Flash Fiction: Her Shattered Heart
So, I’m trying something new today. I’ve been a follower of Chuck Wendig’s blog for a few months now, and every now and again he posts a flash fiction challenge. This week’s can be found here, where we’re instructed to choose one of 10 sentences from his list and use it as the first line of our 1,000-2,000 story. Well, here goes nothing!
The first breath shattered her world, the second shattered her heart. Sara could move neither her body nor her eyes. Before her lay the rubble of the life she thought she had created with him, but it only took two breaths for that to come to an end. Two breaths were all it took for her to come to her senses.
“How could you do this to me?”
Jared stood in a panic, jumping from the body of the unnamed woman lying on his couch. Sara didn’t know who she was, and she didn’t want to. Her attention was firmly on her now soon-to-be ex-lover, and nothing else mattered.
“Sara? What are you doing here?” he asked incredulously as he adjusted his pants.
“You gave me the key, asshole.” It took every fiber of her being to keep her voice level.
“I called your phone from downstairs. You didn’t answer.”
“Maybe I was busy.”
Sara rolled her eyes. “Clearly.”
“Maybe I should go…” the no-named woman offered from the couch as she began to stand.
“No…” Jared insisted.
“Yes,” Sara demanded in unison.
The woman looked between the two of them and decided to take Sara’s advice. “We’ll talk later, Jared.”
He tried to delay her departure, but she picked up her jacket, put on her shoes, grabbed her purse and was out the door without another look behind her. Sara could only watch – clearly this woman didn’t know about her either. At least she had that going for her.
Once the door closed, Sara returned her attention to Jared. He stood before her in only his jeans, with his bare chest, so nicely sculpted; now playing with the memory of the nights they had spent together. He ran his hands through his tussled brown hair and rubbed the stubble on his cheeks and chin before turning to look at her with his dark eyes.
“I’d say I’m sorry, but I don’t think you’d believe me.”
Sara set her jaw as she stared at him. She would have given anything to forget what she’d seen and run to him, nuzzling that naked chest, but she stood her ground. She had to. There was too much at stake.
“I don’t think you’d believe me if I told you the extent of the damage you have done.”
She never told him about her dreams, and she doubted he realized they were anything more than that. But from the information her grandmother told her, and the knowledge of what transpired between her mother and her father- and even her uncle- she knew they were more. And until this moment, she invested every fiber of her beings into those dreams. She only needed him to believe her and allow them to play out.
And now he ruined everything.
Jared took a seat at the edge of the couch. “Look, Sara, I know you’ve only been in the city for a few months now, but you have to believe me when I tell you things around here are much different than from where you’re from. “
He shrugged. “New York’s a bigger city, more opportunity…”
“So that’s what you call it?”
Jared sighed. “All I’m saying is things happen – there’s a greater chance for it- and you can either let it go or have it devour you.”
Sara’s jaw dropped as she replayed the scene of walking in on her boyfriend lying on top of another woman. “So you’re saying that you’re justified in your actions because New York is a bigger city?”
“ARGH!” Sara screamed as she began to pace the room.
“Will you sit down?” Jared insisted. “You’re making me nervous…”
“Good!” She continued to pace as she decided what she was going to do next.
“Well, while you’re doing that, why don’t I just go get my shirt and we can make our reservations…” He started to stand up from the couch.
“No!” She turned on him. “You’re going to sit there and listen to me.”
“Ok, ok,” he put his hands up defensively and sat back down.
“Good.” Sara returned to her pacing.
Things weren’t supposed to be this way.
This was supposed to be easy – a seamless transition- was it not? Her parents always made it seem as such, and her grandmother never hinted that her time with her grandfather ever gave her a moment to reconsider.
The dreams were never wrong, and yet here she stood before the man she considered her intended, lip- locking and dry- humping someone other than her.
He was not Emperor material.
Sara finally sat down in an armchair across from the couch and held her head in her hands. Jared was being a good boy, letting her sort through her thoughts in silence, but they both knew it wouldn’t last forever.
Case in point.
She looked up to him, her own blue eyes staring into his. She knew she had her father’s eyes, and would often get stares for their brilliance, but Jared never flinched. Instead he would always hold her gaze, just as he was now, and before she felt there was more to it than a casual attraction. Now, she wasn’t so sure.
There was only one way to find out.
“I want you to come home with me.”
Jared blinked. “What?”
“I need to go home,” Sara continued. “I’d like you to come with me. I want you to meet my mother.”
“Sara, I….” he looked around. “You still think that’s a good idea? After… this?” He motioned to the couch.
She sighed. “I want to give you the benefit of the doubt. Can you at least do that for me?”
“I mean, of course… but your mother? Isn’t that taking things a little fast?”
Sara let a laugh escape her lips. If only he knew…
Jared cocked his head in question at her reaction. She shook her head slightly.
“Go get dressed. We’ll talk over dinner.”
Jared smiled, relieved that the conversation was delayed for the moment, and stood upon his release, retreating to the bedroom.
Sara took the moment to compose herself.
The dreams don’t lie, she reminded herself, yet here was her King Emperor, fondling someone other than her, and she was just supposed to bring him back with her, no questions asked? Maybe something was wrong, and the Prophecy was confused – the Annals had been through hell and back- and they sent her to the wrong guy? Her grandmother may be able to give her more insight – she was a former Queen Empress, after all.
And if not, she would bring him back to the Empire and take her chances. If she was wrong, he uncle would be more than happy to take care of him.
But gods, she hoped she was right.