“It’s a sure thing,” he told her, leaning forward, his face open and eager. She was pretty sure it wasn’t a sure thing at all, but he’d been so bummed out lately, so beaten down. She loved seeing the old Lonnie again. What could it hurt if she agreed? He was always saying his ex wasn’t supportive. “You’re what I need, baby. Someone who’s on my side for a change.” Would it even help if she voiced her doubts? He’d resent her, later. He’d be filled with shouldas and wouldas and couldas and if onlys. If only he hadn’t listened to her negativity. Yeah, it was easier to nod and smile. To forget about the night when three cop cars were pulled up on the dead patch of lawn, red and blue lights strobing on and off, neighbors lined up in front of their houses in bathrobes, gaping. Maybe he was right, this was going to be their ticket out. They’d move somewhere with a dishwasher that worked. Buy that sectional she liked. “You’re right, Lonnie. We could be living on Easy Street.”
Jacqueline Doyle’s flash chapbook The Missing Girl is available from Black Lawrence Press. Her flash have earned numerous Pushcart nominations, and have appeared in Wigleaf, CRAFT, matchbook, Juked, and elsewhere. She lives in the San Francisco Bay Area and can be found online at www.jacquelinedoyle.com and on twitter @doylejacq.