Closure. Short Story.

I’m writing this to you from the past.

Time travel. Pretty damn awesome right?

Though really, if you think about it, we’re all time travelling forwards in time. Just really slowly and in the right order. (Sorry, lots of Doctor Who lately. It’s cool.)

Right now I’m in college! Probably in class, I hope it’s going well for me. I seem to be getting better so hopefully my spine hasn’t decided to spontaniously flee my body or I havn’t collapsed with a back spasm.

I’ll update how things went on Wednesday, because as I said I’m in the past.

On with the show!

————————————————————————————

Closure.

She looked at the ring on her finger, then turned it a few times, it was starting to become a nervous habit of hers, one she had to stop. The ring itself was golden and inlaid with a few diamonds, at least, she thought they were diamonds. The seller had assured them that they were, she didn’t care one way or another, only jewellers would know the difference, but the seller had seemed slightly shady. She did wonder afterwards if he was just trying to make a few extra bucks on a cheap ring. It didn’t really matter though, in the end she had loved the ring and all it represented. She turned it again, placing the diamonds at the front of her finger. Trying to stop herself fidgeting she wrapped her hands around the coffee cup, the heat was soothing on her hands and the cup gave her something to hold. She didn’t really want the coffee, but she needed a reason to sit here. The smell of coffee was calming at least. She glanced at her watch, then sighed. He was late. She would have liked to have been surprised, but this was typical behaviour. She let go of the cup and started playing with the ring again, twisting it off her finger, she looked at it, the way the light bounced and sparkled on the gems. Then she set it carefully on the table. It looked sad there, against the drab brown of the table, lost and without a purpose. She picked it up and slid it onto her finger again, twirling it, wishing she had brought a book or something. She didn’t have a smart phone so it wasn’t like she could play games or something to pass the time. All she could do was sit and wait.

To distract herself she started to watch the people passing by outside, creating histories and stories for them as they passed, there was one man, on his way to his geriatric lover, that woman there, she had six kids waiting for her at home, her in the red jacket, secret agent, off on another mission. The game was fun at first, but soon took a disturbing turn, that man killed five hookers, she stabbed her lover, he has bodies under the floorboards. As she decided one shifty looking man with a beard had poisoned his wife and collected the insurance, she stopped playing. She let the people going by become faceless, they weren’t people, they were just moving scenery. She realised she was tapping her foot and promptly stopped. God this was agonising. She had always hated waiting and he knew it. He was probably doing it just to piss her off. She chose somewhere public, somewhere they couldn’t make a scene. He’d probably goad her though, try and get her to blow a fuse, start screaming. Then he’d tell everyone how she flipped out and he was the victim. She took a swig of her coffee and grimaced. She never liked the taste of coffee, had never liked hot drinks in general, but the warmth was comforting. She spotted a leaflet and quickly scanned it, some band doing some gig at some place she had never heard of and would never go to. She picked it up and started to bend and fold the paper, after a few moments, she started to tear into it. In a few minutes the entire page was shredded and lying on the table. She looked around, wondering if people were judging her for the mess she made. There was no bins nearby and she didn’t want to lose her seat. She corralled the pieces into a pile, that would have to do for the time being. She glanced at her watch, then around the coffee shop and he was there. Looking for her, he was frowning, with that little crease he got on his chin. He spotted her and half heartedly waved, then turned and joined the queue. She suppressed a frown of her own. Bastard was just trying to draw this out. He’d stand in line, order something insanely complicated, then sit and give her some bullshit story as to why he was late. She turned her back to him, he knew where she was. She looked at the shredded paper. Shit. That didn’t look good. She hurriedly looked around for someway to dispose it, then grimacing, she downed a few gulps of her coffee, she looked back towards the line, good, he was still waiting. Hastily she pulled off the lid and swept the paper inside her cup. The table looked clean again. Good. That was good. Show no weakness. It was another five minutes before he sat down again, he apologised, telling her that the train was stopped for almost half an hour. She assured him it was fine, then inwardly questioned why he chose something so easily disprovable. She asked him what he had gotten and as expected he rattled of a list of words that she barely understood and when asked, she said she had gotten tea, then wondered why she lied.

She slid the ring from her finger and placed it into his palm. “Are you sure? You can keep it if you want.” “No. Fresh start. It’s easier. Besides, I don’t know what I’d do with it.” “You could always sell it, buy something, donate the money, whatever. It is your ring after all.” “It’s just easier this way.” He shrugged and pocketed the ring. “So, is that it?” “Pretty much.” He stared at her, she looked away, his scrutiny unnerving. “You could have mailed it to me or something. Why did you want to do this face to face?” She looked back again. “I don’t know. Closure or something. I thought it would help.” “Did it?” “I don’t know.” She looked at him again. “I just thought I needed this. Seeing you one last time.” “That’s a bit over dramatic. This city isn’t that big. We’re probably going to run into each other again at some point.” “Maybe. Maybe not.” “Well, if that’s it, I should probably go.” He stood to leave, then paused for a moment, he moved toward her, as though going in for a hug, then moved his hand part way towards hers. Before she could move he pulled it back and walked away. She took a sip from her cup, then froze as a piece of paper floated into her mouth, she removed the lid of the cup and spat the mouthful back in. She looked around the shop again, expecting everyone to be staring, but everyone was engrossed in their own conversations, their own problems, their own lives. She put the cup back on the table and stood. Her hand felt empty, naked, without the ring. She put her hands into her pockets as though trying to hide them and left. At the door she glanced back at the cup, it seemed lonely sitting there by itself, lost and without a purpose.

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About Alan James Keogh

I am a 26 year old writer who somehow tricked U.C.D. into giving me not only a degree in English and Classical studies, but an Hons Masters in Creative Writing too. Visit my blog where I post short stories twice a week (Monday and Wednesday) and an installment of a serialised novel on Fridays. I did consider writing this in the third person, as though it was written by someone else, but Alan is not comfortable writing in the third person as it seems kinda creepy and unbalanced so Alan decided it was probably best to write in the first person. He hopes it went well for him.
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