by Chris Buchanan
Flash fiction, 2015
She told me they were called pasties. Paste-ies. I’d been pronouncing it wrong.
It made me think of paste in my mouth. I couldn’t kiss her. I made up some excuse.
I say ‘some excuse’.
I actually remember the excuse perfectly. And the way she laughed, and put her hands on her hips like a mom in a sitcom, and how her mouth went from a soft, red, firm jello Betty Boop hillock to a big, creased, open hangar. Not who I’d wanted her to be.
I’ll never be able to forget what I’d said to cause it, or how I saw her jaw loosening. Or that feeling of helplessness. Trying to think of a way to stop it all. Next time I saw her she was brushing her teeth.