Happy Birthday by Randal Houle

“I don’t want smoke in my car.” I say.

“I don’t care what you want. This is about what I want.” She holds the fragile fag delicately. It burns and she puffs. She leans back and exhales, aiming at the small opening at the top of the passenger side window. Two months pregnant, we were nine days from our wedding date.

“I don’t really want you smoking.” I put enough conviction in my voice to rattle myself. My cheeks flush. There would be repercussions for my attempt to take charge. There were always repercussions.

“Don’t bother me with this, right now. I’m enjoying myself.” She closed her eyes and exhaled into the ceiling. I pull the car into a small parking lot.

“Don’t bother me… It’s not just you anymore.”

She glares at me. “I’m not having the baby. And we’re not getting married. So just leave.”

The words are like little daggers. I’ve heard them before. The sharp blades penetrate the skin where scabs formed over previous attacks. The eyes in my rearview mirror are not my own, they are of some other man. He looks back at me and pleads for release.

“Fine.” I take the keys out of the ignition and drop them to the seat as I leave. I look back after half a block. Blue smoke billows out the passenger side. I keep walking.


Filed under Randal Houle

5 responses to “Happy Birthday by Randal Houle

  1. Gloria

    Fiction truer than life!!

  2. Pingback: Flash Favorites! | Wink/Nudge

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