Flash Fiction, Singles

Love’s War

Another poem turned short piece. Enjoy.

A smile creases the corners of his mouth even before she reaches the table. I stifle a snicker as he stands up and pulls out her chair. The picture of the perfect gentleman. The way he never was for me. His blue eyes are bright; they drink in every inch of her, and dance in a way I haven’t seen since the day we first met. She hasn’t opened her mouth, yet he’s already smitten.

My lips curl. I watch them, disgusted, as my hand wraps around the glass perched precariously on the table. I’ve lost track of how many I’ve had, but I tilt my head up slightly, and bring the tumbler to my lips.  The tequila stings the back of my throat as I take a long, slow sip.  I try to convince myself it doesn’t matter. Yet nothing can quite quelch the whisper of anger snarling in my ear. I press my lips together and look up again. They quickly morph into a scowl when I notice her choice of wardrobe for the evening. I’m convinced she chose that plunging neckline just to spite me.

After another four gulps. The cup is drained and I’m left with little to distract me until the waiter comes back. Over drinks they make small talk. Though I can’t hear what’s being said, it isn’t hard to guess. He never was very good at making original conversation, but in the time it takes me to draw a breath, he has her in stitches. It’s impossible to tell if the musical laughter floating past my ears is fake. I grit my teeth and dig my nails into the tablecloth, hoping it is.   

I lean in a little closer as his hand caresses her waist, her arm, her wrist. When their fingers finally interlock, it’s a seamless, perfect fit. I want to smack that smirk right off of her smug, spray-tanned face.

Her swollen, artificial lips mold to his as if they’d never seen a minute apart. Acid tickles the back of my throat. I force the bitter bile down, thinking I should just go home and pretend this never happened. But I can’t look away.

When they pull back, her lips are still perfectly red. Ripe and innocent as the juiciest strawberry plucked straight from the vine. His are bloodstained crimson. Just another casualty of the war. Another battle she’s sure she’s won.

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