Flash Fiction Story
“Babe, are you sure you’re going to be okay by yourself?” I nodded my head as I gave Teresa a small smile and a kiss on her forehead. She looked up at me as she wrapped her arms around my waist. She muttered something under her breath as she rested her forehead on my chest.
"Teresa, I need to do this. I have to be by myself. Plus, you need to be to be there for your mom.” I pulled her head away and looked into her eyes, “Trust me, I’ll be fine.”
She sighed as she pulled me down to her height and kissed me softly. I wrapped my arms around her waist and pulled her closer to me. “I’m going miss you so much.” I whispered in her hair.
“I’ll be back before you even know it.” Her phone began to ring, signaling her ride to the airport was outside.
“Go love. Make sure you call me when you touch down.” I kissed her once more as she nodded and headed out. After taking a deep breath, I locked the door and went to sit on the couch. This was going to be a long weekend.
The first day wasn’t too bad, Teresa called me numerous times to make sure I was okay before she had to go to the doctors with her mom. I glanced up at the clock as I started the grill up. “Deep breaths Steven, deep breaths.” I kept repeating to myself. Maybe if I get the food done before dark, I can fall asleep by the time they start the fireworks start. I turned on the TV and started watching some random drama. I threw the steak on the grill and decided to slow cook it.
I quickly looked over at my shoulder and reached for the nonexistent gun on my back. When I noticed there was no actual, physical threat, I sat down on the lawn chair and put my head in my hands. “This is going to be a long night.” I kept flinching at the small sounds of the little ground firecrackers as they hit the floor and almost folded in on myself. My head shot up as I noticed my neighbor glance over the fence. “Hey there Steve-o. What’s up?” He leaned his arms on the fence as he looked at me. Confusion was clear on his face as he cocked his head to the side. “You look like you’ve seen a ghost.” I shook my head as I got up to flip the steaks. “Nah Martin, I’m alright. Happy 4th though man.” I gave him the best smile I could muster up.
“Same to you. Why don’t you come over, where’s the wife?” He looked over his shoulder and waved to one of our neighbors walking down the street. I waved as well as I closed the top of the grill.
“She went to spend the weekend with her mom. She should be back on Monday. I may stop over later tonight.” Martin smiled and disappeared back behind his fence. I took a deep breath as I went back inside to get a drink.
Next thing I was on the floor next to a broken Corona bottle. “Everyone get down! It’s an air attack!” The voice of my late commanding officer rang through my ears as I crawled over to the back of the couch, pressing flush against it. I peeked out the side of the couch to suddenly remember that I’m home. When I was able to collect my thoughts, I quickly rang Teresa.
“Hey babe. Are you okay?” I nodded my head as if she could see but my voice failed me. “Yeah I’m alright. How’s mom doing?” Teresa excused herself from whatever room she was in and I heard a door close behind her.
“You’re lying to me. I’ve been married to you for 5 years, I ought to know.” I took a deep breath as I leaned my head against the couch. “I need you to come home.” Fireworks were going off more and more outside and I flinched every time.
Teresa’s voice calmed me a bit. “I’ll be there soon love.”