postcard

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Status: Finished  |  Genre: Romance  |  House: Booksie Classic


POSTCARD

Some couldn’t read, their eyes failed them.  Others shuffled around in a stupor, but at 87 he was holding his own, even though he knew what the place was and how little time he had.  The staff purchased the old magazines and stacked them throughout the home in convenient places; back when there were good ones, worth looking at.  His face was as wrinkled as the old postcard wedged into the frame of his dresser mirror.

 

He moved into his usual chair and stared out through the mist of the meadow and tree line, bursting with the transformation of a morning in spring.  His eyes were drawn to the small table next to him where a few magazines rested beneath the glow of a cheap lamp.  On top was LIFE, the cover featuring a photo story; Train Stations.  Well, LIFE was famous for their photographs.  His old fingers grabbed the magazine. He stared at it, then removed his glasses and rubbed his eyes while the others ambled about, absorbed in their own routines, unaware of what he held.

 

What he held was a snapshot of his life.  He was thirty and at the top of his game, almost a partner in the firm.  He had arranged a train ride out of the city, with his mother.  A high energy woman, with a nervous quality.  He recalled the photographer and his tripod setting up to his left, angling to get the light and mood.  Another train station.  Just another photograph.  His mother was getting her list, reminding him of the estate, the schedule, and the documents in his briefcase.  He half listened.  He had other ideas.

 

He pulled the magazine cover closer to his eyes.  She was in the left, about 30 feet from them, her feet apart, gazing at him.  He leaned back, closed his eyes and remembered.

 

He boarded the train and his mother began talking, spilling out an itinerary of endless details.  He couldn’t take it anymore.  He got up and squeezed by her into the aisle, looking for what he was drawn to, several rows back, with her legs crossed in an aisle seat.  She stared at him through the cigarette smoke and he lowered his face to hers.

 

He remembered enough.  How they were drawn together in a destructive spiral.  How like a magnet she drew him into a world of impulse, and madness that was only relieved when she left him.

For over thirty years he wondered.  Where did she go and what became of her.  Then one day he received a postcard.  They met at the coffee shop; she had been following his life, his successes. They held hands.  He walked her to the cab and she rolled down the window as it slowly drove away, her head turning to follow his eyes.  The cab vanished, obscured by the dust.  There was no noise, no buildings, no one else.  Nothing.  He returned the magazine to the table and walked out toward the sun.


Submitted: May 08, 2020

© Copyright 2021 scott hammond. All rights reserved.

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Adelle19

My last name is Hammond too.....

Fri, May 8th, 2020 3:09am

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