A piece of flash fiction I wrote for a visual writing prompt as part of Short Story Day Africa.
Sounds are like memories, they fade so fast.
A sharp, clear note you feel you will remember all your life, leaves you lost come morning, reaching for the threads of a tune you once knew so well.
That was all she left me: a yellow rose on the piano.
A rose, my favourite flower. Yellow, my least favourite colour.
She was telling me that she loved me, but she was saying ‘let me go.’ Reminding me that beneath all of that beauty rested a sense of disgust. You could never wash those petals clean, their silk was stained with salt and sweat, their thorns de-barbed.
I placed my finger on the lowest key and pressed. Ivory white offered no resistance as it swallowed the silence with thick, resonant guilt.
As the sound faded, I closed my eyes but couldn’t breathe.
She was gone.
If I smashed my fist against the notes, would my memories break?
No. My memories were no longer made, they were contained.
Opening my mouth, I willed them to rise, to strip the back of my throat as I vomited sound.
Let all of my thoughts fly, let them fade, and let them be forgotten.