Flash Fiction: Stuck

I don’t know how it happened. I was sitting there talking with her one minute and the next, she was gone. I don’t mean dead, by the way. I mean gone, vanished, evaporated, vaporized. I don’t even know how to describe it. No gradual fade-out. No, “See you soon.” No, “I’ll let you know where I am when I get there.” Nope. Just up and gone. My best friend, my occasional lover, the woman who I’d expected to see, talk to and enjoy life with for at least another three decades. And now that’s been two years and I’m still sitting here every day at this god-damned table, smoking cigarette after cigarette, waiting for her to show back up. Oh, and drinking one martini after as well.

Look at me, for God’s sake. I’m a living wreck. Still trying to get my mind around what I know I saw with my own two eyes. But then I start second-guessing myself, asking myself did I faint or pass out or have one of those mini-strokes, and during those few seconds or minutes, did she just get up and walk out? Never to return?

No. That isn’t possible. I was her best friend too. She planned to be near me just like I planned to be near her. Besides she didn’t have anywhere else to go really. Yes, she does have that daughter in Oregon or Washington or somewhere out west, but they weren’t even close. And besides, she would have taken me with her or at least told me she was going.

So, where does this all leave me? Did I have a momentary lapse and someone dragged her away? I mean I thought of that and went to the police, but they just looked at me like I was crazy. I realize the other alternatives venture totally into la-la land. We’re talking alien abduction or some crazy shit like that and I don’t even believe in that kind of thing.

So, I keep circling around to me somehow losing consciousness for a few minutes and to her heading out for some reason or another. Maybe she was mad and just hadn’t told me. Maybe I offended her and I didn’t know it. Maybe my drinking is worse than I realize and I blacked out. Oh, God. I actually hope that’s the case because I love her so much, I can’t stand the idea of anything terrible happening to her.

Right now, there’s nothing else for me to do but to be here every day in case she comes back. I could be wrong after all and something could have happened. I’d never forgive myself if she manages to get back here and I somehow miss her. The people here at the bar say they’ll be sure and tell me if she comes, but I can’t leave that to chance. What if they don’t recognize her or are in the back when she arrives? No, I can’t trust them with that level of responsibility. So, until then, I’m just sort of stuck.

God, I hope she’s okay. I just can’t wait to see her face again.

Portrait of the Journalist, Sylvia von Harden, 1926, Otto Dix

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