The Picnic

Content Warning: This short story is really well written, and may make some people jealous. It also contains one ‘PG-13’ rated profanity, although if there were multiple instances of this profanity, it would be rated ‘R.’ Hint, hint. You’ve been warned.

We both sat on the hill above the town, with the blanket spread in the shadow of the tall oak tree. It was a humid June day, and I was grateful for the ice water I had nearly forgotten. We hadn’t talked since we stopped seeing each other, and I thought some closure might be nice, so I had showed up, and now we were both laying on top of the hill.

“How’s your summer been?” I asked as I picked a piece of grass from my tennis shoe. She didn’t respond, but I didn’t expect her to. We had been fighting a lot before we stopped seeing each other, which had probably damaged whatever friendship we once had.

The horrendous scream of a braking tire accompanied by a blaring horn came from somewhere in the middle of downtown Franklin, and I braced myself for the sound of crunching metal. I was simultaneously disappointed and relieved when the crunch didn’t happen. I turned onto my side so I was facing her. She didn’t say anything, and for the first time, I realized how much it hurt that we didn’t talk anymore. The root of the tree dug into my side, so I rolled over onto my back, wishing that she would say something, anything. The silence was killing me.

“How’s your dad?” I tried again, knowing full well what the result would be. Silence. I sighed and stood up. We had been friends for three years before that fateful, raining day in March earlier this year, and I wasn’t ever sure if we were ever anything more than that. We certainly wouldn’t be now. We could sit next to each other, but the connection we used to have was gone. Whatever the hell that connection was anyways.

I walked around to the back of the tree, surveying the knots and cracks throughout its trunk, wondering how many couples had sat underneath this tree, or any of the trees nearby, wishing they could go back in time and fix their relationship. I came around the tree, wishing that I could do something to fix everything. It didn’t matter what I did though, we would never be friends again. I had even brought her flowers today, but that wouldn’t- it couldn’t make a difference. We were through, and I would never hear her laugh again.

The edge of the picnic blanket flipped up in a hot breeze, throwing my paper plate and napkins into the air. I grabbed everything as quickly as I could and threw it into my backpack.

“I’m sorry.” I said as I looked at her. “I wish I could have done things differently. I wish I would have done things differently.”

I began the walk back to my car, carrying my backpack on one arm. I got into the driver’s seat and almost cried. I looked back at the top of the hill, and at the grey tombstone which marked where she rested. Fucking drunk driver.

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