Flash Fiction: Familiarity Breeds Exposure?

Self-Portrait by MD

by LJ Frank

We stood there several feet apart on the polished cement floor of the screened in patio that served as a Florida room with an abundance of hanging ferns scattered about and the sound of birds outside in the garden.

“Sarah, I thought you said…”

“No I would never say that…call it a mis-hearing.”

“But I heard you say…”

Sarah knew better or perhaps she didn’t. Maybe  she couldn’t recall saying it. But, I remembered, then again, what if it’s all an illusion?

“No, on the contrary. You make things up.”

“What? That’s manipulative.”

“No it isn’t!”

“Misinformed? Perhaps we’ve gotten too close and you block things out. I’ll ask what’s his name…I mean he was right their standing before us when you said it.”

“Good Gracious Jacque. You mean the minister or rabbi or whatever his office or position was?”

“Are you saying you don’t recall the ceremony?”

“It was in the past.”

“It was last year. Actually nine months ago. Isn’t the past and present one and the same?”

“Oh…so you want to bring that up?”

“Excuse me.”

At that juncture another man walked into the Florida room.

“Oh, hello Ralph.”

The man nodded.

“Jacque, my ex and I were just talking about you and I…about last year…I mean our marriage when he was your best man.”

“Ah. You were my best man?”

“We were all wearing a mask. It was during the pandemic when there was a 72-hour grace period when all marriages could be dissolved without legal requirements or costs and new arrangements could be made in whatever form the participants desired,” Sarah said.

“Oh yeah.  By the way, my name really isn’t…Ralph.”

“And mine really isn’t…Sarah.”

“If that’s the case then…?” Jacque asked, rubbing his forehead.