Every Imperfection

by | Jul 28, 2014 | Fiction, Flash fiction | 8 comments

I found this little story on my hard drive. I suspect there are a fair number of other stories I’ve written, stuffed away and forgotten. How about you? Do you create things and then forget about them?

Every Imperfection
by Laura McHale Holland

She tries on four outfits before settling on a fifth; he dons the slacks and shirt he’d picked out the night before and walks downstairs to make coffee.

She styles her hair with blow dryer, gel and brush, but then scowls into the mirror, throws the brush and dryer down and yanks her locks into a ponytail. He pours coffee into two travel mugs. She rushes to the kitchen. He hands her a mug.

“Thanks.” She takes a sip, sets the mug down, lifts her jacket from the back of a chair and puts it on.

“You look lovely today,” he says.

3320158920_1b9e9d1ba1_z“Liar,” she taunts. She dips her fingers into a bowl of hard candy, knocking two pieces onto the counter. She stuffs one, wrapper crinkling, into her pocket for later.

“No, seriously, you look lovely today.”

“I’ve got that meeting this afternoon about that stupid case,” she says.

“The Redland job?”

“Yeah, the one I blew big time.”

“You didn’t do anything wrong; everybody knows that.”

“I did everything wrong.” She slips her purse strap over her shoulder and steps toward the door.

“Um, you forgot your coffee,” he says.

She slinks back to the counter, picks up the mug. “I don’t know why you stay with me. You could do so much better.”

11.154 - hair glowHe looks at the wisps of hair already working loose from her ponytail, the little scuff marks on the toes of her pumps, the drop of coffee sliding down her mug toward her jacket, the piece of hard candy she’d knocked to the counter inadvertently when reaching into the dish. He aches with love for her every imperfection.

“Let’s go dancing tonight,” he says.


“Yeah, you know, salsa or something.” His smile is broad, confident.

“Only if I still have a job at the end of the day.” She strides to the door and opens it.

“I’ll call Jason and Trish. They’re always fun.”

“Whatever.” She shrugs, slips out the door and tromps down the front stairs.

He leans over the counter, picks up the stray piece of candy, unwraps it, pops it into his mouth. It’s lemon and honey. Sour and sweet. Like her.


Photo of wrapped lemon candy by Donna DesRoches; used under Creative Commons license.

Photo of pony tail by Sean Garrett; used under Creative Commons license.

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  1. jerry

    when all else fails the ponytail always wins out. Seen that many a morning. Poor gal is all stressed out, Hope they kept their date later. Hope she can unwind doing the salsa. Everything seems to work out anyway.

  2. admin

    Thanks for your comment, Jerry! I hope so, too. I picture things working out for this couple. He understands her and sees past her insecurities.

  3. wordwranglingwoman

    Quick read, totally convincing, quite enjoyable. I’m glad I opened your email first this morning. Thanks Laura. wordwranglingwoman

  4. admin

    Thank you, Patrice. And thanks for your encouraging feedback on this story when I found it last week. It is soooooo helpful to be part of a dynamic critique group.

  5. Barbara Toboni

    Laura: What a gem you found in your hard drive. I’ll have to go mining now. This is so relatable, how we judge ourselves. Perfect little flash piece.

  6. admin

    Thank you, Barbara! Indeed, how we judge ourselves … and our work, too. It’s good this female character lives with a man who has a better picture of her than she does. We’re all lucky when we have friends and spouses who view us with loving eyes.

  7. Susan Brien

    But, but, he doesn’t grab her in his arms and kiss her goodbye? : ) Your putting us right in the scenery makes this very real. I never had a pony tail, but I sure pulled the one that one sister always ( I mean always) had.. : ) Let’s find out what happens next to our lawyer and husband!

  8. admin

    Thanks, Suz. I wanted a pony tail in grammar school, never had one. I guess a benefit was that short hair didn’t make an easy target for pulling. … I don’t know if I’ll continue this story. We’ll see. I appreciate that you’re interested enough to care what happens next with these characters. :o)

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