Fiction Friday: To Return, or Not to Return

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By Leslie Lindsay

Another piece from my novel-in-progress.  This is a section from a chapter in which a married woman is considering returning a long-lost book to a former boyfriend.  [Remember, it’s fiction.  Remember, it’s original.  If you like great–if you don’t, that’s okay too.  But please don’t claim as your own.  Thanks.  And enjoy reading it]. 

        I could mail the book to Steve’s home.  I had his address, after all.  The solid-looking two-story presented itself in my mind’s eye.   The Estates of Cherrydale Farms. 

         I’d been there before.  I could go there again.  I wouldn’t have to see him.  I could just slip it into his mailbox or tuck it onto the threshold of the front door. It’s what any good friend or neighbor might do.  How many times had I returned a casserole dish to a neighbor in our own cul-de-sac, leaving it on her wicker bench sitting atop her front porch with a note of thanks, praising her culinary skills?  Or, the times I got a random itch to bake and would leave a plateful of my grandmother’s iced sugar cookies wrapped with a ribbon on the porch of a friend, just because. 

           But I am not a friend, nor am I a neighbor.  I am an ex-girlfriend.  The ex who did the dumping.  A dramatic re-appearance of a lost book personally delivered from an ex-flame would certainly get his attention though. 

           Mom once told me something to the effect, “You will never forget your first love and he will never forget you. The way you love another person becomes part of you; your hopes and dreams.  That first-love becomes intrinsic to who you are.  You might not love-love this person, but you will always care for and wonder about him.” 

           I blew her off, like I so often did when I was a teenager.  She’d get all sappy on me and tell me things about her old boyfriends that I never really wanted to hear.

            But she was right. 

            Steve, I haven’t forgotten you.  Your broad shoulders.  That place where I rested my head. 

           I leaned forward and I wiped my brow. The humidity was killing me.  Wasn’t it supposed to be cooler in Chicago?  A car that reminded me of Steve’s teenage car zoomed past.  My eyes shot to the girls.  Still fine and happy.  I looked back to the car.  It was one of those old Chevy Cavaliers, rusted and loud.  A bad muffler.  I shook my head, rubbed my eyes.  A blast from the past—literally.  The type of car I had gone down on a boy for the very first time.  Our bodies all twisted and contorted, my face raw from his scruffy whiskers.  His dick bobbing in my face. 

            My chest prickled with warmth as I shook my head.  What is wrong with me?!  “The Good Mom” wouldn’t think these thoughts with their kids nearby.  “The Good Mom” wouldn’t think this thought, period.

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