Zoë Meager

How It Ends

She knows how it ends because she is doing the ending now. Just checked in a very large suitcase which she had to manage by herself because Michael dropped her off and didn’t get out of the car, didn’t even cut the engine. He said “see ya” instead of goodbye, although it is goodbye and only goodbye and probably not “see ya” at all ever again really.

When she hauled the suitcase out of the boot the car bobbed up, lighter. Michael used that time to roll down his window and light a cigarette and then he drove off, fast.

Now she clutches a crumpled boarding pass, drags her carry-on through the boxy tunnel that leads to the plane, bumps against strangers, one hand on her stomach. It has been eight weeks since they kissed, or touched, even incidentally. Since they so much as emptied the dishwasher together.     

Now she has found her seat, fastened the belt low across her hips, fished an airsickness bag from the pocket. 

She remembers the beginning, of course she does. It was nice. Remembers the middle bit too, on-the-spot marching in a slow parade of passing faces.

Now the engine has started and it drowns out the sound of the decisions asking to be made. In the air, those questions just smatter like bird strike, but on landing those Hitchcock horrors will flock back, she knows.

Now she is looking down from the oval-square window to the earth below. Vulgar, its greens and blues; their last days together as exposed and vertiginous and artless.

Now she knows it really is the ending she is doing; not a break, not a pause, not a trial separation. Just a trial. When the plane lands, she can only hope, she will receive her conviction. 

Zoë Meager

Zoë Meager is from Christchurch. Her flash fiction and short stories have appeared in several journals, at home and abroad. Her work was recently shortlisted for National Flash Fiction Day 2016, and for the 2016 Overland VU Short Story Prize. There are links to her work at zoemeager.com.