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Patricia

Briefly

[This is where the summary would go if I'd bothered to write one.]

Kissing Strangers

They kissed as if they were strangers. Tentative, embarrassed, afraid. Their heads were unsure of the tilt, the lips unsure of the touch. But only they saw it. To others they were the happy couple celebrating twelve years of marriage.

They were living their lives in parallel universes. Each morning they awoke surprised to find themselves next to this person. Each night they slept lost in their own dreams.

They didn’t argue. They barely talked. Silence was the third roommate. Yet, had someone asked if they loved each other both would have quickly said yes, and meant it.

She tried explaining it to a friend. But the friend didn’t understand. One doesn’t marry to have a roommate, the friend said. Perhaps. But one doesn’t divorce to get rid of silence, the woman thought.

He talked it over with his widowed father who took the opportunity to reminisce about his late wife. He’d been married for thirty-three years, had been living without her for five and each day he still awoke ready to tell her about his dreams.

The man nodded and wondered if he should go home before or after dinnertime.

His father tapped him on the knee. Listen, he said, your mother and I, we had off years. You’re bound to; you keep changing, growing. Sometimes the heart forgets. But this gives you a chance to fall in love all over again.

The son nodded.

He stood up and said goodbye. He needed to get home before dinnertime.

Published 10/13/02 in Writing • | Views: 1922 times | Print

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