Short Story: Love Cycle

May 21, 2009

My first short story ever, ever.  Gentle, constructive criticism welcome *smile*.

“Jessica!  Jessie, I know you’re in there!”

Lights out, blinds closed, Jessica sits motionless in the corner behind the door, clenching a wad of her long, black hair in both fists.  Her forearms hide her baggy eyes, but the tear drops splattered across Niagara Falls expose her devastation.  Jessica forgets nothing, not even the souvenir shop where he’d bought the sweatshirt.  Jason told her then, “You’ll get more wear and tear out of it than I will.”

“Jessieeee!  Jessie, please open up!”

Jason pounds the door with one hand.  The other stays warm in his pocket grabbling a small package, a new Metro card, and his car keys.  He stops a moment to rest an ear against the door, holding what little breath he has left to hear the slightest sound of life inside — his life inside.

The frigid temperatures have been cruel to him on an already wickedly cruel night.  First, a stalled car.  Next, the midnight Metro Bus to Union Park gone.  And now, the more he bites his lips, the more Jack Frost seems to crack them open. His only salvation to reach her tonight was the ride.  Thank goodness for the ride!  He purposed to return the favor to the Wymm family, show appreciation for the ram in the bush.

Thirty-seven minutes into her resistance, Jessica’s mind grows weary of hyperactive questions with no clear, honest answers.  “What in the world was he thinking?”  “Why would he do something so stupid?”  “How could he break his promise?”  “When will I ever be able to trust him again?”

And then, a question picks the lock on a secret place in her heart, crashing her pity party.

“Didn’t he promise never to make a mistake?!”

Holding and rocking herself, Jessica winces not only at the question’s absurdity, but at the only answer that is both clear and honest.

“Did I ever promise to do the same?”

“Jessieee!”

Jessica crawls to her feet, carefully peeks through the living room blinds, then leans against the wall with more questions.  “Strange. Where’s the old Honda? How’d he…”

“Jessica, c’mon!”

She peeks again and surveys the quiet street in vain for an accomplice hiding in a parked car.
At first, her swollen eyes squint right past it.  Finally, over in the grass where the driveway and sidewalk intersect, she sees it; an old bicycle lays on its side.  “He didn’t. He didn’t.”

Jessica’s heart sinks as she calculates the distance from Jason’s house to hers, plus late-October temperatures in Buffalo.  She realizes the entire night could be summed up as simple as this: after two years, she still has a lot to learn about Jason’s heart, and more importantly — her own.

Jessica almost didn’t recognize the sudden silence.  The yelling and pounding stopped, as if synchronized with the blue and white lights now circling her living room walls. “Oh no, the neighbors!”  Jessica scrambles to the door, fumbles through the locks, and swings the door open to rush Jason inside.  She’s too late.

Jason glares a hole into the police car hood, where his hands remain in plain sight.  “How could she call the police?”  Over in the grass, the officer lifts the bicycle, examines it, and lays it back down.  “This your bike, sir?”

“No, officer.  I can explain. See, first of all, I love that woman inside, and…uhh…I was halfway here for our big night…on time mind you…when my battery died…that’s my Civic back on Elmwood…did you come Elmwood?”

Police dispatch interrupts the officer’s next question.  He motions Jason to continue as he returns a ten-code into his shoulder mic.

Jason presses his story, unaware of Jessica’s approach.

“Anyway, I missed the last Metro…it was cold…and…umm…I saw this old bike laying in the bushes near a mailbox on 3rd, and…I knew for sure my prayers were answered…I rushed right over here…and I…”

“It’s ok, ma’am.  I’m going to have to ask you to stand there.” The officer shines his light on Jessica, and continues communication with dispatch.

Jason didn’t know whether to smile or cry, eyes fixed on Jessica in his favorite sweatshirt.

“…I…I promise I was going to bring the bike back in the morning…”

“Is there a problem, officer?  This is my boyfriend.”

“..It’s not like I’m some kind of bike thief or anything….thought maybe they were throwing it away, but…”

The officer ends transmission with dispatch. “Riight. OK. Look son, I would love to hear more about your undying love and bad luck, but the owners don’t want to press charges, they just want their bike back.  Some story about their grandfather rode it across two counties to propose to their grandmother.”

The officer directs Jason and Jessica to the bicycle, and picks it up by the handle bars.

“See here?  Wymm. Will. You. Marry.  Me.  That’s extreme sentimental value, son…and lucky for you, eh? Why don’t you give me a hand.”

Jason and the officer maneuver the bike’s wheels to fit neatly in the trunk.

“Looks like you couldn’tve picked a better bike to borrow.  But don’t press your luck, understand?”

“Understood, sir.”

The officer’s right turn signal disappears from view as Jason and Jessica walk back to the house arm-in-arm.  Jason reaches into his pocket to find the small package.

“Jessie, there’s something I’ve been dying to ask you all night.”

Jessica places her finger on Jason’s lips and smiles.

“The bicycle said it all.”

Copyright (c) 2008-2009. ashe.selah.  All rights reserved.

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6 Responses to “Short Story: Love Cycle”

  1. newtowritinggirl Says:

    I like it – it’s a really heart warming little story 😉

  2. ashe.selah Says:

    Hi there newtowritinggirl…welcome and thanks for stopping by for a read. Best to you and your writing endeavors!

  3. Sharon Says:

    Aww girl, it’s so sweet! Didn’t lift my eyes off the page till I was done reading. This really your first short story?

  4. ashe.selah Says:

    Aye Sharon! How’ve u been girl! Wow, thanks so much for the love. Yep, my very first. Guess I’m showing my backwards, err, unconventional side…trying to write a book having never written a short story before *smile*. This is me :).

  5. Jennifer Says:

    I had to keep on reading — nice use of dialog, which is no easy thing. And a sweet conclusion!

  6. ashe.selah Says:

    Thanks Jenn! Means alot…dialogue has been my weak spot…hopefully, practice will make permanent *smile*.


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