Good to Go – Friday Fictioneers, December 2017

Copyright Bjorn Rudberg

 

Reaching the end, neither will fathom why they ever began.

“Have a nice life,” he’ll murmur, with uncharacteristic civility, returning his door-keys.

“Don’t be a stranger,” she’ll say, hoping to God he will, and resolving to change the locks anyway.

Perhaps she’ll expect that crushing wave of ‘alone-ness’, no longer being, or having ‘a significant other’. When it doesn’t happen, she’ll realise they’ve each been on their way somewhere, just sharing the ride for a while.

She’ll see him again, years later, both married then.

They’ll smile, not stopping to talk.

They’ve been good to go… for far too long.

 

 

 Christmassy hats (for that’s what I saw) reminded me that this is a season of the year for reviewing the past and contemplating the future.  So this piece reflects too many Christmasses during which both activities were studiously avoided.  The lovely Rochelle guides  Friday Fictioneers towards the end of 2017 with her characteristic aplomb.  Thank you, Rochelle.  It wouldn’t be the same without you.

 

About Sandra

I cruise the French waterways with my husband four or five months a year, and write fiction and poetry. I love animals, F1 motor racing, French bread and my husband, though not necessarily in that order.
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81 Responses to Good to Go – Friday Fictioneers, December 2017

  1. neilmacdon says:

    I love the way you twisted that last line

    Like

  2. Iain Kelly says:

    A time for reflection and it seems an amicable separation. Makes quite a refreshing change from the usual drama of Friday Fictioneers tales! A familiar slice of real life subtly told. Hope you have a Merry Christmas Sandra.

    Like

  3. Sue says:

    Yep, it happens

    Like

  4. Varad says:

    The end was expertly done, Sandra. Good one.

    Like

  5. Dear Sandra,

    Absolutely stunning piece. So much said in a few words. I fear it’s a common story for many. I do understand why some couples divorce after 50 years…they no longer have anything in common. The last line is a slap in the face.

    Shalom,

    Rochelle

    Liked by 1 person

    • Sandra says:

      Sometimes it’s so much easier than we’d have ourselves believe, facing the truth and taking back control. And sometimes it’s not… Thank you Rochelle, for your kind comment.

      Like

  6. Martin Cororan says:

    …So, leave your partner now and beat the Christmas rush? Got it! Thanks for the sage advice. My embittered soon to be ex-partner also thanks you!

    Like

  7. Sandra says:

    Uh-oh. Don’t do anything rash on my account, Martin. But on the other hand… 🙂 Have the best Christmas possible.

    Like

  8. granonine says:

    Breaking up isn’t always hard to do 🙂

    Like

  9. James says:

    Sometimes you just say “good-bye” and move on. Especially when you’re older, the prospect of not being in a relationship isn’t that scary.

    Like

    • Sandra says:

      For young people, long term relationships take them out of a particular social set, all their friends are couples… it looks a bigger problem than it turns out to be.

      Liked by 1 person

      • James says:

        I think it’s a bigger problem relative to stage of life as a younger person where the general expectation is marriage/long-term commitment and having children. Once you’re at the “grandparent” stage, it’s not particularly critical if the relationship goes south.

        That said, my parents married when they were both 20 and my Dad died one day short of his 85th birthday. Mom is lost without him.

        Liked by 1 person

  10. This has a ring of familiarity about it for me, right down the very last line! Excellent.

    Click to read my FriFic!

    Like

  11. Moon says:

    I adore your writing, Sandra.
    This story too is no exception. Superbly told. I love the matter-of-fact narration here rather than the emotive narration that I usually adopt for my little tales.Very effective, indeed.

    Like

  12. bbryanthomas says:

    Loneliness. A sad thought

    Like

  13. rgayer55 says:

    I’m sure it wasn’t all bad, just not enough good to hold onto. They’ll be happier apart than together, and they both know it. Masterfully written.

    Like

  14. Excellent piece. Sad and contemplative. The road not traveled is filled with yearning and regret.

    Like

  15. Dale says:

    Brilliantly done, Sandra. Having lived a very similar situation, it rings so very true. Sometimes we just exist together and know that we’ll both be better off apart. Another memory.

    Like

  16. Love how they both felt glad that it was over… the changing of locks added so much. Sometimes it requires a lot of water under the bridges.

    Like

  17. I always enjoy your third person pieces! Someday I’ll poke a toe into trying it. Very nicely done. Merry Christmas!

    Like

  18. I love the barely concealed antagonism at their parting and the veneer of civility. The contrast with the look into the future is very moving. “They’ll smile, not stopping to talk.” That really touched my heart!

    Like

  19. What a refreshing take on not just the prompt but also relationships. It is so easy to forget that holding on can be much crueler and sadder than letting go and moving on at times.

    Like

  20. Marriages often go this way. You spend years together without any real connection or bonds until one day you decide to call it for what it is and separate. I love that it was amicable despite the hidden true feelings, which I suspect reflects on the nature of their past relationship.

    Like

  21. Jan Brown says:

    Good story! Insightful. Sometimes relationships outlast their expiration date!

    Like

  22. Lynn Love says:

    It was a positive outcome for all in the end, even if they took too long to reach that moment of parting. They couldn’t quite pull apart, but knew they shouldn’t be together. I loved that even though we start sour – the lock changing is a telling detail – they both reach a better place with other people. Regrets – yes – but not enough to marr the future. A lesson learned perhaps.
    Merry Christmas, Sandra

    Like

  23. Anna Rymer says:

    I love how the beauty of life can be captured in snippets like this. This is so poignant and real. Life is all about reflecting ad seeing things for what they are and EVERY moment and person has it’s/their place no matter how sad its ending or its moment of remembering. Thank you – this was lovely x Merry Christmas! x

    Like

  24. draliman says:

    Strange how that can happen, one minute sharing everything, the next two completely separate people.

    Like

  25. Liz Young says:

    I believe Christmas stress often kicks a marriage into oblivion.

    Like

  26. EagleAye says:

    Sometimes the people in our lives are just a season. We need every season, but eventually it’s time to move on to the next one. Both seemed to understand that and the necessity of moving on. Good for both of them. It’s time to try a different hat.

    Merry Christmas!

    Like

  27. Your story flowed easily with great depth. It contained much meaning with so few words. I love the part, “they’ve each been on their way somewhere, just sharing the ride for a while.” This resonates with me and I’m sure with others, as people come into our lives for a time and then we leave or they do. Creating moments that are only for a time and often for a purpose.

    Like

    • Sandra says:

      Thanks for reading and giving me your thoughts Brenda. Yes, there’s something to be learned from everyone we meet. Even if it’s only how not to be. Have a good Christmas.

      Like

  28. plaridel says:

    poignant story. the last sentence said it all.

    Like

  29. Laurie Bell says:

    Very well done. Time shows it was happening all along. Sounds like a good thing

    Like

  30. subroto says:

    Beautifully done with humour, sadness and drama all thrown in.

    And with this line, “resolving to change the locks anyway”, some practicality too 🙂

    Like

  31. Susan says:

    Sandra, this is a story well told. One that many people can relate to. Good job

    Like

  32. It happens like that (if you’re lucky) but it seems so odd that you can easily be so distant with someone you were so close to. Your story shows how perfectly natural that is.

    Like

  33. Sarah Ann says:

    Such a poignant end of year piece. I love that last line, and the idea of sharing the ride but not going forwards together. This is one to re-read and pull a little more from each time.

    Like

  34. “They’ve been good to go…for far too long.” – I love that line!
    Mine: https://kindredspirit23.wordpress.com/2017/12/22/tend-to-your-knittin/
    Scott

    Like

  35. pennygadd51 says:

    That’s beautifully written, Sandra, with a killer eye for the significant detail. It’s a real model of how to write a Drabble.

    Like

  36. I absolutely loved your story. The line: …they’ve each been on their way somewhere, just sharing the ride for a while… that really resonated with me. Thank you.

    I’m going to resume writing stories with FF in the New Year.
    Happy Christmas!

    Susan A Eames at
    Travel, Fiction and Photos

    Like

  37. So much in so few words again, Sandra. Merry Christmas, see you on the other side

    Like

  38. I remember the feeling. At my time of life, I wonder if the BF’s of the past are still living. I’ve moved several times so have never met them again. Good writing as always, Sandra. Merry Christmas. 🙂 — Suzanne

    Liked by 1 person

  39. magarisa says:

    To me, the sadness lies in the anti-climactic outcome. But then again, such endings are better than explosive/dramatic ones for the people involved. Powerful writing, especially the first and the last lines.

    Like

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