A Season Apart
by Terri Welch
Shaded by the ancient green canopy they face each other, yearning to touch, but not.
“When can we meet again?”
“We can’t,” her voice says, her body screaming and her heart crying at its betrayal.
“Not for … I mean just to talk,” he offers, knowing it couldn’t be. “I just want to spend time with you. We haven’t had time...” His voice beseeches, frustrated.
His large, warm hand strokes her hair and lands gently on her shoulder. Bewitched, she struggles not to kiss the words leaving his lips.
“I don’t think we can just talk.”
He shakes his head, drops his eyes, defeated. He knows it too, and then he says it aloud.
“The trouble, apart from this… spark… between us, well the thing is I think I really like you.”
Smiling sadly, she leans in, his mouth is against her forehead spawning electric heat that spiders down throughout her body. In the silent noise of summer they stand, absorbing each other for the last time, until at last she walks away without looking back.
* * *
“Wow, I bet that big old tree makes a great picnic spot in summer. Why the heck didn’t you want to come back here, Honey? This place is magic! I’m really glad I don’t have to work this time.”
From winter’s nakedness she could already see the buds of spring on the branches.
She smiled at her husband’s enthusiasm. “I guess it just wasn’t the same without you, Dear.”