I Won't Be Home For Dinner

December 17, 2009
Custom User Avatar
More by this author
The man stands perfectly straight and still, his clear blue eyes staring into middle distance, like one deep in thought. The wind plays with his fine black hair, and a section of his white, button-down shirt has come loose and is flapping in the breeze. His hands are stiff at his sides, his fingers clenched into fists. He doesn’t seem to be aware of where he is, who he is.

In the square below, people gaze unabashedly upward toward the darkening sky, to the man standing on the roof, some horrified, some just morbidly curious, like senior citizens flipping first to the obituaries in their morning paper to see who they’ve outlived. There is one face in the midst of onlookers that the man ought to have recognized. A woman a single, dark braid hanging to the middle of her back and anguish stamped clearly all over her pallid features.

But the man sees no one. He is alone with his thoughts. Thoughts of the note, scrawled in his messy, hurried script, hanging on the refrigerator with a Coca-Cola magnet.

Have you ever thought that if you walked far enough you’d eventually end up somewhere else? Not just from point A to point B, but to a whole other plane of existence? Have you ever thought eventually you’ll step off of the treadmill and actually go somewhere for once? Everything’s so beige. The world is beige. It never changes! I’m tired of this treadmill. Goodbye, I love you.

P.S. I won’t be home for dinner.

The man steps forward, his feet hanging out over the precipice. The woman, the one with the long, dark braid, run forward, tears streaming down her face.

The man, as if he senses her there, looks down. The shock registers slowly on his face, and he opens his mouth, as if to cry out to her, but he’s already falling. With his arms held out, he looks like a strange bird, taking off with broken wings.

The woman runs forward, as if to catch him. But she doesn’t make it.

She kneels, and gathers up the broken feathers in her arms.

Join the Discussion

This article has 11 comments. Post your own now!

ClaireBearB said...
Mar. 25, 2013 at 3:52 pm
NO!!!! I don't want him to die!!!!! I'm gonna go cry now!!! Great story though, you're a good writer. Please check out/rate/comment on mine! XXX-Claire
TheyCallMeAdam said...
Oct. 10, 2011 at 2:10 am

Well-written piece of flash fiction. Good choice of vocab and presentation.

My only suggestion will be to polish it further, to correct the typos/mistakes that have crept in. For example-

'The woman, the one with the long, dark braid, runs forward, tears streaming down her face.'

'The man, as if he sensing her there(not required), looks down'

3.5/5 stars.

mercebeinyata said...
Aug. 19, 2011 at 6:52 pm
I love the story, but I don't understand the part at the end about the feathers.
ithinktherefore replied...
Oct. 2, 2011 at 8:53 pm
It mentions how he looks like a broken bird in the earlier paragraph, so it's a continued metaphor.
Flashlevitation This work has been published in the Teen Ink monthly print magazine. said...
Jul. 28, 2011 at 5:25 am
really touching. i feel like crying. speaks deeply to the heart.
TripleZee said...
Jun. 20, 2011 at 10:20 am
Beautifulllll! Keep writing! Great use of words... tear jerker. 5 stars :)
HollerGirl26 said...
Feb. 24, 2011 at 8:23 pm
I am extremely touched...you really know how to let out your thoughts and emotions and then inject it into all of us wanting to read a brilliant story such as yours <3 gorgeous please read my work as well?? Thank you :D
Trulie said...
Feb. 24, 2011 at 7:44 pm
that was deep.
Chanchie said...
Nov. 28, 2010 at 7:35 am
beautiful :')
GatoPoeta said...
Jun. 5, 2010 at 6:49 pm
wow is a simple word. but honestly thats all i can say... its beautiful as much as it is sad. i wanted to cry when he opened his mouth to shout but realized he was already falling... keep up the good work
starr23 said...
Jun. 5, 2010 at 3:25 pm
this is so sad and so beautiful. an amazing, heartbreaking piece. keep on writing!
bRealTime banner ad on the left side
Site Feedback