I woke up this morning knowing it was the day I’d tell you I wanted a divorce, but first it was one thing and then another, much like our marriage, and all of a sudden I felt unmoored, lost, floating, unsure of what I should do now and what would come next, which I blame on the heat, since it’s too hot to stay inside the house so now we’re out in lawn chairs in the front yard, and it’s still too hot, but who asks their husband for a divorce in the front yard where the whole neighborhood can see, especially if your thighs are digging into the woven plastic seat of a cheap lawn chair; I can just imagine the neighbors looking at me, at the angry red lines criss-crossing my legs, thinking, “She thinks she can do better than him, better than this,” and besides I don’t have anywhere to go, and this heat is so oppressive that I don’t have the energy to open my mouth, much less pry my sweaty thighs away from the chair, and if I can’t separate from a piece of lawn furniture then how can I separate from you, since we’ve been together for so many years and I’ve never been an adult without you, though my father would argue I’ve never been an adult with you, either, since we met when we were kids and kind of just got stuck there, day after day doing the same things saying the same things until one thing changed and we were told we had to get married to make everything right, but we lost that too, and I keep wondering if that could have made us adults, if that could have shown us love, because I’m not sure we’ve shown it to each other as things are now, but I’m running through the options in my mind like a Choose Your Own Adventure book except I can only picture two decisions before I’m stuck back in this lawn chair with you sitting beside me, staring up at the sky as it darkens, watching for the first star to give me a wink and let me know what to do.
Allison Renner is a writer, librarian, and photographer living in Memphis, Tennessee. She typically works behind the scenes as an editor for Flash Fiction Magazine and the Publicity & Reviews Manager for Split/Lip Press. Her fiction has appeared in Six Sentences and Bastards and Whores, was shortlisted by Fractured Lit, and is forthcoming from The Daily Drunk. Her informational book, Library Volunteers: A Practical Guide for Librarians, was published by Rowman & Littlefield in 2019.
image: “Benches in the Park”: Andrea Damic lives in Sydney, Australia. She has been published in 50-Word Stories and Friday Flash Fiction. You can find her on Twitter @DamicAndrea. One day she hopes to finish and publish her novel. In spare time she takes photos and creates Art.