Flash Fiction…I think.
by Ronald Cypress
Throughout the years that she had been retreating to the woods for solitary, Constance had come across plenty of oddities scattered around the mostly vacant area, but she had never seen anything like what she found on that second day of a hot July. She had seen dead bodies before—all them in caskets—but Constance had never seen one that wasn’t prepared and set out for anticipated viewers. The sight of her first unattended body caught her off guard, but she responded better than she had expected. She hadn’t made a sound, not even a gasp, after spotting the body.
It was a young man. He was propped up against a tree, slightly slouched over to his right side. He was wearing a black, leather jacket that was unzipped, and under the jacket he was completely bare. The young man was also wearing blue jeans and black socks. In his right hand there was a gun, one that Constance surmised was a typical handgun, and under the jacket, running down his chest and stomach, was blood. Anyone could put together what had happened to the young man.
Constance started to weep once she realized what he had done and its permanence. She didn’t weep long, because something suddenly caught her eyes; the young man was quite attractive. There wasn’t any life in his eyes that were partly open; he had the appearance of a dead person. But Constance started to see more than death, and before she knew a strong feeling came over her. She sat beside the body, her leg brushing against his as she did so. The touching caused her to flinch a little, but it wasn’t because she was repulsed. It was something that was related more to her shyness.
Constance had always been a shy girl. The fifteen-year-old had thrown up several times during the previous school year because of the nerves that came along with being so introverted. She didn’t do well around people; it was what brought her out to the woods so often. Her mother had warned her that one day she would journey into the woods, go too far and never come back. As she sat next to the young man, Constance began to suspect that day had actually arrived.
She sat and stared at the boys face. He wasn’t much older than her. He was youthful and beautiful. When he was alive, girls had constantly been chasing after him, the rare Adonis whom everybody wanted, but he had chosen to be with Constance. There were even several men, some married, who had pursued the young man. The young man was always kind and never harshly rebuked anyone. No matter how desperately he was wooed the young man always kept his heart faithful to Constance.
Constance had been the fool to question his devotion. She had been the one who pushed him away after seeing a sight that she mistook as another girl coming to take her place. She had pushed him hard enough for the young man to have fallen so far into darkness that he could see no way to go on. She had forgiven him and was on her way to see him and confess her absolute love once again, but the young man had gone away. Constance had searched without rest for several days before coming upon his remains in the woods.
Her true love had left her.
She would go back home and no one would know about what had happened. She would go to school, and no one would know about her real love. They would all just go back to tormenting her without understanding that Constance was already under the ground, gone from the earth and with her love. She would be numb and mostly deaf to talk at school, and at home she would just hide away in her room and cry quietly enough so that her parents didn’t hear her. Constance was wise enough to know that the pain wouldn’t last forever. Another love would eventually come along, but there would be the understanding of what had once been. Constance knew that she would never get over the rare Adonis who had once loved her so passionately.
The young man twitched. Constance was certain that she saw him move, but after staring at him carefully for several minutes the body appeared to be completely still. Her love was gone. Constance stood up and began to weep again.
“Oh, Amor,” she said.
Constance turned away from the young man and began to walk. She wasn’t going back home, but she was heading out of the woods. Thoughts about the summer’s end stayed with her as she strolled along. She saw all of their faces and remembered how she had often wished to be invisible to them. She wasn’t going think that way after the summer ended. Constance wasn’t going to be the same girl. The love she had experienced had taken her, and she wasn’t going to come back. They could look at her now, and she wouldn’t mind. She wasn’t going to be the girl they had expected to see.