This flash fiction piece came to me today and seemed happy to unfold at my fingertips. I have been thinking and writing a lot about relationships this week; the good, the bad and the downright ugly and out of those musings came this. I owe the scrambled egg quote to my mum who said it last night and lit a spark. I hope you enjoy it. As usual all comments are greatly appreciated.
You can’t unscramble an egg once it’s scrambled. My mother said that to me once. After my boyfriend left and all the blame belonged to me. You make bad choices, she said. I didn’t know how to tell her that very little of my life was governed by choice, but more by falling into things.
I fell into him in the library. A literal and literary fall that sent all the things I had learned that day to an unreachable place. I still can’t describe the first act of Macbeth with any real confidence. His chin was what I noticed most. It was broad and coated in black stubble with a deep dimple in the middle. He reminded me of Desperate Dan, my childhood crush from the Dandy and whenever we fought I always found myself gazing at his chin. As if to remember why I liked him in the first place.
Why don’t you just try talking to him, my mother asked. But what is there to say when your actions have already done it for you?
I had to move back home. The possessions of my life packed into one small suitcase. They put me in the spare room full of old carpets and broken chairs.
After a fortnight she told me that moping around wouldn’t do me any good. It’s time to move on, she said. It turned out that moving on was hard when you had no idea where you were in the first place.
He rang me to say the apartment was sold. It’s a good offer, he said. Less than we wanted, but under these circumstances I don’t see how we have a choice. It seemed he had suddenly got choice in his life. He took my weak okay and consulted with the estate agent, buyer and solicitor; anyone but me. He sent me a cheque inside a Good Luck card.
For six months I just slept, both when awake and asleep. I was a shell of nods and watery smiles. My merry-go-round of a head had horses with names. There was single, homeless, dejected, unemployed, poor and living with my parents. Their neighs became my dreams.
In tiny steps I learned how to choose. First it was what to eat for dinner. Then it was what type of wine. Over time I graduated to what job to apply for, followed by where I should live. All the pieces of my life I had given away so easily suddenly became mine.
Now I’m here and he is wherever he is; a stranger that was once the other half of my life. Maybe we were scrambled from the start and didn’t realise. Maybe I needed to get scrambled to be unscrambled. Either way I discovered myself, but I’ll never like eggs.