Memories (Flash Fiction)

They laughed again and drank more beer. The bottles were sweaty in the dying afternoon and sand stuck to the glass. In front of them, the sun was making a slow dive into the ocean. The conversation paused as two bikinis strolled by. Neither of the ladies could be bothered to spare a glance at the middle-aged men.

“Bitches,” said Bob. Brian laughed.

“Speaking of bitches,” said Brian, “I ran into Sarah a few weeks ago. The Sarah. Remember her?”

“Oh sure,” said Bob. “She was all I could think about in high school. How is she now?”

“Fat,” said Brian. They both chuckled. “She’s fat and she’s rude.”

“Where did you see her?” asked Bob.

“She’s married to some douche that was at that last convention. I saw her in the lobby and I couldn’t place her face. I kept looking at her, not realizing I was staring, and then she gave me that look.”

“The one where she rolls her eyes and flares out her nostrils?” asked Bob.

“That’s the one,” said Brian. He took another swig of beer and tossed the empty bottle to his side. It clinked against another dead soldier laying in the sand. “As soon as she did that shit I knew who it was. I would have never guessed otherwise.”

Bob laughed. “I used to love that look.” He shook his head. “God, I don’t know why it used to turn me on so much.”

“Dude, everything turned us on then. We were damned teenagers.” Brian reached into the cooler and grabbed two more bottles of golden liquid and sat them in the sand. “The goddamn water fountain used to give me a boner.”

Bob laughed and finished his beer. He had been struggling to keep up all afternoon, and now his head was swimming quite happily.

“Dude!” Brian shouted. “Remember when you dumped that entire plate of spaghetti on her at lunch!?” He shouted into the air with happiness, thrilled to have recalled such a treasure of a memory. “Fuckin’ marinara all over!”

Bob squinted at the orb sinking into the distant sea. He popped the bottle cap and held the glass to his lips. “No. I don’t remember that.”

“You lyin’ little shit!” screeched Brian. He hoped to his feet with a wide smile and pointed his beer at Bob. “You do so fuckin’ remember, man. You didn’t even come to school the next day, you were so embarrassed.”

Bob gave Brian a sideways glance.

“Oh come on!” said Brian. “Freshman year, like 3 months in. You were so fuckin’ in love with that chick. You followed her everywhere!”

Bob shrugged. “I remember that, but I don’t remember the lunch thing.”

Brian jumped in the air and did a little kick with his feet. “You gotta be kidding me! You did this whole flying lunch tray thing right around her shoulder when she was sitting at the table. Right as you pulled back the plate slipped free and dumped all over her lap. Later you told me you did it to get her attention or some stupid shit. The whole courtyard went silent when it happened.”

Bob sipped from his beer.

“You’re full of shit, man,” Brian said. He took a long draw of beer and dropped the level down to half a bottle.

“Look, I’m not saying you’re lying, but I don’t remember. Maybe I’m traumatized or something. All I know is if I don’t remember, then it’s like it never happened.”

“Oh it happened alright,” said Brian. “I’ll never forget that look on her face. You may as well have asked her if she wanted to suck your cock.”

Bob shrugged. “Didn’t happen.”

“Pffft,” said Brian. “Yeah, sure. You didn’t remember so it didn’t happen.” Brian smiled. “Remember that time I made out with your sister for an hour in your own room at your going away party for college?”

“Nope,” Bob said automatically. He took another drink and froze with the bottle held up, eyes wide.

Brian smiled and shrugged. “I guess it didn’t happen then.”

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