In this first Five Minute Fiction, we’re featuring the winner of November’s Pinterest Prompt, Vicky McMillan. Vicky drew us in with her short tale of a serendipitous encounter in New York City. Fancy seeing your own writing here in January? Be sure to enter December’s Pinterest Prompt on Novelicious.
This doesn’t look like heartbreak to me. Why is everything so cheery, when I am trying my best to be sad? Damn you fairy lights and tinsel in New York City: I need a wet and miserable Sunday afternoon at an English coastal resort. I hum a Morrissey tune to myself; ‘the seaside town, they forgot to close down.’ That’s more like it.
Misery returns for a moment only to be chased away by the skyscrapers towering above me; they bask in golden light, kissed by an extra hint of sparkle from the Christmas trees skirting them. Their glittery glamour mocks my tears, and shouts in the face of my loneliness.
I try to ignore the shoppers who rush by with their Bloomingdales’ bags. Can’t they see I want to wallow in my unhappiness? A happy couple brush past me. I hate her blushing cheeks and his sparkling eyes. They don’t notice the glassy stare I give them and my mascara-streaked cheeks.
My phone beeps: another message from Pete.
Please answer my calls –can’t we be friends? xx
Friends! How ridiculous. I toss the phone over my shoulder into the pool of a fountain behind me. It’s frozen solid. I hear the crack as it hits the ice, and turn around to see it bounce and split in half; part of it hitting a man sitting on the adjacent wall.
He catches sight of me and I rush over. ‘I’m sorry did that hurt? I didn’t mean to hit you with it.’
‘Do you make a habit of attacking strangers with your mobile phone?’
His serious face is softened by an amused look in his dark brown eyes.
‘I couldn’t help it. I was really angry; I was aiming it at the fountain,’ I explained.
‘Well, if you were trying to break it, it’s broken. Here.’ He hands me a part of the offending phone and I take it sheepishly. ‘Whoever it was, I’m sure they weren’t worth it. Oh no you’re crying – here take a tissue.’
I take it from him and dab my eyes.
‘Do you want to talk?’
I see the Christmas trees reflected in his eyes. In the background, an unseen band strikes up the first notes to Mariah Carey’s All I want for Christmas.
Who wants to be sad at Christmas anyway?