Flash Fiction/ Short Story
“Come on, Felix!” Makena giggled, tugging on my arm. “It’s almost the new year! We’ve only got, like, ten minutes left!”
“Alright. Fine.” I said, but my distracted voice betrayed me.
“What… what is it?” her voice had softened. She peered over my shoulder at the computer screen curiously.
“Stop it!” I snapped, then my voice softened. “Sorry. I mean… It’s just… this is private. Could you maybe go wait on the porch? I’ll meet you out there in a second.”
“Oh. Okay.” She placed a nervous hand on my shoulder, and I felt her lips brush softly against my ear. Then she was gone.
My cursor hovered over the unread email. The one from Lola. The girl who I hadn’t spoken to in months. And in a way, I was far too scared to even open the email, let alone actually read it.
The last time I saw her, it wasn’t the yelling that hurt. It wasn’t even the slap.
It was the look in her eyes. The disappointment.
I opened the email.
Hi. It’s Lola here. I know we haven’t talked in a while, and… well, I think we both know why.
Remember that first time we kissed? It was today, a year ago. The first of January. The first day of the new year. I loved you so much, and that night? I thought that our kiss was the best thing that had ever happened to me.
When I saw you with Makena, my life shattered into a million pieces. Until then, I had thought that we would be together forever, but I guess that was never the case.
You two are happy together. I see that. And I’m not going to deny that of you. It’s like they say- “If you love something, let it go. If they return, they were always yours. If they don’t, they never were.” Well, you didn’t return.
I used to hate you for that. I thought I would never forgive you. But I can’t live like that, and I don’t want you to carry that on your shoulders.
I’m letting you go, Felix. Be happy. I’ll find my own happiness another way.
I thought that our kiss was the best thing that had ever happened to me. I was wrong- but that’s okay.
Lola, I finally brought myself to type into the browser. My hands moved over the keys, almost of their own volition.
It’s not your fault. It’s mine. I should have told you about Makena. I shouldn’t have kept that a secret. But I was a coward.
You’re a better person than me, Lola. A braver person.
I hesitated for a long time, and, eventually, brought myself to press send.
“Hey.” I said to Makena, stepping out onto the porch. My hands were jammed in my pockets and my head down, but my heart was thumping.
All these months, I’d been too scared to get too close to Makena. Scared that whatever I did would only serve to hurt Lola even more. Maybe I didn’t feel for her, not any more, but that didn’t mean I didn’t care about her. It didn’t mean I wanted to hurt her.
“Hi.” she said softly, staring up at the sky as she waited for the fireworks to start. I entwined my fingers in hers as I sat down next to her. “Are… are you okay?”
I stared at the sky for a moment. It was dark, for now at least, speckled with the occasional stars. “Yeah.” I finally said, and to my surprise, I meant it. “I’m fine.”
“Just fine?” she teased.
“No.” I chuckled, squeezing her hand. “Far better than fine.”
And I was. For the first time in a long time, I felt happy.
“Happy New Year.” I whispered, and then we were kissing as showers of red and yellow and blue lit up the sky.