The Last Time

Good day, everyone.

I meant to share this earlier this week, but got busy.

Anyway, last week, the Flash Fiction Hive brought back a favorite: write a scene or story inspired by a song. This time, I decided to take a song from one of my favorite singers, Vanessa Williams. And I actually combined it with a photo prompt a friend posted on Twitter.

Hope you enjoy it.

Rae tipped the taxi driver who stopped in front of her apartment. She sat down on the stairs, slowly unwinding from an unrelenting day of classes. But it wasn’t the classes that exasperated her. It was her ex, Tyler Westwood. He surprised her after her Applied Spanish class, wrapping his strapping arms around her slender body. For a moment, she was taken aback, longing for someone who could fill the emptiness he left behind. But she quickly shook herself free from his grasp. She fled from him without explanation. But it wouldn’t be the last she saw of him. Anytime she was alone, Tyler was there as if he knew where she would be. That was the kind of relationship they had. They would date, then break up and find themselves with someone else. And, like clockwork, they would break up with their partner at the same time, and end up in each other’s arms. It went on like this for three years. Tyler counted it as mere coincidence. Rae was more skeptical. She believed someone was feeding him information about her relationships and eventual breakups.

Rae watched the streetlights flicker and hum. She climbed up the stairs when she heard a car pulling up to the side. An ‘87 cherry red Trans Am. She ran into her apartment and locked the door. Peeking into the peephole, she feared the worst. But she heard nothing. Not the slamming of the car door. Not the brisk steps up to her room. Not the repetitive knocking pattern. Nothing. But she stood against the door, gazing into the hallway. She waited three minutes, keeping her breathing low. She breathed a sigh of relief and walked to her bedroom to change.

A bowl of leftover fried rice, her Seattle mug half-full of coffee, her backpack, and a stack of books were sprawl out across her coffee table. In one hand, she ran her highlighter across her notebook. In the other hand, she scooped up her dinner. A knock on her door broke her concentration. She stood up, shaking her legs to get feeling back in her feet. She peeled into the hallway. In front of her door stood Tyler with his shiny bald head and dressed as if he finished jogging.

“Go away,” Rae yelled, “I’m busy.”

But Tyler stood firm like a statue with his hands in his pockets.

“I just have to say something right quick. It won’t take long, I promise.”

Rae doubted his sincerity, but she opened the door and stood in the doorway. Her mahogany eyes skimmed the man who broke her heart many times before. Even with the intention that she wanted nothing more to do with him, there was a faint sparkle.

“Go ahead. Say it.”

Tyler removed his hands from his pockets, lying limp on his sides.

“Okay. I get that you just want to be friends, but I can’t do that. We have too much history, you and I. We’ve been there for each other, thick and thin.”

That much was true. As much as she hated to admit it, Rae couldn’t deny Tyler was the one person she could always turn to when even her girlfriends let her down.

“That’s why I can’t be just friends. I love you too much.”

Rae crossed her arms.

“Is that it?” she snapped. “All you wanted to say is that we should get back together?”

She huffed and closed her door, but he stuck his hand out to block it. Rae looked back to see her ex enter her apartment.

“This can’t happen anymore, Ty. We can’t get back together. We tried I don’t know how many times and it ends up the same way. We hook up. We fight. We break up and find someone else. We can’t keep doing this.”

Her disdain was only matched by her the tenseness in her body. Tyler slowly approached her, but she backed away with every step he took. Soon she was against the wall, her body coiling up as he stood within inches of her, breathing down her neck. But then, he backed away.

“You’re right. This can’t happen. It can only lead to disaster. But I wanted to say I’m sorry.”

Rae felt the blood coursing freely throughout her body. Her muscles became loose. The veins in her neck subdued. She stared at him wondering what made him change all of a sudden.

“I’ll leave. Sorry.”

Tyler shut the door behind him, leaving Rae puzzled. She lingered on his words, then thought, “Damn it.” She ran into the hallway, trying to catch a glimpse of him before he was out of sight. She ran down the stairs and flung the doors open. Rae saw him about to get in his car.

“Tyler!” she cried. She raced across the street toward him, wrapped her silky arms around his bulging neck and locked lips with his. She closed her eyes as flashes of the good times they shared popped into her mind. When she stopped, she brushed her honey blond hair behind her ear.

“I suppose we could try one last time. But this is the last time. I’m serious.”

Tyler smiled and they locked their lips yet again. If it was the last time, they were going to make sure it was the most memorable last time.


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