(Flash Fiction) “Progress”


By Jane Matthews

It’s taken us five years to get here. Five years, four nights in a hospital, three lost friends, two major fights, and one attempted murder. And, of course, that all-important partridge in a pear tree.

“Marry me.”

Those two little words made it all disappear.

Theresa and I met in high school. I was on the cheer squad; she hung out with the stoners in the back lot smoking. We met when our science teacher decided that I would be her new tutor. It was hate at first sight.

Then something changed.

We began meeting outside of school. First we met at the library, then we migrated to a local coffee shop, and soon she was coming over to my house to study. Then my boyfriend broke up with me. I went through two boxes of tissues, had a twenty-four-hour movie marathon of the worst rom coms ever made, and burned the sweater he gave me for Christmas. The funniest part of it was that the only person who could cheer me up was Theresa.

Eventually we started seeing each other secretly. We went on dates and strolled together in the park, holding hands when we thought nobody was looking.

Two years later we decided to come out at prom. Cliché right? We lost three of our closest friends and I made one of the hardest decisions of my life: I broke up with her, cruelly.

I didn’t see her for two years after that, until we met one day at a bar and still clicked. We were heading to my apartment when some guys attacked us. They were going to kill us but the police showed up, they even admitted it. I was in a coma for four days. After we were released we had our second big fight: I wanted to stay hidden, but she refused to hide. She won, and we’ve been together publicly since.

Now one year later she kneels in front of outside that same bar, holding a ring and saying those magical words.

“Marry me.”

And I realize that I’m finally home.

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