Celeste stared out the window not seeing the bounty of scenery rolling by. She held a coffee in one hand focusing her energy on not trembling. She felt that her entire life had conspired to bring her to this day, this train, and this life altering decision.
She had not wanted to be here. There were no plans and no preparation for this. Nothing in her twenty eight years of school, training, work and regimen which had hinted that she would find herself at this precipice now, today, at this very moment.
Her fingers shook and coffee spilled splashing her slight hand. It had long since gone cold. Celeste didn’t care. It was the exercise, the determination it took to hold a tangible object steady despite herself. Celeste just needed to hold the cup as evidence that she was, and would remain, steady.
She dabbed a napkin to her hand as her thoughts reclaimed her, my background was entirely reputable. I’m educated, knowledgeable and well spoken. My breeding is impeccable. There isn’t a blemish to be found anywhere in my life history, until now.
Celeste started down the narrow corridor in search of sustenance when a thought occurred that nearly knocked her to her knees. She froze, thinking, Terror! That’s what this is! I’m absolutely, utterly terrified!
She propelled herself forward with a forced smile, until she retrieved food and drink, and then resisted the urge to run back to her solace. Upon drawing the curtain, she murmured, “I don’t think I’ve ever been so overwhelmed. It’s as if I’ve never felt anything until now – and I’ve never been so well acquainted with terror.”
She had left her apartment three nights ago for a girl’s night out and did not return until this morning. That alone was exceedingly rare for her, but she met a man that first night, Clay Collier, and she was forever changed.
Celeste had felt an instant connection, but more than that, she felt as if lightning had struck her and was still singing in her veins, still searing her very soul. She didn’t know whether to laugh aloud or vomit.
She had spent the first night in a local cafe with both of them talking, laughing, a reassuring touch, whispered secrets, shared confessions, and edging slightly closer. Neither of them was willing to let the night end. They had ended up at his flat. Celeste knew that they belonged together. That was not in question.
Clay had looked into her eyes and straight down into her soul, saying, “You are my destiny, Celeste. I have to return to Italy tonight. Come to Verona and marry me. I love you more than life. We are meant to be. Say yes, Celeste. Don’t think beyond your first response. Just act.”
She kissed him passionately, embracing him as if for the last time, and said, “I will come and I will give you my answer in Verona.”
Clay clutched her to his solid frame, breathing her in and memorizing her face, etching this moment into his soul, and not wanting to consider that she may not come.
Celeste could barely pry her fingers from his arms. They had spent two days and three nights together, loving wildly, savagely, living as though propelled in a dream state, like an alternate universe where they had always been together, yet were suddenly together and new. It made no sense but made perfect sense to her.
She hurried back to her apartment, breaking the lease to vacate. She packed what she could carry and checked as many bags as possible. She had not returned to or called work. She hadn’t called anyone. That was another world which was her past now. It had no bearing on her future.
With several strokes of a pen and some packing, she had essentially checked out on her life and an exceedingly bright future. She was stunned at how easy it was to drop off the face of the earth. She knew friends and family would think her dead. I’ll have to repair the relationships later, she summarized.
The flights were interminable, giving her several moments of pause as she lost sight of land for long periods and now, on the final leg of the trip, she had time to reflect – and feel terrified.
© 12/10/2019 – All Rights Reserved
#fiction #flashfiction #flasher #microfiction #SlapDashSat #romance #wickedwednesday #WiP