What’s this? Flash fiction Friday on a Monday? Preposterous!
No but seriously, that’s just how it goes sometimes. I wanted to write this on Friday after finishing my play-through of an absolutely gorgeous game called Fated, where you move through a story with (and date) Shakespeare characters. Well, sort of. If you like visual novels or dating games, I very much recommend you try it! Great writing, fantastic art, very cool concept. Anyway, I love them game and wanted to write something for it. I might actually want to make a longer piece, 4-5 chapters maybe, of fanfic for this but for now, this will have to do. I hope you enjoy it even a fraction as much as I enjoyed the game!
Note: the character Ophelia/Lia uses both she/her and they/them pronouns.
“Lia, I’m home!”
“I’m out here!” Her voice comes from out back and I smile. I swear, if I didn’t make her go indoors to sleep, she’d be there all the time.
I close the door behind me and kick off my shoes, dropping my bag by the door. There’s a letter on the little kitchen table, an old-fashioned looking thing with swooping cursive on the font. The letter opener sits next to it, but the note has been tucked back into the envelope. I furrow my brow and approach, pulling it out. It takes me a moment to realize who it’s from—I never saw his handwriting much.
I hope these lines find the both of you well, and that the cottage is every bit the dream you hoped it would be. Myself, I am quite well. Better, I dare say, than I have been in a very long time. I have sought, as they say, ‘professional help’ and found it surprisingly helpful in spite of the difficulties of not revealing too much detail.
But let me not meander. The purpose of this message is very simple. To ask you, both of you, whether you would be amenable to meeting with me some day in the not too distant future. A coffee, perhaps? Some small way to start to make amends.
I shall respect any answer you give me.
Yours in regret,
I draw a slow breath. I expected, I think, something like this to happen eventually. In spite of everything, I think he did care for all of us. Maybe it’s not so surprising then that he’s trying to reach out again, to repair things. Richard says the change in him seems genuine, and consistent. They have coffee every so often.
I tuck the note back in the envelop and take it with me out back, where I find Ophelia, as always, on a little chair in the grass, their easel open in front of their latest model. A fire lily, this time. Somehow, it’s almost more beautiful on her sketchpad.
“Hi, love.” I kiss her on the cheek, and she turns toward me to catch my lips with her instead.
“Don’t let me interrupt.” I gesture for the easel. She doesn’t, barely pausing for the kiss as her brush dances lightly over the paper. We are quiet for a moment. “I read the letter.”
“Mm.” Their voice is gentle and low, thoughtful as it always is.
“What do you think?”
“I think we accept.”
“Okay,” I say, nodding to myself. I knew that would be their answer. Somehow, though he hurt them so much more, Ophelia has been so much more willing to forgive than I have. Still… maybe the time has come to at least consider it. I lean down to kiss them again. “I’ll go put the kettle on.”
They smile at me before their eyes dart back to their fire lily, and it’s every bit as thrilling as the very first time.