Flash Fiction #19

“What’s up? You’ve been quiet since we stopped for lunch,” Xavier asked, glancing over at Kyle from the driver’s seat.

Kyle sighed and leaned her head on her hand. “Nothing… I dunno… It just feels like I’m running away from my problems.”

“Look at it this way – you’re starting over. We both are.”

She looked at him. “You have a job to go to, I don’t.”

“You’re crazy smart and talented. You won’t have any trouble finding something up there,” he said.

Kyle wanted to believe him, she really did, but there were dozens upon dozens of smart and talented people all jockeying for the same jobs. The ones that came with benefits and a liveable salary because the rest were underpaid bullshit that only came with nice office spaces to give the illusion that they were a company who cared for their employees. She had seen it all before. People suckered into a job because they needed the money, but had to string together two or three jobs just to make ends meet. Before she’d been let go over downsizing, she had assumed that she would have that design job for a good ten or fifteen years. Maybe she would set aside a retirement plan, earn some vacation time, do the adult thing. She had wanted to make a life with Scott, and then she found him in bed with a girl just this side of legal (how do you even have a midlife crisis at 32?). Plans change. Now she had a few boxes and suitcases of her things and a route north.

Xavier had been one of the few constants in her life. She had him… for the time being, at least. The idea of the pair of them drifting apart hurt her more than Scott’s cheating. She never imagined herself the type to just pack up and follow another person to a new city without a job and barely anything in her bank account. With Xavier it was different. They trusted each other, they were so closely tied together that she couldn’t imagine her life without him in it.

He reached over and gave her shoulder a squeeze. “It’ll work out.”

Kyle gave a little smile. “We’ll see.”


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