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Remember? short story- won't take long.

by bcain


A thin, wrinkled woman hobbled into Room 45. She settled herself in the vinyl chair beside the bed.

The elderly man didn't look up. Didn't see her, in fact.

She swallowed, then began a monologue in a voice no one heard but him. Because it was for him only.

************ **************

I never believed in love at first sight until I met you. Remember, dear?

You were across the room at Murphy's arguing with another man. I'm not sure what the topic was, but your face was flushed with excitement, you eyes sparkled with victory in view, your movements mimicked a dance in time to the forcefulness of your words. And then, you threw your head back and let out an exuberant laugh. It was right then, I think, I felt my heart untie its arteries and veins, and leave my chest to fly across the room to attach itself to your own.

I didn't even know your name. It doesn't sound very smart, does it? Falling in love with a total stranger. It was hardly my choice.

I wonder if you remember the time you took me out to the little cafe at the corner of Oak and Thomas Jefferson.

It was to be casual, and you had on a blue and black plaid shirt, and wranglers. I can't recall what I wore, but I do remember the look in your eyes when you saw me. You told me later that was when you fell in love with me. You said you never stopped falling.

We ordered buffalo burgers that night.

I can still see that elderly couple as they hobbled in holding hands and laughing like teenagers. They sat across the room from us. I remember how you glanced at them and watched as he kissed his wife's wrinkled hand and whispered to her. Then you looked at me and remarked: "Isn't it amazing? They've lived their whole life together and they still are so in love."

I forget what I said, but then you grinned your funny lopsided grin, and I wished to somehow capture the moment.

Oh.... there are so many memories, aren't there?

Our wedding. You were so handsome in your tux. Our hands trembled throughout the ceremony. Mine were so cold.

And our first argument. It's almost amusing to recall it now. On our way to the hotel, we argued whether the left was on Fairview Road or Rocky Springs Road. I said Fairview, and you said Rocky Springs. I was right, but that didn't matter a few hours later, did it?

I'll never forget the way you looked when our baby was born. You started crying when you held him. You told me that all the love you had for me had just been multiplied to include our sweet little Dale.

Dale was our honeymoon baby, wasn't he? We were so shocked. After you heard I was pregnant, you stared at me a few seconds, let out a whoop, and snatched me up in your arms to do a little dance in our bedroom.

Oh my, I can recall our tenth anniversary as if it were yesterday.

We dropped the children off at my parents, and we dined at the little cafe at the corner of Oak and Thomas Jefferson. W sat at the same little table and ordered the same meal. You took my hand and said, "Soon we'll be the old couple, sweetheart. And I will love you as deeply as I loved you the first time we sat in this cafe, and as all-encompassing as I love you right this second. I love you, I love you, [i]I love you[/i]."

It wasn't a flowery speech at all, but your heart shone through the dusky brown light in your eyes. I started crying. I said I could see us as a little old couple, and I wasn't scared of being old at all, because I'd be with you, and that was all I cared about.

That was when you got a dust speck in your eye and started blinking very fast.

Oh, my darling....... there are so many memories, aren't there?

*** **** *****

The bent old man still stared vacantly, his empty gaze on the nursing home wall. The tiny elderly woman at last fell silent.

The late afternoon sun threw a sudden slash of light into the dim room. It fell across his shoulders, over the space between the two, and landed on her hopeful face. Her eyes slowly filled once again with a weary sadness.

He suddenly looked up, noticing her for the first time. "I'm sorry," he wheezed. "I didn't see you." An 85-year-old version of his lopsided grin lighted up his face. I hope you haven't been waiting long. I don't believe we've met before."

He held out his hand and she took it.

"No, not long at all."


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Sat Jun 07, 2008 4:11 am
Ryukun7 wrote a review...



This really touched me. The couple's promises to stay together, but the harsh reality that came later was crushing and depressing. I truly liked the woman character in this, and her strength to stay with her husband. Honestly, I don't have anything to critique, because I felt like it was a very well-written, deep piece. Good job!




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Wed May 28, 2008 3:39 pm
KJ wrote a review...



Very lovely. I really found nothing to nitpick, and I kind of hate that...

Here one thing (and it really is pathetic): I didn't like how messy the breaks were :P Perhaps just have them as three stars? Sad, I know. Only thing I could find.

So good job. It was sweet. Keep writing.




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Wed May 28, 2008 3:16 pm
GML wrote a review...



Beautiful. I can't think of another word to describe this. I'd say this is my favorite piece I've read on this site so far--by far.

It was right then, I think, I felt my heart untie its arteries and veins, and leave my chest to fly across the room to attach itself to your own.


Brilliant. ^^^

It was to be casual, and you had on a blue and black plaid shirt, and wranglers. I can't recall what I wore, but I do remember the look in your eyes when you saw me. You told me later that was when you fell in love with me. You said you never stopped falling.

We ordered buffalo burgers that night.


I love how the second paragraph contrasts with the first. The first sets up this image of falling in love and such and then...buffalo burgers. Nothing more down-to-earth than that, haha.

[quote]The late afternoon sun threw a sudden slash of light into the dim room. It fell across his shoulders, over the space between the two, and landed on her hopeful face. Her eyes slowly filled once again with a weary sadness. [quote/]

This was a sad, wonderful description. I would take out the word "sudden" and "slowly", though.

And then the ending...what a heartbreaking ending.

I applaud you on this piece.




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Wed May 28, 2008 2:42 pm
Lauren wrote a review...



Awh, I really liked this, it was ... touching. You know, because everyone wants to still be in love when they're old and all. Well, I see what you set out to do, and it worked really well. The end was a bit idealistic rather than realistic, but then again, it might have been bordering on depressing otherwise.




Lauren




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Sun May 25, 2008 8:40 pm
LilyReagan wrote a review...



That was beautiful. Just beautiful. There were a few grammatical & spelling errors, but over all, it was gorgeous!!!!!! The romance of an elderly couple is the most touching thing to watch, and you captured it perfectly.

Yay you!

Congrats on a story well written!




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Sun May 25, 2008 8:24 pm
Izzyeyore wrote a review...



Heartbreakingly sweet :)

You managed to capture the essence of the story, and I could just see it happening, keep it up. Your style is very fluid, and you have good prose and descriptions :D keep it up!

Great job, and thanks for posting it :)

<3, Izzy


(PS- you have some code that doesn't work, when he's telling her that he loves her and repeats it three times, you might want to check that out , peace )




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Sat May 24, 2008 4:01 pm
Esmé wrote a review...



Bcain,

I’m afraid that I can’t offer you very little constructive comments - before, though, I just echo the rest, and add my own paeans, here are some little nitpicks:


Quote:
Falling in love with a total stranger.
I do not like the usage of “total”. May be because I don’t like the word, but it does look odd up there.


Quote:
Oh....

Ellipse is three periods. Yes, yes, I’m groping at daggers. Oh, well.


Quote:
Oh, my darling.......

Not daggers anymore. Three periods.


Quote:
An 85-year-old version of his lopsided grin lighted up his face. I hope you haven't been waiting long. I don't believe we've met before."

Some quotes missing.



Yes, as everyone already said, this was a touching, yet challenging to write piece. You managed very well, though, and kept my attention all the way through. So few words - the piece itself was very short - yet a lot emotion.


Cheers,
Esme




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Sat May 24, 2008 3:43 pm
Ashlee wrote a review...



That is so sweet! It's absolutely beautiful. I'm actually crying. If love really can last a lifetime then that is truly amazing. You are a vary good writer. You make the people feel the emotions the characters. I really love this story, it's so sweet!


~Best Wishes~
Ashlee :D




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Sat May 24, 2008 2:16 am
fallenangel wrote a review...



Wow, fabulous job. I really enjoyed that, kind of reminded me of The Notebook--only flipped. Your style of writing is great, it put a strong image in my mind. The story itself was adorable, I could see everything that was happening. Nice twist on the ending-- it was especially good. It really grabs your heart when you read it.




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Fri May 23, 2008 11:28 pm
CK Lynn wrote a review...



This was very good. I'm not sure about the repeating line, though. It makes it sound kind of like poetry, and I'm not sure if it really helps the piece. I liked the subject though, an old man's wife visiting her Alzheimer's stricken husband (that is the subject, right? I'm not misinterpreting this?) and you presented it in a clean, sweet way. Like it a lot.




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Sat Feb 26, 2005 7:19 pm
Areida says...



oops...sorry about the double post, lol...




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Sat Feb 26, 2005 7:19 pm
Areida says...



I'm not quite sure what to say. That was really, really beautiful and you made it come to life. That's so sweet and romantic, but true at the same time. Great job.




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Sat Feb 26, 2005 7:10 pm
Areida says...



I'm not quite sure what to say. That was really, really beautiful and you made it come to life. That's so sweet and romantic, but true at the same time. Great job.




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Sat Feb 26, 2005 7:10 pm
Areida says...



I'm not quite sure what to say. That was really, really beautiful and you made it come to life. That's so sweet and romantic, but true at the same time. Great job.





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