Wild Asparagus

Flash fiction

Sara had been with her partner Anna-Marie for quite some time — a slogging relationship which had long-since settled into routine — when one melancholy and rainy autumn morning, while sketching a still-life of wild asparagus, Sara realized, rather to her shock, that she’d grown bored and was unfulfilled.

Their relationship had always been unconventional: they were both in their essence very independent people — they slept in separate beds (night terrors for Sara, sensitive sleeper Anna-Marie) and were on different work schedules — and they both also traveled a great deal, so that they were often apart and alone. And yet, despite the unorthodox nature of their relationship, and the lack of physical intimacy and the protracted time spent away from each other, as well as a growing concern on Sara’s part of possible progressive health issues in Anna-Marie, there was, in the final analysis, an important history and bond between them, and neither would ever dream of saying anything negative (or even anything at all) about the other to outside people.

Still, there was no denying that they’d grown apart.

On that rainy autumn morning, after her initial shock wore off, Sara, who was a published poet and who’d been alone these past eight weeks, wrote in her spiral notebook the following:

Fading youth and frustration
and the wild vicissitudes of an
increasingly unfulfilling situation
can lead to the discontentment
of a woman or a man
and perhaps resentment
between us
my wild asparagus.

Here, Sara stopped writing and squinted up at the ceiling — unable to write beyond these lines.

She closed her eyes and thought of rain — and from inside the silence of her brain she saw rain failing on a deep green sea, a vast and windy ocean, and not a single soul to witness it.

Sara watched and watched from within the blackness of her brain the dark falling rain: she watched in silent surmise, until someone came and touched her gently upon her shoulder, and she opened her eyes.


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