Friday, 14 February 2014

Friday Flash Fiction - The Price of Milk

The Price of Milk

It’s such a cliché, isn’t it? Man leaves to buy a loaf of bread and a pint of milk from the corner shop and never comes back. As much as it’s a cliché, that’s exactly what my father did on 16th October 1994. My mother didn’t notice for hours, or so she says, and possibly wasn’t even that bothered truth be told. I wasn’t sure what to think or feel, but my younger brother was distraught. 

And here we are ten years later and I’m looking at him on the tube with a woman sitting on his left and a child on his knee. He’s sitting diagonally opposite me and has glanced up a couple of times, looking directly at me as if he were about to say something. I doubt he recognizes me. The eight-year-old with blond pigtails has long been replaced by an angry teenager with short spikey hair dyed in various shades of black, pink and purple. Even if he did realize it was me, I doubt he’d acknowledge me, especially not since he appears to be playing happy families with somebody else. I hope for that little boy’s sake, he sticks around longer than he did for Josh and me. 

As I walk past them to leave the train, the boy grabs the hem of my skirt, which has small bells on it. I look at him and smile as his mother gently coaxes his hand loose whilst apologizing. My father just looks at me and that’s when I know he recognizes me. After a couple of seconds he looks away and I get off the train. 

©2014 Laura Besley


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20 comments:

  1. That's so sad for her, but you know I think she's handling it very well! A nice slice of life there Laura!

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  3. Sad moment captured very well, and beautifully written.

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  4. Bravo! I like the fact that it wasn't overly sentimental. Just as it happened.

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    1. That's what I was aiming for, so good that it came across that way! :)

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  5. Replies
    1. Yes, it would be awkward, wouldn't it?

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  6. A great piece. Says so much in so few words. Excellent.

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  7. Ouch, this sure packed an emotional punch...

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  8. Brilliant. Up to your usual high standard. xxx

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  9. One has to wonder if he looks away in shame, or guilt, or regret that he missed out on his beautiful daughter growing up.

    Nicely written Laura, short and intense.

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    1. Thanks, Steve. I hope he looks away in all three.

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  10. Ow. But an interesting act of revenge, because she showed him that she's moved on as well. I've known a couple of people in real-life to do similar things, and it's funny because they always say they want to get away from the drama, but they're the ones causing most of it.

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    1. She does show him that she doesn't care, doesn't she? Good for her!

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