Another new feature. 🙂 Yay. The 3rd Monday of each month, the ladies and I are going to be sharing some more flash fiction – this time, peices inspired by a song.
This week’s song… “I’m A Mess” by Ed Sheeran. I love this song. Have a listen then see what I’ve come up with as a result… 😀
“I’m A Mess”
“Where the fuck were you last night?”
Michael Adams held the phone away from his ear, wincing as pain ricocheted through his skull. Why the hell had he even answered the phone? Early Saturday morning calls? Never a good thing. And as much as Michael loved his sister, listening to her yelling at him—again—was a far cry from how he wanted to spend his morning. At this moment, the only thing he wanted to do was to roll over and sleep it off some more. Clearly, the universe had other plans for him. As it always did.
“No,” she said loudly. “This has gone on too fucking long, Mikey. You need to…”
“What? I need to what, exactly? Snap out of it? Pull myself up by the bootstraps, slap on a smile and pretend everything is all good in the world? Sorry, not happening.” He scrubbed a hand over his face, frowning at the scrape of scruff against his palm. “I’m fine.”
“The fuck you are.”
He sighed. “You need to expand your vocabulary.”
“I’ll expand my fucking vocabulary when you get out of the fucking house for something other than fucking work and start living your fucking life again.”
“Such a lady,” he drawled.
“You didn’t show up for your best friend’s engagement party,” she said, uncharacteristically quiet. “So saying you’re fine isn’t going to fly.”
“I talked to Oliver.” Michael tried to keep his tone firm and even, but his voice just came out scratchy and weak. “He said he understood. That’s all that really matters.”
“Of course he said that! Everyone is so fucking scared of saying anything that will push you over the edge. No one knows how to talk to you because you’ve shut us all out!”
“Not very effectively since I have you shrieking in my ear on a regular basis,” he muttered.
“Yeah, and you can expect that to continue, you fucking ass. Unlike the friendships you are effectively destroying with your behavior, it will take a hell of a lot more to drive me away. And just think about that, Mikey,” she warned. “Keep this up, and I’ll be all you have. Is that really what you want?”
He snorted, ignoring how his chest tightened. “What I want? Pretty much given up on that.”
“Why?” she yelled. “Why shouldn’t you have what you want? Fuck, you had it already. You had it, and you threw it away! Dad’s gone. Why are you letting him have any power over you now when you didn’t when he was alive?”
“I’m not going to argue about this again.” He knew where this was headed, and he needed to stop it before—
“That’s the problem; you don’t argue.” She laughed bitterly. “You go to work, you come home and drink and then you go to bed, just to wake and do it all over again. You listen to me bitch and you mope around and wallow.”
“Didn’t your therapist ever tell you that people grieve in their own way?”
“This isn’t fucking grie—” She stopped short and he heard her take a deep breath. “Are you even going to ask about him? He was there last night. But, of course, you know that.”
And there it was. Michael swallowed heavily, and his eyes burned behind his closed lids.
“How is he?” he whispered then inwardly cringed.
He hadn’t meant to ask. He didn’t want to know… Shit, he was no better at lying to himself than he had been two months before when he’d told Aric to get the hell out of his life. And his loving and devoted boyfriend had walked away without a second glance, because Michael had said it was what he wanted. His skills at lying convincingly to others were obviously far superior to his ability to delude himself. Despite his best efforts.
“He looked good,” she said quietly then added, “But, Mikey, he looked so sad, too. Especially when…when he asked about you.”
“I wouldn’t read too much into that.” He swallowed heavily, gulping down the surge of hope that rose. “Everyone gets a little sad when they think about their exes.”
“It’s more than that, and you know it.”
The muscles of his jaw twitched when he clenched his teeth. “And who was on his arm, Trina? I’ve never known Aric to show up anywhere all by his lonesome.”
“No one.” When he didn’t answer, she sighed. “I didn’t see him when he got there, all right? And he…mingled all night. And talked to a lot of people.”
“A lot of good looking guys.”
Her breath hitched. “Oh, Mikey.”
“I’m going to go.”
“Just call him.”
“I’ve told you already there’s no point. It’s over.”
“Christ, you’re stubborn.” Triina laughed harshly.
“Says the woman who calls every single day to rip me a new one. Guessing it’s hereditary, sister mine.” He stretched his free arm over his head. “And I’m hanging up, now.”
“Fine. I’ll talk to you tomorrow.”
“Of course you will.” He smiled…an actual genuine smile. Trina was one thing he could count on, even if it was in the form of nagging phone calls most of the time. “Love you.”
“Love you, too,” she returned. “Please, think about what I said. Call him.”
Ending the call, he tossed the phone off the side of the bed then rolled over to bury his face in the pillow on the other side of the bed. Aric’s side of the bed.
“Fuck,” he muttered, punching the mattress several times before turning to the side and going limp.
Closing his eyes against the banging in his head, he tried to push all thoughts of the last two months, of Aric, of being without Aric from his mind. Yet as Michael drifted off, he saw only one face.
He woke to the sound of the doorbell, repeatedly chiming, and the pain in his head still strong as ever. He climbed out of bed and padded through the house, grumbling and squinting against the sunlight streaming through every damned window. He needed to remember to shut the fucking curtains at night.
He inwardly cursed his sister as he unlocked the front door. She never knew when to leave well enough alone and had probably gotten it in her head that he was starving without her sweet—read annoying—sibling attention. It wouldn’t be the first time she’d shown up on his doorstep with a bag of food and a frown.
“Should have known you’d—”
The door banged against the wall as he let go of the knob in shock.
“Rise and shine,” Aric announced, pushing past Michael into the house.
It took him a moment, but Michael quickly shut the door and rushed after his ex, finding the other man standing in the middle of the living room, looking around with a look of disgust on his face.
“What are you doing here?” Michael demanded. “Did Trina send you?”
“No, but given the state of this place…” Aric turned and ran his gaze over Michael. “And the state of you, she should have. Long before now.”
Running his hand through his hair, knowing it was already sticking up wildly, Michael looked everywhere but at Alric. Which was a mistake because he saw exactly what his ex was seeing—empty bottles and takeout containers littering every surface, unwashed laundry piled up, and the basic evidence of a man who just didn’t give a fuck anymore. Everything Michael had been valiantly trying to ignore for some time.
“Why are you here?” he bit out. “It’s been two months; why now?”
“You no-showed Oliver’s engagement party.” He glanced around again. “Though it looks like you had a little party of your own, and it seems to be a regular occurrence. I wanted to make sure you were all right. None of our friends have seen you recently. Oliver had only heard from you when you called to bail on him. I was worried.”
“Well, as you can see, I’m alive and fine. So…” Michael gestured toward the front door.
“Alive, yes. Fine…” He sighed and shook his head. “Hardly.”
“You haven’t seen me in months, so you can’t really be the judge of that, can you?”
Aric’s expression softened, and Michael’s stomach clenched at the sight of those gorgeous green eyes looking at him with…affection?
“I’m the best judge of that. I know you better than anyone. And right now, sweetheart,” he stepped forward, “you’re a mess.”
Head on over and see what these awesome ladies have been inspired to write after listening to Mr. Sheeran singing about being a mess…
Bronwyn Green | Gwendolyn Cease | Jenny Trout | Jessica De La Rosa | Kris Norris