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Buzz book

Source: Adults

Author: Hugh Hazelton

Title: An Anonymous Couple

An anonymous couple: Sitting together either side of a small scissor-legged table over by the wall: Both in their mid fifties: She perhaps long ago beautiful, with short pale-ginger hair that perhaps, long ago, might have been flame red: He long legged and slender with sad, expressive grey eyes to match his hair. Around them the jubilee reunion party buzzes on unperturbed.

She smiles self consciously: “I'd quite forgotten how tall you are!”

He does the same: “Been the same height ever since I was seventeen!”

“I remember. It's ... strange meeting up again after so many years.”

“Thirty-five years. I often wondered in our mid twenties what might have been if you and I could have met up again then.”

“At the time we split my aunt wanted me to concentrate on my career. She'd been like a mother to me after all.”

“And looking back on it now she was of course totally right. Your career is crucial, and stays with you for life. My father couldn't have cared less about me having one. Just wanted me gone. Did you get into midwifery as I remember you always saying you wanted to?”

“Not quite. Pediatric nursing. Till three years ago. Part time training job now. So tell me, are you married?”

“Yes. Twenty-seven years. One daughter.”

“Thought I'd spied a wedding ring! Happy?”

“Yes. You?”

“Twice divorced! One son. He's nearly thirty now.”

“You won't still be living at the flat then?”

“Well we did till twelve years ago. But when husband number two departed I had to sell up. Still in the same area though.”

“I still remember the first time I ever saw you. Sitting on that bench in front of that window at that dance. Your hair was so red! Like a Titian beauty's! And then you looked up ...”

“I remember you coming over! I thought you were well dressed. And nicely spoken. We went to some folk club with some of the gang the following Saturday, didn't we?”

“Only time I've ever paid money to get into one!”

Silence. Finally he speaks again: Uncertainly: “Could I ...? Do you mind if I say something?”

She nods her ascent.

“I've nothing to gain - or loose - at this distance in being dishonest with you. All those years ago, I didn't have the eloquence to tell you properly then, but the feelings I had for you were real. I never thought of you as just some bird to get a leg over. I wanted you to know that. For all that it's worth now.” A short pause: “All those years ago, even though we were just nineteen going on twenty, you really were loved. Truly. By me.”

She smiles at him. “I know. And I've never quite stopped remembering you, either.”

He leans back again in his seat, and she emulates the movement. “We can still be friends though?”

She smiles. “Oh, yes.”

An anonymous couple ...

Published on writebuzz®: Adults > Buzz book

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