I sit at the window, watching the sun glisten off the frost. Squirrels dance in the trees, darting and twitching, their coats thickened for the winter. I could watch them all day.
Bobby will be home soon. I can’t waste my time puttering about, I have to get ready. It’s our anniversary today. He’s taking me to that new restaurant. I worry about leaving the kids for the evening, but Alison tells me she can handle her little brothers. She’s fourteen, wanting so bad to be grown-up. She’ll have her hands full with my two little rapscallions, but she’s a good girl. She’ll handle them.
Where did I leave my dress? “Alison? Have you been in Mommy’s clothes again?” I look through my closet, but don’t see the dress I bought for tonight.
“How many times have I told you, Vincent, call me Mom.” I walk over to the chair to see if my dress has fallen to the floor. “Have you seen Mommy’s dress, Vincent? Did Alison borrow it for some reason?”
My youngest just stands there, fidgeting and looking at the floor like I’ve scolded him. “It’s alright, Vincent. It’s just your father will be home soon and I need to be ready.”
He clears his throat and says, “There’s someone here to see you.”
My hands clap of their own accord. “Is it Dad?”
Bobby comes through the door and my breath catches. He’s so handsome with his full dark hair and eyes filled with mystery. His black suit drapes his working-man’s frame like a tailor created it special for him. I sit on the bed and he kneels next to me. “Oh, Bobby! I’m sorry I’m not ready. I can’t seem to find my dress. Could you help me look for it?”
He looks at me, his eyes full of sadness. I swear he’s about to cry. Before I can ask what’s wrong, a young woman I don’t know enters. “Bobby? Who’s that woman?”
Bobby turns to look at the newcomer, love in his gaze. My heart clenches. The tears come unbidden and I lash out, slapping him across the face. “How could you, Bobby? On our anniversary?”
His hand goes to his cheek, shock and surprise written on his face. I stand and he tries to grab my hand again. I pull away and go over to the window to compose myself. “How could you do this to me? To the kids?” I hate myself for the whine, the pain, the sniffling, and for still loving him.
I feel him come up behind me, reaching. The warmth of his hand flows as it hovers just over my shoulder, the smell of his Old Spice drawing me back to our wedding. I can hear him crying.
I turn around. “Bobby! It’s bad luck to see the bride right before the wedding! Shoo! Shoo!” I notice a strange woman standing in my room. “Who’s this, Bobby?”
“Mom, this is Roberta. Don’t you remember? My wife.”
A little girl pops her head around the mother’s skirt. “Daddy?”
“Alison! Oh, come give Mommy hugs, baby.” She shuffles over to me in her little pink dress and wraps her arms around my legs.
“Mom, this is Joanna, your grand-daughter. Remember?” A strange man kneels down and takes Alison by the hand, leading her back over to the woman.
“Alison? Alison! Please don’t leave…please.”
The woman takes Alison out of the room. “Stop! Please don’t take my daughter from me.” Strong arms hold me and guide me back to my bed. I sit down, watching the door. Waiting for my baby to come back.
“Mom? It’s me, Sam. Do you remember me?”
“Sammy?” He smiles when I say his name. “Mommy needs to get ready now. Daddy will be home soon, so I’ll talk to you later, honey.”
The smile falls away. He stands up and wipes his eyes. Before he leaves, he turns on the television. The words to some song I don’t know float across the room. “I will remember you. Will you remember me?”
“Look, Sammy! Alison’s on TV singing. Isn’t she beautiful?”
He strides over and gives me a peck on the cheek. “Yes, she is, Mom. I’ll see you later.”
He walks out and I hear a woman say something. He says, “At the time, it seemed like a brilliant idea. Next time, I’ll make sure she’s having a good day before bringing Joanna to visit.”
Where did I put my dress?
Word Count: 750
Speakeasy Challenge #135. Everyone’s welcome to enter, so follow the link if you’re interested in joining in the fun. This week’s challenge rules:
- your post must be dated November 10, 2013, or later
- submissions must be 750 words or fewer
- submissions must be fiction or poetry, including fictional accounts of true stories
- your piece must include the following sentence ANYWHERE (except the title): “At the time, it seemed like a brilliant idea.”
- though your post is NOT about the media prompt above, you must make some reference to it
- the speakeasy is designed for submissions written specifically for the grid. Please do not submit an entry if you intend to showcase it to another blog link-up. Such posts are deleted without notice.
- please do not post explanations, qualifications or other stuff prior to the beginning of your post. If you need to clarify anything, feel free to do so briefly at the end.
- the badge for your speakeasy #135 post is found in the sidebar. Be sure to add the code to the html view of your post before publishing. Come back on Tuesday and add your link!
The media prompt referred to in the rules above is:
Happy Reading and Writing!