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This story is now published as part of the anthology ‘Loyal and True’.

 “Accept the things to which fate binds you, and love the people with whom fate brings you together, but do so with all your heart.” 
Marcus Aurelius

They had been meeting for a long time and he found it difficult to remember when it started.

Of course, she remembered. Girls always remember that kind of stuff; guys are usually just happy to be happy.
This was their favourite cafe and the staff knew them by name.
Alberto felt comfortable here.
The cafe was sparsely decorated but well lit. Not brightly lit but well lit. The kind of lighting that highlighted certain portions of a wall or a poster but did not hurt your eyes. The kind of lighting that made you feel special and more able to speak of intimate things.
It was still early so they had the place to themselves, and here was still a faint glow in the sky.
Palmira loved this time of day, not quite night time but with the promise that darkness brings, and not still daytime, the hustle and bustle temporarily on hold.
 Their lives were such that these brief encounters were all they had. Years ago it had been different but they had missed their chance and now they grabbed at happiness in the way a hungry child will attack a plate of chips, with both hands knowing it will end very soon.
They didn’t have a favourite table but rather they played a game whereby the first to arrive would choose. Their time together usually started early in the night so the choice was always wide.
Their propensity for arriving very early was a source of annoyance for the staff in the early days as it meant that they would have to put up with this young couple standing outside the cafe with their noses pressed up against the glass [Alberto thought this was funny and Palmira laughed so he did it as often as possible] or they could let them be seated even though they were still setting up.
On this particular evening Alberto arrived first and chose the table just to the side of the main entrance. Usually he would do the gallant thing and face the wall so Palmira could sit facing the cafe’s interior, but this time he wanted her to see only him.
They both knew that all things change but neither of them ever mentioned it. Talking about change seemed like a good way to make it happen, so silence on that subject seemed like a wise move.
Their lives were not their own and had not been so for a long time and it was only a matter of time until that part of their lives that was out of their control would come crashing in and spoil their ideal moments.
When Palmira arrived Alberto stood up to greet her and she instantly knew that something was wrong. She could feel an icy cold sensation in her neck which slowly spread down her spine. She kissed him and her embrace lasted longer than usual, she knew that when she let go he was going to tell her something that she really did not want to hear.
Whatever he was going to say they both knew that their time together was coming to an end.
This inviting little cafe might have to get along without them.


Photo Credit:

20 thoughts on “Together.

    • Thank you for the comments.
      I find it interesting that, in general, I really dislike change but in my stories it features prominently……. curious.
      I guess I don’t like sudden change in my life. The slow ‘boiling frog’ kind of change happens so slowly that we have time to get used to it.
      So often in my life things have ended without me realising that it was happening…. isn’t that interesting? We say we ‘lost contact’ with someone but did we know that the last time we saw them was going to be the last time? Most of the time I didn’t.
      You were right, this is a bit sad.


  1. Reminds me of the song “Mrs Jones”. Very touching story. I like the clues thrown in gently along to way to keep us intrigued, letting us know all was not well. And yet, by the end of the story, I am still hoping there is some way you can make it happier. Damn.


    • I think that you and mrs araneus1 would get on very well. She referenced ‘Mrs Jones’ as well…… and naturally she wanted it to ‘work out’ as well….. maybe it did, as long as I don’t finish it, it can be however you want it to be….. feel free to finish it for me.
      As always, thank you for taking the time to comment.
      I think that there is a big chunk of romantic in this little red hen.


    • Thank you for taking the time to comment, and I’m glad that the story left you wanting more.
      How do you think it came out?
      More than that, what happened to make them miss their chance?


  2. Awaiting the time of departure, hug felt like a cloak of love and hands as they pressed once more..said softly..let me go..eyes didn’t dare to stare couldn’t make to lips again..they felt the a silence of was their last sight..tonight.


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