Act III

Flash Fiction

The second act was very long.

Victoria exited ahead of the crowd and walked unsteadily to a waiting ottoman. She lowered her ample backside onto the yielding cushion and let out a deep breath, closed her eyes and fanned herself with her program.

The cushion sank lower as another bulky form joined her’s on the ottoman.  The two women turned their heads at the same time. Their eyes met. Their faces froze. They gasped. 

“Annie!!?”

“Victoria??!”

Victoria immediately rose from the ottoman, the effort visible in her flushed face. She had only taken a few steps when Annie spoke to her retreating back:  “You can’t still be pissed off. It’s been 15 years for God’s sake.”

Victoria turned. The pink had darkened to scarlet. “Yes, damn it. I am still pissed.  I have woken up pissed every morning since you waltzed off with the only man I ever really cared about.”

Annie rose, smiling smugly, her hands on her satin covered hips.  “Funny, dear, I haven’t thought of you in years.”

The two women stood facing each other separated by the ottoman but neither of them seemed willing to move.

Slowly, very slowly, Victoria’s complexion returned to normal and Annie’s smile grew less smug.   She leaned across the ottoman toward Victoria and said quietly “You know, that’s not true, Vickie. I’m lying.” 

Cautiously Victoria lowered herself back onto the ottoman. “What do you mean, Annie?”  She looked up at her old friend who was now smiling down at her.

Annie spoke, her eyes filling up with tears. “I knew I’d run into you sooner or later, Vickie, and I always wondered what I would say to you. Hell.  I still don’t know what to say to you.  The truth is I’ve thought about you hundreds of times. I think about you each time I trim that rose bush we planted together…when I drive over the Bay Bridge…or bake sweet potato pies…   Vickie, honey… the bastard left me too.”

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