This is a piece of flash fiction based on something I wrote for a writing group. The prompt was a picture of an elderly couple walking along a street with their arms wrapped around each other.
Margaret shuffled along, her arm tightly wrapped around Harry’s waist. His arm was draped over her shoulders, protecting her from the winter chill. In his other hand he held a brightly polished cane which tapped the pavement, counting their steps along the chilly street. The sound made Margaret think of the passing of time, how things had been throughout their lives, how things were now, and what the future would hold for them. Fifty years together. Fifty years today.
‘I love you’, Margaret said, tightening her hold around Harry’s waist.
‘I love you too’, he said. ‘I always have, you know that.’
As they continued in silence, he knew she was crying. They reached the cafe that they had gone to every Tuesday at this time for the last fifty years. They walked in, sat at their usual table and their usual waitress walked over to them to take their usual order.
Margaret dabbed the tears from her eyes with the embroidered handkerchief he’d given her for her birthday thirty years ago. She laughed, the sound short and sharp. ‘Oh Harry’, she said. ‘How did we get so old?’
‘Meg’, he replied, pulling both of her withered hands to his lips and kissing them gently. ‘You are as beautiful as the day I met you.’
She cried again, silent tears streaming down her face. ‘Say it once more Harry’, she begged. ‘Just once more for old time’s sake.’ Harry sighed, looking up at the ceiling. ‘I know it isn’t true’, she continued, pleadingly, ‘but, well.’
He lowered his gaze and looked into her eyes. The same eyes that had stared at him with such hope in them every Tuesday for the last fifty years. He stroked her wrinkled cheek with the back of his hand. ‘Soon Meg. I promise. I’ll tell her our marriage is over. I’ll leave her, for you. Soon.’
Copyright D M Day 2016