Tonight’s flash fiction is based on what might be the worst night of my life. In real life, though, the “the texts were from him all along!”-twist was only a dream, and my friend came back the next morning, all smiles. Hope you enjoy this darker reality:
I knew all along that it was a bad idea. Zoe off in a strange city all night, with no phone and some guy she’d known all of two days. I felt in my gut that there was no way the night would end in anything but disaster. But she was so excited… so in love, so suddenly. Just one night, she said, before we all went back home and left their connection up to chance and internet connections. I couldn’t say no.
I should’ve said no.
The texts started out innocent enough, just Zoe checking, letting me know what they were up to so I wouldn’t worry. I worried all the same, worried deep into the night as the texts got further and further apart, worried even as my eyelids drooped and I sleep pulled at my mind. At two am a buzzing started me awake and I fumbled for my phone in the dark, blinking at the brightness of the screen. “Staying the night. It just feels right.”. My heart sank.
An hour went by with no contact. I tried to tell myself that she’d just fallen asleep, that it was too late to expect more messages, but then they started coming in again. One, two, three, a dozen. The language shifted and warped gradually, from her familiar cadence, the Swedish words I could hear in my head in her voice as I read them, to the unfamiliar, angular English I recognized from the texts he’d sent her via my phone.
The last text I received posed the question I’ll never stop asking myself.
“Tell me. What do you think was the last message -she- sent you? When did you know it was too late?”