.

In his black handwriting she reads – Time for me to speak up.




Submitted: May 06, 2020

© Copyright 2021 C.A.L. Crowther. All rights reserved.

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