He Left

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Status: Finished  |  Genre: Flash Fiction  |  House: 'The Odd Ones'
I wanted to challenge myself by constructing a story almost completely made of dialogue. This was the result.

Submitted: April 17, 2016

A A A | A A A

Submitted: April 17, 2016



“I hate starting conversations with you. It’s such a struggle.”

“If we’re jumping straight to what we hate about each other, I’ll start. I hate how you always make me cry when you cry. I hate how everything has to be perfect for you, how you always have to plan the dates, how I always have to be the one who watches. You never gave me the chance to tell you what I thought.”

“You never had anything to say! When you did have something to say, it was something irrelevant.”

“Okay, sure, miss magnificent.”

“Fine, quiet quitter.”

“I never quit. I may be quiet, but I never give up.”

“You are right now, aren’t you?”

“You call this quitting? If you think this is quitting, then please, explain what isn’t.”

“Staying with me? Staying with me isn’t quitting.”

“Why would I stay with someone who makes me cry, has to be perfect, and always has to have things her way when I could find someone without those characteristics? You make no sense sometimes.”

“My flaws make me who I am. How can I control that? It’s exactly the same as how you control our fate right now. You can either walk away, leave this relationship, or stay. You can keep what we’ve had over these past five years, hold it in your hand, cherish it like your first born son, and clutch it for the rest of your life without worrying about losing it. If you walk away, however, you’re throwing all that out the car window you’ll be driving around in without me. Your choice, not mine. My imperfections were due to heredity. Genetics. I didn’t make my parents have me.”


“Don’t comment on that.”

“Exactly my point! You never let me say anything about what you have to say! Can I give my opinion for once? This is do or die, it doesn’t matter anyway. We might as well put everything we think on the table.”


“If I walk away, what are you gonna do? You live alone. You work from home. I don’t think you make enough to sustain yourself.”

“My parents can help.”

“You father is an alcoholic and your mother can’t walk.”

“They can write checks.”

“Your mother can write them, as long as they aren’t on the top shelf where they usually are.”

“That’s low, Paul. You know that’s going too far.”

“I’m sorry.”

“If you’re going to leave, do it now. I don’t want to speak to anyone right now if I can help it. Anyone but you. I can listen to you if you have a purpose.”



“You’re letting me speak.”


“I wanted to have kids, you know. I wanted to have a family with you, that’s how much I loved you. I still can’t get over that night I came home to you in bed with another man. I remember the sight. I remember the moans. The locked door. The time I had to spend waiting for you two to finish, until I gave up and left until the phone call from you. Do you understand how painful that was? I so wanted to break that door down, to put him in his place, but I didn’t want to give you the honor of watching. You understand that? I know this is the first time you’re hearing this. I know you didn’t know before.”

“No, I knew. I saw the pack of cigars you left on the countertop. Why didn’t you say anything?”

“Because I’m scared, D. I was scared that I was going to lose you. I was scared that slamming my fists onto the door would end up with you leaving and not saying anything to me as you were walking out with him. I was tempted to cheat, too. Many times. Hundreds of times, even, especially with the moves the women at work were making on me. I didn’t give in, though. I remained loyal. I stayed true to us because it was the most important thing in my life for me. I couldn’t lose you. You were the thing that made me shine as much as I did. The last thing I wanted was to be rid of you.”

“Is that not true now?”

“No, it’s true. I want to be with you. I don’t know if I can. With all the shit you’ve done, with all the shit I’ve done, it’s near impossible. I don’t think we’re compatible.”

“I’ve thought that once or twice, you know. I’ve held those thoughts in. I had a feeling you had been cheating all along at your office job, maybe with that boss of yours. I’ve seen some texts that I nearly confronted you on. I couldn’t do much from my writing desk, simply typing away at my stories. What was I meant to do? I had no proof.”

“Nothing went on between me and her.”

“No, I know. I believe you.”

“She’s not my type.”

“Yeah, I know.”


They stood in silence.


“Can we hug? Is that weird?”

“No, it’s not weird. Did you get a shower this morning? I don’t want to hug you if you smell. You have the worst habits with bathing.”

“I got one, don’t worry.”

“Okay, good.”


They hugged.


“You’re warm.”

“Your hair smells nice. You weren’t lying. Did you use the strawberry shampoo?”

“Yeah, it’s my favorite.”

“It’s my favorite, too. Don’t cut your hair, either. It looks nice the way it is.”


They backed away.


“Wow, this is weird.”


“My heart. It’s beating uncontrollably fast. Almost reminds me of that time we met, back at the office... I was a student writer, you were an apprentice graphic designer. We had gone to the same college but never met. I wish we had met in college.”

“I don’t.”


“We would’ve broken up quicker. I don’t know which one of us would’ve said it, but it would've been bound to happen, I’m sure.”

“I guess you’re right.”

“Mine’s beating fast, too. I feel so stupid, like a little kindergartener again.”

“This is really bad. Cringy.”

“I agree.”


They stood in silence.


“I’m gonna leave now.”


“I’m going to turn around.”


“Please, don’t call my name. I’m going to turn around, and I’m going to start walking. I won’t turn back. I know that I’ll run back and hug you and stay if I do. I can’t risk that.”

“I’ll do the same. This is going to take all the willpower I have.”

“Please don’t contact me. I’ll delete your contact. Your phone number. I won’t have it anymore. I don’t intend on making future relations with you. It’s not that I don’t want to, because I really, really want to. I just can’t.”

“Okay, I’ll do the same.”

“I’m turning around now.”

“Me too.”


They turned around.


“I’m crying. Are you?”



“I’m sorry, Paul.”

“Don’t say that. There’s nothing to be sorry for.”

“I’ll miss you.”

“I’ll miss you, too.”

"Thank you for what we had."

"No, thank you."

"I love you."

"Love you too."

“Goodbye, Paul.”

“Goodbye, Denise.”


He left.

© Copyright 2018 Hanorbi. All rights reserved.

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