A Loss (Flash Fiction)

Susanne and Catherine were in the kitchen chatting when Bob came home. Susanne grabbed their wine glasses and set them quietly on the counter. “Listen, listen!,” she said with a smile. They both hushed up and heard Bob talking on the phone. They ducked down and out of sight behind the counter.

“Well we need to figure it out!” Bob shouted. He threw his duffle bag on the floor and fell on the couch. “Our defense has gone to crap, man. We’ll never win like this.”

Susanne snickered behind her hand. Catherine gave her an inquisitive look. What’s he talking about, she mouthed silently. Susanne waved her hand and tried to keep quiet.

“Franco fucking sucks,” Bob said. He rubbed a hand on his forehead. “You know it as well as I do, don’t try and pretend. Franco sucks and we’ve got to trade him before the deadline. He’s not helping our defensive line. Brian, the guy spent half the game looking the other way.” There was a brief pause. “No, man, it’s fucking embarrassing.” He picked up the remote and switched on the TV. He muted it and immediately went to Sports Center.

Susanne grabbed Catherine by the hand and carefully pulled her up for a peak from the kitchen. Bob’s shirt was rolled up revealing his hairy stomach. He scratched at himself relentlessly. They ducked down again and erupted into silent laughter. They shoved their hands over their mouths and tried not to make any sound.

“Brian, look. No, listen. Franco sucks, Davis sucks, Albrecht sucks. They all suck, okay?” Bob thumbed the remote in frustration. “Well I don’t fuckin’ know! I’m not the general manager, am I?” He shook his head and stood up. He headed for the kitchen. “All I’m saying is they’ve got to go, or ride the bench at least. Lets get some of these over paid rookies in there.” He passed by the counter on his way to the fridge. He didn’t see the two women hiding in the corner.

Susanne and Catherine held each other close in silent laughter.

Bob pulled open the door and grabbed a beer. He scratched the crack of his bottom fiercely. “I’M NOT WILLING TO LOSE ANY MORE!” He hung up the phone and turned. When he saw the two women huddled in the corner, he nearly dropped his beer. “Jesus! What the hell are you two doing?”

Susanne roared with laughter. Catherine laughed a little less raucously and wiped at her tears. “Tough game today, hun?” Susanne asked.

“Yeah.” Bob gave them glare. “We lost. Obviously.” He stormed off to the living room.

“Does he play softball or something?” asked Catherine.

Susanne shook her head. “Oh, god no.” Susanne forced the words out between laughs. “All he does is go to Brian’s, sit on the couch, and watch football!”

They both laughed and laughed from the kitchen. Bob turned up the volume on the TV and chugged his beer.

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