Flash Fiction || Less than Three (Penelope Webb)
He was fond of expressing himself via distinct emoticons. He would frequently use the heart motif <3 to communicate his eternal love for Martha. The first time the technologically illiterate Martha saw that, she mistook it to be an old mathematical expression, subtly implying that his ex-flame Gertrude had finally bid him adieu.
As April bloomed, Martha’s hankering wish to make sure they were indeed less than three assumed a desperation she knew not her pining heart could muster. But they were all in vain.
Martha had been the rebound chick anyways – she knew so from his blatant disregard for grammar in the prologue to their relationship. Arraigned as a grammar Nazi in close circles, Martha had taken an exception to her principles, looking up what the less than three emoticon actually meant, over the internet.
Martha and him – they were the two he meant, did he not?
Yet, as a broken heart became her order come May, she finally realized that less than three was not a confirmation of the happy two but a slow but sure descent into the solitary state she was so used to.
Martha was single again. 
First Published: CultureCult Magazine, Issue One: October 2015