Don’t panic…you’re in the right place. I just did some remodeling over the weekend. What do you think? Anyway, on to the post.
This month’s song fic was inspired by “Dog Days Are Over” by Florence and the Machine. You can read the lyrics or watch the video and listen to the song. Or both. Or neither. Totally your call. But anyway, here’s the story it inspired.
Lizzie’s phone lay on the couch between her and Cilla, vibrating almost constantly with missed calls and ignored texts.
“What do you mean you told him no?” Cilla stared at her best friend in amazement. “Literally all you’ve been talking about this past year is how you couldn’t wait for Grant to propose. You were going to be so upset if he didn’t. I can’t believe you turned him down.”
Except that she kind of could. She’d had a feeling this would be how it would go if Grant ever asked Lizzie to marry him.
Lizzie wiped her her eyes and nose. “I don’t know. One minute we were having dinner at that little pub down on on Cherry, and the next, he gets up and starts singing, and a bunch of diners got up and started dancing–”
“Wait,” Cilla said. “He proposed with a flashmob?”
She sniffled and nodded miserably.
“But you love flashmobs. You…you have a whole Pinterest board devoted to them.”
“I know.” She sniffled again.
“What happened then?”
“He did the whole getting down on one knee thing.”
Cilla covered her face and peered at Lizzie through her fingers. “I’m afraid to ask,” she said, her voice a bit muffled. “but then what happened?”
Lizzie grabbed a throw pillow off the couch and wrapped her arms around it, doubling over as she leaned forward. “It’s awful. I don’t even want to tell you.”
“Too late now,” Cilla muttered.
She buried her face in the cushion. “Mraphaffal nramd.”
“What was that?”
Lifting her head partway, she repeated, “I hugged him, and then I ran.”
Cilla’s mouth fell open. “Oh, honey…”
She felt bad for Lizzie, but goddamn, right now, she felt worse for Grant. Normally, Cilla would be going down with the ship of sisterhood, But it wasn’t like Grant had just proposed out of the blue. Lizzie had been dropping hints for months. Showing him flashmob proposals and talking about how Art Nouveau was the most gorgeous era for jewelry.
“Did he also happen to propose with a nineteenth century style ring?”
“Actual antique from the looks of it,” she murmmured, staring at the floor. She look up at Cilla, eyes swollen and red from crying. “Why do I do this? Why can’t I just be happy? That was everything I ever wanted.”
Cilla scrubbed her hand over her face, dread and frustration tightening the muscles in her shoulders. “How long have we known each other, Lizzie?”
“How long have we known each other?” she asked again.
“Since freshman year of college, so…what–nine…ten years?”
Cilla nodded. “Okay, I need to know…do you want comfort? Or do you want the truth?”
“I want a big cup of do-over.”
Cilla frowned at her. “But would you really change anything if you could do it over?”
“I don’t know–yes, I do. I would have canceled lunch today.”
“That’s not making a choice–that’s avoiding one.”
Lizzie scowled at her. “Fine. Since you seem to know all about what’s in my head, give me the truth.”
Wondering if their friendship would survive this, Cilla took a deep breath. It was too late to stop now, anyway. “You don’t want to be happy.”
Lizzie opened her mouth, but Cilla cut her off.
“Before you say you do, I want you to think for a minute about every relationship you torpedoed. It’s like once you start feeling comfortable with a guy, you start picking fights with them until they break up with you. Except Grant didn’t go anywhere–so you had to.”
Lizzie didn’t say anything. She just stared.
“I love you, Boo, but it’s like you’re afraid to be happy. You want it, but you hide from it. And if that doesn’t work, you kill it however you can.”
Lizzie sat there for the longest time–not speaking, not crying, not moving. Finally, as if she were a living marionette and someone else was pulling the strings, she grabbed her phone and stood then walked toward the door. Cilla watched her go, wondering if her calls and texts would get answered or if they’d just vibrate into nothingness on someone else’s couch.
Be sure to check out the other bloggers’ stories.
0 thoughts on “Flash Fiction #74 – Dog Days Are Over”
Oh that broke my heart…and made me want to know more. Why doesn’t she want to be happy? What does being unhappy do for her? I’m intrigued. Great job.
PS Love the new look on the blog! <3
Loving the blog remodel <3 Nicely done!
And your flash fic? Rip my heart out, why don't you? Self-sabotage is a trope I love. Excellent work.
I like the new look. Nice job! The flash fic? Sadly, I can relate. Also, nice job.
A flash mob proposal… nice. Great job. Poor Grant. She’d better answer the damn calls.
First, I love the new look of the blog. Good job! Next, I loved this piece. And I really really liked Cilla. I want to know more about her. Like does she dole out really good advise, but then not take it? Does she also self sabotage so she recognizes it? I want to know it all!!