It’s time for another flash fiction inspired by a photo, the picture is below. I’m honestly not sure how I feel about this one, it seems a little too similar to the last flash fiction I posted, but it’s where my mind kept going.
She could hear footsteps echoing down the hall as he continued to look for her. She’d slipped out of the party as quietly as possible, hoping no one would notice her absence, but of course Arthur did. Three text messages with no answer from her and he was getting worried. Walking into the library he saw her, sitting in front of the cold fireplace.
“What are you doing in here? Why didn’t you answer me?” Concern made his voice sharper than he intended.
“I just needed some space, Arthur. There are too many people in there. Too many people I don’t know and it’s making me uncomfortable. I know they all think I shouldn’t be here.” Rising slowly, she walked to the nearest bookcase, slowly trailing her fingers along the leather spines. She loved this room more than any other in the house.
“Why do think that? And why shouldn’t you be here? You’re with me, you belong here.” The coolness radiating off her was making him nervous.
“I’m with you, therefore I belong? What kind of sense does that make? If it weren’t for you, I wouldn’t be accepted into this world of wealth. Is that what you’re telling me? We all know I should be working at this party, not attending as a guest. Right?” Her words were harsh but said with little emotion.
“No, Sophie, that’s not what I meant. I just, I meant…” Sighing, Arthur ran his hands though his hair, tugging on the ends in frustration. “Can you please just come back to the party and we can talk about this later?”
Continuing her slow tour of the room, Sophie stopped in front of a mirror that was hanging over a sideboard. Gilded and ornate, the frame was hideous. The mirror itself an odd shape, completely impractical. But it was old, and expensive. Like everything else here. Looking at her reflection, she wondered exactly what all those people, his people, in the other room saw when they looked at her. Not someone good enough for him, that was obvious.
“No, I don’t think I will,” she said softly. “I don’t belong in there, with them. They know it. I know it. You don’t seem to, but I can’t fix that.” Turning to face the mirror fully, Sophie met Arthur’s eyes in the reflection. “We knew this wouldn’t last, don’t act surprised.”
“This is news to me! I am surprised! I thought your heart was in this, in us.”
Sophie turned to face him and the anguish on his face was hard to see, but she knew it wouldn’t last. Soon, his family would have their way and he would be with someone more suitable, more acceptable. And he would forget about her.
“So this is it? You’re not going to say anything else?”
“What else is there to say? Except, good-bye, Arthur.”
He stared at her in disbelief before turning on his heel and leaving the library.
Listening to his footsteps retreating down the hall, Sophie turned back to the mirror, staring at her own dry own eyes. “Mirror, mirror on the wall, where do I belong?”