I’ll Be Waiting in the Usual Place

His voice cracked when he called her hotel and told her the Bengal Tiger Restaurant was right where they’d left it.  She was in town for the evening and would meet him there.

He looked at his phone — she was late, she was never late — and kicked himself for not asking for her number.  He’d been sure she’d meet him.

The French maid’s outfit he’d brought home one night flashed through his mind, and he chuckled at his youthful fantasies.  His chest ached remembering the photographs she’d let him take.  He’d felt the softness of her skin every time he’d looked at them.  Later, he would crop his favorite.  He wondered if he’d ever make a woman’s face light up that way again.

~~~

He’d lit a candle on the floor between the pillow — for her — and his heavy bag.  He took her favorite samosas and mango chutney from their takeaway containers and reached for some dishes.  Watching, she was filled with warmth.  He’d remembered.

“Come with me.”

“I’ll visit.”  She smiled over her shoulder at him.  He wrapped his arms around her, nuzzling her ear, his chest against her back.

“Come with me,” his voice hoarse.

She laughed, hopping onto the counter and wrapping her legs around him.  She traced his features, lightly, pulling him close, oblivious to her mistake.  One she would revisit when her mind wandered.

~~~

Her stomach had fluttered when she’d first seen him.  Sitting in the reserve section of the library, reference books piled around him.  The librarian told her someone was using the materials she’d requested.  “Here,” his voice low.  She turned.  His elbow on the table, holding files in his outstretched hand.

“Are you sure?” she asked.  “I can wait.”

“Yeah,” he shrugged. “Lots here to keep me busy.”  The tattoo on his shoulder glistening under his deep suntan.

“Thanks,” she said, hoping the quiver in her voice wasn’t noticeable.

“Hey,” he called after her.

She looked over her shoulder at him, her hair falling into her eyes.

“Bring them back when you’re done.”

Had she replied?

“I’ll be here.”

~~~

She rushed along the sidewalk, slick with rain.  She shivered remembering his hand on her knee as he stepped over her lap to take the seat next to her in the auditorium.  She stopped under an awning to catch her breath.

“You’re not listening.”  He said, laying on the wood floor, propped up on his elbows, the Economics textbook between them.

“How can you tell?”  She’d responded to all his points.

“I can feel you looking at me.”  He raised his eyes to her.  “The exam is tomorrow.”

“Yes,” she said, her gaze drifting from his fingers, up his arms, to his shoulders, over his tan lines, and down his back.

~~~

She opened her umbrella, glancing at her new manicure.  How he’d loved to paint her nails.  Then she saw the brown spots on her skin.  How many years had it been?  Enough that he wouldn’t recognize those hands, those hands he’d held tight in his sleep.

She closed her eyes and imagined him in the restaurant.  A table against the wall, his back to the kitchen.  His square jaw, a hint of the five o’clock shadow that had left her skin tender.  He beamed when he saw her, then a split second of disappointment clouded his face.  She’d been such a beauty.

Her heart in her throat, she fled down the darkened street.

~~~

The maitre d’ hung the closed sign in the door’s window.

“Has any unaccompanied woman arrived since I’ve been here?”  He’d been watching the door, but she must have slipped past him somehow.  “Anyone at all?”

“No, sir.”

“But I could have sworn….”  He’d felt her near.

He pulled out his phone.  “What do you mean she’s checked out?  Please look again.”  Where did she live now?  He couldn’t be losing her again.

“This isn’t possible.”

“Sorry, sir.”

~~~

47 thoughts on “I’ll Be Waiting in the Usual Place

    1. I’m glad the sadness came across, that was my aim… although I hope I didn’t make you too sad….
      The story started out as playful and happy then took a turn.

      Thank you. :).

      Like

  1. Enjoyed the skin theme – connecting tissue through the strands. Nicely done. Particularly enjoyed “a hint of the five o’clock shadow that had left her skin tender”, the female experience captured delicately in that one line.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Thank you! I’m happy you enjoyed it, I experimented with the strands. Haha, yes you’re right, the five o’clock shadow does capture the female experience… and I walked a bit of a line on that one. The perspective turned out to be a bit more from the female point of view, which wasn’t planned.

      Liked by 1 person

                    1. You my dear are worth getting out of bed for! I hope you’ll be as surprised as I planned!
                      Thought about it….it’s your celebration, give me three of four songs dear to your heart and I’ll surprise you. It’s hard to see but I’m a Minister, cussing is my weakness.
                      I want to get this out today even if I don’t have everyone notified. IT’S a party for you. I pray you like it.
                      M

                      Liked by 1 person

                    2. Thank you SO much! No doubt I will be….
                      So many songs… here are three: Say (All I Need) by OneRepublic, Almost Hear You Sigh by Rolling Stones and I’m No Angel by Gregg Allman.
                      The Cussing Minister! Love that. 🙂

                      Liked by 1 person

                    3. Pain bit much even drugged, this is more fun! I want tomorrow a special day for you. You’ve been a great friend, you’re a mystery and we seem to know when the other needs something. Let’s not loose that. Maybe I could be a muse of sorts and throw some story ideas out. I don’t write proper and that’s cool when I have you to read.
                      You are something special, I send Good Karma and want you to know this we never say in blogs, I like you.
                      M

                      Liked by 1 person

                    4. That must be such a challenge! I hope you’re managing overall…. Yes, I always welcome story ideas. 🙂
                      Thank you I appreciate that so much, and you as well. I like you too, of course! 🙂

                      Liked by 1 person

                    5. That’s true…..you can always dance with another….no dirty dancing. HAHA.
                      I’ve meant to ask did you write you the Buddha Blog for the learning to become Buddhist or out of what you can take from it? I’m fascinated yet have not read anything, it almost feels wrong if that makes sense.
                      M

                      Liked by 1 person

    1. I know, I share your frustration!

      Thanks very much… I edited it a couple of times and the storyline didn’t go as planned, so I’m happy the end result works. I agree that it’s sad and that life is like that sometimes. I wonder how much of life would be different with effective communication?

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      1. I’m fairly certain effective communication has played a big part in ensuring I have a fairly good life. Sometimes you just need to wear your heart on your sleeve and say stuff even if you feel a bit uncertain about how you appear. Gotta just go for it.

        Liked by 1 person

  2. So, she imagined his disappointment! I had to reread that part, she closed her eyes and imagined a fleeting look, but in reality she didn’t give him a chance. Shoot! They did seem to have “bad timing” and reluctance to make a real “go of it.” This is superb writing, Danica. Swift words, light of touch and a story which holds your breath! (Wanting more with bated breath.) ❤

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Yes, she imagined his disappointment and it was too much for her. They did have some bad timing and missed opportunities, along with some yearning, love and loss.
      Thanks so much for your kind words and wonderful compliment. It really means a lot to me, Robin.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. I am glad I got the story, since occasionally I read and interpret a different perspective. Danica, I enjoyed my visits and love your writing! The Liebster Award post is scheduled on Friday. It is a little less organized but names a few newbies and You, who gave me my first in over two years or more award nomination! Thank you very much! 💞 💫

        Liked by 1 person

        1. You did, absolutely! I also enjoy it when others interpret my stories differently… I’m able to see things I hadn’t noticed and that’s very interesting. Thanks so much, Robin. I’m thrilled that you enjoy your visits and my writing! I truly appreciate your encouragement.
          I’ll look forward to your Liebster Award post! It’s great to acknowledge new bloggers and thank you for naming me as well. 🙂 I’m so glad I was able to nominate you because you’re very deserving of this award!

          Like

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