‘Around the Corner’ micro-fiction by Susan R. Barclay

Susan R. Barclay is a writer and educator living in central Arkansas. She writes both fiction and non-fiction and, most often, stories from the darker side of life. Susan is a 2019 Writer's Digest Short Short Story Competition Award Winner. She is currently working on an anthology of short stories    

She pulled the hood of her raincoat over her head as she went down the few steps leading out of the apartment. The slow steady rain gave her a strange solace. Some peace if only for a while. They had argued that morning. Again. 

‘I’ll be right back,’ she had muttered. ‘Going for coffee and cigarettes.’

‘Hurry up. I don’t like when you’re gone.’ 

She didn’t look back to witness the disdain that always accompanied his words. She’d seen it too many times already. 

‘You better be back in no more than fifteen minutes. I’m counting!’

She knew he would watch from the apartment window as she made her way to the bodega just around the corner. He always watched, rain or no rain. 

She couldn’t breathe that he wasn’t watching. 

It had not been that way in the beginning. The beginning was beautiful, and the way he watched her she took for admiration. The hurry backs, the I’ll miss you while you’re gones she took as his way of saying he adored the time they spent together. 

She travelled the sidewalk quickly through the rain. 

Coffee and cigs, that’s all I need. Coffee and cigs. 

She reached the store.

And freedom. 

She turned the corner and kept walking.

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