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 – There’s No Stopping Your Heart

Author’s Note: I want to drop two things for new people who are part of the world of mine, the Music and Fiction world.

The first is a good friend of mine who runs her own blog, called “Oh My Gloss“. She deals more with cosmetics, and a lot of it is from Korean companies. However, Sarah (the blogmaster) really has a lot of good advice and products. Take a quick step over, if you can, and take a look. And tell her that Music and Fiction sent you.

The second is for a great person who has been overcoming a lot of difficulties to become a real good person in the world of cosplay (costume play, aka dressing up and having fun.) Mosey on over to Precious Pearl Cosplay and Cats, on Facebook, and see a little look at what she does. She’s pretty good on things, and is responsive. She is also living out a dream as a vet assistant, hence the cats part of her page. Check it out.

Anyhow, long enough to talk…here’s today’s Fictioneers, with an old favorite song of mine from my childhood:

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© Dale Rogerson

There’s No Stopping Your Heart

 

by Miles H. Rost

“How many has that been, Kelly?”

Kelly Mangum looked at the two bouquets on the office table.

“I believe that’s six in two weeks.”

Frieda, her co-worker, was perplexed by this. She was the redhead with the killer bod, and she got no flowers. Kelly was a simple girl, yet kept getting bouquets galore.

“So, what’s your secret?”

Kelly smiled and directed Frieda to come closer.

“I mean what I say and say what I mean. He’s crazy for me, because I’m honest.”

Frieda blinked. Is it that simple? she thought.

“It’s that simple. Be honest, and you’ll get attention.”

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Friday Fictioneers – Grazin’ In The Grass

(Author’s Notes: None. Write and go, as they say. Enjoy the fictioneers this week!)

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© Sarah Potter

 

Grazin’ In The Grass

 

by Miles H. Rost

Summer.

Hot and humid, but also quite a beautiful time for listening to music.

I’d spend many hours sitting in the breezeway of my house, listening to the radio and recording the disc jockeys doing their thing. It was something that really inspired me.

It went everywhere I would go, but it always returned to that breezeway, close to where Dad did his accounting work and where he’d grow hot peppers. The music of my youth, the soundtrack of my life.

Until I was sent outside to play by my mom. Then I had to take my music with me.

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Friday Fictioneers – Situation

(Author’s note: None. Enjoy the Fictioneers!)

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© Jellico’s Stationhouse

by Miles H. Rost

Ron Bellio wheeled up alongside his pals, his small wire bike with big monster wheels in the back overshadowing the others.

“Hey, Ronny! Where’d you get the mutant?”
“Oh, the bike? Yo mamma!”
“What you say?!”

The sound of teasing filled the air, along with laughter and music as they rode down the street.

“Did you hear about Ali?”
“What about her?”
“She hit number one on the dance charts!”
“Auntie Ali?! Fat Ali?!”

Ron looked at his friends, smirking that his friends were talking about his cousin.

“You shouldn’t call her fat. She’s got more muscle than all you now.”

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Alison Moyet, of the duo “Yazoo” (aka Yaz)

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Friday Fictioneers – Big Dreams In A Small Town

(Author’s note: None. It’s March, I’m a month into my work at my school, and I am hard at work on stories. However, I will say that some of my fellow fictioneers may be contacted soon for permission to use their 100 word stories in my adults class on Fridays. Be prepared!)

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© Jennifer Pendergast

Big Dreams In A Small Town

by Miles H. Rost

“Have you thought about what you’re going to do?”
“When? After we graduate next week?”
“Yeah. Have you put any mind into your plans? Or maybe…even me?”

Mariko smiled at her boyfriend.

“Well, since winning state with the pop singers, I talked with the other two in our group. We could get a drummer and start working on an album.”

Her boyfriend looked aghast at her.

“Do you think we have time for that?”
“Big dreams and big wheels. That’s what I see. We got time for it.”

They looked up to the sky, hoping to see their fortune.

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Friday Fictioneers – I’m Holding My Own

No news, just Fictioneers:

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© Jan Wayne Fields

I’m Holding My Own

by Miles H. Rost

“Mitch, how long have you been living out here for?”
“Well, Sheena threw me out about two and a half years ago, and I didn’t find this place until the fall. I’d probably say almost two years now.”

The man took a long draught of his brew, looked around at Mitch’s “home”.

“And you like it here?”
“Yeah. I go to work for 8 hours, then come home to nature.”
“What about heat?”
“Sleeping bag, and if necessary, a good woman.”

The man took another long draw from his bottle.

“I have what I need right here. I am quite content.”

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Friday Fictioneers – Whatever Happens

(Author’s note: I will be doing some updates on this Chuseok weekend. I will also post a big personal non-story update, to give people an idea of what’s to come with Music and Fiction. In the meantime, here’s today’s fiction!)

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PHOTO PROMPT © Shaktiki Sharma

Whatever Happens

by Miles H. Rost

 Devon plopped the lump of clay on the wheel.

She cut and removed pieces she didn’t need, like pieces of her life that were unusable. She slowly formed the rounded lump with her hands. Pushing and pulling the clay, smoothing it out with water, she slowly developed it into a shapely, beautiful vase.

She pulled out a brush and some glaze. She pulled out a small tin, and mixed the grey powder into the small jar of glaze. She painted the fired vase, and put it back in for more firing.

The final product stood in the entryway, a tribute to her dearly lost husband, who was now a part of the beautiful vase.

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