Fiction Fragment: Unidentified Notes

“If you really want to hear about it, the first thing you'll probably want to know is that I am DONE with that asshole,” Jessica crumples into her seat, cradling her wine.

“Want some?”

You raise a brow- it’s ten AM on Tuesday. 

However. Her normally perfect hair is thrown atop her head, the antique coffee table she spent five figures on is littered with wine bottles, and she’s about to leave her husband of thirty years. She’s a wreck. 

So you accept with a smile.

She reaches for the bottle, gold bangles rattling together. “Shit. All out.”

You remind her that you’re into Old World wines anyway.

“Right, you like French wine. One sec.”

She goes for a bottle you’ll like and tells you how Richard has been colder, more distant. She returns with a perfectly chilled glass of Sancerre.

The nose starts with notes of white peach and rhubarb, and finishes with something that, much as you smell, you can’t quite place. You have a sip, letting the wine roll around your mouth. You get a tiny masochistic thrill at the acidity’s bite- a sharp thorn in the bouquet of flavor. 

But you’ve been checked out too long. Jessica looks at you intensely, sitting back in her chair, tense and upright as a cobra.

You take a larger sip. What was she saying?

“I said he had an AFFAIR.” 

You have a gulp and widen your eyes. Richard? No!

“I have proof.” She narrows her eyes, lips pressed together.

You tighten your grip on your glass and chew the inside of your lip. Beads of sweat gather at the nape of your neck, mirroring the condensation on your glass.


She mentions text messages on his iPad, Lyft rides, and following him from the gym to see him with a mistress.


You never used iMessage because you know about shared devices (obviously). 

You finish the wine in one swig and feel anger burn in your stomach, heat rising to your chest. 

This asshole was cheating on you! You are so angry that you tear up, your vision blurring.

“Are you okay?” Jessica asks with a look of concern.

You’re fine- just upset for her. 

She shrugs. 

“He blew our life up over some tramps. 

So I killed him.”

You laugh. Jessica is so dramatic.

You laugh and start to cough. And your vision’s still blurry. 

Is it doubling now? 

“You know, I wasn’t surprised that Richard was cheating. But you? That part fucking sucked.” 

Jessica goes on, saying more about the betrayal. 

And she’s right. What you both did, it was awful. 

Maybe not so horrible as to warrant death- but here you are.

While she rambles on about things you cannot hear, and notes of white peach and rhubarb are replaced with the pocket change flavor of blood pooling into and spilling from your mouth, you realize with joyful triumph what that mysterious note was at the finish of the nose of the Sancerre.

Photo by Dan Cristian Pădureț on Unsplash

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