Flash in the Pan
A Quarterly Posting at Tiny Lights
by Joan Zerrien
The computer screen surges to life, glowing in the still-dark kitchen. I lean in eagerly. There, he's written already, probably on layover in Tokyo. I can almost feel him reaching out through the screen to touch me, and I smile in relief.
Oh. There are multiple receivers, his family and some friends. "I'm well and truly on my way, " he writes. "It feels fantastic, going back to the States for the first time in eight years. My friend Merania will be picking me up in LA……" There is a phone number, there are places and dates, but my brain has frozen. My chest is far too small for this thudding heart.
I turn away, walking blindly out to the front porch, the porch we painted together last week. To the east, spiky Norfolk pines prickle darkly against the pale horizon. I know, certain as day, that he won't be coming back.
Joan Zerrien lives in the San Jacinto Mountains of Southern California, and sometimes dreams of New Zealand.
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