I found this little story on my hard drive. I suspect there are a fair number of other stories I’ve written, stuffed away and forgotten. How about you? Do you create things and then forget about them?
by Laura McHale Holland
She tries on four outfits before settling on a fifth; he dons the slacks and shirt he’d picked out the night before and walks downstairs to make coffee.
She styles her hair with blow dryer, gel and brush, but then scowls into the mirror, throws the brush and dryer down and yanks her locks into a ponytail. He pours coffee into two travel mugs. She rushes to the kitchen. He hands her a mug.
“Thanks.” She takes a sip, sets the mug down, lifts her jacket from the back of a chair and puts it on.
“You look lovely today,” he says.
“No, seriously, you look lovely today.”
“I’ve got that meeting this afternoon about that stupid case,” she says.
“The Redland job?”
“Yeah, the one I blew big time.”
“You didn’t do anything wrong; everybody knows that.”
“I did everything wrong.” She slips her purse strap over her shoulder and steps toward the door.
“Um, you forgot your coffee,” he says.
She slinks back to the counter, picks up the mug. “I don’t know why you stay with me. You could do so much better.”
He looks at the wisps of hair already working loose from her ponytail, the little scuff marks on the toes of her pumps, the drop of coffee sliding down her mug toward her jacket, the piece of hard candy she’d knocked to the counter inadvertently when reaching into the dish. He aches with love for her every imperfection.
“Let’s go dancing tonight,” he says.
“Yeah, you know, salsa or something.” His smile is broad, confident.
“Only if I still have a job at the end of the day.” She strides to the door and opens it.
“I’ll call Jason and Trish. They’re always fun.”
“Whatever.” She shrugs, slips out the door and tromps down the front stairs.
He leans over the counter, picks up the stray piece of candy, unwraps it, pops it into his mouth. It’s lemon and honey. Sour and sweet. Like her.
Photo of wrapped lemon candy by Donna DesRoches; used under Creative Commons license.
Photo of pony tail by Sean Garrett; used under Creative Commons license.