Until the Very End (Flash Fiction)

He sat quietly, searching for the words to say. “I think we should part ways. I feel the time has come.”

The stone replied with a dull silence. It had been awhile since he’d given it a good polish.

“I know, I know, I can’t let you go,” he said. “We’re a part of each other. You’ve made me. I’ve made you. But you’re too heavy to carry. I cannot do it any longer. I do not wish to.”

“Is this to say that you’ve recovered from your lifetime of regrets?” asked the stone.

The question cut him deeply. They both knew the answer. He didn’t bother to respond; he only looked to the ground, despondent. “I just-” he attempted, swallowing hard. “I wish to let this all go. How long is a man supposed to carry on with such pain?”

“Forever,” said the stone, immediate and decisive.

“I don’t deserve to feel this way forever. I deserve my chance at redemption. I deserve a second run at life.”

The stone grew nervous at the sound of his voice. The words were the same, but the tone was different; serious, determined. “You can let me go any moment you like,” it said. “I have no real say in the part. You carry me as much as I wish to be carried. There’s no need to make a sudden decision on the matter. Perhaps you should think about this and reconsider in the morning.”

Regretfully, he nodded. He thought his resolve was strong enough this time, but that was a game he only played with himself. “It’s true what they say,” he supposed. “Forgiveness is hard to come by.”

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