Your Friend

Your Friend

A Story by Ocularfracture

A short story.

Outside, everything was doused in a deep, indigo blue as the darkening sky reflected off the snow-covered earth. I took a look at my watch, stretching as I realized what time it was. Four straight hours I'd been working without breaks, focused entirely on completing the masterpiece that I'd hoped would be a gift for my dearest friend, yet when I looked up at the clock, I somehow felt it was lying to me. Frowning, I stroked my weary hands, thick with the blisters of a hard day's work, and thought about my friend.
We'd known each other since childhood, and despite her flaws and bad choices... despite how I'd fallen for her some years ago, only to have my heart broken... and despite how cruel and critical she could be at times, I'd never left her side.
Things had changed, time had passed, and as my wife crept up behind me and began massaging my poor, tired shoulders, I vowed to myself that this would be the last gift I'd ever send her. 
Deep in my heart, regardless of how hard I made excuses in her favour, trying to fight for her honour, I somehow knew the truth:
She had only ever kept me around so that she could take advantage of me. After all, I never truly stopped loving her.
"Your hands!" cried my wife, noticing the fat, red blisters protruding from my fingers.  I quickly hid them, as I turned to face her, smiling.
"It's nothing," I said. "Nothing a few bandages won't fix up in a jiff."
She shook her head, frowning and left the room, presumably in search of a first aid kit. Me, I smiled to myself and turned back to my table, where I picked up my fine work and examined it briefly before placing it into a small box which I then began wrapping up in a strong, brown paper. Just as I was addressing the package to my friend, my wife returned with some antiseptic and a few bandages.
"Let me see those hands," she said softly, kneeling on the floor next to my chair. I shifted my weight and stretched out my arms toward her. Her gentle hands worked gracefully on my wounds, cleaning and bandaging them without causing me any pain, and when she was done, I leaned in and kissed her on her cold nose. 
"Thanks," I said, helping her to her feet. "They feel much better now." 
We shared a happy smile for a moment, before I snatched up my package from the table and took one last look at my watch. 
"If I leave now," I told her," I can get this out on the last truck of the day."
"I'll come with you," she said, slipping her hand into mine. I nodded, smiling, and together we put on our shoes and coats and ventured out into the cold, dark world.
The post office was empty, save for the folks working, so I knew it wouldn't be long before the two of us were back home, warming up next to the fire with a nice hot cup of tea. Winking at me, the wife picked up a newspaper off the rack and slumped back against the wall to flip through it while she waited. Sucking in a huge breath, I made my way up to the counter, where I set my little brown package down in front of the clerk. 
"Will this be all?" she asked, to which I nodded. As she weighed and measured the package, I found myself continuously hoping she'd ask what was in it, and give the opportunity to brag about the beautiful masterpiece I'd just created. To my dismay, she simply slapped a postage sticker onto it before declaring the price. I pulled my wallet from my pocket with a sigh, a withdrew a few bills, which I laid on the counter. The woman thanked me with a smile, and I nodded briefly, watching her place my package into a large mail bag.
"Hey honey," I heard my wife call. Breaking my gaze away from the mail bag, I moved back toward my wife, who was gazing into her newspaper.
"All done," I told her. "Sorry if I kept you waiting."
"Not at all," she said. " But look..." Turning the newspaper around to show me the obituaries, her finger glided up the page, resting on a small back and white photo of a girl where cause of death was unknown. 
"Isn't this your friend?"

© 2012 Ocularfracture

My Review

Would you like to review this Story?
Login | Register

Share This
Request Read Request
Add to Library My Library
Subscribe Subscribe


Added on July 11, 2012
Last Updated on July 11, 2012
Tags: friendship, friend, gift, present, package, parcel, newspaper, obituary



Bennington, NE

I've been writing since I learned how. I'm not saying that 5-year-old work was any good. All's I'm sayin' is that the passion has been there as far back as I can remember. My mother always read me sto.. more..