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Throwback Writing: Bravado

This throwback writing had a total of 375 words when I first posted it. I added a few here, just to clarify who is speaking. Writing so little was a big deal for me at the time, someone who could barely pare down a story to 10 pages in high school. Yes, snapshots are different, but I was still often writing 600+ words, then having to edit them down for the 500 word flash fiction challenge.


This post is from 7/30/2012 and the required words were devotion, counterfeit, miss, smear and heckle.

Bravado



Emily walked down the street, peering at the girl next to her without being obvious. Janelle was watching her feet, scuffing the toes of her sneakers with each step. Her arms were crossed tightly over her lower belly.


Head rising suddenly, Janelle looked around at the quiet scenery with judging eyes.


"Do you think you could live here forever?" she asked.


"I hope not," Emily answered.


"No, not at your parents house. Here. With the quiet streets, the perfect lawns. The clean cars in all the driveways. Counterfeit paintings on the wall and plastic gems in the safe."


"I don't know. I guess," Emily said.


"It's not for me. I'm not the yard and kids type. I would take too much devotion, you know? I think I would like an apartment in the city. Maybe a small dog I can hire someone to walk," Janelle suggested.


"So you can avoid the crazy people on the streets who would heckle you?" Emily teased.


"I could handle it. It wouldn't be personal."


Emily's chest ached for her friend. Janelle had never talked like this.


"Really?" Emily asked quietly. "Is that really what you want?"


Janelle looked up at the sky.


"It's better than being here."


"I would miss you too much. Who would do karaoke with me?"


"Come with me. There will be bars in the city to do that. No more video game crap."

Janelle had always loved that video game crap.


"If you want to move to the city, we can," Emily promised. "As soon as we graduate."


The lump in Emily's throat was painful, but she knew it wasn't as bad as Janelle's pain. If Janelle could only hold out a few more months they could be gone, lost in anonymity where no one would care. They would go somewhere no one would know about Janelle and the boy who had pretended to love her just so he could take everything away.


"Yeah," Janelle choked, reaching up to wipe her face, leaving a wet smear across her cheek. "Thanks."

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