Against All Odds

by Miles Rost

“Shandie!”

Brian Charles looked up at the second-floor bedroom window of his ex-girlfriend’s house.

“Shandie! C’mon! We need to talk!”

No answer came.

“Shandie, if we talk this out, you won’t have to see me again. I just need to get this out.”

After a few moments, “Shandie” came to the window. A beautiful redhead with long hair, she wore the mean look of an Irish lass.

“You got me here, Brian! Spill!”

Brian looked up at her with eyes that were near overflowing to tears. This was a man with a mission whose heart seemed to be ready to pop things open.

“Do you want to know why I did not make it to the hospital to pick you up?”

“Does it involve some lame excuse? If so, I don’t want to know!”

“This is the problem, Shandie! You won’t listen to what happened! If you were willing to take a second and actually hear what happened and look at the report in my hand, you’ll know that there was a very good reason why I was not there.”

“I’ve seen you do this before, Brian! You did it to Elena before you met me! You did it to Raisa! And now you’re doing it to me! I don’t want to hear it!”

How can you just walk away from me? How can you do this without even letting me tell you why I wasn’t able to make it there?”

“You’re going to say something fantastical, Brian, and try to get me to forgive you. Well, it’s not happening! I don’t want to hear your excuses!”

You coming back to me is against the odds! I see that! I don’t care if we’re together anymore! I just do not want to this to end with miscommunication!”

“Miscommunication? MISCOMMUNICATION? YOU LEFT ME OUTSIDE A COLD HOSPITAL IN A FOREIGN TOWN! There is no excuse for that!”

Brian tore at his hair, frustrated and about ready to burst. Shandie looked back at him, a slight smirk on her face.

“Couldn’t handle the truth? That is why I won’t believe you!”

She turned around and

Brian growled and threw the paper-wrapped tennis ball into her room. He grabbed his hair and screamed at her.

“IS THIS WHAT YOU WANT? TURN AROUND AND SEE ME CRYING, WHY DON’T YOU! I DID NOT PICK YOU UP BECAUSE I WAS ON THE SIDE OF THE ROAD. AFTER I KILLED SOMEONE!”

Shandie stopped smirking. As his loud sobs resonated through the neighborhood, she slowly walked back and picked up the paper. She looked at it, a police report. She noticed the time and the date, the location, and what had happened. It was as though everything she had thought about started to crack right at that moment.

She looked down at him, and those cracks in her mind got larger, and more spidery.

“Brian,” she said, a bit softer, “I…I think I need to hear what you have to say after all.”

Brian choked out the story in between tears, about how he was running late due to a long line at the local Target store. He tried to use a shortcut, but it was blocked by a creek that was flooding due to an ice jam. He drove down a hill and lost control of his vehicle as it slid downhill. He cried as he recounted the old man who just entered the roadway just at the moment he reached the bottom of the hill, and how he went through his windshield, and how Brian went unconscious after the car came to a rest in a yard.

“I…” she mumbled, “I remembered what you did before, with all these fantasy stories with your past girlfriends. I thought that it was just the same thing.”

Brian sniffled, and looked at her with a sorrowful but hateful glare.

“You thought wrong,” he said, his voice calming down, “You’ve always jumped to conclusions about things. Even after we started dating. And now, after today, I don’t want think about you ever again. Not after what you have done.”

Shandie did not know what she could do. She wanted to run down there and comfort him, but she also knew that she couldn’t. He was right, she didn’t listen. And it cost her a relationship.

“Brian, I am….I am sorry.”

Brian just turned around and started to walk out of the yard. He cleared his conscience, she got an explanation, and he found out just how it was to truly end a relationship with honesty. He looked back up at her one last time, and called back.

Take a look at me now. There’s just an empty space there, now.”

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