notquiteold

Nancy Roman

ENOUGH

I haven’t written anything in a while, but I’d like to get started again.

So when I saw that my library was offering a short course in Flash Fiction, I signed up. I am hoping it just gets my creative juices (and motivation) kickstarted.

This is my first assignment. Write a short-story story where the first sentence is repeated as the last sentence. (Please remember, this is Fiction… I’m fine and thriving, and wouldn’t want anyone to worry.)

***

ENOUGH

It’s enough.

In the very back of my closet, in the dark and the dust, is a garment bag. Inside is my wedding gown.

My gown has a secret pocket – to hold a tissue or perhaps a good luck charm. Right now it holds $187.14.

Every Wednesday, Walter gives me eighty dollars for groceries. I walk to the supermarket, as I have no car. I buy what I can carry. I have thought about taking a cart from the store to bring the grocery bags home, but I have learned to carry a lot.

When Walter comes home from work, I line up all my purchases with the receipt and the change. It all adds up perfectly. It has to.

For three years and two months now, I have gone back to the supermarket on Thursday. I return things. I return tuna and skip lunch. I return beans and soup and other canned things I can water down after serving Walter his portion. I return the cream Walter doesn’t take in his coffee and mix up the powdered creamer to put it in the little pitcher. It looks the same. I keep the powder in a tin that says ‘yeast.’

I exchange the big bottle of aspirin for the small size. I pour the pills into the bigger bottle I keep in my purse, and toss the little bottle in the trash can in the parking lot.

I return the expensive tampons and buy the cheap stuff.

I always go to the same cashier, the old lady at register six. She takes my returns and gives me the cash. No questions. She calls me Honey.

Every morning Walter kisses me goodbye when he goes off to work. “Sorry,” he says if I wince. I winced this morning.

In the secret pocket of my wedding gown is $187.14. Today is Wednesday, so I also have the $80.00 for groceries. $267.14.

It’s enough.

I reach into the back of the closet and pull out the garment bag. I take the money from the secret pocket. I drop the gown into the back of the closet – into the dark and the dust.

I don’t own a suitcase, but now the garment bag is empty. I take my good skirt and two shirts and three changes of underwear.

The bus ticket to Tampa is $189.00. I will have $78.14 left.

It’s enough.

22 Comments

  1. Linda Gretton

    Nancy, I love your writing!! The story is poignant and wonderful. Thank you for sharing your talent with us. With best wishes, Linda Gretton

    Sent from my iPhone

    >

    Like

  2. Gabi Coatsworth

    I love this! Keep writing!

    Like

  3. Barbara Lindsey

    Your story really touched me. Definitely keep it up.

    Like

  4. kazurcher

    I am your biggest fan, always. You are one of my favorite authors. I love this piece.

    Like

  5. Kim Cuahman

    Very nice. Such a big story in so few words. It may be fiction but it feels like there is someone you know that went through this..

    Like

  6. Heartbreak then redemption. Wonderful inspiring story.

    Like

  7. Deb

    Love this Nancy.

    Like

  8. Felicity

    …just wow.
    So powerful.
    Keep writing!

    Like

  9. I want to know more about her. What happens next?

    Like

  10. Tim Driscoll

    Wow!

    Like

  11. OOH, so dark and fun. Perhaps the first chapter of a longer tale. Please keep writing!

    Like

  12. Kathy

    Wow! Riveting! . In one short chapter we know so much about this woman’s life. Excellent writing – keep it up.

    Like

  13. Wonderful little story. You had me from the opening line and kept my interest to the end. Well done!

    Like

  14. Doug Landeen

    I missed your writings.

    Like

  15. This is really good Nancy. Good to see a post from you.

    Like

  16. You write and I will read

    Like

  17. Well done! You said a lot with very few words, it was convincing and made me care. It doesn’t get better than that….

    Like

  18. Kaye Hamilton-Smith

    Nice!

    Like

  19. Powerful writing. I’m rooting for her!

    Like

  20. Very well done. I know it is fiction but to so many it is a reality. See it put so clearly may even help someone.

    Like

  21. Wow, if this is the first story after a pause, what’s coming up next? So glad you are back into this. Sometimes a schedule and a group is just what’s needed.

    Like

  22. hooked! Well done, MJ

    Like

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