Monday, February 25, 2008

Entry #37

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.”


BernardL said...

Well crafted story.

Beth said...

Very sweet.

bluesugarpoet said...

I could almost feel the romantic tension between the lovers...nicely juxtaposed with the "ho hum" relationship between husband and wife. Nicely done.

DBA Lehane said...

That tree is developing a reputation for hearts being broken between it. I'm still not sure I quite get the switch at the this as suggested above a juxtaposition with another couple or is it the same couple many years later? Either way, very sweetly written.

Absolute Vanilla (& Atyllah) said...

A poignant and sweet story. I love the latent passion in the first part of the story, nice evocation of emotion - though I wish I'd known why they couldn't explore their relationship further. In a way, this begs for further telling, something a bit longer.

pjd said...

Interesting that some found it sweet. I understood that infidelity was the issue here.

Sarah Hina said...

I liked the two-stories-in-one narrative here. I, too, thought that the man in the first section was not her husband later. But I could be wrong.

Very interesting comparison between passion and a bit of complacency. Well done! :)

Ello said...

Another one I really liked! The first man was her lover, right? It felt all romantic and urgent with her lover, while with her husband it was more indulgent. I thought it was very well done.

SzélsőFa said...

It is interesting to see how the very same story evokes different feelings within commenters :)
For me it was not the same couple, but the woman wes not resigned or sorry in the second - although the passion she used to have in the first was definitely not there, too.
A really interesting setting, I'd like to see what/why/when...etc.

JLB said...

This is a lovely turning of chapters - kind of like how a memory floats through your brain and then back out again.

Remiman said...

A vignette of a woman touched by passion who choses the responsible path. A moral worthy of Aesop!
Well done.

Hoodie said...

It's hard to justifiably use two time frames in such a small word count but you pulled it off beautifully without it feeling lacking.

I had a very real emotional response to this. Great job.

Terri said...

Thank you all for the feedback. pjd, you're quite correct, infidelity was the issue indeed. After reading the first few comments I was afraid I'd failed miserably with my intention. It was very difficult to fit it all into 250 words!
So thanks all; for the compliments and the constructive criticism.

Aerin said...

The parting with her lover was incredibly charged - made me want to go smooch my hubby. I love writing that does that. :)

Dottie said...

Terri, I think it all comes through. The juxtaposition between her two times at the tree is very clear and poignant.

jason evans said...

Glad to see the winter is over. You handled this with a great deal of tenderness. Well done.

Aine said...

I hope she can find a "spark" with her husband. I had hoped that the "lover" scene was part of the same couple's memory, but, alas, another infidelity story... sigh.

angel said...

ooh... sneakiness... very coo, love the imagery!