Wednesday, October 7, 2015
Twinkling Night (Blogophilia 33.8)
After a brief spin, Bart set Holly gently on the floor and handed her the cane and the small bouquet of flowers he had picked up from the street side vendor. Her thin arms gathered him into a long hug, burying his face into her highlighted hair. Laughter echoed down the long room, but few noticed.
“Oh, man! I wish I got that greeting every time I arrived somewhere.” She gave him a peck on the cheek.
“So we finally meet!” Straightening her top, she kept giggling. “Although I wish the circumstances were a little better. I can’t thank you enough for putting me up.”
“I know what having obnoxious relatives are like.” He said taking her larger suitcase. “I certainly would have more help when Amy died. Let’s get out of here before anyone thinks we’re crazy.”
A woman with perfect hair and six inch heels veered into their path, engrossed in her cell phone. Holly leaned in to get out of the way and looked up into grey framed face. Lavender and salt permeated his senses. They were two rays of sunshine in human cloud.
Opening the door with a flourish, Bart guided Holly gently into the front seat. Settling on the cream leather upholstery, she hooked up the seat belt and looked around.
“Nice car.” Her voice was sweeter he thought. “Reminds me of a limousine.”
“Thanks. I bought it on a whim after Amy and I sold the house.” Twisting the key, he continued. “Decided it was time for a little luxury.”
The plaintive violin of Saint Saëns Danse Macabre filled the car. He knew it was a favorite.
“Hmmm...You thought of everything.” The grin got bigger. “Are you trying to seduce me?”
Laughing, he said “No. Just want you to feel welcome in a strange town.”
A car honked as they backed out, but that couldn’t dampen the mood. Neither could the autopay kiosk that made his bank account twenty dollars lighter. Daylight faded as they drove into the city. To the left, the large garnet sun sank against the horizon. Pink and gray clouds scattered to the right and the skyline had just begun to twinkle. Atlanta at its most romantic, if anyone could call the sprawling mess that.
Turning in the seat to face him, she began the small talk.
“So, how long were you married?”
“Thirty four years, four months and six days. It wasn’t always a fun ride, but I survived.”
“You miss her, don’t you?” She picked at a spot on her face.
He hesitated a moment. “When you are with someone that long, it leaves a hole than never really can be filled. And there are times it feels like she’s still behind my shoulder watching. Who knows? She might be one of those stars, looking down on us now.”
Laughter filled the air again.
“How about you? You never said much about your debacle.”
The face darkened.
“Officially, three years, but mentally I checked out after about eight months. Let’s just say, he…is not worth talking about.”
The silence only lasted for minute.
“Yes he is!”
Bart jumped from the slamming of the hand on the seat. An aquamarine ring, replaced the wedding band on her left hand. A Pisces and a water sign meant conflicting emotions and hidden triggers. It had been a long time since he had to worry about that.
“Psycho made me the jumpy, suspicious person you see. He was sweet and charming at first, but like most psychos, survival meant a lot of shadow dancing.”
She fidgeted in the seat a bit, clearly uncomfortable with the conversation. Green radio lights reflected on the tears. Yep, she is an easy weeper. Most women were from time to time. He laid his hand on top of hers and squeezed gently. Looking down at the floor, her voice became a whisper.
“Oh, it doesn’t matter.”
“Am I being too nosy?” He slipped his arm over the thin, trembling shoulders.
“Not really.” Lightly blowing into a kleenex . “The two faced creep would double cross you by bringing flowers to dinner then throwing you against the wall because the carrots weren’t cooked.”
“Oh.” Hope she didn’t take the flowers wrong. He let the matter drop.
She suddenly perked up, unfastened the seatbelt, and snuggled close.
“But I didn’t come here to moan about the bastard. Let’s pick up some deli and have a nighttime picnic. If your Amy is in one of those stars, I want her to see you aren’t hiding in the shadows.”