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Monday, March 23, 2009

where romance blooms and fades

he had a clark kent look about him, as if he could take off his glasses and be a completely new person. and yet no one saw it. his ex-wife called him 'old beyond his years.' his kids called him 'he who likes elvis.' even his co-workers talked to him as if he was a superior, a professor of law, even though he was a contemporary of theirs. he sat at night, staring at the computer, half-done summations in front of him . . .words droning on and on about things that no longer held his passion.

where was his passion? hell if he knew.

one day, when he felt like his life was in dry rot, she came in. when she started babbling a mile a minute, he assumed she was on something and thus some witness to the war on drugs that his department fought everyday. when he saw the paper bags in her hand, he revised his observation. ah, a sandwich girl. then he panicked. what had he ordered?

he didn't have long to think. soon she came over, and plopped the bags on his desk, right on top of his out box. she tossed her hair to one side before reading the list.

"did you order the tuna?"

"no."

"the egg salad?"

"no."

"the turkey?"

he raised his hand, then pulled it back.

"i . . don't think so."

"the ham?"

"uh . . .no?" he hid a smile. with every item on the list, she tilted her head, and bounced a little. it was hard for him to think with such distractions.

"well, all that's left is the roast beef." she put her hand on her hip, and looked at him, tapping her foot.

"wha . .wha . .what were the choices again?"

her exasperated sigh was so cutely feminine. it was like getting tinkerbell angry.

"the turkey." toss. bounce. "the ham." toss. bounce. "and the roast . . " toss.
" . .beef." bounce. tap tap.

this time he couldn't help it. he laughed out loud. the deepness, and the suddenness of it made her jolt back a bit.

"i'm . . i'm . . i'm so sorry, miss. i . . you just get so much pleasure at your work that i can't help . . smiling."

"and laughing your ass off, apparently." she giggled a little.

"i . . .guess so."

he was surprised to feel himself blushing. he looked down, and tried to compose himself.

"i'm . . .sure it was the turkey."

"yes sir." she said, quietly. he looked up at her changed tone. she dug the sandwich out of the bag.

"i'm sorry, sir. i'm sorry i cussed."

"no . . no . .no . ." he said, softly. he looked at her, with warmth in his eyes. "i'm just . . it's been a long time since i've laughed."

"oh. you should laugh more often. it makes you look less . . ." she moved her hand back in forth in the air.

"less . . .?" he asked, matching the dance of her hand with his.

"less . . .morose?" she squeaked out the last word.

"thank you. i'll try."

she nodded primly, and turned to . . . .

"wait . . ."

she stopped to look at him.

"what's your name, miss? in .. in case i picked the wrong sandwich."

"you choose the wrong sandwich, that's your hard luck. but . . .my name is chris."

she smiled, and bounced away.

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