The Girl Whose Name Was Not Jen – Fiction

The Girl Whose Name Was Not Jen

by Scott Hefflon

Double take. I should’ve known better. It’s not her. That was lifetimes ago and so many miles away. “And miles to go before I sleep.” I can’t sleep. I just keep on running. They seek to keep pace with me, those memories. Tirelessly and brutally, they haunt me. They lurk in the shadowy recesses. Waiting. Waiting for me to tire. Waiting for me to collapse in a breathless heap. Waiting for me to crawl off the beaten path to inventory what’s left. Waiting for a trigger.

Double take.


Mistaken identity. So simple. So innocent. So painful. Flashbacks. Another time, another place, another friend, another me. All in the past. All lost. All recorded in ruthless detail in memory. All pouring cruelly in on me as I yet lick the wounds. Old scars bleed afresh. Salty tears sting and feed the pain. Flashbacks.

Snapshots. Dusty and lost, she helped me to my feet. Beneath the dirt, she saw… someone in need. She sponged the grime from endless roads from the cracks and crevices. She kissed my wounds with tender lips and took the blood away with her. Staining selflessly herself. And me too weak to wipe it away. And my throat too caked to say a word. Too choked to whisper, “Thank you.”

Fading, smiling so sadistically, the memories slip into periphery. Until again I tire and they return to coax me on, ever onward.

Pin prick. Pain flash. Stagger to my feet. Time to run. Time keeps running. Killing time and time keeps killing me. Another me. Another time. Another place from which to run. Another place to never reach. Another painful memory. “And miles to go before I sleep.”

Dedicated to Babyfreak