Empty House. Flash Fiction.

He was alone. He should have know, everyone always left him eventually. Natalie didn’t have the balls to say it to his face, instead she wrote him a letter, a goddamned letter, he didn’t even rate a phone call. He tore the letter up then gathered the scraps and threw them into the back garden. The wind caught a few and blew them away, the rest scattered across the grass. He slammed the door and went back to the table. How could she have left him like this? Things were good between them, they always were. Sure they had a few ups and downs, everyone did, but there was nothing that warranted a break up. They had been on the same page about everything, they both wanted two kids, they both wanted marriage, they were even looking at buying a house together. Hell, just the day before Natalie was talking about how much they should budget for new furniture for when they found a house. To go from that to a letter? A letter that didn’t even explain anything, just a long rambling “I’m sorry. I don’t think this is working.” She didn’t even try to give him a reason why. He stood from the kitchen, maybe it wasn’t from her, maybe she was made to write it. He went upstairs, taking them two at a time.

In the bedroom he found her clothes were gone, as was her jewellery and laptop. He sat on their bed, her chargers were all gone, she had taken everything of hers, leaving behind only the big things. How long had she been planning this? She couldn’t have packed in the time it took him to get home from work, she must have taken the day off. Or had she been slowly packing and he was just too thick to notice? He put his head in his hands. They had been so good for one another. He had thought they were going to grow old together, he had been planning on proposing soon, they both knew that, she had even helped pick out the style of rings she liked. He was just waiting for a good time, a romantic time, to propose, even if it was already practically agreed upon.

Downstairs he sat in the kitchen, a cold cup of tea in front of him. He had made it to keep himself busy, but he didn’t actually want any. There was nothing to do, the house seemed so big and empty. He looked at his phone, still sitting on the table. He had hoped that maybe she would ring or text, but there was nothing. He knew he should call someone but who? And what would he even say? His relationship of four years just crumbled over night, that Natalie ran away from him, leaving nothing but a letter. What would they even think? He’d have to tell them sooner or later, but he didn’t think he could face saying the words out loud, not to himself, not to someone else. He took a drink of his cold tea. Tomorrow. He’d tell someone tomorrow. Tonight he needed the time alone, he needed the time to think.

The next morning he rang work to tell them he was sick. He knew he’d be useless for the day, as it was he barely slept. He hadn’t heard from her, he was starting to accept that he probably wouldn’t. She was gone and she wasn’t going to come back. Even if she did, could he forgive her? He still loved her but he could never have done something like that to her, to just up and leave. He took a sip of his coffee, hoping it would perk him up a little, then he picked up his phone. He didn’t want to be alone anymore, sitting in the house. He’d make a few calls, someone would be around, even if they just came by for a little while, it would be better than this. He wanted something, anything to take his mind off things. He took a deep breath and started dialling.


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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