Flash Fiction Friday from - http://www.flashfictionfriday.com (I know it’s Wednesday)
Cue: Write a story where your protagonist is mistaken about something they “know” to be true.
“Why are you lying to me?”
“I’m not – look, Dave, we have been through this enough times.”
The girl looked tired. Bloodshot eyes with puffed out bags draped heavily beneath them betrayed her lack of sleep but it was the sheer wall of stupidity and lack of trust she was facing that exhausted her the most.
She knew she had lost him, she just didn’t know if she cared.
Dave’s heart was broken.
His head was telling him that it had only just happened, that Stacey’s horrendously callous ability to lie and cover up her actions the night before had killed their love. His heart knew better. The love had died years ago.
The love died the day the trust was lost.
Dave stopped trusting Stacey two years earlier and when that happened their relationship entered a downward spiral from which it hadn’t recovered. It had seemed such a good idea. Both of them went on separate holidays with their friends, recapturing some of the fun they both had known in their youth.
Dave had a blast. He’d drunk and eaten whatever he liked. He’d checked out the ladies on the beach and flirted outrageously with them in the bars. Then his mate had suggested a game.
They had to decide whose “bird” was the most ‘doable’. Who they thought was likely to be the best in bed. What a laugh. They did it on paper as a secret ballot.
Stacey won by a landslide.
At first Dave was proud but as they laughed about it he began feeling uncomfortable. Why were his mates talking like that? Why did they all think they stood a chance?
Dave drank hard that night and woke up with Jemima. Was that her name? He really wasn’t sure but however fast her name may have escaped him, the guilt stayed put.
But it wasn’t just him was it? Stacey was clearly as bad. She must obviously be flirting around his mates all the time and God knows what she got up to in Cornwall?
Dave’s inability to trust himself manifested itself swiftly into a suspicion of Stacey. The arguments flew thick and fast after that holiday but Stacey never actually admitted any wrong doing, so Dave never did either.
Once trust dies so does the relationship, even if it isn’t actually the other person you don’t trust.
But he generously forgave her, even if he couldn’t forget.
And now she was doing it all over again, and this time he would not be able to forgive. Her face was so brazen, so adamantly innocent that he knew he would never again be able to believe a word she said. How could such a convincing liar ever be believed?
Stacey sat with her head in her hands and shook with a rage she could barely contain. What was she supposed to do now, pack her bags and leave? This was as much her place as his now, it was home. Stacey had moved in four years ago and felt totally in tune with the flat. She could easily imagine the smug smile of satisfaction on her mum’s face when she found out just how right she had been about Dave all along.
Dave watched her closely. He desperately needed her to give him the redemption he sought. If only she would admit her failings and tell him what really happened, then he could be angry, then he could be right, then he could be forgiven.
But no relief was coming. Stacey stood and silently headed upstairs to pack some essentials. Dave watched her go and let his shoulders sag as the burden of responsibility was gone. The relationship was over and it wasn’t Dave at fault. She would go. It was the right thing. It was time to move on.
Wordlessly, she threw things into a bag as tears damned well refused to escape from her eyes. Dave watched, stifling his own confused emotions as he did so.
As she headed to the door, Dave’s mouth betrayed his intentions and shouted out for one last chance.
“Don’t go…” He shouted, “Don’t. Just tell me. Tell me and I’ll understand. I will. We can work through this but you have to tell me. You have to be honest and we..”
“I have been honest, you stupid bastard” Stacey interrupted, “ I’ve told you everything – nothing happened!”
“I’m not stupid. I’m not. I know where you were last night”
“Yes, I’ve told you where I was. We were all there – at Jane’s. All of us stayed over when we missed the last train, me Jane, Julie, Vanessa, Pippa and Shelley! How many times have we been through this?”
“Yes I know all that so why won’t you be honest with me?”
“Oh for Christ’s sake, Dave.”
“Stacey. I’m 36 years old. I’ve been around and I know how things work. I know what happens when women get drunk and have a sleepover so will just stop lying and tell me who won the bloody pillow-fight?”