“Ready to order, hon?”
“Cof—” She coughs into her fist. “Just water.”
“Cheesy grits. Can you cut up little sausages in it? Fried egg, medium. Oh…I probably can’t have it runny. Hard then. And can you put that in the grits too? Well, I guess I can do that.”
She turns and gazes out the window at the gray sky and wet asphalt of the diner parking lot.
I recognize that look. I had it at 17, as a runaway and seven weeks pregnant.
“I’ll put it all in the bowl. And decaf works.”
She smiles. “Thank you.”
Saw that a few blogging buddies are participating in Bloganuary. I’m not fully committed yet, but I liked today’s prompt: What advice would you give to your teenage self?
Ten years ago, I sat in a doctor’s office and watched my bouncing child press her fingers— orange from the cheese puffs she’d just eaten— and face against the cool glass of the fish tank, sucking in her cheeks and making popping noises with her lips at the fish.
Time flew by, though the tank remains.
I pat her knee. “Whatever happens, it’s your decision. You’re my child, but that one isn’t.”
She folds her hands in her lap. Her fingertips still orange from the dye she colored her hair with last week.
“Did you call Darren?”
“He won’t answer.”
Typical. Boys push so hard to be men. They coerce girls out of their virginities, exploit the beauty of bodies, but when responsibility comes knocking, they retract into themselves like hermit crabs. “I’ll call his mother.”
I don’t press for more. I know her mind is cluttered with a million scenarios of how quickly her life could change. Mine is too. How quickly both our lives will change when the doctor returns with the results.
word count: 175
Flash Fiction for Aspiring Writers is a weekly challenge where you write a story in 100-150 words (give or take 25 words) using the provided photo prompt as inspiration.
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