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This piece was written as Flash Fiction from a prompt. I wrote it in 12 minutes. The prompt was: "They had only met once, but it was a meeting neither would ever forget."
They had only met once, but it was a meeting neither would ever forget.
Jen stared out the window of the plane. It had been a difficult visit with her parents. They didn't understand the break up and couldn't comprehend that Dale would no longer be their son-in-law. In their eyes, he had been the perfect husband.
She hadn't been able to bring herself to tell them about the affair or that Dale had been fired from his job and that he blamed her. They wouldn't understand.
Tears slipped down her cheeks.
“Are you okay?” said the man in the seat next to her.
Jen brushed away the tears and shook her head.
“Not really”, she said.
“Want to talk?” he asked, “It's a long flight and I'm a good listener.”
She had no idea what made her spill everything. The long hours of work that had kept Dale away from home. The important events he had missed in the kids' lives, and the eventual breakup when Dale blamed her because his boss found out about the affair with his secretary.
The man listened quietly. That was all, but it was enough. Jen had needed to unload it all and a stranger was the perfect choice. She would forever be grateful that someone had cared enough to listen.
The plane landed and as they gathered their things the man reached out and gave her a hug.
“You just saved my marriage,” he said, then he stepped into the aisle and made his way to the front of the plane.
When he reached the concourse, he pulled his cell phone from his pocket, dialed a number and said, “Honey, I'm cutting my trip short. I'll be home on the next plane I can get out of here. What time is Timmy's birthday party?”
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