Writing Catalog

Michelle Martinez

Grade: 9

Cleveland School of the Arts

Instructor: Elizabeth Telich


Flash Fiction


Shards of the china we picked out together sit on the floor like a mosaic of our relationship. Shattered, ugly, broken. I gently hold a piece in my hand, admiring it just for a second before it slices my hand. I drop it and it cracks into smaller, more intricate pieces. As I sweep up the mess Diane made, she bursts through the front door, looking as sloppy as ever. Through slurred words, she apologizes for causing such a mess, being such a fuck-up, that I should just get rid of her, and I'm thrown back into her game. The game where I play the understanding and loving husband, who forgives her and cares for her and spouts bullshit until she burns out. Well, I'm bored. I want to play a different game. A game where I yell at her for being such a shit person and an even shittier wife. A game where she doesn't make a scene and actually takes responsibility, where she doesn't get drunk and walks out, like I'm in the wrong. A game where I'm the one getting an apology.

Instead, I snap myself back to reality. The reality where I'm roaming the streets in my car, calling out for Diane. I try to call her but I get sent straight to voicemail. This always happens. Usually, I drive around for a few minutes, find her and a 40 on a curb, we argue on the drive home, argue some more, then she washes up, and we go to bed. But this is different, totally different. She's not in her usual spots; the park, the curb or at the diner. I pull into the diner's parking lot and I still don't see her, my heart sinks. My palms get sweaty, my stomach starts to hurt. She's never done this before. I'm feeling so many emotions and all of them are negative. I need to find her. She's drunk and alone, any rando that's prowling the streets could snatch her up. As soon as I was about to leave to start looking for her again, she walked around the corner, across the street. With a guy. Her arm locked around his. She's stumbling and using him for support while he laughs and sits her down on the curb. My immediate reaction is to get out and take her home. That is, until she kisses him. The world around me crumbles and stops for a moment. Her hands held his face like she used to hold mine. I try holding my own face, knowing it won't feel the same. A lump made out of shame and misery builds in my throat and tears sting my eyes. I get out of the car and slam the door, just loud enough to catch her attention. I slowly walk their way when they both turn around, despair plastered on their faces. They know that I know. They both get up and he stumbles over his words to try and give me a lame ass excuse, but I don't look in his direction. I don't even acknowledge him, I don't want to give him the satisfaction. "Diane, it's late, let's go home."