The Tryst

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Status: Finished  |  Genre: Flash Fiction  |  House: Booksie Classic

the end of a lifelong romance

THE TRYST

 

© 2021 by Jim Shipp

 

He had followed her to the little bar on a side street at the edge of town. He sat quietly for a few minutes after she went inside, dreading the ordeal to come. He finally got up the nerve to exit the car, crossed the street, and opened the door.

The place was dimly lit, so he made it all the way to their booth before they saw him coming. They were holding hands over the table. He reached them just as Marge said, “Joe, you’re the only thing in the world that’s important to me”. Then she saw him and the color drained from her face.

Bill placed his hands on the edge of the table, leaned down, and looked at Joe. All he said was, “My wife”.

To his credit, Joe, a tall Afro-American with a neatly trimmed goatee, stood up and withdrew without a word.

Bill sat down and took Marge’s hands, which were still lying, palms up, on the table top. She didn’t pull them away.

They sat in silence for a moment. It all came to him in a slow flash … their forty years together, everything they had been through.

He finally asked, “Have there been others?”. Her silence was his answer.

The pain was exquisite. Despite his best effort, tears welled up in his eyes.

“You … you can have anything you want”, he managed at last.

“After all”, he added, “you’re the only thing in the world that’s important to me”.

 


Submitted: July 08, 2021

© Copyright 2021 Jim Shipp. All rights reserved.

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