His key fumbles in the lock. I shrink under the covers. Maybe tonight he’ll just fall asleep.
The bed sags. His alcohol-foul breathing slows.
I unclench my eyes.
But the space beside me’s empty.
How can it be?
I wasn’t asleep.
A hesitant knock at the front door. A wrung-out policewoman tells me there’s been an accident: his car, a tree. Nothing anyone could do. She’s so sorry.
I turn away. She mustn’t see my heart dancing.
Back in bed, a whisper slurs in the darkness, “You know I’ll never leave you, don’t you?”
Icy hands stifle my scream.
FLASH FICTION 101 JUNE 2020 SHORTLISTED ENTRY
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