Romantic flash fiction:
Under the enigmatic glow of the moon behind a thin veil of clouds, the night had a voice to it. It was the melodic persistent hum of cicadas that lived in the trees and called out a thousand names to a thousand lovers. The air was murky with the humidity of July and the lustful heat that coursed through the cicada choir surged in me, too. It had been too long since I had last seen my lover, and having given up and taken a walk from which I had yet to return, I was searching, pining for answers in a world that cared very little about whether or not one found any.
Almost immediately after the rain storm had passed, the street still slick with puddles that reflected the moonlight above, I meandered into the parking lot of the Lonefort Motel. With my backpack slung haphazardly over my shoulder, I felt the weight of exhaustion and leaned on the boomerang taillight of a Chrysler DeSoto to catch my breath, grateful to find this place out in the middle of nowhere, a part of the country I had yet to explore.
I dug into my pocket and pulled out my last bunch of coins, counting them in my soiled, calloused, and well-traveled hands. I exhaled a hard sigh of relief. Just enough for a room for the night. Come morning, I would have to look for work. Without it, I’d starve.
Then I heard a voice nearby. It was faint at first, but as I concentrated on it, it became clearer. A woman’s voice. But she wasn’t speaking. She was weeping.
Not knowing if it was an emergency, my heart raced, and I quickly shuffled around the cars nearby, looking through the windows of the cars for any sign of her. Finally, I almost fell over her sitting on the pavement below the driver’s side door of a Plymouth.
What I saw stunned me in my tracks. Beautiful blonde hair as bright as the sun, and deep, sorrowful brown eyes that peered up at me with wonder. She sat on the wet pavement cross-legged in jeans rolled up to her calves and barefoot.
“Pardon me, Ma’am,” I said, nodding slightly like a gentleman. “Are you alright?”
Sorrow seemed to burn in her heart and I could tell by sympathizing and peering deeply into her eyes that she just wanted someone to talk to.
“I’m finished,” she managed to say before a wave of fresh tears trickled down her cheeks. “It’s all over for me. He’s left me here and he’s never coming back.”
My heart broke for her, knowing we were both in a similar lover’s bind. I pulled out the one item that was still clean in my front shirt pocket, a neatly folded handkerchief, and handed it to her. She looked up at me as if I were an angel and accepted it gratefully.
Taking a seat on the pavement next to her, I crossed my legs, too, and shared my story with her – all of it – hoping it would make her feel better, not wishing to dump my sorrows out on her as well. But I couldn’t help it. I had been wanting to tell someone, anyone, about the hurt I felt, the broken heart that always seemed to weep and never stop weeping for the one I so desperately loved but had never loved me in return.
After a couple of hours of talking, we had learned much about each other. I learned that her name was Victoria Iris and that she had run away from an abusive family when she was younger, only to fall into the deceitful arms of the wrong guy. But sharing her story with me had taken all of the remaining energy she had left, and with her head resting in my lap, she drifted into a sound sleep right there in the parking lot.
As she slept, I marveled at the way destiny had a way of bringing two broken lives together and making them whole. With gentle fingers, I brushed loose strands of hair away from her face and let her sleep for a while.
When I opened my eyes again, the sun was peaking through the trees, the smell of dawn was in the air, and the sound of the cicadas had softened. Had we sat in the parking lot all night? She was still there in my lap – Victoria Iris, the woman I thought I had only dreamed about – sleeping as peacefully as ever.
Good, I smiled to myself. The change in my pocket would be just enough to buy her breakfast.