Prose Poetry and Fiction from Web del Sol

Peter Johnson

He Said, She Said

Is it something I said? He asked.
      No, itís something you didnít say, she said.
      So he thought of everything he shouldíve said, and ate his salad.
      Iím sorry for what I didnít say, he said, and now that I know my mistake, I promise it wonít happen again.
      Too late, she said. You should have thought of that yesterday.
      Ah, so it was something he didnít say yesterday.
      So he thought again of everything he shouldíve said, everything he had deliberately omitted.
      He left the table and went to bed.
      He slept badly.
      In the morning, he had a terrible taste in his mouth. It was as if all the nice things he had never said to her, all those compliments and words of encouragement, had perished overnight in unspeakable rites associated with the back of the tongue.
      He winced and cleared his throat, and when he parted his lips he heard it--a faint echo, perhaps the echo of the last sound uttered by the last well-intentioned thought before it accepted its unspoken fate. It sounded like, ďTell her you love her.Ē
      But then he couldnít be sure.
      And what if it was a trick?