Charlie // Flash Fiction

I woke up to a phone call at three in the morning on a Wednesday night. The boss wanted to see me in his office right away. I pulled myself together and attempted to look semi-presentable at such short notice. With seaweed green sleep still poking my eye, I hailed a taxi to the central part of the city.

I rapped on his door with my tender knuckles.

“Yeah.”

He had his back to me, and I could almost feel the tension in his shoulders. Something was going to happen between us. I just knew it.

“Take a seat, Charlie.”

I smoothed out the kinks in my dress and tapped my feet anxiously.

“This is a fine whiskey, Charlie. It’s Japanese, too. You’re lucky you’re getting some because I don’t do this for anybody else.”

Handing me a glass, he sits down on the floor next to me. He rolls up his sleeves, loosens his tie, and rests his head on my lap.

“You’re fired, Charlie.”

The words don’t register at first, but I soon find myself squeezing my glass so hard that it shatters all over his little head.

“You can’t be serious? I thought we were going to—”

“Going to what? Screw? Oh no, Charlie. It was fun for a while, but you got too close, and I don’t have time for that.”

A year ago, I would have begged on my knees for him to let me stay. I love him dearly, but I am tired of being left out in the cold. We used each other to get where we were, and I was ok with that for a long time. He got me the promotion I always wanted, and he got to sleep with a woman he didn’t have to marry. We had such good fun, but that all changed at the Christmas party. By the end of the night, I ran into the sea fully clothed, desperate. When he heard about what happened, he made it so that we rarely saw each other. And, he was doing it again.

“Fine. But I’m taking the whiskey.”

“Like hell you are!”

I kick him where it hurts and grab it.

“Fuck you!” he yelped.

“You too, doll face.”

The streets were empty, except for the colourful decorations. There wasn’t a taxi in sight, either. I looked up at the office blocks toward his window, and I saw him tearing the place up. Was he mad about the whiskey or my lack of reaction? I’ll never know, and I don’t think I cared. I’ve always been an excellent schmoozer. When we both end up in hell, we’ll go toe to toe for the chance to be brown-nosers to the devil.

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