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Apr 18

Flash Fiction: “Don’t you forget about me”

songprompt4

Today’s song is “Don’t You Forget About Me” by Simple Minds, which automatically makes me think of The Breakfast Club and Judd Nelson fist pumping at the end of the longest Saturday detention ever (not that I speak from experience or anything. I was an angel. Stop laughing, I was!)

The lyrics can be found here and the video can be found here.

I previously posted a prompt about Matthew, the soldier in Iraq whose wife died in a car accident. Something about this song made me think of him, mostly the “Don’t you forget about me” part. So, we’re revisiting Matthew today. Strap your boots on.


 

October 2005

I’m going to be a father. ME! Tanya & I are going to be parents. In… just a matter of hours, I suppose. She went into labor at around 3:20 this morning. Fucking early as hell, but I couldn’t really bitch about the wakeup call— my wife was getting ready to give birth!

I flew around our apartment like a chicken with my head cut off, trying to get everything together, while she just sat there in bed, cursing my name every few minutes.

I’d like to say it was cute, but having your wife curse you and your sperm is a little rattling, to say the least. But I know that it’ll all be worth it. And I’m going to buy her the biggest bouquet of roses I can find. Maybe a teddy bear or some chocolates or something… What the hell do you give your wife to thank her for the most beautiful and amazing gift in the world?

I just wish I could take some of the pain away from her.

I wonder what our daughter is going to look like… I hope she looks like her beautiful mother. The only thing I want her to have of mine are my eyes. I’d love for her to have my green eyes. Anything else, and she might do some cursing of her own… I’d make a funny-looking woman.

Since Tanya got pregnant, I’ve been doing a lot of thinking. I don’t know how we’re going to support our little family on our own. I mean, now that Tanya is out of nursing school, she’ll be able to find a decent job, but I don’t think that we’ll be able to support our family based on her salary alone. I’m nowhere near finished with medical school, and I don’t want to have to rely on my parents’ money for the rest of our lives.

I know that they’d take care of us. My parents are good people. But they’ve given us so much already. I need to make my own way in life… take care of my own family. I can’t really expect to mooch off my parents for the rest of our lives.

I need to do something… anything to prove to my wife, my daughter, my parents, and myself that I can take care of us on my own. I’ve brought up a few ideas to Tanya, who is supportive of me no matter what I decide to do—whether it was putting off college for a year or buying a new car… God, how did I get so lucky to have such an awesome wife?

We haven’t made a concrete decision yet, but I’m leaning towards joining the Army. They’ll provide a decent paycheck. And given the amount of schooling I already have, I could go in as a higher paygrade. Who knows? Maybe I’ll even decide to make it a career and become an officer. I could travel with my family, take care of them, and defend my country all at the same time… I think my father would approve.

I just don’t want to be away from Tanya and the baby for so long. I know that basic training will be just a few months, but in that time, the baby will be growing so much. If I decide to do it, it’ll have to be within the next few months. I don’t want to miss her first words or her first steps.

Wow… my baby’s first steps… Holy shit, I’m going to be a father! I’m so excited to meet her.

***

I’d been on a plane for nearly a day now, and I still hadn’t slept. Every time I closed my eyes, I saw Tanya’s beautiful face, but it would only be a flash. Just a brief image of before… When we first got married, when she told me she was pregnant, when she gave birth to our daughter… All too-brief glimpses of the woman I fell in love with.

Her face would be replaced with my mind’s rendition of what happened in that car after the accident. Flashes of things I’d seen in the field intermingled with images of Tanya in the wreckage of her car and I’d wake up minutes after dozing off, in a cold sweat and gasping for breath.

The flight attendant must’ve realized that I was battling to stay awake, because she started bringing me coffee a few hours before. I think she might’ve been a small gift from God.

I shifted in my seat, uncomfortable as hell and my legs going numb from sitting in the same spot for 18,000 hours without getting up to stretch. I wanted to get home too bad to think of minor things like my comfort. All I could think was this was all a huge mistake. That Tanya was safe at home with Livvie and Beth. She was probably sleeping in our bed right now, wearing one of my old t-shirts and snoring everyone in the house awake.

I laughed when I heard her voice in my mind, “I do not snore Matthew Jameson!

One day, I was determined to record her snoring and play it for her when she insisted it was me who woke her up in the middle of the night. Maybe I’d do it tonight after…

There would never be a chance for me to tease her with a recording of her snores.

Not real. Not real. Not real.

There would never be a chance for me to hold her while we slept again.

Not real. Not real. Not real.

There would never be a chance for her to throw herself into my arms when I got home from my tour in Iraq.

Not real. Not real. Not real.

There would never be a chance for us to watch Livvie hold the little brother or sister we’d talked about having next year.

Not real. Not real. Not real.

Read the other lovely lady’s post by clicking the link below:

Bronwyn

 

2 comments

1 ping

  1. Bronwyn Green

    :( Poor guy. Sounds like his HEA is gonna be a long time coming.

  2. Paige Prince

    Sadly, yes. He’s got a long way to go. Long, long, long way.

  1. Flash Fiction #32 – Don’t You Forget About Me | Can You Vague That Up For Me?

    [...] that’s it for me. Be sure to check out Paige’s story, [...]

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