A Private Person by Stella Pierides

I’d dreaded meeting him since I heard his news from an acquaintance.
Now he was standing behind me at the checkout.

Hugging me, he asked the usual questions he always rolls out at school
reunions. I am fine, I answered; I am also fine, he told me; his
company was booming – picking up more clients than he could manage.
Fiddling with his shirt button and looking me in the eye, presumably
not realising I’d heard about his terminal illness,

“I am not coming this year to the class get-together,” he said, “I’m
having my house redecorated.” He cleared his throat, “so much to be
done, I’ve got to be there.”

I nodded, and as we parted, I clasped his hand with a feeling of
relief, and held it longer than I should have.

.

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10 Comments

Filed under Stella Pierides

10 responses to “A Private Person by Stella Pierides

  1. Al McDermid

    Didn’t realize that discomfort could be so touching. Really well done, especially the end.

  2. Makes me wish I could write stories of this length … so bittersweet.

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  4. Beautiful. So well done!

  5. Powerful, with the ambiguity of emotions.

    Good to see you here! I like this: a goodbye story for hello.

  6. Bittersweet. And touching. You describe that sort of awkward moment perfectly. Peace…

  7. Pingback: Week #25 – least favorite « 52|250 A Year of Flash

  8. Maria

    beautiful! and the complexity of emotions….

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