Riley says it’s five o’clock somewhere and that’s all I need to hear because that means he’s off on a tooty-toot-toot and that can happen any day at whatever o’clock but does it have to be an hour before my parents get here and last night’s dishes still a crusty mountain in the sink and no I’m not doing them because damn it’s Riley’s turn even though I know he isn’t a my turn kind of guy and I knew that going in but thought that he was different only because the night we first met IRL at Clancy’s bar and we moved from our quiet hamburger table in the back to the front where all the regulars were and he kept yelling my turn! my turn! when it was time to buy rounds and he liked all the backslapping love he was getting and what was it in me that thought that was okay and I’m still trying to figure that out with Dr. Joe my secret therapist and how long is that gonna take and if Riley finds out that I’m seeing a therapist behind his back and it’s all about him he will freak and move out or maybe just drink up the left side of town and I will have to explain to my parents how I ruined ANOTHER relationship and I don’t know if that’s any easier than trying to explain why Riley is splayed out across the couch drunken starfish just about an hour from now.
Francine Witte’s flash fiction has appeared in SmokeLong Quarterly, Wigleaf, Mid-American Review, and Passages North. She has stories upcoming in Best Small Fictions 2021, and Flash Fiction America (W.W. Norton.) Her recent books are Dressed All Wrong for This (Blue Light Press,) The Way of the Wind (AdHoc fiction,) and The Cake, The Smoke, The Moon (ELJ Editions,) Her latest book is Just Outside the Tunnel of Love (Blue Light Press.) She is flash fiction editor for Flash Boulevard and The South Florida Poetry Journal.. She lives in NYC.
Show Francine some love via PayPal at franigirl(at)aol(dot)com.