Going Home | Flash Fiction
“That’s the last time I let Robert borrow my car,” Samantha muttered while putting out a cigarette.
It was rainy and cold outside, and she’d forgotten her jacket again. With a cell phone nearing 20% battery life, any woman would feel worried under those circumstances. Not Samantha. Instead of feeling panic or anxiety, she waded between numbness and rage.
The numbness set in because Robert’s stunts had matured over time. An ignored text message here. A forgotten bill there. Samantha would nag him awfully but forgive him on every offense. Months of riding this emotional rollercoaster had dwindled her self-esteem to feeling numb.
But when the wind chills kicked up, slapping her in the face and on her thin, bare arms, rage set in.
“Samantha, I don’t see how you put up with this. It’s too cold to be standing out here. Let me take you home,” Mary scoffed.
“Don’t worry about it, Mary. I’m fine. He’s coming. Thank you.”
“Suit yourself. But you don’t deserve this. Learn to convince yourself of that, okay?”
“Have a good weekend.”
Samantha wanted to punch Mary in the face, but she was right. Waiting for Robert to treat her with respect was getting her nowhere but stuck in the freezing cold with too much pride to accept a ride from a co-worker.
By the time Samantha had reconsidered Mary’s offer, she’d driven off. Her cell phone had officially died and it was getting dark. The building was locked, and the security guard had gone home.
For a moment, Samantha felt helpless until a shiny red truck slowed down in front of her. Her defenses were down; she wasn’t frightened but relieved that anyonehad shown up.
“Miss, are you okay? Do you need a ride home?”
“Yes,” she cried. “I was stood up and don’t have a way to get home.”
“Don’t cry. Please come in. I’ll drive you anywhere you want just don’t cry.”
For the first time in ages Samantha felt like she mattered. She wiped her tears and smiled. Thanking the man as she gestured to open the door, she asked if he had a cell phone.
“Sure do. Let me grab it for you.”
He was cute and had a southern accent. Sam immediately noticed that he wasn’t wearing a wedding ring and didn’t see a car seat in the backseat. The gentlemen smiled, realizing what she was looking for. He glanced at her ring finger as she dialed 911 in his phone.
“Whoa! Why are you calling the cops? I don’t want any trouble!”
“No, no. You’ve been far too kind for me to call the cops on you. I’m reporting my car stolen, that’s all.”
Samantha graciously smiled at the gentleman to ease his worry. He relaxed and waited for her to end the call.
“Where to, Miss?”
“Samantha. Sir, I’m going home. Finally.”
© Ariel C. Williams
March 4, 2018