She was tired of feeling lonely when they were together. He loved her, of course, but it was not the kind of love she craved. She picked up the picture and held it close to her face, willing herself to remember what it had been like in the beginning. Who was that man in the picture? Was he really so different than he is now, or was it her…had she been the one who had changed? Sarah remembered taking the picture, him standing in the doorway of that coffee shop. It had snowed that day and most every place in town was closed. They had bundled up and taken a walk and found that one shop open. It seemed so perfect, that day, and for a long time afterwards that coffee shop became their special place. No matter how busy it was, when they were there together it felt as if the whole world melted away. It seemed like forever since they last sat inside that shop, sipping coffee and laughing and talking about whatever it was they used to talk about.
Life was different now. Time that once seemed to stretch almost endlessly before them had become scarce and scheduled. Dreams subtly shifted into plans that morphed into to-do lists. What-if conversations had died out long ago, replaced by matter-of-fact discussions of things that needed to be done. And sometimes even those discussions faded into solitary silence. Sarah looked hard at the picture and tried to remember.
Jason pulled the photograph from the back of his wallet. It was tattered and worn but it still made him smile. He remembered the morning he had taken that picture. It was a Sunday and they had slept in and she had looked so beautiful standing there beside the window. He loved that her hair was still tousled from the night before and the way the red silk nightgown clung to the curve of her breasts. But mostly he loved the way she was looking at him in that photo. Her deep brown eyes sparkled with life and that sideways smile meant that whatever she was thinking would be crazy but fun. God he missed that look. She used to be able to change his whole day with just a glance – a glance that let him know he was hers and hers alone. Jason looked hard at that photograph and tried to remember how good it felt to be wanted.
It was almost 7 and Sarah was running late. They had agreed to meet at the restaurant after work, Jason’s meeting running long. It was just dinner…like so many dinners before. Why, then, was Sarah standing in their closet? Looking in the mirror, she longed to feel like she felt all those years ago…like she felt the day she had taken that picture. Pulling off her slacks, she reached for the red dress and slipped it over her head. It felt silky and smooth and she liked the way it clung slightly to the small of her back…she felt sexy. Sarah smiled, pleased with the image in the mirror. Perhaps just for tonight she would leave the disappointment and regret at home and go looking for a little fun.
Jason was waiting at the table for her when she arrived. She noticed the way he looked at her when she took off her coat and she felt a little spark of excitement at his obvious surprise. For an instant she remembered how much she loved to surprise him. Being unpredictable had always been so much fun and she missed being the girl that made him wonder what was coming next. As she turned to sit, Jason noticed the way her dress seemed to caress the gentle curve of her back and he allowed himself to imagine she had worn it for him. And as she leaned forward on her elbows at the table and smiled at him, Jason felt as if he had a thousand thoughts he wanted to share with her. They talked long into the night, over dinner and later at the coffee shop around the corner. How long had it been since they had been here last? It didn’t matter. Tonight none of that mattered — not how long ago or even how they ended up here — all that mattered was that tonight, the rest of the world melted away… and they remembered.
© Kelly Rainey and 500wordsandcounting.wordpress.com, 2015.
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