FOOTSIE

Belleville rendez-vous
Belleville rendez-vous

fivehundredandtwentywordsflashfiction

A soft sunny afternoon in Belleville. Between the stalls and the crowd, somewhat forlorn, sits Antoine surrounded by knick-knacks, female clothes and high heels.

My girlfriend dumped me. Was in such a hurry, didn’t even bother to take her stuff. So as not to have anything remind her of the past, I guess. Just took off with another guy…
And that’s exactly where I was living these past two years – in our dumped past. The first year I’ve waited, hoping she would change her mind and come back, maybe get bored of that other guy and realise her huge mistake.
The second year I was fuming, wanting to burn her clothes and silly knick-knacks. Is it not enough being the one left behind? But being her rubbish man as well? Actually, coming to think of it, rubbish guy is spot on.

Antoine sits on a stool, his elbows resting on his knees, his face in his hands. Sulking, at odds with the world and the role he was handed to play. Not really interested in selling his wares, he stares at the ground when suddenly a pair of shoes appear, crazy over the top 70ies shoes. But what’s most bizarre about them is that the left shoe is on the right foot and the right one on the left.
Antoine gets confused just by looking, when a matter-of-factly female voice floats through the air, “I was born like this.”
Bewilderment mixes with curiosity and Antoine looks up. What he sees behind a long fringe is pleasant. “I was told that when I meet the right guy I will be normal again,” the matter-of-factly voice behind the long fringe says.
Antoine gets flustered because she clearly means him and flirts openly, “’Do you want to help me?” Antoine stutters, “Ehm…maybe…Though really, I wouldn’t know how.” He opens his arms in a gesture which says, totally not my field of expertise.
However, Mystery Girl is of the persevering kind and not easily put out “I don’t care how, just make it happen.” A smile, which could be called encouraging, plays around her lips.

Antoine feels uncomfortable, put on the spot. He looks nervously around, embarrassed to be trapped in this awkward situation and anxious to get out of it. But there is no escape. He has to man his stall.
He takes another look at Mystery Girl. She calmly gazes back at him with all the time in the world. Slowly synapses connect and thoughts start sinking in. After all she’s sweet and unique (not least because of her feet) and to be honest, he would like to help her out.
Taking another glance at his merchandise, the museum of his life spread at his feet, Antoine’s gaze falls onto a picture showing him and his ex. Annoyed he picks it up and throws it swiftly into the nearby rubbish bin, where it makes a clunk noise when landing.

On hearing this, Antoine breaks into a smile for the first time, the cloud of misery dispersed.

He turns to Mystery Girl but she’s gone. Sun rays dance and sparkle.

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5 thoughts on “FOOTSIE

  1. This is most likely an apocryphal tale as nameless mystery girls, regrettably, rarely speak to jilted persons by the name of Antoine. So what’s a poor, stuck-in-the-past guy to do? He can change his name (Attila is nice) and become a mystery guy himself. Then boy and girl would be on an equal footing (pun intended, naturally).

    Liked by 1 person

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