Today’s flash fiction comes to us from Val Muller, the author of CORGI CAPERS: DECEIT ON DORSET DRIVE, a mystery novel for young readers and FOR WHOM MY HEART BEATS ETERNAL, a spicy sci-fi romance with a twist. Learn more at www.valmuller.com
Next week’s story will be by Cathy MacKenzie, who has self-published two books of poetry, “To Love a Grandmother” and “Poems of Inspiration and Love,” which can be found at: https://www.smashwords.com/profile/view/camack. She also appears in various anthologies, such as those published by Rebel Ink Press and Dancing With Bear Publishing. Visit her website (at end of this week’s story) for more information on this author.
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<3 at first txt
Alison and Sarah cheered as Remy sank the eight ball, clearing the table and winning the game.
“Thanks, gals!” Remy took a bow then checked her watch. “But I’ve got to get going. Work tomorrow.”
“At least play one more game,” Sarah said. She leaned in close. “I think that guy’s been checking you out.”
Remy watched the man in question through her periphery. He had been sitting at a bar table with his friend eating wings and playing with his phone.
“Cute, but I think he likes his phone more than he likes me,” Remy said.
Alison laughed. “Maybe he likes his phone almost as much as you like yours!”
Remy blushed, pushing her phone into her pocket.
“Want us to walk you home?” Alison asked.
“Nah. I live right around the corner now, remember?”
Alison shrugged. “Suit yourself. That guy’s pretty cute, though…”
“Maybe next Thursday. You know how nervous I get around guys.” She frowned. “Night, girls.”
She walked toward the door, careful to avoid making eye contact with the man in question on her way out. She made it safely to the sidewalk and took a deep breath, avoiding the temptation to take one last peek through the window at the handsome stranger.
Go home, she reminded herself. The girls had chosen The Corner Pocket for their Thursday night outing on purpose. It was a block away from Remy’s new condo, so it would be a fast walk. Remy had just taken her first step toward home when her phone vibrated. It was a text:
Mr Hottie is following you!
Remy turned to look. Indeed, he had left right after her, and he was alone. Remy already felt her skin flushing as she turned and hurried toward her condo.
Step, step, step, she told her feet. Don’t look back.
Behind her, a deep voice cleared its throat.
Remy couldn’t help but turn around.
“I thought we could walk back together,” he said.
“Walk back together? I—”
His hair was perfectly disheveled, and his smile could have been chiseled by Michelangelo. His eyes twinkled like the stars above them. Her heart fluttered.
“We’re neighbors,” he said.
He nodded. “You’re the new girl. The one in 1352.”
“1352,” she repeated senselessly. Her head spun. She was losing the ability to think. Her friends would never believe this was happening.
“I’m sorry,” he said. “I should have introduced myself. I’m one door over. 1354. I’ve seen you around the building. I’m Jeremy.”
“Jeremy,” she said, the syllables flowing off her tongue. She barely realized they had reached the door to her condo.
“Do you hang out at The Corner Pocket often?” he asked, stopping under her porch.
The lighting from the street lamp above broke the trance. “Yes,” Remy said, regaining her ability to think straight. “I’m sorry—I’m Remy. And yes, my friends and I hang out there on Thursdays.”
Jeremy smiled with his eyes, his lips curling in approval. “It’s a date, then,” he said. “Next Thursday at The Corner Pocket.” He typed it into his cell phone.
Then Jeremy reached down to her hand, and Remy’s heart raced. He’s going to take my hand, she thought.
But he didn’t.
Instead he reached for her phone, which was—as usual—in her hand at the ready. He slid the phone from her hand and typed something in. “Text me,” he said, “handing back the phone.”
She looked down. He had entered his phone number. She smiled, but when she looked back up, he had disappeared into his own entryway.
Night, she typed and hesitated only for a moment before sending it.
As she entered her apartment, her phone vibrated once more. It was from Jeremy. Sweet dreams, Remy, it said. And she drifted off to sleep that night dreaming sweetly indeed of the possibilities that next Thursday night might hold.
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Catherine A. MacKenzie