This flash fiction story received honorable mention in the Women on Writing contest.
Annie saw him and froze. He was as gorgeous as he was the day he walked out on her ten years ago. The flecks of gray in his hair and mustache made him look sexier. Suddenly she felt old and fat in her sweats and dirty sneakers. Self-consciously she smoothed her messy ponytail as she backed towards the door of the deli, hoping to make it out before he saw her. Then, as if in slow motion, she saw his head turn and their eyes met.
“Annie?” Before she could move he was near her, hugging her. In spite of herself she hugged him, closing her eyes remembering.
“You look great,” he said smiling.
“No, I don’t.” Annie said blushing. “I just ran out the house to do errands, so I probably look awful.”
“Well, not to me,” he said smiling at her.
Annie laughed happily, feeling as if she was twenty two years old and his fiancé again. Now she was married with two kids and while she loved her husband, she was still in love with Michael. If she didn’t know it before, she knew it without a doubt now. She had heard he was back in town after the divorce. Her heart had filled with glee and hope. Glee because it hadn’t worked out with the women he had left her for and hope that maybe, even after all these years……
“Listen,” he leaned over, close to her ear. “I’d like to see you again. I’ve missed you.”
“I’m …I’m ..married,” she stammered, her mind racing.
“Just to talk,” he touched her arm. “I’ve never stopped …um…thinking about you.”
Annie turned away from his gaze. She had dreamed of this very moment for so long. However, she had always imagined herself ten, no twenty pounds lighter wearing a tight fitting, black Vera Wang dress with Jimmy Choo black pumps. Her hair was supposed to be in soft shiny curls cascading down her back. She would meet his look with smoky eyes and pouty lips, somehow looking innocent and sexy at the same. They would kiss passionately, he would beg to come back to her and she would let him.
Now she looked down at her sneakers thinking of Ralph, her husband who had picked up the pieces after Michael left her. He had been her knight in shiny armor. Now he was her middle-aged, couch potato with a paunch and less hair. He was also sweet and kind and good for her. She still loved Michael, but she realized she loved Ralph more.
“I can’t, Michael. No, I …um…won’t.”
Even as she said it she could feel her fantasy melting, her designer dress lay in a puddle on the floor. He was nine years too late. She gave him one long, last look and then turned to leave. She can’t explain it but in that last moment she had loved him, lost him, forgave him and moved on. Finally.
**** This content was written by Nina Guilbeau. If you wish to use this content in any manner, you need written permission.
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