The Anniversary | By: LeRoy Bohrer | | Category: Short Story - Family Issues Bookmark and Share

The Anniversary

"The Anniversary"


Alice Newsom's hands rest on the edge of the computer keyboard

as she staes across the room at the brown paneled wall. Finally

she looks back at the computer monitor and sighs as she scans

what she has written. She wrinkles her nose, shakes her head

in disgust, deletes the pages and turns the computer off. She is

unable to concentrate on her writing because it is the eighteenth

of November, and would have been her twelvth wedding

anniversary if her husband, John hadn't come home six months

earlier to announce that he was leaving her and wanted a divorce.

He was having an affair with a secretary at the law firm where

he worked, a young blond woman he had referred to as a bimbo

when she first come to work at the firm five months earlier.

Alice had no idea he was having an affair, and upon hearing

the news, her stomach felt felt like he had punched her

repeatedly even though he never laid a hand on her.


She gets up and walks to the living room and looks at the

photograph of their wedding day which hangs on the wall beside

the fireplace. She stares at it for a time, then yanks it off the

wall and smashs it upon the blue carpet.


"Damn you," she shrieks.


Already a successful fiction and article writer, she met John

during her senior year of college and were married in a small

church ceremony ten months later. They wanted a family, and

had tried without success to get pregnant. They considered

adoption or a serrogate. On the Internet, Alice had

corresponded with a high school girl who was looking for

responsible parents for the child she was carrying since her

months had died and she didn't think she would be able to

care for it herself. Alice was going to tell John about her when

he dropped his bomb. She thought that if she she had acted

sooner, they would still be together.


In the past fout months she has met with her lawyer on several

occasions to work out a settlement. She got the house, but the

car and comfortable bank account were her's. Because of the

diversions, her writing has gone steadily downhill.


She glances at her wristwatch to see that it is five o clock. She

decides she will shower and go out to dinner and take in a

movie. Being a writer, other than the visits with her lawyer,

she only leaves the house to go grocery shopping, to church and

to the library to do reseach on the story she is trying to write.


Alice back her red Ford Focus out of the garage and drives up

the street under an overcast sky as a chilly breeze blows out

of the north. She turns into the parking lot of the Calico Bar

and Grill and goes inside where the rising and falling cresendo

of everyone talking at once assaults her senses. She glances

around the semi-darkened club until she sees an empty booth

on the corner. She sits down and and runs her hands through

her black shoulder lenght hair then clasps her hands tightly

together until the red haired waitree comes, and she orders a

beer, burger and fries.


While she waits for her order, she asks herself why she chose

to stop there rather than go to a nice restaurant uptown. Did

she secretly want some man to pick her up? She hasn't had

sex in over six months, and after eleven and half years of

marriage, she wonders if she may have forgotten how to get

a man's attention.


When the waitress return with her order, she sips at her beer

and slowly eat her burger and fies. She is aware that a tall

blond man who is sitting on a stool at the end of the bar is

watching her. She glances at the man, then turns her attention

back to her meal. The man is dressed in blue jeans with western

boots, a bright, red western shirt and a blue denim jacket. It

isn't long before she is aware that the man stand beside her

booth. She lays her burger on the plate, wipes her mouth with

a napkin and looks up at him and smiles.


The man with a long, angular face introduces himself as Derek

Marshall, and asks if she would like some company, to which

Alice complies. He tells her he is an electrical contractor, single

and moved to Wichita a few days earlier to start on the

electical work on a power station that is under comstruction.

Alice tells him why she is there, and finds him to be a very

good listener.



"What are your plans for tonight?" Derek asks


Alice swallows hard as she runs her hand over her anple breasts

and down to her slim waist. "When I left the house, I planned to have dinner and take in a movie." She pauses as she fumbles with

the buttons on her blouse. "Why do you ask?"


Derek sips his beer, as if to give himself courage. "We could

spend the night together since you told me you're feeling down because this would have been your anninversary." He flashes

a broad smile showing a set a yellowed teeth. "I could help you

ease your pain."


Alice feels like a high school girl who has been asked out on her

first date. "Only if we go to my house," she says.


Derek chuckles. "That will work for me because my apartment

is just two rooms, and they aren't very big."


Alice give him directions and her address in the event he loses

her in traffic of at a stop light.


After Derek falls asleep, Alice stares up at the dark ceiling as

the plot and the words of the story she has been searching for

flash through her mind. This would have been the night of her

twlvth wedding anniversary, and a man had taken her in his

arms and made love to her just as she envisioned it should be,

even though the man lying beside her isn't her husband.


The End.


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