K chain-smoked out the kitchen window. “Are you taking the crock pot?”
She lit another cigarette.
B’s mother had gotten them a whole kitchen set last Christmas. B looked up briefly from the cupboard, a scowl on his thin face. “I’m not leaving anything behind.”
K sighed out the smoke, the red ember glowing red and slowly fading to ash as she sucked and puffed.
“Maybe this time you’ll stay away,” B sneered, hoping he would hurt her. K wished he would so she could cry; cigarettes always tasted better after a good cry.
She helped him pack his books. K wasn’t angry with B, or even jealous of the other woman. She saw the emails, the messages. The way they wrote to each other left a sick lump in K’s throat. She was only envious that anyone could love like that at all.
A story about something other than children or growing up, huzzah! I really aimed for something different, so I landed on love. My prompts were “chain smoking,” “uncompromising,” and “maybe this time,” so right off the bat I thought of a struggling relationship. But I love love. I love the different kinds of love, the changing dynamic of it. The stages that the beautiful beast goes through. I think frivolous affection is the worst kind of love in its apathy, its sadness, its desire for more.
I’ve also had a story in mind for “B” for a while, so I’m glad I was able to let him come alive for 144 words. I don’t think we’ve seen the last of him.