I wipe the fog from the window pane and keep watching the park. The snow falling gently has erased the footprints on the path and softened the colors of the trees and benches. The lamps glow softly, but still I don’t see you. I knew you wouldn’t come, but I had hoped. As I always do.
Tonight is a night to be with family. I picture you at home, a place I’ve never been but that always smells like warm sugar cookies and coffee in my imagination. You and your wife are sitting on the couch in front of the fireplace, the flames and lights on the Christmas tree making the room shine. You’re sharing a bottle of red wine after the kids have gone to bed and the gifts are all wrapped. Maybe she’s opening a gift wrapped in the same golden paper mine was, tied with the same sparkling ribbon. She smiles as she opens the box, see the dainty necklace nestled there. She doesn’t know that she’s not the only woman you give jewelry to, at least that’s what I like to believe, that she’s happy, oblivious. It makes me feel less guilty.
Ah, there’s a couple strolling through the park, hand in hand in the cold. I could have that, a lover who I could wander around town with, who would take me to restaurants on my birthday, introduce me to his friends. Instead, I only have you in the little time you can spare. I know it’s my choice, that I deserve more, but I can’t seem to pull away from you. You’re my joy. You hold my heart, given to you before I knew better, before I realized how alone I would feel on nights like this. I had thought I could have a happy ever after.
The snow still falls, softening the hard edges, blurring the landscape, leaving the world a blank slate.
Dottie at Tink’s Place has a Monday Morning Flash Fiction challenge that I’m enjoying. Each Monday a new picture prompt will be posted and if you choose to participate you post your story on Friday – 350 words, give or take.