Fiction LNE
Fiction Friday

Then I went to where I knew she was. The room was completely black except for a shaft of dusty moonlight that illuminated her features. She didn't notice me, or if she did, she didn't care. She stared vacantly through the chink of light in the wall, our only window to the outside world. It was kind of depressing so I went outside.

The night air was damp. I shivered, chilled to my very marrow, until I felt a warm hand on my shoulder. "Is she all right?"

My heart fell with dejection. "Fine," I sighed, deflated to my very marrow. "She's just fine. Why don't you go and see her?"

"She wouldn't want to see me." He smiled sadly and pushed a soft bunny into my hand. "This is for her. Make sure she gets it, OK?"

I bit my lip and stroked the tiny rabbit. "I do love a tiny rabbit," I wheedled.

"Keep it then," he said generously. "It probably won't live anyway; it has pneumonia."

My heart danced with his generosity at giving me the rabbit. "Listen," I said suddenly, "do you want to go for a walk or something? I just got my new walking shoes, and I've been dying to try them out."

He shook his head sadly. "I can't. My work keeps me busy here." He walked downstage, staring into the distance. "My work..."

I ran up behind him, cradling the tiny bunny in my arms. "Forget your work, Charlie. You don't need it... You have me."

His face jerked downwards in despair as if a magnet had suddenly come into existence in the floor... a magnet for despair, or perhaps for stubble. "No... my work is my life. Don't you see? Plus, my name isn't Charlie... Don't you know, Jeanette? I'm Roger."

A pain stabbed my heart. "You mean... Charlie...?"

"No. Charlie didn't come today. He was detained. Why?" Roger's eyes widened with sudden realization. "You mean... You thought...?" He shook his head. "Oh God, Jeanette, I didn't know. You thought I was Charlie. I'm sorry. It's so dark... I thought you knew."

I shook my head. "I suppose you'll be wanting this back now." I held out the bunny.

He pushed it back. "No... you keep it. As a reminder."

"I'll always think of you when I look at it," I promised.

"Yes. And now I must go." He looked vaguely into the distance. "Forever."

"Oh, Charlie, do you have to? After all--"

His granite gaze sent reality hurtling back. "Oh right. I forgot. Seeya round, Rog." And then he left.

It was sad.