10 June, 2022

Fiction Friday - Always the Same

"Nico wants me to go with him on this trip," LaVin's words floated in the air like motes of dust. Cheri sat filing her nails on the sofa as her roommate's ephemeral plans hovered and drifted down to settle on the floor.

LaVin was doing her normal evening routine of putting things away, nibbling on snacks, and wiping counters as if a mess had been made by elves in their empty apartment during the day. She narrated her day and her actions, not really talking to anyone, just voicing her thoughts. They had been roommates long enough that Cheri knew her role. It was always the same. She was just attentive enough to interject the obligatory responses of "uh-huh", "wow" or a random chuckle. 

"Really, he'll be working, taking meetings and things a lot of the time. I guess, anyway. What they do on these business trips, who knows? But he wants me along!" That was the big point tonight.

"Yeah!" Cheri offered, and pulled out a buffer to smooth her nails before adding a clear coat.

LaVin, still talking, floated on her words back into the kitchenette and poured herself a glass of wine, as she mused over what it could mean and what she could do with the time while Nico worked. "Cheri?" 

Hearing her name, she looked up and saw LaVin holding up the bottle of wine, inquiring whether Cheri wanted a glass. "Oh, sure, thanks." Cheri re-focused on her nails. It was just a matter of time before LaVin ran out of words.

LaVin, now discussing the itinerary, came over with both glasses of wine, and sat next to Cheri. With Cheri's hands occupied, LaVin set her wine on the table in front of her. LaVin tucked one foot underneath her and turned so that she was facing her roommate. "I mean, it's this weekend! That's not a lot of time. I'll have to run out and do some shopping. I want to be ready for any eventuality, you know?"

"Sure," Cheri said.

"I might just go shopping tonight." LaVin took a thoughtful sip of wine and Cheri cocked an eyebrow her way. She seemed to be winding down the monologue. "Yeah. He hasn't said we will, but I'm guessing we'll probably go out for dinner tomorrow night, so I'll just head down to the shops now. What do you think?"

She actually asked for an opinion! Cheri was stunned into silence. She looked intently at LaVin before remembering to smile. "Uh, yeah. Definitely a good plan. No time like the present."

"Exactly." Without asking a word about her roommate, LaVin rose to head out to the shops. At the door she said, "Hey, when I get back you can tell me about your day!" Cheri smiled. It was always the same.

With the apartment to herself, Cheri put down her manicure set and leaned into the sofa. A sigh escaped. LaVin was a good roommate, but the silence after her departure felt like a breath of air. She reached into her bag, took out a bottle of pills, shook two into her hand, and swallowed them with a big gulp of wine. If she'd been thinking, she'd have done that before she got into the apartment. 

She flipped on the TV and waited for the relief, the lift, the vacant "nothingness" feeling to spread through her. It was always the same.


Every Friday I write a new flash fiction piece. If you have a writing prompt you'd like to see turned into a story, just leave it in a comment.


  1. Now I want to know more about Cheri...

    1. Thank you! Every now and then, writing these Flash stories brings up a character or plot idea I'd like to explore more.

  2. Two stories in a row about people being disconnected. One more and it's a theme.

    1. I never thought of that. The last one was parent-child, this is a romantic relationship, Biblical vs. random. But yeah, I see it now. I guess I find the story in the disconnect.


I enjoy a good debate. Feel free to shake things up. Tell me I'm wrong. Ask me why I have such a weird opinion. ...or, just laugh and tell how this relates to you and your life.