Flash Fiction: Text Message

Thank you for reading! This was inspired by a joke I was told years ago 🙂


Text Message

It was almost six thirty. John would be home any minute. Sally felt nauseous at the thought of the confrontation to come.

When she heard the key in the lock, her stomach twisted and lurched. Her hands were cold and veiny. She tried taking a deep breath, but it didn’t help.

John walked into the kitchen and headed towards her for the obligatory and passionless kiss hello.

She held her hand up in front of his chest.

“Stop.”

It came out more aggressively than she’d intended. John blinked and looked worried.

“What is it?”

“We need to talk, John.”

He said nothing. His expression was one of defeat. He put down his briefcase and laid his jacket over one of the kitchen stools. He pulled another stool out and sat down at the breakfast bar. He put his head in his hands.

Sally stared at him. She’d grown to hate him over the years. She couldn’t bring herself to say anything.

John ran both hands through his hair. He looked up at her, searching her face. She looked away.

“I never thought it would come to this,” she said, at last.

John slammed a fist down onto the breakfast bar, hard. He knew the neighbour had seen him last night. That bloody woman was going straight to hell.

“Christ! I never wanted to hurt you, Sally.”

She stared at him.

“That nosy bitch next door is always creeping around out there, I was going to tell you – I’m so sorry – I didn’t want it to come from her.”

Sally put her hand to her forehead and rubbed the skin.

“Brenda…” she murmured.

John sighed, a long exhale that dragged the truth out of his tired body.

“Jesus, I’m so sorry. I didn’t plan it like this. I wanted it to all go away. I hate myself for getting into this situation, but you and I… We’ve drifted apart, Sally. I barely see you. I was lonely…”

Sally watched him, her expression dead.

Her scrutiny made him feel like the bastard he knew he was. But then he thought of Chloe and her long hair. Her soft lips and young thighs. He had just resigned from his teaching job to be with her. To protect her from an overprotective system where teacher-pupil relationships were forbidden.

“I’m sorry Sally. I love her.”

Sally said nothing. She just continued to stare at him as if he was suddenly a man she didn’t know at all.

“I’ll pack a bag and get out of here,” he said.

He waited for a response, but there was none.

John slid off the stool, picked up his jacket and briefcase and went quietly upstairs.

Ten minutes later Sally heard the front door open, and then close.

John was gone.

She walked to the fridge and pulled out a bottle of white wine. She twisted off the screw cap and poured herself a large glass.

She gulped down three mouthfuls.

Then she took her mobile out of her pocket and sent a text message.

You are never going to believe what just happened. Still on for 8pm. My body aches for you.
Sally X


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