Previous Challenge Entry (Level 3 - Advanced)
Topic: Abundance (06/08/06)
TITLE: The Reunion of Misplaced Love
By terri tiffany
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Her old boyfriend was across the room ladling the punch bowl for the fourth time. She knew because she had counted. Unfortunately, a tall blonde was leaning into his side wearing the dress Vicki had passed by at Sears because of sticker shock. She wished now she could have charged it.
He still had all his hair. A shiny black mass, making her wonder if he ever stopped using the stuff that must have taken two washings to rinse out after one of their dates. At least he no longer wore the black frame glasses held together with white adhesive tape. He hadn’t even gained the twenty pounds a man his age usually carried around like a three month old baby. She winced when she noticed him wipe his hand on his pant leg.
“Not yet, Dick. I’ll tell you when.” She twisted in her satin covered chair. “I need to see someone else. Stay here.” Without waiting for a response, Vicki lifted the linen tablecloth and squeezed past reuniting classmates at the neighboring table.
“Vicki, how are you, girl?” Claw-like fingers hooked into her right elbow. She remembered that grip. It would take forever to shake it off and she didn’t have that much time.
“Tina, how are you? Rita told me about your unfortunate divorce. Sorry it worked out that way.” Tina loosened her grip and caught her balance on a center post. Tipping her goblet, she drained the amber liquid.
“Haven’t changed, have you, Vicki?” Vicki shot her a measured smile and continued her progress across the room. His six foot four frame was now leaning against the back wall under the Exit sign. Three other classmates of ‘72 surrounded him. People had always surrounded him - they couldn’t seem to get enough of him.
She skirted the dance floor with a backward glance at Dick. His straw was almost completely chewed in half and she knew he would be more comfortable at home in his recliner in front of his wide screened TV than here. She turned her attention back to her lost love.
She watched him wipe his hand on his pant leg again. Two more ample bellied classmates sidled up to him. Their roars could be heard over the band’s pitiful rendition of seventies music. She willed him to look at her. It would be easier that way.
He granted her wish and locked his baby brown eyes on her own. She was transported back to his locker when his final words had tumbled to the gum spattered linoleum floor beneath her feet. In her nervous haze, she watched as he leaned in to the blonde and whispered. His attention then reverted to her, along with his stride, as he closed the remaining ten feet between them.
“Vicki.” She’d waited thirty years to hear her name spoken from his lips. Now she could barely hear it over the beating of her heart. She hoped he didn’t notice the slight tremor in her arms as she reached toward his neck for the embrace she had dreamed about for just as long.
His right hand crept to his pant leg. She wanted to shout “don’t” but it was too late. Her arms froze in space as she watched him carefully wipe his hand and then stretch it towards her own. “Vicki, I was hoping to speak with you tonight. Can I introduce you to my wife?” It was then she noticed his wedding band. But it wasn’t only his jewelry that sparkled - it was the glint centered in his clear eyes. He motioned his wife over. “Cindy and I met on a mission’s trip when we were in college. I pastor a church out in California now. How has your life been?”
A handshake. The remnants of her twelfth grade dreams evaporated as she settled her hand in his - a grip that was as firm as ever. He used to call it ‘reaching out for Jesus’. Vicki remembered pushing the offer away thirty years ago convinced Jesus would never be enough for the kind of life she dreamed to have.
“Please, I’d rather hear more about what you do.” Vicki returned his grasp.
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