Fiction: Alternates (767 words)

12 Oct

“I never expected so much to change,” Fiona commented idly as she watched Hamish flip pancakes.

“What’s that, love?” Hamish asked distractedly, sliding the finished pancake onto a plate and starting a new one, “I swear I was listening, I was just also trying to make a perfect circle.”

“No, I understand,” Fiona laughed, also knowing the quest for the perfectly round pancake, “I was saying it was weird that so much had changed just because of one little phone call.”  Fiona crossed the room to wrap an arm around Hamish’s waist as he worked.  “Just fourteen months ago, if I had decided not to answer the phone because I didn’t know the number, and since I have the bad habit of never checking my voicemail, I never would have met you. Our lives would be very, very, different if I hadn’t bothered to get out of bed to see who was calling.”

“Well, I for one would be very, very fat after eating all these pancakes by myself.”  Hamish smiled as he slid the last pancake on top of the slightly wobbly stack.

“True,” Fiona smiled, bring the plate back to the kitchen table.  Hamish sat down across from her, smiling proudly at his homemade breakfast. “So, Hamish, where do you think you would be if I hadn’t answered the phone?”

“Interesting question,” Hamish stalled, pulling three pancakes onto his own plate.  “Well, I would have gone to all the local landmarks that were mentioned in your grandfather’s letters to my grandmother.  I would have spent—I don’t know—a month, maybe two, in Virginia Beach to try to get a sense of where my grandmother grew up before flying home and figuring out something else to do with my life.  Probably, I’d be sitting alone in my underwear, getting fat of pancakes in a one bedroom flat in Edinburgh.”

“Well, it’s good to know that you had a plan for your life,” Fiona sighed, pulling down her own pancakes and coating them in about half a gallon of syrup.

“Well, when you decide to fly half way across the world to ask a family of complete strangers for help on an insane sounding quest to figure out a series of “what ifs” for two people who are already dead—it’s not like you’re really in a logical plan making state of mind.”  Hamish smiled around a bite of pancake, and Fiona rolled her eyes good-naturedly. “Would you like me if I wasn’t all spontaneous with me lack of rational plans?”

“Mmh,” Fiona hummed non-committedly, cutting her pancakes into even smaller pieces.

“What about you?” Hamish asked, pointing his fork at her.  “What do you think you would be doing if you hadn’t answered my phone call?”

“Well, Fiona took a small bite and chewed carefully as she though it over, “I would have kept looking for a job until I found one.  Hopefully it would have been a well-paying one that still would have gotten me out of that ratty apartment.  I would have continued to listen to my mother’s everlasting complaints about how I should have settled down by now, and probably gone on a blind date or two every couple of months to keep her complaining to a minimum.  I would not be eating pancakes in my underwear because I am too lazy to cook pancakes just for myself.  I would be eating cereal, and probably in my pajamas because I don’t tend to sit around in my underwear just for fun.”

“You don’t think that you would have been with one of those blind dates you mother had you go on?  Maybe you’d be sitting around in your underwear making pancakes for him?”

“Nope,” Fiona answered instantly.  Hamish stared at her for a second because of the quickness and confidence of her answer.  “What?”

“How can you be so sure?”

“Because,” Fiona shrugged like it was obvious, “Without even knowing it, I’d still be waiting for you.”

There was a clatter of plate and fork and a little squeak from Fiona as Hamish snatched her up from her seat and pulled her in close for a kiss.  When she recovered from the shock, Fiona melted into him, kissing him back. After long enough, Hamish took half a step back and rest his forehead against her forehead.  “That is the single best thing that has ever been said to me ever.”

“Well, I try,” Fiona grinned, pressing against him again, “Hey, H, do you mind if—“

“We completely forget the pancakes?” Hamish finished for her, and Fiona nodded.  “That is absolutely fine by me.”

Leave a comment

Posted by on October 12, 2015 in Stories


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: