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I have a parking space.
I have a routine. I stride to my desk.
Resolute and punctual, smart and efficient, controlled and organised; I deliver and I walk tall.
Dates turned down and alcohol refused; I watch films and drink cocoa, I read books and I sleep. No. No thank you. Always no. No surprises. No disappointments. No hangovers.

I have a team that follows rules. Everyone fits in. Eventually.
Please tell the new employee, ‘Don’t put that there. Don’t call the boss Fi.’ Professionalism rules.

Emotions contained; I deal with him politely, waiting by my car. The boss doesn’t give lifts. He won’t ask again.
But he does.
His tears appease me, I offer cab fare. Her final breath – he might miss her final breath. The boss gives a lift. Just this once.
I wait outside. A good boss shows concern of course. Emotionally detached, of course.

The lift home, politely listening, the silent sympathy, the “just one” drink.

Glowing cheeks, secret glances and office whispers to lunch-time walks, and dizzy frolics in Autumn leaves under naked trees.
Laid bare.

Loosing my grip, dropping, whirling, tumbling, falling.
In love.

I give, I trust, I walk slower. I relax and I say yes. Yes to impulses. Yes to sharing, yes to bending rules. Yes, yes, yes!
Yes to surprises?

The increasing mystery and the endless waiting. The uncertainty of being stood up and the falling bank balance. The phone call from the dead mother.

I lose control. I am disorganised. I am late. I am hung over and I am confused. I don’t drive. I am unsure.
Violated, punctured, deflated.

He clears off. I clean up. I get clean. I knock out the dents in my armour. I watch films, I drink cocoa, I read books and I sleep.

10 Comments Post a comment
  1. Sue David #

    I love the very controlled, contained use of language at the beginning and end that echoes the character of the speaker, and the loosening of this control in parallel with the events of the story. This writing is impeccably structured and says so much and so powerfully through a few words. I would love to have written this.


  2. Oh, this is very hard-hitting.

    From confident and defensive, to disarmed and loved, and eventually abandoned. then back to the start.

    The last paragraph is a brilliant end to a powerful piece of writing.


  3. Rachel, this is so good, I might not read any more fridayflash today. It might bring me down. ‘dizzy frolics under naked trees. Laid bare.’ Wonderful. A condensed glimpse into one person falling off her self-imposed wagon. As a Taurean, I appreciate the urge to change nothing. This is a reminder why! Thank you.


  4. Great story! The structure was fantastic and it worked so well.


  5. Powerful words. Your stories always have a way of feeling like something I can relate to. It’s like I can read it and say YES I have felt that way too!

    As the others said, the structure helps make this so perfect… and how it comes full circle.


  6. Truth and beauty very well told. You call this a story, but you could just as well call it a poem.


  7. The clipped wording, the elegant phrasing… all of it- tied everything together so well.


  8. Thanks, all, for your really terrific comments. Sorry that I’ve been too busy to reply sooner/individually but I really am grateful 7 times over 🙂


  9. Wow, that was a clever piece. I love the way it comes full circle and shows the character going through so much. Very impressed and looking forward to your next one.



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