Theodore Jerome Cohen is the Readers’ Choice in this week’s Indies Unlimited Flash Fiction Challenge. The winning entry is decided by the popular vote and rewarded with a special feature here today. (In case of a tie, the writer who submitted an entry first is the winner per our rules.) Without further ado, here’s the winning story:
by Theodore Jerome Cohen
Where are you, Remi? You said you’d be here by now. It’s not like you to be late. We always meet at the boulangerie on Wednesdays at 3. Besides, this is the day you promised to tell Margeaux about us, that you no longer loved her, wanted a divorce, and were moving out.
It’s been four years! Four long years of sneaking behind her back. I hate it! I hate seeing her at parties, on the street, knowing what we are doing.
I don’t hate her. God knows, she’s a wonderful woman and a loving mother to your two daughters. And if I had to do it all over again, I never would have spent the night with you in London when we were there on that business trip. What was it? The wine? The spring air? I never regretted it, but—
[Waiter approaches.] “Puis-je vous servir, mademoiselle?”
“Puis-je avoir un expresso et un mille-feuille?”
[She stubs out her cigarette, lights another, and slowly inhales before letting the smoke out and drawing it up into her nostrils.] Come on, Remi . . . where are you?! How long does it take to tell her? I understand it’s not easy, but you’ve been promising me for over a year you would do this.
[Waiter returns.] “Y aura-t-il autre chose, mademoiselle?”
Come on, Remi . . . where are you?