ONE FLASH – Emily Ramser

Posted: January 14, 2013 in Fiction, Flash
Tags: , , , ,

Tomorrow is a New Day for Secrets

Emily Ramser


The boy turns the pages with curious fingers. He runs them across the glossy photos, lingering on the women’s faces and pouty red-painted lips. They are all so beautiful, he thinks. That is the word he should use, isn’t it? Beautiful? They steal his breath from his tummy and lite him on fire.


He can feel if racing through his body. The flames tickle his palms and make the crevices between his fingers sweat. He flips too another page, and his eyes widen. So lovely. She looks like his mother, he thinks. He strokes the model’s deep brown hair and pale skin. So pretty.


From beyond the bathroom a door slams. He drops the dirty magazine in fright. It slumps against the bathroom’s tile floor. He stuffs it back in the pile of magazines resting on the back of the toilet. Tomorrow. He would look again tomorrow.


Across the hall the girl presses her thumb against the lock of her door, assuring that no one could enter. Not like anyone was home. Her house was a ghost town expect for her younger brother in the bathroom.


She sits on the edge of her bed. The purple comforter spreads out like a mystic sea behind her. Her mother had picked it out. She would have preferred a red or green, but her mother thinks a girl should be interested in purples and pinks, not boy colors like reds and greens.


The letters on the brochure match the blanket, she thinks. Maybe her mother designed it. Her lips tilt up in a smirk. As if. She reads them again, holding her breath as if they might have changed since she picked the paper up at the clinic.


“Trans youth, we’re here to help you.”


They haven’t changed. Her breath flies out in a woosh and she unfolds it to read the information inside. Tomorrow. Tomorrow I’ll go back and talk to the clinic counselor, she thinks.


Outside her window her father’s car idles. He sits in the front seat with his hands holding a pack of papers to the steering wheel. He reads the same line over and over again.


“Am I doing this?”


He whispers aloud to himself, filling the quiet car. He rereads the divorce papers and turns off the car. He fingers the key, nervous energy keeping him from being still. Might as well get this over with, he thinks. Is she even home?


He walks inside his empty home. Were his children even here? His daughter was never home, for she was always out with her short-haired friends smoking cigarettes. His son hid upstairs more often than naught with his video games. He often finds himself wondering if he even has a family.


He lays the papers on one of the placemats his wife had laid out earlier. She will see it whenever she decides to come back, he thinks. Then she can leave without having to worry about arranging placemats ever again. He smirks. When she leaves he will light these plastic things on fire on the garage floor. He can see them now, twisting and dancing in the flames.


He collapses on to the living room’s overstuffed puke-green couch. His wife had picked it out, so when she left she could take it. He would get something a little less puke colored and a little more leather colored. He would finally be able to make his own choices. Tomorrow, he thinks. After tomorrow I can do anything I want.


The house shifts on its foundation, sending a creak through its halls. The girl looks up at the noise and stashes the pamphlet under her pink pillow. She uses the remote on her nightstand to turn on her ipod radio. The boy turns up the volume of his game in the room opposite hers. Downstairs their father turns up the tv so as to hear the actors say their lines. Tomorrow. At least tomorrow it will be quiet, the house thinks.

  1. […] Previous version published here. […]

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