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Last Friday Evening

An Unspoken Conversation

By Dana CrandellPublished 8 months ago Updated 8 months ago 3 min read
Last Friday Evening
Photo by Nani Chavez on Unsplash

With a quiet sigh, Robert pushed himself up from the love seat, slowly transferring his weight to his tired joints. Clicking the remote on his armrest, he silenced the news anchor. He turned to Loretta, she, still staring wide-eyed at the now dull gray screen and he, admiring the way the pattern of soft light and shadow from the blinds traced the contours of the face he still adored.

Her questioning gaze was met with his comical grin as he extended his right hand in invitation. With a quizzical tilt of her head and a soft smile, she placed her small, crooked fingers in his palm. His thumb wrapped over them gently and, rocking forward twice in a practiced motion, she rose to her feet, confident in the balance he provided. Taking her right hand in his left, he slipped the other gently around her waist, inching closer in a familiar, poised embrace.

Loretta's smile widened and together, they stepped in perfect time to the waltz that played only in their minds. Only a few steps, then his eyes urged her to turn out and twirl. It was a clumsy movement at their age and within the confines of the tiny living room. In Robert's eyes, it was a vision of grace befitting his goddess.

As she returned to his arms, he turned to guide her toward the bedroom, but she resisted and turned toward the window. He understood, and raised the blinds so they could stand side by side and gaze out at the city as it prepared for slumber. She rested her head against his chest and squeezed his hand tightly as his arm draped over her shoulders. Shadows lengthened and traced their way slowly across the buildings as their lights winked to life in anticipation of the long night.

Feeling the dampness of a tear on his shirt, he turned to her and caressed her cheek, then placed the crook of his finger under her chin, coaxing her face upward and her eyes to his own. Shaking his head, he wiped the tear from the corner of her eye, then bent to kiss the creases where the taste still lingered. She clung tightly for a moment, then nodded and stepped back, pulling the cord to drop the blinds. In perfect sync, they drew the heavy drapes, did an about-face and linked arms. Loretta flicked the living room lamp switch off as they promenaded toward the French doors of the bedroom.

Already in their sleepwear, they followed the familiar routine. Robert pulled the multi-paned doors shut and latched them against nothing. The scent of her perfume wafted to his nostrils as she dabbed a drop behind each ear. The crystal tinkled softly as she replaced the stopper in the bottle on her dresser and moved to sit on the edge of the double bed, waiting. This was the continuation of their nightly dance, interrupted only momentarily tonight by a necessary walk to the window.

Robert stepped carefully across the narrow space in front of his wife and turned on her bedside lamp. He folded down the afghan she had knitted years ago. This was followed by the light blanket and top sheet, then her hand was again in his as she slid to the opening and he helped guide her legs into place and adjusted her pillow. As she lay back, he lifted the covers, only as far as her armpits, just as she liked. He raised an eyebrow as she folded them back down to her waist. He bent for their goodnight kiss and they both held it longer than usual, extending the dance tonight, for the sake of the dance.

Moving to his side of the bed, turning off the overhead light on the way, Robert slid between the soft sheets they had changed, together, earlier in the day. The scent of fabric softener added its ambiance to the air that Loretta faithfully kept dust-free with her daily cleaning.

Loretta scooched. Robert scooched. One more scooch found Loretta's head resting on her husband's waiting arm. They rolled to face each other and clasped hands in the next step of the dance. Tonight, they would linger in this position, lost in each other's eyes.

Neither paid any heed to the drone of the warning sirens as it started and wound its way upward to a forlorn wail. Their world was sealed tightly against distractions. Everything they needed was directly in front of them.

Moments later, the first bright flashes penetrated the heavy fabric of the drapes, but Robert and Loretta smiled, blissfully unaware and hopelessly in love. They drew their last breaths in unison, oblivious to the white heat of the final flash.


Thanks for reading! If you enjoyed it, you know the drill. ;)

humanitymarriageloveCONTENT WARNING

About the Creator

Dana Crandell

Dad, Stedpad, Grandpa, Husband, lover of Nature and dogs.

Poet, Writer, Editor, Photographer, Artist and Tech/Internet nerd. Content writer by trade. Vocal Creator by choice.

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Excellent work. Looking forward to reading more!

Top insights

  1. Compelling and original writing

    Creative use of language & vocab

  2. Easy to read and follow

    Well-structured & engaging content

  3. Excellent storytelling

    Original narrative & well developed characters

  1. Heartfelt and relatable

    The story invoked strong personal emotions

  2. Masterful proofreading

    Zero grammar & spelling mistakes

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Comments (17)

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  • Kristen Balyeat8 months ago

    Oh wow, Dana! This 100% a first place piece! Don’t mind me crying my eyes out over here! Stunning imagery– so vivid I felt like an intruder. This is beyond. If it doesn’t win I’ll be flabbergasted! 👏🏽👏🏽👏🏽👏🏽👏🏽💞💫

  • Paul Stewart8 months ago

    Well...this is a winner! everything was perfect, the descriptions, the pace, the flow and that ending! beautiful, sir!

  • oh, the emotional strigs you played on here...great job

  • Babs Iverson8 months ago

    Unspoken and unexpected ending. Loved the silent dance but I wanted a happy closing!!!💕❤️

  • That ending was so unexpected! You did a brilliant job!

  • Test8 months ago

    So touchingly written, in understanding of the love in later life. I wish I had grandparents, but I see this in Pernoste's parents, this beautiful connection like they have become one soul. I don't understand the end or the need of it for the story. It upsets me, and I don't know why. I guess I wanted them to just drift off in each others arms. So beautiful, your writing 💙Anneliese

  • L.C. Schäfer8 months ago

    Seems like a not bad way to go tbh ❤️ You've really sold it to me!

  • Cathy holmes8 months ago

    Wow. This is excellent. You might have a winner. Your descriptions were just perfect, like watching a movie. Well done, my friend.

  • They saved that last dance (not to mention virtually ever other that came before), for one another & spent their final pre-heavenly moments in heavenly bliss.

  • Luther8 months ago

    Nice one really Wanna read something scary (Great work no doubt)❤️

  • Moe Radosevich8 months ago

    Wow, a perfect exit buddy, what better way could there be, love this ❤️

  • Another fantastic story, Dana!

  • Jazzy 8 months ago

    What a twist at the end....omg this almost put me in tears here at work. The imagery was so well done, I can see the folks clear as crystal in my mind. What a romantic ending, much like the ending of Rogue one....ugh tears.

  • Alex H Mittelman 8 months ago

    Fantastic work! Great job!

  • Alexander McEvoy8 months ago

    That was beautiful! I did not expect a prologue to There Will Come Soft Rains, Your story took me completely by surprise and I loved it! Their love is so pure, it makes me desperately want just the same for myself

  • Joelle E🌙8 months ago

    This was just gorgeous! Reminded me of the movie Seeking a Friend for the End of the World ❤️

  • Donna Renee8 months ago

    😭😭😭 great entry for the challenge… and this was so much more, Dana. ❤️

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