Written for the Daily Flash Fiction Challenge. A 300 word story.
Mia was a loner. She would rarely be spotted with anyone else; when she was there remained a sense that she was somehow still 'apart'. She wasn't aloof, and she certainly wasn't conceited. It was like she viewed herself as unworthy of company; of being beneath notice, let alone interaction.
Yet he had come up to her, reached past those walls so carefully constructed and offered her friendship. Simon's relationship was purely platonic. An ear that would listen, a shoulder that she could cry on. In her loneliness it was hard to refuse.
A little voice echoed in her mind. "Beware," it said, but did not elaborate.
Mia had been hurt before by people she had trusted, only to have them deceive her. Worst were the rumors, the gossip. But none of them had gone to the same length, had promised the same commitment.
Simon had held out a length of red wool. "Wrap it around your finger. Any one will do. I'll do the same and this will signify that we truly are friends for ever."
Ignoring the voice in her head that was now shouting warnings at fever pitch, Mia had wrapped that wool just tight enough. Simon copied her. And that was it; their friendship was sealed.
For a while Mia would see Simon often, and then they relied on texts. They were still friends, though, weren't they?
She worried at the wool, pulling at it, picking at it. The loops became loose, the thread became frayed. After two weeks of not hearing a word, the thread broke to fall from her finger in pieces.
The tears came, the worries built; no ear or shoulder appeared. Mia was alone and a tiny voice within her head said, in a tone laced with scorn: 'I told you so!"