Flash Fiction #34 – Far Away
Ellie sighed as she pulled pulled up in front of her apartment building. Nick’s car was still parked in its usual spot. It had some boxes in it, but not nearly enough considering she’d given him the entire weekend to pack up his shit and get out. She supposed he could be here grabbing the last load, but knowing Nick, she doubted it.
Resigned to yet another conversation she didn’t want to have, she punched in the building code and yanked open the heavy metal door. Trudging up the stairs, she paused outside their–no, her apartment door at the sound of a guitar being strummed inside.
“Goddamnit,” she muttered mostly under her breath and shoved the key in the lock and jerked open the door.
The space looked almost exactly the same as it had when she’d left Friday night–except now, Nick’s CD and DVD collection sat in towering piles on the living room floor instead of neatly on the shelves.
She turned to find her ex-boyfriend on the couch, cradling his guitar. She gestured loosely around the room. “So this is all you’ve managed in the last nearly forty-eight hours?”
Nick patted the couch next to him. “Sit down, El. I’ve got something I want you to hear.”
“Unless it’s the sound of your car door shutting and you driving out of my life, I’m not interested.”
“I’ve been working on it all weekend for you.”
Ellie glanced around the space. “Clearly.”
Ignoring his suggestion that she sit next to him, she grabbed a box and haphazardly shoved his movies and music inside, heedless of the meticulously alphabetized order. Who the hell organized a bands’ CDs by title instead of release date, anyway?
She felt his gaze on her as she filled one box and started on another. But he didn’t say anything. Instead, he he started strumming his fucking guitar, again.
He started to sing. He really did have a great voice. She mentally shook her head at herself. It was just like her to be swayed by guy with a guitar. Idiot. Once the DVDs and CDs were packed up, she moved across the room and started shoving his PS4 and controllers in another box. And the whole time, he continued play. At first, she hadn’t recognized the song, but it was sounding vaguely familiar. And by the time he got around to the bridge, she knew exactly what it was.
When he finished, he looked up at her expectantly.
Her hands tightened around his copy of Final Fantasy 14, and the plastic case cracked beneath her fingers.
“Hey, careful wi–”
She tossed the game into an empty box. “Did you actually just try to win me back with a Nickelback song?”
“What?” His brow furrowed, and he looked confused. “I love that song, and I thought it really expressed how I feel about you.”
Her lips pressed together briefly, and she took, a deep, not as calming as she would have liked, breath. “You really like that song?”
“Yeah. It’s great.”
She nodded slowly. “Nick, do I like that song?”
“I’m not sure…?”
“Here’s an easier question for you. Do I like Nickelback?”
“No, but it’s such a great song, and I swear, it’s like they wrote it just for you and me.”
She stood up and pulled his coat and boots out of the closet and tossed them toward him. “And there’s our problem.”
He laughed in disbelief. “What? Nickelback is ruining our relationship?”
“No. What ruined–note the past tense–our relationship is that your wants are more important than anyone else’s. You don’t take my feelings into account, you just push ahead with what you want because that’s really the only thing that matters to you. This fucking song is just another example of that.”
He put his guitar in the case and snapped the clasps shut. “I worked really hard to learn that for you, you know.”
“No. You worked really hard to learn that for you. There’s a difference.”
He looked like he was about to argue, but she picked up the box of CDs and shoved it at him. “Just go. And take Chad with you.”
That’s it from me. Be sure to check out the other bloggers’ stories.