Flash Fiction: The Second or Third Act? by LJ Frank

Late Friday morning. A coffeehouse downtown. A breeze was blowing in from the sea causing the umbrellas on the patio to tilt. I was sitting inside the coffeehouse listening to a violin concerto in the background and focusing on the manuscript before me when I felt a hand touch my forearm. “Please, excuse me,” a feminine voice with a Spanish accent whispered. 

“Hello.” I said, noticing a distinguished looking woman swish her long black hair from side to side.  

“My name is Isabella. And I think I know who you are”

“You think so?

“You’re known for your healthy lust for iced green tea three times a week.”

“Lust? It’s a good antioxidant.”

“Lust or green tea?”

“Mmm.”

She smiled and nodded. “May I ask you a personal question?”

“Personal? My eyes twitched. Well, today is Friday.”

“What does that mean?”

“I’ve learned not to answer personal questions on Fridays.”

“May I ask why?”

“Unsettling experiences always happen to me on Fridays when I’m confronted with personal questions.”

“Really?”

“Yeah. It’s meant an end of a marriage, a job, death in the family, the dissolution of an intimate friendship, the passing of my dog, a sinking of a boat I was on and barely escaping with my life, being mistakenly shot at, at a border crossing, and my health insurance policy being deleted by my agent on a Friday afternoon. The list is very long. Friday isn’t only the end of the week as it’s been a day of endings…at least for me.”

“Wow! Personally, I try to look at such life experiences as an opportunity for transformation to a higher level of consciousness.”

“Well that’s positive of you.”

“Hopefully what I am about to ask isn’t viewed as an ending…perhaps it may turn out to be the Second Act.” She said with an ingratiating smile.

“Second Act?”

“Are you available tonight?”

“Mm. I could be.”

“Well I have two tickets to a stage play tonight?”

“Oh? With you?” I asked with a smile emerging across my face. Perhaps this would be a lucky Friday. Thoughts of passion began to dance around in my head.

“Or whomever.” She said.

“Whomever?”

“I ‘m an actor in the play. I play a character by the name of Miss Forsythe. The play is called Death of a Salesman.”

“You’ve got to be kidding.”

“Yeah, I am. My apologies.” She grinned. “I have something else in mind. Hopefully it won’t be the Third Act. Meet me at the wharf a few blocks from here at 7 pm.” She then touched my arm again, got up and started to walk out the door, turned to look back at me, winked and departed.