Telephone Romance

He hadn’t seen her for awhile. It’d been years since the two of em talked. He was no longer thin and in shape. And, she no longer had hair of ginger. Middle age had creeped up on both. A paunch on him. Bigger waist on her.

She sat in the lounge waiting for him with a cigarette dangling from her thin lips. Didn’t matter how much lipstick she applied, they still looked thin. Jeopardy was on the television up in the corner above the bar. She didn’t get one answer right. Just sat there in silence mouthing incorrect responses. She was never book smart.

Her phone rang. It was her husband back home. Calling to tell her hello and he loved her. She listened to the voice-mail. The time was 5:00. The news was coming on. Local stories about a silver alert, some fire on the south side of town, super market prices going up, a dog found his master. Another cocktail was ordered.

He saw her through the window. Sitting there. Her round legs crossed. At first he thought of turning around and leaving. Thought about getting in his Dodge and driving all night back to Little Rock. Never talking to her again. Those conversations he had with her behind his wife’s back. Midnight talks of old days. He decided to at least say hi.

There was no hug. No kiss on the cheeks. He stood beside her chair, looking at the television. Mike And Molly was on. They laughed a bit. Just a chuckle. After all those steamy talks, he had nothing to say. Neither did she. He shook his head. Told her, no. Said he couldn’t go through with it. She nodded in agreement.

Driving throughout the night, he did not think of her. Did not long for her. The telephone affair was over. He knew it. She knew it. There would be no more calls.

At midnight her cellphone rang. It was her husband. Asked how her meeting with old high school friends went? She said, fine. She said, fine. He told her he loved her and to drive home safely. She said, I love you too.

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