Flasahing #44: Supernatural Romance (sort of)

Thursday, May 21, 2009

Hah - this is why you don't try to write romance when you're all depressed and pissed off - because it comes out really, really sleazy. Oh well.

I tried to catch a Time Traveler's Wife vibe but lay it down on some sappy super natrual romance story inspired by the original memoir (somehow) but the end result was kind of delightfully creepy. I honestly dig it and I hope you do to...

More Flashing at the main page. 

___________________________

May 22nd, 2008

The waiter reserved the usual table for us. I pocket my wedding band and take a seat facing the door, waiting for her to enter. I fumble with the sugar packets and drop a fork on the floor, these minutes are always the longest – they’re what cause my gray hairs, I imagine. The years go by so fast, life is stressful day-to-day, and it’s always these couple of minutes - it’s always waiting in this restaurant - that ages me.

But she enters and it’s worth the gray and the blood pressure. No-one notices her, not in the way I notice her at least. She floats to the table. She has bags under her eyes and her skin is paler than in previous years. She doesn’t say a word, she sits down at the table and opens her menu and pretends to decide between the fish and the chicken when we both know she’s going to get the chicken.

She’s as predictable as she was thirty years ago.

May 22nd, 1979

“I’ll have the chicken,” she says to the waiter “Oh wait – is it white meat?”

The waiter doesn’t speak a word of English and he just kind of nods and she smiles and he walks back to the kitchen to place our order. I’m almost positive the chicken will be dark meat but there’s really no point in bringing that up; there are more important things to do. “I have to go to the bathroom,” she says. Before I can answer she’s halfway across the room and I use this opportunity to take the ring box out of my pocket and place it near her table setting.

It takes her several minutes to notice the box – the entire time I’m thinking that I should have done this more traditionally. Got down on my knee, made a scene. My current plan is probably going to confuse her rather than help make lasting memories.

May 22nd, 2003

She looks down at the ring box and sighs. “I want you to let me go.”

May 22nd, 1981

She pauses as she reaches for the box. She looks around the restaurant and looks at me and says, “Woah. Déjà vu.”

May 22nd, 2005

She opens the ring box and tries to smile. “You know,” she says through gritted teeth, “I never really liked this ring.”

May 22nd, 1979

Yes.” He eyes well up with tears. “Yes! Yes! Yes!”

May 22nd, 1988

“Yes?” She says. It’s not meant to be a question but she seems out of sorts on the whole. She can’t stop staring at me. When she first walked in, she said I looked old. I’ll have to be sure to dye my hair next year.

May 22nd, 2006

She nods a yes. She can’t even look into my eyes. We eat our food in silence.

After dinner we walk to a wine bar at the base of the bridge. In the past we had well over a bottle each and laughed and toasted and rested hands on breasts and backs and shoulders. This time we each order a glass, knowing full well that’s all we’ll drink. People sitting at the café give us disapproving looks. I can’t say that I blame them. I’m old enough to be her father, after all.

May 22nd, 1981

I lay my arm across her bare stomach and I can’t believe this is happening again. I kiss her neck and she says, “Not now – I need sleep – too much wine, wine wine…” her voice drifts off. I pull her body to mine and resolve to stay awake – I’m not going to let her leave me this time.

May 22nd, 1996

“Wait – what’s that?” I forgot my wedding band. It’s ok, she’ll forget about it next year. She forgets every year.

“Just go to sleep.”

“Why are you wearing a wedding band? What’s going on?” She’s been suspicious all night.

“We’ll talk about it tomorrow, just go to sleep.”

"Something’s not right.”

“Just go to sleep.”

May 22nd, 1984

I can’t stop looking at her. It’s been five years of this routine and I still can’t believe she’s with me right now.

May 22nd, 2009

Don’t come back next year. Please.”

All I have these days is this one moment when she walks into the restaurant. For that one moment it’s 1979 and she’s 27 again. But as soon as she sees me, sees how old I’ve become, the past thirty years come back to her in some way. She knows something’s wrong even though she doesn’t know the details. She knows I’m married to someone else. She knows she only exists on these evenings and she feels like I’m the one that’s stopping her from moving on. We go through our motions. We order our meals and I propose and we fake celebrate and we drink our wine and we make love and we go to sleep. And, at the end of the evening, she’s gone again.

And I go back to the states and kiss my wife and tell her the business trip was fine and take my kids to school and go to work and patiently wait for the next May 22nd.

“I won’t come back. I promise.”

It already seems like an impossible promise.

May 23rd, 1980

She’s gone. I had my arms around her and we fell asleep and she’s gone. It’s like she’s died all over again. I’ll be back next year to see if she comes back to me one more time.

May 23rd, 1979

At breakfast she turns to me and says, “We should do this every year.” I agree.

May 23rd, 2010

I return from my trip. My wife picks me up at the airport. She asks how it went and I say, “Same as every year.” I promise myself this will be the last time.

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