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by Jeff
Rated: 18+ · Short Story · Relationship · #2317258
Flash fiction inspired by the Lauren Alaina song of the same name.

I pulled into the parking lot at work on Monday morning with what was left of my car. To be fair, most of the engine was still intact, which is more than I could say for the windows, the trunk, two of the doors, the paint job, and lights (both head and tail). It looked like the car had been worked over by a jealous ex with time on their hands and an intimate knowledge of how to absolutely eff up a car without causing any lasting mechanical damage.

“What the hell happened to you?” my coworker asked as he pulled into the space next to the one I’d chosen.

“I took the road less traveled,” I replied. “Turns out, it’s less traveled for a reason.”

“Wasn’t this the weekend you were breaking up with your girlfriend?”

“It was.”

“And the road less traveled was ...” my friend ventured. “Hoping to still be friends after?”

“Hoping to still be friends with benefits after.”

“That would explain the car,” my friend said, getting out of his own car and taking a lap around mine to fully appreciate the scope of the damage. “You realize that suggesting you stay friends with benefits after a breakup is essentially saying that you still want the benefits of sex, just without having to put any work into the relationship, right?”

“Realized it the moment the words left my mouth,” I replied. “In my defense, we both always enjoyed the sex and I thought there was an outside chance that maybe she was thinking the relationship was too much work as well.”

“And was she thinking that?”

“... she was not.”

My coworker finished their inspection of my car, then grabbed their bag and we walked through the parking garage toward the office together.

“I’m actually really impressed that she didn’t seem to affect any of the car’s functionality,” my colleague observed. “It’s almost exclusively cosmetic damage designed to make driving the car as inconvenient as humanly possible.”

“Probably should have seen this avenue of attack coming from a mechanical engineer, huh?”


“Anything you’ll do differently next time?”

“Yeah,” I replied. “I won’t live my life according to the philosophical musings of a guy who did his most notable work over a century ago.”

“Still,” my coworker said, “If she had gone for the idea...”

“That’s the whole appeal of the road less traveled, though. The possibility of what could be. We’ve romanticized the idea of big risks leading to big rewards and forget that for every road less traveled that leads to places with unexpected boons, there are dozens more who realized that road less traveled just ended up with them in a ditch and their car all messed up. And I mean that literally in my case. Nah, the mainstream road that everyone else seems comfortable taking is good enough for me from now on.”

My phone buzzed with a text message as we entered the office elevator.

It was my (now) ex-girlfriend.

Sorry about your car. I was upset and not being honest with myself about the long term viability of our relationship. But I don’t want you out of my life completely. Maybe you can come by tonight and we can try that “friends with benefits” thing you suggested? *Wink*

I showed the text to my colleague whose eyebrows shot up in surprise. And I suddenly found myself thinking, you know, maybe that Robert Frost guy had a point after all...


589 words

Written For: "Game of Thrones

Prompt: Turn it up! Jam out to it, then write a story!

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