The waiter set their plates down on the table. He said, “Enjoy your meal.”
The man replied, “Thank you.”
As the waiter turned to leave, the man added, almost without thinking, “Goodbye.”
When they got home, the man was still thinking about that.
Several months later, he still can’t stop.
Spencer Chou is a writer and editor from Nottingham, England. He runs the literary magazine and publisher The Nottingham Review, and his writing has been published in various places. In 2016 he was shortlisted for the Bath Flash Fiction Award. You can follow him on Twitter at @spencerchou.
“It’s good to see you.”
“I hoped we could talk.”
Wished we didn’t have to.
“It’s been too long.”
Not long enough.
Leaning against the air-hockey table, shoes white against the slushy stain, she replies:
“It’s been two days, Tyler. And I only came to get my backpack.”
Kerry teaches English with the comfortable assuredness that he is almost often not wrong about it.
Red roses are cliché.
Daisies’ friendly faces look pitifully eager.
Orchids make you work too much for their beauty.
Lilies’ quiet elegance masks a faint bridal whiff.
Tulips: unassuming and perfect.
Later, I offer her the painstakingly-selected bouquet. “No!” she yelps, slamming the door. “I’m allergic to those!”
Nina Sudhakar is a writer, photographer, lawyer and wanderer. She writes about travel and culture on her website.
Her hand glances mine as she hands me the money.
Was it intentional? What was that look? What should I do next? “Eleven cents is your change.”
“Thank you,” she responds.
Was the eye contact just to be cordial? “Have a nice day.”
I meant it. Did you?
M.T. Nagel, a writer from the back woods of New Jersey, is fueled by tea and the great unknown.