Consolation (Etherbooks Flash Fiction competition day one: topic: BEGINNINGS)
by Tom Lichtenberg
No one should ever have to do anything for the first time, Corina said to herself as she stood up there in the cold, and they always tell you the same thing, give you the same advice. Feel the fear and do it anyway. Go for it. Try it you’ll like it. Ha. Well I’ve got news for them. I tried it and I didn’t like it. I didn’t like it when my mom made me eat that broccoli. I didn’t like it when that nasty Jimmy Blose gave me my first kiss. I didn’t like it when, I don’t even want to think about that. First times suck, and second times too for that matter. No one should ever have to do things they don’t want to do, not for the first time, not ever. Oh, but then they go, how do you know you don’t like it if you don’t try it? Maybe you will. Maybe it’s what you’ve been looking for, what you’ve been waiting for all your life. Maybe it’s the thing. Maybe he’s the one. Maybe maybe maybe shut up, okay? Maybe try keeping your mouth shut for once? Maybe the first time you didn’t blurt out whatever stupid little thought came into your stupid little head? Maybe try that and see if you like it! Telling me what to do, always telling me what to do and what not to do. Over your dead body? Oh yeah? I’ll do what I want with my own skin.
No one should ever be allowed to tell you what to do, Corina said to herself, now shivering. I know you told me it was cold outside. I know you said I should wear something warmer. I heard you the first time. All you do is talk, telling me this and telling me that. When did I ever get a word in? When did you ever have to listen to me? I’ll tell you when. Never, that’s when. No, wait, it was the tenth of Never, how about that? I like that better. That’s what I’ll tell her. You should have listened when you had the chance. You should have opened your ears. What you kept failing to understand, what you kept failing, you kept failing, failing, falling, falling. One step forward, all I need to do is take one step, and I can do it even though I’m doing it for the first time. I shouldn’t have to but you made me. Look what you made me do. I’m feeling the fear but I’m doing it anyway. I’m going for it. I’ll try it, and see if you like it. Just one step. Look alive! That’s what you’d say. Step to it! Okay, then. How do you like these apples, huh? How do you like ’em now, mom? I’m doing it for the first time, though it’s the last thing I’ll ever do. Over your dead body? No, mom, over mine.