Petrichor: A Flash Fiction Series

I don't take my coffee black. But the funeral home is out of those crisp, pink packets of sugar and no one offered to buy any cream. The mug sits untouched in front of me, a thin layer congealing on top. The steam stopped rising hours ago. I was too polite to say no when his mom asked if I wanted some. I was too breathless, too still, too numb to say anything at all.

It's funny how some things stay with you. When you lay in bed at night and every part of your body is screaming from exhaustion, but your mind won't relax. I think about my life and my friends. I think about my parents and if they're proud of me yet. I think about my heart and the galaxy I've induced it into.

When I think about love, I think about the wind that whips your hair into your face until it stings. I think about summer storms with humid rain and threatening thunder. I think about how it felt to fall to pieces. I think about how much he was hurting. I think about how much he hurt me.

When I think about love, I think about the night I let Ryan go. The night he let me follow a blonde haired knight back to my apartment where he gave me a glass of water and said goodbye. The night that Ryan got in his car at three in the morning. I think about how many times he drove us to the cities in that car; windows open even in a downpour. I think about the hot blonde in her low cut tank top, the one they found in the passenger seat.

His BAC was 0.161. They said it was painless, that he died on impact, the tree crunching through the driver's side headlight. He wasn't wearing a seatbelt. I always had to remind him when he got in the car. It wasn't painless. Not to me.

It's funny how some things stay with you. Choosing to complain about my stiletto heels as Ryan danced with another girl. The first time he kissed me during a silly game of spin the bottle. How it felt when he held me in his arms, even when his breath reeked of whiskey. Some things I'll never be able to let go of.

I take a sip of the cold coffee and blink for the first time in what feels like days.

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