I haven’t posted any short or flash fiction stories since I gave up First Friday Fiction over a year ago. However, a friend recently encouraged me to try the daily WordPress prompts. Not only does this post deviate from my usual genre of suspense, it’s also written in first person rather than third person. I hope you enjoy this short piece.
I felt his presence before I ever saw him—that old familiar feeling of always knowing when he was nearby had returned. I hadn’t felt this way in over two years, but somehow, I knew he was here.
Our friends and co-workers often wondered how I had this penchant for knowing where he was. I couldn’t explain it. I guess it came from being partners for almost five years. Or maybe because he saved my life on more than one occasion.
We were more than partners and co-workers. We had been best friends. Always there for one another. I think I knew from the first time we met I wanted our relationship to be more.
But his heart belonged to someone else. When he told me he had asked her to become his wife, I was devastated. Of course, I didn’t allow my feelings to show. I put on my best “I’m a tough cop” exterior and wished him well.
Yet I knew I couldn’t continue working with him, knowing he would go home every night to her. I resigned my job and moved away—back to the ranch where my grandparents raised me.
Slowly, I began putting the pieces of my life back together. I threw myself into the job of raising horses as much as I had done when I was on the police force. Now, trying to have at least a semblance of a social life, I had agreed to a Friday night out with friends.
I didn’t want to look around the room—afraid of what I might see. But my eyes didn’t obey and as I glanced toward the bar, I saw him sitting there. His back was toward me and he was alone.
“Of all the gin joints in all the towns in all the world, she walks into mine.” Remembering a line from one of my favorite movies, I now knew exactly how Rick Blaine felt when Ilsa came to Casablanca.
But this was no movie.
Why was he here? I walked away from him and that life for good. It took me a long time to get over the pain and heartache and I had just started to rebuild my life.
Maybe it was a coincidence. Angel Falls wasn’t that far away from Somerset. And it was considered a nice place to getaway. That was probably it. He’d brought her here for a romantic weekend and she would soon join him at the bar.
Besides, he didn’t know where I was. Or did he?
Maybe it’s my imagination and he isn’t even here. But then he turned around. His penetrating blue eyes met mine.
He flashed the devil-may-care smile that always made me forget everyone and everything else around me. Then he stood up and walked toward me.
He really was here.
It wasn’t an illusion.
Inspired by the WordPress Daily Prompt, Illusion.