Last month, I participated in Dude Write’s Flash Fiction contest. To my surprise and delight, I actually won an award!
Emboldened by that success, I decided to give it another shot this month.
If you like the story, please head on over to Dude Write and vote for me. Even if you don’t like it, I still encourage you to go there and check out the other contest entries. Maybe you’ll like one of those better!
(Note: Voting opens on March 22nd. I know you’re all anxious to vote, but please be patient!)
“I’m doing fine.”
That was what Melanie told them because that was what they wanted to hear. Later on, they could talk amongst themselves saying things like, “She’s putting on such a brave face, but you can tell that she’s hurting. I worry about her.”
She knew that they truly did worry about her. But they wanted to worry about her without being confronted with real pain or emotion. That would make them uncomfortable.
She didn’t hold it against them. It wasn’t long ago that she was one of the people offering support and worrying about a friend.
So Melanie played her part and gave them what they wanted They could go to sleep comfortable with the knowledge that they were “helping” her.
Melanie was amazed at how easily she slid into the role of the griever. She instinctively knew how to act and what to say. In a way, it was easier to just act out a role rather than deal with her actual feelings.
Now that she was finally alone, it was time to stop acting. She knew what she had to do.
She had no idea why she had kept the dress for all these years. She obviously hadn’t planned on wearing it again, and she wasn’t the type to get overly sentimental about physical objects. So why had she held onto it, and why did she bring it along when they moved?
Was it possible that part of her knew this day would come?
While she was mentally ready for the task, she wasn’t sure that she was physically capable of putting it on. It had been designed for a much different woman; a woman who hadn’t raised two children; a woman who cared what she would look like in pictures.
Somehow she struggled her way in. Material was ripped and torn in the process, but she didn’t care. In a way, it seemed fitting.
As she studied herself in the mirror, she was startled when she felt something on her cheek. When she leaned closer, she was surprised to see that it was a teardrop.
She wondered what they would do if they saw her now. This was not her saying that she was “fine.” This was her saying that she was many things, but fine was not one of them.
But this was what she needed to do. She would continue to play her part in public, but when she was alone, she would deal with things in her own way.