Flash fiction: “Q & A.”

“Let me look through your eyes,” he said.
Amused, she took a sip of her coffee, allowing the curve of the cup hide her grin. “Why would you want to do that?”
“To see the world how you see it.”
“Don’t you think that would involve more than just sight?”
“To feel someone else’s tears, then.”
“The tears would be meaningless without the reason why.”
“One could argue that all tears are meaningless.”
“Who would argue that? And what would they gain by it?”
“Does every argument have to gain you something?”
“It might make it worth the effort.”
She took another sip of her coffee. He stared intently at her, though off in the distance. He had yet to touch his tea. If she recalled correctly, he didn’t even like tea.
“If you let me see through your eyes, I will let you feel my pain,” he said.
She put her cup down. This offer intrigued her. “Why would I want to do that?”
“If you need a reason, then the pain is weakened.”
“If we do this, can I pull out if the pain is more than I can bear?”
“No.”
“All right, then, ti’s a deal.”
They shook hands. She sat back in her chair, looking across the town square. She took her cigarettes out of her coat pocket and lit one. “I’m ready,” she said.
She could still see through her eyes, but she could feel that they no longer belonged to her. She moved her head around to allow him to orient himself to her perspective. Shen she sat straight up so he could see his face with his eyes closed.
“Very good,” he said. “Now it’s your turn.”
“Oh!”
Whether he could see anymore through her eyes or not didn’t matter anymore as she closed them quickly, wincing. She tried to take a drag on her cigarette but each time she held it to her lips she cringed. The pain started in her chest but quickly spread across her shoulders, as if somehow her body could become sore from physically lifting a lifetime worth of anguish. She felt nauseous. She wanted to cry out to make it stop but she knew better.
She opened her eyes when the pain stopped.
“I still had your eyes,” he said. “I wanted to know how my pain would look inside someone else.”
“Yes,” she said. She took a long drag on her cigarette, staring at him, raising her eyebrow. “Yes.”

Written in Portsmouth, 10/23/17 around 6:30 p.m.

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