Flash Fiction: Reality Can Be More Intriguing Than Expectation

by LJ Frank

I walked down the steps catching the impromptu sound of jazz from a clarinet. A man with gray hair sticking out from under a beret was sitting on a chair absorbed in his music. I stopped and looked over at another person who was watching me. We stood there gazing at each other from a distance. It felt odd in that we were the only ones there, other than the clarinetist and the evening shadows of the mixed architecture. We were familiar looking strangers. I couldn’t say where we had met or if we had ever met.

“How long have you been searching for her?” She inquired in a mellifluous voice and raised eyebrows. Her presence seemed in harmony with the surroundings.

“Her? “

“Yeah, her.”

“Ah…time…has a blurred quality to it.” I volunteered wondering how could she could possibly know. 

“You sound hesitant.”

 “Well, it’s just that I don’t know…I’m bewildered by the moments…the years. My expectation never really coincided with the reality which seemed to be breathing in another place.” 

“I can appreciate.” She sighed. Her eyes lowered then raised again staring at me as if in question. A light screeching noise intruded our brief reverie. “This is my train. I get off at the next stop.”

“You live in the city.”

She nodded, smiled and said, “Reality can be more intriguing than expectation.” And then as she boarded the train she looked back as if imploring me. Our eyes followed each other as the train disappeared into the distance.