Finding Harry

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Status: Finished  |  Genre: Romance  |  House: Booksie Classic
A couple is entering middle life and a wife wonders why her husband is not so attentive lately. She fears he may be losing interest in her. She meets him in a restaurant and they renew their relationship through a talk.

Submitted: September 10, 2010

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Submitted: September 10, 2010

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Finding Harry

Susan took a big glass bowl out of her kitchen cabinet and placed it on the counter top. It was a rainy, cold Saturday afternoon in March, a good time to turn on the oven and bake some chocolate chip cookies.

Harry was Susan’s husband of thirty five years and he loved her chocolate chip cookies. Harry had been a little quiet lately. Some cookies might be just the right thing.

The couple had a modest home in the suburbs of upstate New York. There was a nice little flower garden outside and two porches, one in the front and one in the back of the house. They had two grown children, Harry Junior and Melissa Jo who lived nearby with their families.

Susan was quite content with her life and with Harry. He was a stable, comforting, witty and pleasant man.

She knew that she was a good wife to Harry as well. She worked part time through the years so that they could have little extras in life. She also kept the house cozy and neat and cooked Harry’s favorite things like baked salmon and Swedish meatballs.

Susan and Harry rarely had a disagreement. And when they did, they made up that same night and never went to bed angry at one another.

The aroma of the baking cookies was wafting through the house. Harry would get a whiff of it while he watched TV in the den and he would soon be coming through the doorway.

One tray of cookies was finished. Where was Harry? Susan took off her cobbler’s apron and went to the doorway of the den. Harry seemed intent on his program on the science channel and was oblivious to the smell of cookies.

“Harry, are you okay?” She asked him.

Harry shifted in his recliner. The bit of weight he had put on in the past few years sometimes got in the way of his comfort.

“Oh, I think I’ll skip the cookies today,” he said.

“Do you want a cup of tea?” She asked.

“No, I don’t think I’ll have tea either,” he said. He looked at her and smiled. “Thank you anyway.”

Susan ended up taking most of the cookies over to the grandchildren. “Have you noticed that your father has been kind of out of sorts these past weeks, Melissa Jo?” Susan asked her daughter as they sat in the living room cluttered with toys. The grandkids were munching cookies at the kitchen table and drinking glasses of milk.

“Hmmmm.” Melissa Jo pursed her lips. “You’re right. I did notice that he wasn‘t paying much attention to my story about little Kenny‘s up and coming soccer team.”

Susan looked dismayed. “He’s been working late the past few weeks.” Harry was an insurance salesman with an office in the next town.

Melissa Jo giggled. “Maybe he’s having an affair,” she said. She saw her mother’s face go pale.

“Oh, Mom, I’m just kidding.” Melissa Jo couldn’t picture her father doing any such thing. He had never been a flirt. He was devoted to his wife who he thought was the best looking woman in town.

Susan had kept her svelte figure through the years. Her hair was still full and curly and she colored it a pretty blonde shade that made her look younger than her fifty seven years. Harry was fifty nine.

Susan decided to make a surprise visit to Harry’s office on Monday. She was retired from her job for a few months now and had more time to herself. She did not make it a habit of visiting Harry at his office, but maybe it was necessary today.

Mrs. Ingram, Harry’s secretary was working at her desk when Susan came in. “Well hello, Mrs. Jacobs. Nice to see you. Mr. Jacobs isn’t here. He took an early lunch.”

“Oh really. Did he say where he was going?” Susan asked, a fluttery feeling crossing her stomach.

“You could call his cell phone,” suggested Mrs. Ingram.

Susan was almost afraid to find out. “I’ll catch up with Harry later,” she said.

She left the office and headed back to the house. There weren’t many restaurants in the area. A little place came up on the right side of the road. She had dined there with Harry in the past. She saw that Harry’s car was parked in the small lot.

Susan drove into the lot with her heart beating faster. She parked and quickly went into the restaurant.

Harry was seated at a table by the window. He was alone.

She felt relief flood over her--unless he was waiting for someone.

“Well, if it isn’t a beautiful woman. Would you like to join me for lunch?” He chuckled.

“I certainly would,” she said.

Harry had already ordered his favorite corned beef on rye and Susan perused the menu. “This is a nice surprise,” he told her.

“I hope it is,” she replied. She quickly gave the waiter her order and concentrated on Harry again.

“You are not yourself, Harry.” She decided to plunge right in. “I’ve been worried about you.”

Harry sighed. “I have been a little depressed lately. It has nothing to do with you,” he assured her. It’s me. Look at me. I’m fat, old, bald and--”

“Harry, I’m getting older, too,” she said.

“You look so wonderful, Susan. I don’t--feel very appealing anymore. I’ve been trying to make more money. I thought that would make me feel better, but with the economy--”

Susan couldn’t believe she was hearing this. She never thought that Harry had any doubts about himself or their marriage--or anything. He had always seemed so secure. Maybe that was why she hadn’t reassured him of her love these past years. She just figured he knew how she felt.

“When I look at you, Harry, I see the most wonderful, handsome man that I could ever imagine,” she said realizing that this was still true. She just hadn’t said it to Harry in awhile.

She saw Harry’s eyes twinkle. He took her hand across the table. “I mean it, Harry,” she said softly.

They ate lunch and chatted about the grandchildren and talked about maybe a weekend trip somewhere--maybe New York City.

The waitress came to see if they wanted dessert. Susan said no and Harry said, “I think I’ll skip it.” He winked at Susan. “I would like to go home and have a few of those chocolate chip cookies though.”

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