Friday 15 February 2013

#FridayFlash - Rainy Day

Celine sits on the station platform, waiting for her train to York. She fiddles with her hair and taps an irregular rhythm with her feet. The announcements board says the train is on time but it cannot come soon enough for Celine. Her Boyfriend promised her a day out in York, a city she has not visited in years, and she has not seen him in almost a month.

Her phone jangles in her pocket and she fishes it out, pulling free an assortment of tissues and old bus tickets as she does so. She sits among the detritus of her everyday life and opens a text from the Boyfriend.

"Hi C, sorry 2 do this, have been thinkin a lot lately & i don't think this is workin 4 either of us. Probs best u don't come 2 york".

Celine stares at the screen. Moments crawl by before her fingers shake themselves free of their stupor.

"But I'm already waiting for the train." She presses send.

"Sorry C. Really am. Just don't think we're rite 4 each other. Hope to stay friends, ur a gr8 girl."

Celine peers at the phone through a film of salt water. Her train pulls into the station but she doesn't see it. She wipes away the tears and re-reads the texts, hoping she made a mistake, or that he was joking. She starts to type four or five different replies, each time deleting the message in case another comes in explaining it all.

A station guard comes over after half an hour. He asks her if she needs help, and leads her out of the station. He looks at her kindly, like a grandfather indulging a child with a scabby knee. It only occurs to her later that she is probably not the first dumpee he has encountered at work. He even buys her a cup of coffee after a hatchet-faced woman in the station office refuses to refund her now-useless train ticket.

Her friends rally around, and try to take her mind off it. They do a reasonable job, and after a few months, Celine deletes the texts from her phone. She deletes all of his texts, both good and bad. She cannot stand to be reminded of the wonderful things he said before he became so cruel. She gets a new haircut and uploads the photo to Facebook. The Now-Ex-Boyfriend 'likes' it almost immediately, but she un-friends him as quickly, and clears out her cache of photographs. He ceases to exist in her life, both online and off. A nasty streak, buried deep within Celine, hopes that she has erased him from existence altogether. She never hears from him again - it could be true.

Two days later, Celine takes all of the feelings she ever had about him and packs them into a cardboard box. She writes 'Rainy Day' on the front in black marker, and stores it at the back of a closet. She doesn't know when, or if, she'll ever need them again. She pushes other boxes, containing clothes or books, in front of them, and vows to get on with her life.

It doesn't take long for the box to start rattling. Something inside it wants to break out.


Sulci Collective said...

really like the concept of placing memories of an ex-lover in a box marked 'rainy day'. And you're right, the concept of dumping someone by txt now is just too easy and faceless an option. However did we use to do it? By telegram?

marc nash

Peter Newman said...

Nice one!

I really like the box at the end, although I didn't read it literally. I think we often try to not think about painful things, to 'put them away' but they always find a way out eventually.

Cat Russell said...

The end threw me for a second because I didn't realize you meant she packed up her feelings literally. I thought at first it was simply a metaphor. Interesting. We can never quite put those things away; can we?

mazzz_in_Leeds said...

I took the feelings in the rainy day box to be the good feelings she experienced with the boyfriend, but not specifically attached to this boyfriend. Really liked this concept. Humans must love, the box will be opened soon enough!

Tony Noland said...

Friends don't shit on friends. If he'd wanted to "stay friends", he'd have apologized for the crap way he dumped her.

Larry Kollar said...

Ow, how did Celine manage that? At first, I thought, "that would be a handy skill to have," but then the box started rattling. Is it clouding up there?

Dumping-by-text seems to be the more immediate form of the classic "Dear John letter" these days. Either way, it's still a sucky thing to do.

Anonymous said...

I've known this feeling and you nailed it Icy, great story!

John Wiswell said...

Very neat concept, Icy. I'd like to be able to compartmentalize so thoroughly, though it looks like leakage is a serious problem.

Steve Green said...

A kind of "Physical" way of suppressing emotion?

I think the box may eventually become an emotional time-bomb.

Cindy Vaskova said...

Oh, methinks there would be rainy days when these feelings burst out and haunt their host again. I kinda do read this story as sad, but with chills. Great work!

And I so despise such text messages.

Katherine Hajer said...

Just because you're better off without them doesn't mean they don't generate both miracles and monsters... For a story that is about an unfortunately everyday occurrence (at least until the twist at the end), it felt like everyone, from the cad boyfriend to the helpful station guard, was operating on this higher, archetypical level. Very cool.

Tim VanSant Writes said...

I wonder if Pandora's box had 'Rainy Day' written on it too? Nicely done!

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