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    The Road Not Taken - Chapter 1

    She was apprehensive sitting there at the café waiting for him. She hadn’t heard from him in 22 years, in fact it was 22 years to the day that he called her and asked her to come be with him. Sometimes things just don’t work out the way you plan them though, she couldn’t, she had made a commitment, she had a family, she wanted to be with him, they’d been together so many years before, but when he left her  those many years before, she had to move on, it was a different time.

    She was thinking about the way things might have been, she hadn’t thought about that since 1989, the year he wanted her back badly enough that he called her, he even spoke with her husband for a time, an odd disjointed talk, a distrustful talk, and her husband had reluctantly handed her the phone and drove off to work. The look in his eyes had torn a hole in her heart that morning, she saw the look in his eyes, he was worried. Oh those days had been so stressful. But they’d been forgotten, because they’d been so many years ago. Time simply marched on as it always does.

    The morning the phone rang, she had been moving around the kitchen, doing those things in the house that always need to be done, the daily drone of life. The phone rang and she glanced at Caller ID, expecting another call about the election and donating money, or a fundraising call, those came all day long.  The name seemed somewhat familiar to her, “who is this?” It was last name she’d recognized from those many years ago, when she was young. She was stunned at the name she saw there. She felt her chest tighten and her palms began to sweat. Suddenly memories began rushing through her mind.  That name, those memories began to bowl her over as they flooded back. It was him, the one man from her past that mattered, the one man who she never forgot. The phone rang a second time, she just stood there staring. Not really knowing whether she should pick it up. “I should let it go”, she thought. But she couldn’t, her hand moved towards the phone, time seemed to slow, and the phone rang one more time. She was moving in slow motion, not quite knowing how to react, not quite knowing what to do, but not quite having the strength not to answer, and as her hand hovered over the phone, the phone rang again, she picked it up mid-ring this time, standing there with the receiver in her hand, but unable to speak for just one minute. She felt the breeze of the fall wind as she stood in front of the French doors, it was quiet except for the wind and the rustle of the leaves, the sweet smell of the Douglas fir, she clung to that handset, "Hello" she finally croaked out.

    All she could hear was some breathing and then suddenly a voice asking if it was her. She fell silent; the voice on the other end was the same voice she had loved for so many years.

     “Hey, it’s me” said the voice, “I want to see you”.

    There was what seemed to be a long silence.  His voice was like velvet, soft, familiar; she melted.  Her heart began to race. His voice broke the silence.

    “Are you there?”

    “I don’t know what to say”, she spoke those words slowly.

    “I need to see you” he said a bit more forcefully, “I am flying in tomorrow.”

    She felt a bit panicked, “tomorrow”?

    “Yes, tomorrow”

    She began to stammer, her entire body was shaking, “I, um, well.” He interrupted her brief bout of incoherence.

    “Come on, it won’t hurt you to see me for one hour or so and it won’t change anything, I am just asking to see you”.


    That's really very powerful.

    I love to write fiction, but it takes so much time to craft, I mean, and when I drink whiskey I like to think Papa would encourage me, and when I get straight I know he was kind of a misogynist and he would probably hate everything I write! Hahaha, thanks Richard ele.

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