The Final Call
During the busyness of her usual Saturday routine, Lila’s phone rang. Looking at the number through the cracked screen on her cell phone, she paused for a second. Perplexed, time froze for a moment, bitting her bottom lip, and blinking her eyes trying to recall where she knew this number from. She thought it looked familiar but wasn't certain. Hesitantly, she answered the call. There was no response from the person on the other end. In an instance, slow breaths hummed through the phone like a bee on a warm spring day. The soft rhythmic hum attracted her attention. Focusing solely on the hum, the second hello rolled off her tongue with annoyance.
"Listen, I don’t have time to play on the phone."
Laughter, boomed through the speaker.
"Girl, what's up? It’s me! You better not hang up."
A familiar voice immobilized her senses; past memories flashed in her head like lightning. Her stomach fluttered like a kaleidoscope of butterflies, legs felt like over-cooked noodles, soft, limp, and unable to take a step because her feet were cemented to the cherry wood floor. A soft gasp left her mouth widened. Lila dropped her purse and laptop bag to the floor, positioned herself comfortably on the plush, velvet sofa, dug out her compact, flipped open the mirror and adjusted a few unruly strands of hair. Fordham always knew how to stop her life and make time stand still. Surely, he hadn't forgotten her second Saturday of the month routine. It always began with, a hike up Stone Mountain, followed by coffee with the book club, and a massage at SaSu’s Day Spa.
It had been nearly three months since their last big disagreement. He stormed out of the house and she hadn’t heard from him until today. Searching around the room for comfort, a soft, perfumed scent tickles her nose, her eyes land on the fresh bouquet of orange roses, that were delivered earlier. Just to the left of the bouquet, in a medium, oval, crystal frame was a photo of a couple kissing. Staring at their engagement photo on the smoked, glass coffee table, anguish highlighted the wrinkle between her neatly manicured eyebrows. She sighs deeply exhaling through her flared nostrils. The muscles in her face tightened forcing her to bite on her bottom lip. Her head pounded like a drum at a rock band concert, fast and loud. She rubbed the new wrinkles on her forehead and her eyes widened. She slapped the photo face down. Salty liquid blurred Lila’s vision. She relented. Tears rolled in quiet formation down her cheeks, staining her pink workout shirt. The levee broke. She cleared her throat, and broke the silence.
Nervously, Fordham gathers his thoughts. He suddenly recalled the last time, they had spoken. His palms moistened; his heart-rate rose. Fumbling through his words, the lump in his throat seemed to disappear, and he timidly managed to speak.
"I'm ready for forever with you.”
Caught-up in A Dream
Caught-up in A Dream
The loud, buzzing, sound of the alarm clock jarred him awake. Disappointed at the crude disruption, Claude squinted at the offensive device and groaned.
In this dream, Claude was as energized as a kid in an all you can eat, candy store. His heart raced with content. He had carefully mapped out this day in his head. Confessing to himself that if he were ever afforded the opportunity to be in her presence, he would let her know exactly how he felt about her, no matter what the risk entailed. Claude peered into the moonlight, then cranked open the window. The thin drapes billowed gently in the warm breeze. He absently ran his hand through his damp hair and tossed his wet towel over the empty towel rack. With a quick flourish, Claude rubbed oil on his chiseled chest, knelt to pray, then folded the chocolate, paisley bedding back to the foot of the bed, neatly straightening the sheets and fluffed the pillows. He reached for a novel on the nightstand which, she recommended a few days ago. The pages blurred; his breathing lengthened to a soft snore. She appeared.
Claude sat outside on the patio at the local pub, Daley's, his favorite eatery near Piedmont Park, to soak up some sun, satisfy his growling stomach, and possibly catch some pure fresh air. He enjoyed his favorite, a honey roasted chicken sandwich on a croissant and a root beer soda. He relished the scenery of the people in the park. Joggers dashed along on the belt-line, framed by the picturesque view of Atlanta skyline. He studied one couple having a picnic in the park. They were intently entertained by each other. One lover fed the other fruit and both were unable to keep their hands off each other as it is with new lovers.
Remembering, the way this feeling once felt, a few memories flashed in his head. He was able to muster up a smile. Now today, everything about love to him felt cold, unpleasant, boring, and stale. The thought of his wife made him sick to his stomach. He downed his third drink.
In a blink of an eye, she obscured his view; unable to speak, his tongue became heavy as a brick, palms warmed up like a long burning candle; sweat filled them. Knocking his drink over the glass rang loud on the steel table, the fork drummed to the concrete floor; this disorder caught her attention. Bashfully, gazing into his eyes, she knelt to pick up the fork; he leaned in towards the same direction, their heads and lips collided; her eyes drew him closer to her. Positioning himself to kiss her, the lavender- vanilla scent illuminated in the air and sparkled on her flawless caramel skin. He inhaled and exhaled for another whiff; she intoxicated him. Wrestling to stay in his dream, he tossed and fought to stay asleep, but the daylight stung his eyes, like a mosquito. Claude sat straight up on the bed; Caroline his wife stood over him, with her eyes squinted, nostrils flared, and arms folded.