Memories

The old man sat in the same chair as usual and closed his eyes. The same warm sun beat gently through the same window. It was peaceful.

It was twenty years ago. He was younger. This time the dreaming went backwards. His mind floated and the waves surged and flowed. They had lived together now for three years but it was time. He hadn’t made any real decision about it – the facts and the deciding just seemed to occur like sunrises and sunsets and clouds and thunder. He was waiting for the big white car to come to take them to the church.

He hadn’t thought of her for some time. She was in the yesterdays of his life. This wedding was today. When he did think of her it was in sadness. Things had not been meant to happen. The sadness was in forgetting every bright smile, every laugh, tear, embrace. The sadness was for the things that came between. They could be forgiven. Not forgotten. That was where the sadness came.

And now he was waiting for the big white car to come to take them to the church. It was the right thing to do.

The phone rang. He picked it up. Easily. There was no arthritis to make him fumble.

“Hello,” he said.

“Hello.”

She didn’t have to say any more. He knew her voice in that one word. He was waiting for the big white car to come to take them to the church. Not her. She was holding the other end of the phone.

“How are you?” she asked.

“I am well. And you?”

“Well. What are doing these days?” she said. Behind those words were ten million questions. Or maybe only one.

“Actually I am sitting here waiting for a car to take me to church. I’m getting married today.”

“Oh.” She paused.

“I hope you have a happy life.”

The phone died.

The old man opened his eyes and went to make coffee. There is a great difference, he thought between a dream and a memory. Dreams he could deal with. But memories were an entirely different matter.

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