1 year ago
Thursday, July 1, 2010
He’d said he be there at precisely 7 pm...right here in this very public garden in the middle of town. She’d even specified which table she’d be sitting at. Her face blushed pink as she told him over the phone, "I’ll be waiting at the table just after the blue painted ’57 Chevy and next to the bare-chested man holding the leash of his dog."
He couldn’t possibly miss the designated meeting place. There were only three alleys lined with paintings, plantings, and places to sit, each one a small oasis hovering between buildings in the small town.
When she first arrived, she quickly opened her purse, took out the small compact checking for feathering lipstick or smeared mascara, but everything looked good...well good enough or as good as it’s going to get, she thought. She’d painted her toes and fingernails a rosy pink that matched the lipstick, put on a simple sundress, grabbed a light cardigan sweater, just in case the summer evening turned cool, and headed out the door her heart thumping beneath a flat chest. Trying to orchestrate how he would first see her, she crossed her left leg over the right and then switched. She smoothed her skirt down, fussed with her hair, and waited.
As she sat alone, time moved at the pace of the snail she watched sliding across the cool bricks to the other side of the alley. Fifteen minutes after her arrival, she picked up the flower again. Her fingers pulled tiny flowers from the head as she stared at the arched back entry anticipating his arrival any moment now.
I wish I’d stopped and got a drink, she thought as her mouth dried from anxiety doubled with annoyance. He’d promised to pick up a latte for her on his way to the meeting, but of course, he’s not here.
"How long should I wait? He’s not coming. I just knew he wouldn’t," she whispered as she strangled the ball of blossoms crushing the remaining tender flowers in her tight fist.
At exactly 7:25 she scooted off the stool, tossed what was left of the hydrangea on the table and walked through the arch to her car.