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October 2009 Flashers

Flash Fiction written by members and friends of the MuseItUp Club. Submissions are invited for this page.*





The Proposal


by Monique Martel


John talked too much.   Especially when he was nervous.
"I just thought we could have this great lunch, and that it would break up the work day. It's our three month anniversary and I thought maybe it would show you how special you are to me." John clapped his lips shut, feeling the words pouring out.
With shaking hands, he filled two long-stemmed, plastic glasses with iced tea and handed Melinda one.
Sipping it, she smiled.  "You remembered to put lots of sugar in it."
"For you, anything."
He reached over and kissed her, pulling her lower lip into his mouth and running his tongue slowly along its edge.  Melinda pulled back as a sharp intake of air filled her chest.  John pulled her close, lifting her chin and kissing her again.
Still holding Melinda at arm's length, he leaned back onto his heels and sputtered, "Melinda."  He stopped, trying hard to interrupt the flow threatening to engulf him.  "I have to tell you about this."  He released her and rubbed his hands through his hair, panic filling his body.  Not now.  NOOOOO!  "A few months ago, Patrick wanted to get drunk because he'd broken up with Janie, and we decided to go to a party at one of his friend's, just down the street from the office."
Melinda's glass stopped halfway to her mouth, while the hand holding the untouched chicken sandwich fell to her knee.
Unable to stop himself, John continued:  "And Patrick was being stupid and he spilled a full glass of wine down Esme's dress and her dress became see-through and she wasn't wearing underwear....."  Two red spots appeared on his cheeks.  "And then I was helping her clean it up and it just happened.  In the kitchen.  On the counter.  The first time."
Melissa's other hand fell onto her knee, her eyes on John's hands, covering his mouth in an attempt to stop the verbal diarrhea. 
"And then we just started meeting and she was really good."  His hands dropped and he inhaled a large breath.  "In bed," he added.
Winging her sandwich at him with one hand, she threw the remaining iced tea into his face with the other.  "I can't believe this.  You brought me down here, for this?"  
She grabbed her purse and wiped the crumbs off her skirt. 
"Will you marry me?"  he whispered, iced tea dripping off his chin.
"I'm asking you to marry me."
She hit him on the shoulder with her purse.  "It's Esme you're sleeping with, John.  Not me."

He shook his head.  "I stopped seeing her, when I met you."
"Well, I've got someone else I'm interested in."  She stood up, adjusting her skirt.  "I'm sorry, John."
"You mean you don't feel the way I do?"
"No, I don't.  Besides, Esme's my best friend.  How can I marry you if you've slept with my best friend?"
He knee-walked to her and kissed her hand.  "Please, Melinda.  Promise me you'll think about it."
Tears filled her eyes.  "How could you do this?  I really liked you."
He looked up from the fingers he held.  "You did?  Does this mean you'll think about it?"  He pulled her onto her knees, wrapping his arms around her.  "Is there someone else?"
She pulled her head back and stared into his eyes.  "Yes.  There is."
He shook his head with certainty.  "No.  You can't have anyone else."
Her face softened at the sight of the tear, weaving its way down his cheek.  "Actually, there isn't," she conceded.
"Will you, then?" he begged, reaching out to run a finger along the contours of her right ear.

"Maybe, but what are we going to do about you and Esme?"
"Ask her to be your maid of honor," he replied, a spark of mischief in his eye.  "But, I'm glad I told you."
"Me too," she whispered, his touch coloring her cheeks.
"So you will?"
"Not tonight.  But, maybe next summer." 
"Yes," he exhaled in relief.  "Next summer will be fine."




Monique Martel was born in Quebec, raised in Alberta, and later moved to BC. The mixed cultures of French and English have given her a different perspective on life than she might have had with just one language.  She became a writer in grad school, when a novel decided to leak from her brain onto the pages at the end of her pen.  Since then, she has struggled to harness this creativity and produce something of interest to readers.  The struggle continues.





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The Flashers page is edited by Les Stephenson 

October 2009