This is the second installment of “Flash Fiction Friday.” If you are interested in being a Flash Fiction Friday contributor, please contact me at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Kevin approached Wade from the south end of the lawn. It had been three weeks since Penelope had left town to visit her ailing father, and both suitors had been at each other’s throats in the days leading up to her departure. Wade was not about to let this next meeting go without an opportunity to resolve the matter.
Wade’s eyes fixed squarely on Kevin as he slowed his gait. To his credit, Kevin eschewed the desire to physically engage Wade, instead focusing on the direct issue. “Okay, Wade. It’s time we work this out, once and for all.”
The response Kevin received from his opposite number set him on his heels. “You’re right,” Wade stated. “Honestly, I’m sick of arguing over this so, you win.”
“Well, that’s all good…” Kevin began, before Wade’s response dawned on him. “Wait, what?”
Wade shook his head, chuckling. “You win. I’m tired of this fight. Honestly, this isn’t about me and you know it. This is about one thing and you know it?”
“Really,” Kevin shot back, visibly annoyed. “What’s that?”
Wade smiled, realizing his opponent was losing his temper. ‘It’s about control, Kevin. You want to have control because, let’s face it, you have absolutely no control over your life.”
Rage began to file Kevin’s body as he slowly balled his hands into fists. “Now, wait just a minute.”
“No,” Wade interrupted, holding up his hand. “I’ve been hearing it from you for weeks…now it’s my turn. I’m tired of this fighting, this posturing and preening. Penelope is a lost cause for me, and I concede defeat here. The simple fact is, you want to be with her more than I do and, for that reason, I’m walking away. You won’t hear from me again, and neither will she. I’ve gotta’ move on with my life, and so do you two.”
Instead of anger, a new emotion appeared on Kevin’s face, one which Wade was not used to seeing, confusion. Kevin was about to open his mouth to speak, but Wade wasn’t quite done. “There’s something you don’t understand about me, Kevin, and never will. A refusal to fight is not because I’m afraid, don’t ever think that. It’s because I don’t fight for truly lost causes. If I believe there is hope, even a shred, I fight. Otherwise, I concede and allow nature to take its course. Any other way will lead to pain, and that’s something I have had enough of.”
A spin of the heel, and Wade began walking away, but not before Kevin called out what last shot. “Sure, walk away! I expected that from you.”
“Believe what you want,” Wade shouted back. “You’re in my rearview now! You and Penelope are irrelevant to me.”
Satisfied, Kevin turned around and went back to his apartment. Wade walked away, into a new and, at least he hoped, better life.