Better Late Than Never (flash fiction challenge)

Here is another fiction challenge inspired by Fractured Faith Blog.

The challenge was to write a story from a sales receipt which had the items: yoghurt, sushi, snack pot (I think a pot of noodles you add hot water and flavouring to), and Danish Bread (which I looked up and seems to be a dense rye bread).

Better Late Than Never

Nicole was rushing. She was running late for her date with Tanya. This time it was a picnic in the park, but for some reason she had forgotten it was today. She had got a text from Tanya saying “Where r u?” and suddenly instantly remembered she was meant to be meeting her today. She texted back “sry running l8” and quickly ran out the door.

Once on the street she then realised she had to bring some food with her so she ran into a shop and quickly grabbed a few items. Then she ran to the park. Luckily it wasn’t that far away.

When she got there she looked around until she saw Tanya sitting on a blanket and waving to her. Nicole ran over to her. She was puffing loudly as her lungs felt like they were exploding.

“Did you run all the way here?” Tanya asked looking up at Nicole who was doubled over trying to breathe.

“Yes.” Answered Nicole once she was able to talk. “Sorry I’m late.”

“Well better late than never. But you didn’t have to run here. I was happy enough sitting here waiting for you.” Tanya responded.

Nicole finally sat down, or more like collapsed, onto the blanket. She was bathed in sweat. It was a hot day, but thankfully the blanket was in the shade of some trees. Tanya was looking her over with her dark green eyes. Nicole noticed there was a rolled up copy of The Mirror poking out of Tanya’s bag. In front of Tanya were some sandwiches, a bag of potato chips, an empty juice container, and what looked to be a cup of tea in a plastic cup. Beside her bag was a thermos.

Nicole looked in the shopping bag she had brought with her. She had grabbed a pottle of yoghurt, some sushi in a plastic container, a snack pot, and some Danish bread, which thankfully was already sliced. As she had no access to any hot water the snack pot had been a really dumb idea. What had she been thinking?

“So what did you bring?” Tanya asked her. Nicole produced the yoghurt and the sushi from out of the bag.

“Some sushi and some yoghurt. I’ve also got some bread.” Nicole replied. Tanya furrowed her brows looking perplexed.

“Did you bring anything to drink?”

“Um, no.” Nicole admitted.

“Well I’ve got some more tea in my flask if you want some. I think I’ve also got a can of Diet Coke in my bag if you’d prefer that.” Tanya said as she began rummaging through her bag, eventually producing a can. “Ooh there’s some mints in here too.”

“Thanks the Coke would be great.”

Tanya handed the Diet Coke over to her. Once Nicole opened the tab she took a long drink being very thirsty. Tanya silently watched her while she drank. This was only their third date and they were still both getting to know each other. Maybe they both felt slightly awkward.

Nicole opened her sushi container. Thankfully it had come with a couple of chopsticks. She started munching on sushi while Tanya resumed eating her sandwich. Nearby a bus rumbled past on the main road, eventually it’s diesel exhaust fumes drifted over them.

“I made tuna sandwiches without considering the implications. I’m probably going to have horrible fishy breath for the rest of the afternoon now.” Tanya told her. Nicole gently laughed. “If you don’t mind me asking, why did you bring a whole loaf of bread? Do have anything to put on it?” Nicole shook her head.

“No, I grabbed it without thinking.” Nicole admitted.

“Like the snack pot you also brought with you? Or do you like crunching up the noodles raw?” Asked Tanya gently ribbing her. Nicole could feel her cheeks going red. She stared down at her legs.

“I’m sorry I was late. The truth is I forgot we had agreed to have a picnic today. When you texted me before it jogged my memory. I just grabbed a few items and ran here.” Nicole admitted feeling her cheeks going even more red. Tanya looked at her and nodded.

“It’s ok. At least you came.” She said as her hand gently brushed Nicole’s light brown hair from her face.

Nicole looked up at Tanya with her long silky black hair and her smooth pale skin. She knew she was falling for her.

Joanne Fisher

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