Sitting at the only table left out – the rest had been cleared for the party - was the silver coifed woman. Her wooden chair, at the corner table, faced the bar’s interior, including the front door. Eyes wandering, they never failed to stop briefly at the glass door with each meandering sweep.
Singing out from speakers on either side of the stage was what young people today considered music, though she didn’t. Tonight, she was glad her advancing years had taken half her hearing. Only two more hours to wait; if he didn’t show, she’d be back again next New Year’s Eve.
All those years ago, when her raven hair tumbled from her head till it bounced upon her shoulders, her indigo eyes were clear, and her ears never missed a pin drop, they’d had a wickedly wild affair. She had never known a love could be as intense as its lust, until him.
He was a trademark tall, dark, and handsome. He was smooth, charming, and utterly lovely. Filling their days with the excitement of parties, the quiet of arm in arm strolls around the park, and all the murmurings of long nights in bed.
And he couldn’t stay, he’d said. He had to go; he couldn’t explain why. He told her wanted out, but was in too deep. Logic screamed at her that whatever he was into couldn’t be good. Intuitively, she knew he wouldn’t bring harm to her.
Forty years had passed since they parted. They agreed to meet again, if he could get out. He promised her, if he could, he would meet her at this bar, on New Year’s Eve. So, Betty came. December 31st of every year, for the last forty years; she came, sat, and waited.
Anticipation filled the first five years of waiting. Her eyes would never leave the entrance. She eventually met a man she could love; she even married him. Loving her husband, building a life with him brought her metered joy as they grew older together. But, she never stopped coming to wait for her soul mate.
Midnight rang with its usual clamor. The excitement in the room, conversely matched her own disappointment. Rising, she shuffled her way out, struggling to stay on her feet amidst the hugging and kissing and jumping and dancing from the partiers. Her waiter found her; offering her his arm, he escorted her out.
On the street, the night’s excitement was still pinging through the air. With a heavy sigh, the weight that nearly buries her the last days of each year dissipates into the chilled night air. Looking back through the bar’s glass door one more time, she says good-bye.
Come this new year’s December 31st though, the silver coifed woman will be waiting in the bar, at her table, hoping for her heart to come back home.
This week, Write on Edge pulled a prompt out of the Red Writing Hood vault from The Red Dress Club days. We were to pick four random numbers, 1-10, which would give us our character, setting, time, and situation.
Looking for the first four numbers I saw in my twitter stream, I chose, 7, 3, 1, 7 for an elderly woman, a party, winter, and reminiscing how things change.
It's official. My muse is still not with me. I'm not giving in though and attempting to write it out without said muse.
Typically, I hear the stories and characters chattering away in my head and I write from there. But, there's something about a new year that shuts down those voices and immerses me in color, shapes, and textures, taking creativity in a different, more visual and tactile direction. I suppose the real challenge is finding a way to intersect these two paths. I'll keep working on it!Tweet