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Written for Word #119 over at [livejournal.com profile] 15_minute_fic

Had Me Going (flash, 343 words)


"Do you like this one?"

I followed the sound of Anne's voice through the antique shop, its tables and shelves piled so high with toppling merchandise that I literally couldn't find her otherwise. It was her idea, of course. She loved these shops. It was something about the smell of them, she said. I'd never been partial to the smell of dust, myself.

"Where are you?"

"At the back," she said, and I finally caught a glimpse of her. I edged my way around a bookshelf with a row of delicate-looking old lamps displayed along the top of it. I caught up with her as she was setting a sepia-tone globe back onto a table. "What do you think?"

"I think it's out of date. Checkoslovakia, the U.S.S.R..."

"It's a thing out of time," she said. "I think it's beautiful."

"Not a lot of colour to it."

"We have lots of colour in that room already. The persian rug hanging on the wall is lush enough, don't you think?"

"Mmm." I looked it over non-committally. Anne and I had been married for twenty years, so I was no stranger to reaching a bit - sometimes a lot - for something to agree with her about. But on this matter I found nothing. Not the colour, not the shape, not the kitchy value of the thing. Nothing about this globe was something I wanted.

"Well?"

"It's a little..." Suddenly deep weariness came over me, like someone had pulled a rug full of old grievances up over my head and was smothering me in the dust of past pains. It was too much. I could not put this with everything else in my 'picked battles' pile. This globe was a symptom of a marriage that I had been aching in for years, and all of a sudden I couldn't tame it anymore.

"Hmm?"

"I hate it."

She looked right at me. Then she smiled. "Got you."

The tenseness in my chest unravelled - some. I laughed out a sigh. "You had me going, there."

She laughed and pushed me playfully. "I know."

She really does, I thought. Have me going.

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