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Mark M Lichterman

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CyberAffair 17: Straws
By Mark M Lichterman
Posted: Saturday, March 31, 2012
Last edited: Friday, April 06, 2012
This short story is rated "PG" by the Author.

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When “writersplace.net”, our authors web site began looking for three of our most popular, most widely followed commercially unpublished poets, Barbara’s name came up and the three "Writers Place" poets were invited to a poetry competition in Chicago.

____________________________________________________________________

Holding Barbara, her back tight against his chest...

 

Quietly...

 

Feeling the sobs, his throat tightening, barely able to speak, “Honey.”

 

“I know, baby. I just don’t know how I’m going to do it.”

 

Having no idea how he’s going to do it, “You’ve got to, honey.”

 

 “I know.” Turning...

 

A gentle kiss, and...

 

Unable to hold back...

 

“I know, Baby.”

 

Holding Barbara, her face upon my chest, feeling the sobs, hearing her cry, feeling her tears... feeling my tears, “I know, baby. I know.”

 

Quiet now...

 

Quiet...                        

                         Passion spent,

                         now just tenderness.

                         The light touch of your hand on my chest.

                         My hand, draped over your hip touching

                         the soft flesh of your cheek.

                         Now only sleepy, gentle love.

                         Passion spent, 

                         I sense the heat of your body

                         and the soft touch of your flesh

                         and the sweet scent of your hair,

                         and the last whisper I whisper,

“Goodnight, my love.”

                         and the last whisper I hear,

Goodnight, my love.” 

                          goodnight.

 

Cyber Affair 17

Sunday, June 20, 2009

Day Three: Grasping At Straws

 7:15 a.m. 

 

Having the same waitress they'd had the morning before...

 

“Orange juice,” Barbara said, “Eggs over easy, sausage and whole wheat toast.”

 

“Yes, Ma'am..."

 

The older man, and the woman sitting closely together, hand in hand, possibly catching the somber mood, “And you...” the waitress said, attempting to lighten the atmosphere a bit: “Eggs over medium, not hard or runny,”

 

“That’s very good!” I said.

 

“And,” the waitress added, “sausage, hash-browns, crispy, a toasted bagel and coffee.”

 

“I’m impressed.”

 

Smiling, ”Yes, Sir. Be right back with the juice and coffee.”

 

 Gazing out the window, “Life will never be the same for me, Mitchie.”

 

 “I know, honey,” kissing her hand, then opening it and holding it onto my cheek, “for me, too.”

 

“I feel so helpless!” She said, “I just wish there was something we could do.”

 

“I love you, Barb.” Her eyes and mine holding, “I think you are an absolutely beautiful woman and a wonderful writer.” Thinking, trying to form my words, “Barbara, the words you write are as music. You speak from your heart in a way that people...” chuckling,  “that even I  understand and your words are... well, to me, as music.”

 

Waiting as the waitress put a glass of juice in front of Barbara and a cup of coffee before me.

 

 “Barb, I’m so confused myself now. I don’t know if I ever really loved my wife and now I’m not too sure about Helen. And, really, I think you’re the woman I’ve always looked for. I love you! I love your mind and,” forcing a thin smile, “I love your body, too...”

 

Ashamed of her weight, “Yeah, sure, you’re a ‘chubby chaser’.” Barbara blushed.

 

Bringing the cup to my lips, finding it too hot, blowing into the cup, I took a small sip of coffee, “Call me what you want,” forcing a thin smile, “but you know I do, I do love your body!”

 

Thinking a moment, taking another sip of coffee, “And if you didn’t have your mother and sister to care for, if our ages were only... say, ten years apart, I’d say to you, ‘Barbara, if you want to leave your husband, if you want to move to California, if, when we can, if you want to marry me, I’d like nothing better than to spend the rest of my life with you.’”

 

Possibly a “female thing;” when beyond all odds or any logical answer to a pressing or life-changing subject, forging forward; forging forward even knowing any argument is and will be futile, however, feeling a need to fight for what she so desperately wanted, for what she so desperately needed, “Mitchie, why, then? Why can’t we...” hesitating, thinking, “Why can’t we do something?”

 

“What? Do what? You willing to leave your mother and sister now?”

 

“No!” Said sadly, though emphatically, “of course not, I could never do that!”

 

“I know you couldn’t, and I’d never expect you to or want you to! And also... Let me ask, how old is your mother?”

 

“Seventy-nine.” Barbara answered.

 

“Your mother is only five years older than me and you, you’re twenty-four years younger than me so in ten years you’ll be sixty and I’ll be eighty-four. You’re taking care of your mother and your sister now and no-body takes care of you and, damn it,” I said angrily, “you deserve a life, too! I’m an old man now and you’re just entering your prime.”

 

“Mitchie...”

 

“No, let me talk! You’re the smartest, most creative, most passionate woman I’ve ever known and I don’t want to kill this in you, and if we’re together I will. I wouldn’t want to and I wouldn’t do it on purpose, but I don’t know what the future holds for me, health-wise, and I do not want to be a burden to you.”

 

Grasping,  “But I’m willing...”

 

“Willing to what?” I asked, “Wait till your mother dies and your sister is institutionalized?”  

 

Looking downward, having no answer, sighing, she shook her head from side to side.

 

 “No, baby, I can’t!” I said with finality. “This weekend together is like a dream... It is a dream and I’ve loved being with you and making love to you... Making love with you! But the only way ‘things’ worked as they did is because I’ve taken medication, quite a bit of medication to get that ‘thing’ working and, as I get older, that may stop, too, then you’ll be comparatively young and you’ll be stuck with an impotent old man and you deserve better than that! And I couldn’t live with that! And I simply won’t let you do it!”

 

Turning the sweating glass of juice onto the Formica table, making small, overlapping circles, “So,” she said angrily, “we’re supposed to live the rest of our lives knowing you love me and I love you and knowing that, maybe, some way, we could have been together?”

 

“Honey, ‘some way’ means ‘some day’ and what are we talking about here? Ten years? Twelve years? Till I’m eighty, eighty-five? I don’t have that many ‘somedays’ left.”

 

Stopping, we waited until the waitress set the plates before us.

 

Realizing, admitting, “I know there’s no way, Mitchell.” Barbara said sadly, then, turning her gaze from me, repeated, “I know there is no way.” As thought to finalize her words, she sawed a sausage in half with the edge of her fork.


Web Site: mmlichterman.com  

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Reviewed by Annabel Sheila 4/2/2012
So very sad...a tragedy that so late in life Mitchie found his one true love....a love like no other! And it cannot be.........

Your Canadian Friend,
Anna


Books by
Mark M Lichterman



For Better or Worse

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The Climbing Boy

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Becoming

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