Heartbreak in Paris…Flash Fiction.

Nobody warned Chloe that the City of Love, was the City of Heartbreak. Or, that the River Seine flowed with lovers’ tears.

Yet, what could she expect from a holiday romance? A wedding ring?

Instead, he’d returned her letters and wasn’t returning her calls.

The lights of Paris had gone out and as Chloe leaned over Pont Neuf, she felt herself being pulled in.

“Nobody’s worth dying for,” a firm arm grabbed her, pulling her back from the edge.

What was she thinking? He wasn’t worth this.

An infinitesimal flicker of light broke through the darkness.

She was free.

This has been a Flash Fiction Challenge from Charli over at Carrot Ranch

August 31, 2016 prompt: In 99 words (no more, no less) write a story about a goodbye. It can be the last polka until next time; a farewell without end; a quick see ya later. How does the goodbye inform the story. What is the tone, the character’s mood, the twist? Go where the prompt leads.

writing in Paris

Writing on the Window Sill at the Hotel Henri IV July, 1992.

After graduating from university, my friends and I went backpacking overseas and met up in Paris for about six weeks of what turned out to be fairly intense soul searching. I don’t think I actually met anyone who actually found love and lived happily ever after. Indeed, I met a American from the Bronx at the Shakespeare Bookshop, whose lover had thrown his guitar into the River Seine in a rage. Isn’t that just a perfect Paris scene?

My tales of love gone wrong in Paris are hard to explain. More a case of meeting an attainable soul mate I met through my time staying in Heidelberg. So this was someone I knew really well and never crossed the line romantically but when he cut me off and sent me packing, even if it was for my own good, it hurt like hell. Soul mates aren’t easy to come by.

Fortunately, I was traveling with good friends who looked out for me and I guess I also wanted to reinforce the role that we all have as by-standers in saving someone’s life. This has been in the Australian news recently as an Australian woman who was critically injured in the terrorist attack in Nice on Bastille Day, and was saved by a stranger who stayed with her.

We never know quite how a touch of human kindness can touch somebody’s life.

xx Rowena

7 thoughts on “Heartbreak in Paris…Flash Fiction.

  1. Charli Mills

    All a person needs sometime is enough light to see. I like how you’ve reinforced the role of the bystander in saving another in your flash. You express the despair a goodbye can bring, and the hope of a caring intervention.

  2. Pingback: Goodbye « Carrot Ranch Communications

  3. Norah

    I enjoyed this story, Rowena. I’m so pleased someone was there to take notice and intervene. A kindness that sends ripples of its own, and not the watery kind.

  4. Rowena Post author

    Thanks so much, Charli. I really believe so strongly in that person and hope to be that person for others.
    In Sydney we have a terrible suicide spot known as The Gap at Watson’s Bay on Sydney Harbour and so many people have taken their lives over the Gap. Indeed, “I feel like jumping over The Gap” is an Australian expression. I watched a documentary about a man who lived across the road from the Gap and kept an eye out for jumpers and brought many back from the edge. Here’s a link to his story: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Don_Ritchie
    xx Rowena

  5. Charli Mills

    I just read about Don Ritchie and the Gap. He’s exactly what we all need to be…standing in the gap for those we encounter who need safe passage. I don’t need to save the world, but I need to be alert and compassionately reactive to those I encounter daily. Together we can save the world.

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