Flash Fiction: Perfection and Regret

This week’s flash fiction challenge posed by Chuck Wendig started with some distracting fun – use InspiroBot to create “inspirational” memes, like this one.

insect

Go play with it. I’ll wait.

So we were supposed to use one of InspiroBot’s memes as inspiration for a story, using the text of the meme in the story if possible. Mine appears beneath the title. For an added challenge, I wanted to get as close as I could to 100% dialogue. Enjoy!

Perfection and Regret

IMG_3068

“Jaylin. It’s me.”

“David.”

“How have you been?”

“Oh, you know. Same old stuff.” She clears her throat. “It’s been a long time.”

“I know. What’s it been? Ten years?”

“Eleven.”

“Right. Eleven.”

“Can I ask why you’re calling?”

“Yeah. Um . . . I wanted to find out how you were. Maybe see if we could start over.”

“Start over?” A slight chuckle. “You don’t even know what I’ve done the last decade.”

“I know. I should have called sooner. Much sooner.”

“I’ll say. I could be married, you know.”

“I wouldn’t call if you were.”

“How do you know I’m not?”

“I heard you got divorced.”

She huffs into the phone. “Whose business is that?”

“I ran into Carrie at Safeway.”

“Carrie, huh? She probably found out on Facebook. I haven’t talked to her since . . . well. Since then.”

“Yeah.” I clear my throat. “I shouldn’t have dated her.”

“She was my best friend, David.”

“I know.”

“And you’re calling me.”

“I am.”

“Why is that, again?”

“Because . . .” I sniff. “It’s been a long time.”

“You mean you ran out of prettier girls to date.”

“That’s not it.”

“Please. We might not have been speaking but I paid attention. The new girl was always prettier than the last. Not sure what that means for me. I must have been at least a dozen girlfriends ago. Were the others married?”

“Jaylin.”

“No, I’m serious. Why me? Why now?”

“I miss you. I’ve always missed you.”

“But I wasn’t what you needed. You said so yourself.”

“I didn’t know what I needed.”

“Sure you did. You were looking for the perfect girl.”

“With more perfection comes more regret.”

She’s silent.

“Are you there?”

“Yes.” She chokes on the word. “What does that mean? Regret?”

“It means I should have never let you go.”

“Well, you didn’t think so the past eleven years.”

“Sure I did. I wanted to call. But . . .”

“But I got married.”

“Yeah.”

“And now I’m not.”

“Yeah.”

“I guess that’s something.”

“I hope so.”

“Hmmm.”

“So . . .” I steady my shaking hand. “Can I buy you a coffee?”

“Depends.”

“On what?”

“On if you know what I like.”

“Skinny vanilla latte. Give me a challenge.”

She laughs.

“Is that a yes?”

A sigh. “Sure. Why the hell not?”

“Great. Our old place? Say tomorrow, at seven?”

“Sure. See you there.”

“Jaylin, one more thing.”

“What’s that?”

“I did find the perfect girl, you know.”

“Did you?”

“Yep. I found her a dozen girlfriends ago.”

“So what were the others?”

“They weren’t you.”

Silence.

“I’ll see you tomorrow, Jaylin.”

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