Short story: Not This Time

She looked back at me, trying to be penitent, trying to look contrite and like she was honestly sorry and like she knew what she'd done and how in the wrong she was.

Her face was making all the right shapes but the contrition didn't echo from her expression to her eyes. Her body was like a pantomime of sorry, dressed from head to toe in convincing papier mache and fabric but just not quite the real thing, no matter how you looked at it.

She was turning it into a competition again, making me the loser, making it so that I would be forced to accept her apology, express my forgiveness, and move on, even though I knew she wasn't sorry and she knew she wasn't sorry and she knew that I knew that she wasn't sorry and the whole charade could begin again tomorrow.

That's no way to build a relationship.

I steeled myself.

This time, it wasn't going to be that way.

This is the result of a fifteen minute writing exercise. The only constrictions were the time limit and five randomly selected words from the dictionary. Today the words were: forgiveness, pantomime, echo, competition, and build.

Image courtesy of | spoon |.