Reflections - flash fiction by Ashley Hodge
“Hi,” I say.
“Hi,” she echoes back.
“How are you?”
“How are you?” We lock eyes. A perpetual pity radiates from the depths of her emerald eyes. The corners of her lips, dyed fuschia with lipstick, curve downwards. I slowly shake my head, and she copies me. The words she doesn’t say rest on the tip of her tongue: “You’re not happy.”
I don’t know what to say. There are too many things I want to talk about. Too many things I need to talk about. I close my eyes in thought, but a darkness engulfs me. Shadows grab me roughly by the shoulders. Their fingers creep up my arms and back. I shudder, and my eyes fly back open.
She is still standing in front of me, staring intently.
“So...” I try to begin.
“It’s just...” My voice trails off.
“It’s just?” I eye her with bitter confusion. She knows everything about me, yet she acts like she knows nothing. Her expression matches mine perfectly. We both let out an exasperated sigh. Why do I have to be like this? Whining about wanting someone to listen only to turn away those who offer their time. I guess that's why the shadows always lurk behind me.
I take a step towards the girl and lean forwards. I stretch out my hand. Our palms meet, accompanied by the sharp sting of the cold. I hang my head low, and we both breathe in silence.
My dad abruptly starts pounding on the door. I jump. “Hurry up!” he hollers. The girl and I wave goodbye to each other, and I walk out of the bathroom.
Ashley Hodge is a high school freshman in Southern California. Her work is previously unpublished, but she has enjoyed writing short stories and flash fiction since first grade. In her spare time, Ashley likes to perform theatre, read books, and learn music theory.