No Promises

No Promises
a snapshot story by Miles H. Rost
——–
“I am interested in you.”

Sheila looked up from her journal and blinked. She didn’t register the words at first. They smacked her in the face, but it took many seconds for her to let the words absorb into her mind.

She looked at Martin, her good friend and former co-worker at her company. The expression on his spectacle-clad face was more serious than any time she had seen him. He was there with determination, his blue-grey eyes boring into hers with an intensity that she had never seen in the year and a half they worked with each other.

“You’re…interested in me.”
“Yes.”
“Why?”

Martin put a hand through his hair, and took in a deep breath.

“I’m interested because you have made me interested. You have displayed different properties about yourself, different characteristics that appeal to me. Your faith in Christ, and your way with working with children intrigues me. The different aspects of who you are fascinates me.”

He’s trying too hard, she thought.

“I am interested in you because I know a lot, but I don’t know enough. But I also feel like there’s a chance that if we explored this, that we may find out that we’re a lot more alike in ways. And I would like to take that chance to explore this.”

Sheila looked up through her glasses, her face not betraying the fact that she was as nervous about this as Martin likely was.

“In short, you want to go out on a date so we can get to know each other more.”
“Yes. I’d like to go out on a date with you.”
“No.”

Martin sat back in his chair, and blinked. He said nothing, but blinked, as though her simple one word answer was the longest book in the world. He finally drew a breath and smiled.

“Thank you.”

It was Sheila’s turn to be shocked. Thank you? What?!

“Sheila, I’ve been nervous about asking you out for nearly a year now. I have been spending so much time in trying to find the right words to ask you out, to see if you’re interested.”
“And me saying no is something great for you?”
“Because you were willing to say something.”
“What do you mean?”
“You didn’t string me along for weeks.”

Sheila blinked, and slowly nodded.

“You also gave me a firm answer. This allows me to move on, and to keep you as a good friend. Something I have only a few of. No promises that need to be kept, too.”

“Well,” she replied, taking in a breath, “I guess I should say ‘you’re welcome’. But I still don’t understand why.”
“You gave me an answer. You didn’t string me along. That means a lot more to me than anything.”

Martin smiled, as he stood.

“Sheila, I’m happy. I like being friends with you. This helps by getting any romantic interests out of the way.”

Sheila looked up at him, as he was gathering his jacket and hat.

“Martin…”
“Yes?”
“I hate this.”
“Hate what?”
“That you put everything out there, and all I could say is ‘No.’.”
“It’s what I wanted and needed to hear, though. Don’t hate what is true. It is freeing.”

Martin smiled, as he put on his hat.

“I mean, I am going to hurt a little bit, because I was in hope about everything. But that you told me the truth, and I can accept it while still thinking of you as a real good friend.”

Sheila raised her eyebrows.

“That tells me you’re worth more as a friend.”

He gave her a smirk, bowed, and walked down the stairs of the cafe.

Sheila was alone, the sounds of “proto-jazz” bleating across the speakers. She sat, thinking about the simple words that she said, and how they impacted her life, as well as the life of her friend.

She looked down at her journal, and write in some new words on the bottom.

“One word can change the course of a human’s history.”

 

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Friday Fictioneers – Another Place

(Author’s note: I am hoping to do some cleanup and addressing of things in the upcoming future, but I’m unfortunately having to focus some of my off-time to completing the creation of tests and development of school related things. I plan to have an updated “State of the Blog” coming sometime around late April. Otherwise, here’s today’s fictioneers.)

fatima-fakier-deria1

© Fatima Fakier Deria

by Miles H. Rost

Chengcheng looked up at the mast of her small junk. She knew it wouldn’t get her far.

 

“I must try. If I do not, I die.”

She looked out at the sea and smiled as a seagull took off in flight, exactly in the direction she wanted to go.

“A gull’s wings fly with the wind.”

She slowly moved the junk out into the harbor and along the coast. She figured it would take a day to get to Taiwan, to freedom.

The craft cleared and charted it’s course. It was up to the winds to get her to freedom.

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Friday Fictioneers – (They’re Coming To) America

(Author’s Note: Nothing. On with the show!)

PHOTO PROMPT- Copyright – Jan Wayne Fields

(To Look For) America

by Miles H. Rost

“So that’s the beacon of freedom?”

“It was.”

The young girl looked off the side of the boat, seeing the burnt out remains of the Battery Park area from the boat.

“Was?”

“Didn’t you know? This country has long lost it’s freedom.”

The young girl looked up at her papa.

“But why did people lose their freedom?”

“Because they listened to the wrong people. And in turn, they let the wrong people get power.”

“Why are we going there?”

He hefted up his Bible and energy pistol.

“Transiens Adiuva Nos”

The little girl finally understood, as the boat slowly passed under a gaping hole in the Verrazano-Narrows Bridge.

 

Friday Fictioneers – I’m Free

(Author’s Note: Major things happen in life. Gives me more of a chance to do what I love. I will be back at this soon, full steam. Until then, here’s a new Fictioneers posting!)

© J. Hardy Carroll

I’m Free

by Miles H. Rost

He gripped onto the pipe that held his chains.

He didn’t have much strength left, being chained in an abandoned building for two long days. He was getting very weak, and he didn’t have long before the goons would return.

With a mighty grunt, he pushed. He jostled. He thrashed.

With a large groan and a snap, the pipe broke, his chained hands now free from his hanging death sentence.

As he started to move towards the large warehouse door, he heard them coming. Seeing a 2×4 nearby, he snatched it up and hid.

He freed himself. Now, time to free the goons from themselves.

Friday Fictioneers – Sweet Freedom

Friday Fictioneers is here! Enjoy!

© Al Forbes

Sweet Freedom

by Miles H. Rost

“Got it loaded up?” Mark asked.

“Yeah. Took about an hour to do, but she’s still in good condition,” his brother, Peter, replied.

When they first saw the old jalopy, they knew that they had to have her. But it cost almost everything they had to get it from the owner, who hated what it was and was leaving it to rot.

“Can’t believe how much it took to get her out of that prison. But just wait, with a little time, we’ll get her running again. I mean, we already got her looking clean.”

The car beamed in the sunshine, free.

Must I Always Remember

Must I Always Remember
by Miles Rost

Even with success, the specter of loss hung around his head like a bad cold.

Patrick Dumont was not an unhappy man, by any means. He was charming with all the folks, a man of character and integrity, and even fairly successful with his new business ventures. In all, he should be celebrating his life in great ways.

Yet, alone in his apartment, his head between his knees, he wasn’t even celebrating.

It started earlier in the day. Looking through his finance books, he knew that everything was going alright and that there were not going to be problems for the next couple months. But that nagging feeling was there, telling him “Hey, you’re finances are not as stable as they should be.”

As the day wore on, he got more and more worried. As the worries built, the memories of old days came flooding forth like a raging flood breaching an earthen dam. The more the worries piled on top, the more depressed he became. He took off from work early, and just went straight home.

As he sat in that apartment, head between knees and tears falling down his face, he remembered the many times of worry he had in the past. He heard the words of people telling him that if he didn’t plan for his future, he’d have nothing. That if he wasn’t paying attention, everything would fall around him.

He remembered his family as it came apart in pieces, like a car losing it’s parts as it drove along. His family splitting apart from divorce, his father becoming despondent after losing his job, his younger brother jumping off a high bridge to end his life after getting a failing score on his final test. He even remembered his own loss of the first business he started, a hedge clipping business.

Then there was Hannah. The girl that gave him so much passion, and so much life. He wanted to keep her in his heart always, always having that chance of being able to see her again. That is, until he heard the phone call.

“Patrick, I’m pregnant.”
“Who’s the father?”
“I’m….not sure.”

He screamed out, cried, and put himself into fits while dealing with all of these things that came forth from his head. For 4 straight hours, he was in agony. Four hours of crying, sobbing, screaming into his sweatshirt. It seemed as though he would be crying for many more hours.

Suddenly, he sat up. He dried his eyes, and looked around. He blinked a few times, looking at the fluorescent lights reflecting from the outside window into his apartment, casting glow over shadows. His eyes, even in the dark, cleared up.

“I have no need to remember this.”

His words had steel behind them. It was the sound of determination. Whatever he had just went through was done, and he finally stood up. He smiled, as he put his jacket on.

He was free to enjoy life again. He was free from his pain, his grief, and that feeling of holding onto something.

It was time…for a beer.

 

The Beginning of Something New (aka “Supernova”)

The Beginning of Something New
(aka
Supernova)
By Miles Rost

New feelings were always so hard to understand.

Coming out of a mentally abusive relationship was not one of the plans that Mayumi Shiomi had in mind for the weekend. She hoped to have done that earlier in the week, so she could heal over the weekend and not have to deal with the crying she would ultimately do at work.

The 22-year old was finally able to say goodbye to the abuse she took. Seeing her old boyfriend leave on his motorcycle for the other side of Australia was a relief for her. Now that the hound was away, “The Fox” was likely ready to play.

She looked at herself in the mirror quickly, but after a few moments looking away from the mirror, she decided to take an inventory.

Ah need to do this, she thought, Since the old baka won’t be back in West Penfield, Ah have to see what’s left.

The large bathroom allowed her the comfort of being able to walk around and not worry about being in an enclosed space. She made sure of that when she bought the new townhouse. With all the room , she would be able to get a good view of what she looked like now.

The young woman looked at herself in the full length mirror, hung delicately on the wall close to the shower. She ran her hand through the short, incredibly light brown hair that she wore. It was a good look on her, seeing as she kept it since the middle of high school. It also helped her when she had to deal with drinking a bit much, as having too much hair would mean vomit smell constantly.

She gazed at her reflection, the face that people called a “Kitsune” face. She didn’t care much for her nickname of “The Fox”, but she was willing to live with it as it did adequately describe her normal, everyday look. At least, what the look used to be before she was involved with the baka. She did have beautifully colored hazel eyes, but they rarely were seen as she had a constant squint to her eyes. It was part of “The Fox” charm that people knew.

She analyzed the rest of her visage, noting that her body still had the curves that she inherited from her Australian mother’s side of the family. She was definitely a beauty, and she knew it. She knew that guys would look at her and immediately fall at her feet, even knowing that her reputation kept pointing to the phrase “Dangerous Curves Ahead”. She did a slight wiggle, and smiled.

Yep, ah still got it!

She drew a breath, as she pulled a chair to her. As she sat down, she looked in the mirror, directly into her own eyes.

The hardest part of her analysis was about to come.

She was fine on the outside, but she needed to take an inventory of her inside. She needed to look at her mind, her spirit, and the wholeness of her being on the inside of the beautiful shell.

“Alright, Mayumi, how’re ya doing?”

She looked at herself as she waited for her spirit to answer, while her heart blazed a thousand words a second describing how good it was that she was free of the bastard that hurt her. She snickered that her heart would be the first one to send off the signals of relief. Her spirit would be the one that she would need to focus on, as her relationship had gone on for very long time.

“Are ya ready to get movin’ on with life?”

Somewhere within her spirit, a peace that was indescribable finally appeared to her. It was like it was saying, “You will be healed, be free.”

Her mind, however, was the one that raced through a million possibilities about why things would go wrong. Her mind, the one part of her being that just would never shut up. It was where the biggest attack on her would come from, and she knew this was a possibility.

She looked at herself in the mirror again, leaning forward in the chair to get a closer look at her face. She knew she didn’t need the baka, but everytime she tried to quit him, she’d always go looking for him again. She never realized that a lot of her problems surrounding him were less about her and more about a part of her past that had since been rectified. She realized this, and said the only thing that she could.

“Lord, ah think it’s time for me to get livin’. Ah need your help to get through this.”

It was the best prayer she could think of, seeing as she was now able to be restored to a condition that would be perfect for her.

She was about to continue analyzing herself when she heard a loud buzzing sound. She forgot about her phone, and the alarm that was set for 5PM. She had two hours to get over to Shine FM, a relatively new radio station broadcasting to the suburbs of Sydney, including West Penfield. The job she held, for such a long time, was one of the saving graces that helped her in the dealings with her baka boyfriend.

“Time for this girl to get herself on the air,” she said to the mirror, putting on a smile that would show that “The Fox” was back on the stalk.

Today was the first day of her new life, a new air of freedom. She would never go back to that baka again, and she would most certainly spend a lot more time on the things that she loved.

“Lookout, world. Ahm back!” She said, giving her reflection a wink.