flash fiction #2

January 23, 2011 § 2 Comments

Yesterday I posted the first of my two flash-fictions about a girl sitting in the park. Here’s the second of the two – I think I prefer it, although other people tend to prefer the first. I wrote this about three years ago, a day or two after I wrote the other one.

*

a song to pass the time

Going to the park had been my idea, of course. It’s getting dark early now that it’s November, and I like the idea of visiting it when it’s meant to be closed. They need to fix the fence if they want to really keep us out.

I’m listening to a lot of French music at the moment, by which I mean Serge Gainsbourg and the Amelie soundtrack. I have an iPod but it feels so impersonal and it’s really ugly, so I don’t use it much anymore. I prefer the old cassette walkman that I found lying around the house. It makes me feel different. So I’ve got one earphone in and Serge is singing in French je t’aime, je t’aime, oh oui je t’aime! and I think that means that he’s saying he loves me but I’m not sure because I stopped learning French when I was fourteen and I wasn’t very good anyway. I can say mais and poulet and the stuff about my name and age, but that’s about it. I’m pretty sure he’s saying he loves me. Or Jane Birkin.

“No one’s ever said they love me,” I say to Sam, who’s texting someone instead of paying attention to me.

“So?” Sam says.

“Well, my parents say it,” I say.

“I’m really cold,” Leo says, and he probably is because he forgot to bring a coat and it’s frosty in the park. He’s not shivering though. Leo thinks he’s cool and alternative because he listens to Taking Back Sunday and because he doesn’t want to be an accountant or a lawyer. I think Leo needs to start wearing appropriate clothes.

“Leo, do you have to always wear clothes that have swear words on them?” I ask, genuinely curious.

“Fuck off,” Leo says, crossing his arms so that I can only see half of the small fuck on his tee shirt, and only half of the you that follows it.

I decide not to fuck off but I don’t think Leo actually meant it. Serge has finished now. Françoise Hardy is playing but I have no idea what she’s singing about. I like it this way. I used to hate music that I didn’t understand but now I’m eighteen and I think that I’m not meant to understand music. There’s nothing worse, I believe, than a song that means what it says.

“I love you,” Will says, and he sounds sincere with drunkenness. Will has about five times as much money as all of us combined, which means that he likes to drink lots of the cheapest cider he can find. He has a plastic bag containing at least three bottles next to him on the bench.

“Say it in French,” I ask, because I know he has a B at French GCSE, so he’s practically bilingual.

“J’aime,” he says, and I know that he doesn’t love me.

“You’re saying it wrong,” I say, “there’s a t in there somewhere. T.” I just sound like I’m tutting.

*

(photo by ©sammie on flickr, used under a creative commons license)

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