Dear Laurie

This is a flash fiction piece that was inspired by a trip to Seattle I made. I submitted it to the 2016 Scholastic Art and Writing Awards. I got honorable mention for flash fiction for the local Young Authors of Arizona competition.

Dear Laurie,

Most people say that you can’t truly fall in love when you are young. But I happen to know that is wrong.

I remember everything, from the clothes you wore to the weather outside. It was a rainy, autumn morning. My parents made me get up at four am so we could catch the bus to the Pike Place Market, your favorite place in the world, on a Saturday. I was six years old; in other words, pissed. Through my groggy and cranky demeanour, I barely saw anyone or anything, except for my dad nagging me to pick up my feet. So you had to have been some miracle for me to notice you.

My parents insisted on seeing the infamous throwing of the fish, which I imagined was as eventful as it sounds, yet it was apparently extremely popular. There was a crowd of about forty people around this little fish stand, and I was six, so I couldn’t really see anything.

As I took in my surroundings with a defiant air of boredom, I suddenly caught sight of you. You were wearing jeans, beige winter boots, a huge blue winter jacket, a pink scarf and a puffy white hat. But what mattered was your face. A smile climbed its way across your face as your lips mouthed a giant WOW, your eyes fluttering with amazement, an expression of pure fascination at such an ordinary event, and that, that was the moment. At six years old, in a sleepy haze, without knowing the first thing about you or really anything else about the world, I knew that I loved you. And I could have been wrong. But this feeling never changed.

And so I did what any stupid, in love, six year old would do. I stole money from my mom’s purse and bought the fish.

“What do you want, kid?” the fish-thrower said.

“I wanna buy that fish.”

He raised his eyebrow. Just the left one, crooked. “You sure about that?”

“YES. Here’s my money.”

Astonished, the guy just wrapped up the fish and handed it to me. I could feel his eyebrow raise all the way to my walk towards you. I think—I know—I was the youngest person who had ever bought anything from him, and my moral grounds in which I had purchased it—-a little shaky. But I was determined.

I started to run towards you. Running, picking up speed, come on Cole, just a little faster, and…

I fell on my face, right at your feet, holding the fish up like a trophy.

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