Protest – A Flash Fiction

“Oh, hi,” he said, moving his sign to the side so he could see her a little bit better. “It’s been a while, yeah?”

She flushed, and smiled so widely that his heart was lifted up with the corners of her mouth. “Too long,” she said. “Are you here for the demonstration?”

Even if he could have helped it, he wouldn’t have stopped his mind from skipping over the fights, the arguments, the breakup. It skipped and danced right back to the fun times, the nights spent together laughing, naked or clothed. His memories kept skipping to the days where he could be held enraptured by the soft color of her hair, by its surprising robustness. The days where the sighs were contentment, not exasperation. The days, he realized, he wanted back again.

She repeated the question, louder over the gathering crowd of people. “Are you here for the demonstration?”

Smiling, he held out the big “YES” sign. “Yeah, would you like to get coffee after…?”

His tongue dried in his mouth as she slowly held out the “NO” sign from behind her back.

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