Fiction Friday #2 is in the house! I decided to take this weeks prompt and make it a continuation (or perhaps even beginning) to last weeks story. The character is the same. If you want to go read last weeks story first, go here now and then come back: Fiction Friday #1
Her computer made that bleep sound it makes when she has a message. Someone was trying to get her attention. She set her manuscript down and turned to see who it was. She was surprised to see she had a message waiting for her on Facebook.
That’s strange, she thought, who would be sending me a message this late at night? Or, more accurately, this early in the morning?
She clicked on the message and there he was: Her first husband. Her heart started pounding in her ears and she felt her breath quicken. The air was going out, but she couldn’t seem to get the air to go back in. She tried to calm herself recognizing she was heading towards a full-on panic attack. He hadn’t changed a bit. His face was a little rounder, the crows feet around his eyes were a little more prominent, but she’d recognize that face anywhere. It was him. How could she ever forget him? He was her first love after all. Her first husband. The person she had made all of those plans with. The first person she had shared her dreams with.
She opened the message quickly. What could he possibly want after all of these years? What could he possibly want with her?
His message simple said:
Hi Alicia! I see you have been writing up a storm. You are really talented. I always thought you were. I just got a Facebook account and thought I’d look you up. Maybe we can reconnect after all of these years. Let’s see, I’m married and I have two kids. I finally got my degree in engineering. Things are going good over here. How are you? -Jacob
Alicia was stunned. She quickly went to his profile page to look at his pictures. Two girls. He had two beautiful little girls. A wife. He looked truly happy. They all looked truly happy.
She sat back in her chair and listened to it squeak and groan as she rocked back in it. I really need to oil this thing, she thought as she picked her manuscript back up.
She really needed to get the editing done for this book. She had deadlines to meet. Still, her mind wandered back to Jacob. She put the manuscript back down and considered calling her best friend Mary to discuss what her response to Jacob should be, but it was so late or so early. It wasn’t a good time to call anyone. Mary would laugh anyway. She’d probably find this whole situation ridiculous. She’d tell Alicia just to ignore him. Alicia could almost hear her friend saying, “Save your sanity. Let the message fall on deaf ears. You don’t need the drama!”
What was Jacob doing up so late looking for her? He appeared to be a happily married man. What did he want? The whole thing seemed so odd. What was she going to say to him?
Why would he even look for me at all? she said aloud to no one, startling the cat who looked up at her and then rolled around on her desk begging for a pet. She absent-mindedly reached out to stroke the cat between his ears as she thought back to her younger days. Her first marriage. Her first love.
It was such a mess. They married too young. He was incredibly ambitious and worked all the time. She’d started drinking too much. She was lonely and lost back then. She had drifted from job to job. She had wanted to go back to college, but he had said they didn’t have the money. She still felt so much resentment towards him when she thought about it now, fifteen years later. She was still so angry about how things had turned out.
She didn’t want to think too much about that time in her life. She had changed. She was different now. She had accomplished things. She’d stopped drinking. She had grown up. She didn’t like who she was back then, but she liked who she was now.
No, I am not going down this road again, she thought.
She wasn’t going to be reminded of the incident at his Aunts Christmas party or the scene she’d caused in front of his friends that night when she was sure he had been cheating on her. The white wine made her do crazy things sometimes. She drank to feel normal. She drank to feel like everyone else. She wanted to be fun and funny and light. She drank so she wouldn’t feel anxious, but sometimes she drank too much. On those nights, she became angry or sad and did things she regretted. She truly regretted how things turned out between them. If only she had been different back then. If only she’d had the problem solving skills and confidence she had now, things might have turned out differently. Thinking about it now just made her feel sad.
She pulled herself closer to the computer screen and looked through Jacob’s pictures again. He looked happy. He had a nice life. Why would he want to drum up all of these hurt feelings and relive these horrible memories when he clearly didn’t have to? It didn’t make sense. At least, it didn’t make sense to her.
She put her fingers on the keyboard and slowly began typing out a message to send to him:
It’s nice that you contacted me. I am so happy to see you became a dad. I always knew you would be good at being a dad. It looks like you have created a nice life for yourself. I’m not sure I am ready to reconnect with you. I didn’t like who I was back then. Seeing your face reminds me too much of what I consider a bad period of my life. I am different now. I don’t want to revisit those memories or that pain anymore. I hope you will understand. I wish you well. -Alicia
Moments after hitting send Alicia collapsed back into her chair. She felt tired. It was late. It was early. She really needed to get to bed. The manuscript could wait, but just as she sat back up her computer bleeped again. There was another message.
Thank you for reading my fiction piece!
The prompt was: Years later, the characters first love shows up on his/her doorstep again. Both your character and his/her first love are surprised at how the other person has changed (How?). This encounter causes a disruption in your characters life (How? What does your character do about it?) Write the story.