#fridayflash, wordbunches on a Friday. New for 2014: nothing. This week’s prompt is “the hill at dawn”.
We sat on the hill, waiting for sunrise. The grass had frosted over, and street lamps shone from the valley below, a starcloth that muted the stars. You were sat with your kneees tucked under your chin, and your arms wrapped around your legs. You were leaning on me, ever so slightly, so I daredn’t shift my weight, even as my leg died underneath me. You were staring straight out across the valley, but not at anything in particular.
I read in your expression the words you were plucking up the courage to say to me. We both knew this relationship was going to lead to one of two things, and marriage was not on our minds. Dinner and drinking and dancing all night were just displacement activity – our real task was Avoiding the Subject.
It was my fault, of course. I mean, it’s both our faults really, it always is – nobody walks away from a lover entirely free from blame. There are no innocents. You had hurt me, with the calls, with whispered conversation, with the fact I could only ever access some of you, was only granted the surface portion of your personality. Your real self was hidden deep within you, where no-one could get at it. Where no one could hurt you. But, I admit, I committed the most grievous hurt.
It was much worse than you knew, but I wasn’t cruel or indecent enough to enlighten you otherwise. It wasn’t that I did more than you found out – indeed, truth be told, we did a little less. It’s that I gelt more connected with them that one night than I did in an entire year of loving you. And it meant nothing, and it still means nothing, but if I could share myself with them so instantly and so easily and receive them in return, where does that leave us?
You never did say the words, and I didn’t say them for you, but what we had died on that hill, while we waited for the sun to rise. Hell, it was dead already. Whatever we felt about each other – because of what we felt about each other, continuing to go through the motions of couplehood would have been an insult to both of us, to what we both believed, to what we had, to what we wanted and needed and deserved, and to deny our end would be like denying that the grass grew, that frost was cold, that every day the sun set and every day it rose again.
Dawn broke slowly. You rose, and walked towards the sunrise, as if you wished to bathe in every beam of light as soon as it slipped over the horizon. I took the opportunity to restore some feeling to my leg. We remained there a while longer, let the dawn sun appear completely, and then you turned back to me. We walked towards home, up the hill, sun at our backs, arm in arm but more separated than we had ever been. As I let you through the gate, I stole one more glimpse of you, framed against the low morning sun. I stored that image alongside the first time I saw you, how you looked after our first kiss, the first time I woke beside you, and now these images haunt me, as I lie awake in bed, and pray that dawn will break soon.
Phonogram by Kieron Gillen, Jamie McKelvie, and others (2007, 2010)
Me and Orson Welles, dir. Richard Linklater, (2009)
BEYONCÉ by Beyoncé (2013)
If you want to join in with #fridayflash, great! Around 500 words is best. Either send me a link to its page on your site, or as a .doc or .rtf attachment. Email it to email@example.com with the subject header SUB: #fridayflash, and I’ll post it up. No money involved, all rights remain your own. There are no restrictions, but if you want a prompt, leave a comment.