Three days had passed since he last saw her. What was that she had said? Those parting words, “Were it not for the dandelions I could breathe.” Always complaining of allergies. But when they were together oddly enough, she never sneezed. Alas, times change and offshore opportunities called her away. What was a few weeks of fun compared to half a million dollars? But she would be back. She forgot her favorite sweater after all.
Staring at the ceiling, he wondered if his boss would notice if he didn’t bother coming in today. It was then end of the busy season, after all. His musings were interrupted by the familiar ring of his cell phone.
“Hello?” he spoke, trying not sound too tired.
“Ya, Deacon, we’re ready down here! Bring it all! The clients want to get a real feel for the project today,” came the excited reply. Sighing, he dragged his weary body out of bed, preparing for yet another 13 hour day…..
Meanwhile, on the other side of the world, leaves blew across the feet of a cloaked woman, treading carefully along a broken footpath leading to a moonlit clearing amongst creaking and moaning pines. Her footsteps sounding hollowly in the cold air as she walked. The moon was full this night and the air fresh.
“Damn you. Still in my mind!” she muttered under her breath, brushing aside locks of golden hair from her face. Her last meeting with him had been complicated by the fact that she had misplaced her contacts for half the trip. On top of that, he had been complaining about other obligations on his plate which basically prevented them from really having the time to themselves that she would have liked. “Commerce and politics!” as her uncle used to say.
Making her way to the center of the clearing, she beheld the cemetery she had visited so often as a girl. Kneeling by a rather large and impressive gravestone, she lay the flowers she had been clutching to her chest down upon the icy ground. “Oh mother, you would not believe the goings-on of late,” she whispered. “And yes, I’m still a night-owl. You think I would show up during the day like any normal person. Well, I run on my own clock thank you very much–”
A tickle on the back of her ankle startled her. Deftly she twisted around to face her attacker, giving a swift kick in the dark. The figure let out an “Oof!” before falling down rump-first into the grass. The figure started to laugh and she knew who it was.
“Damn it, Michael! You’re such a bastard!” the woman said angrily.
“Hey now,” he replied, controlling his mirth, “I thought I would see how my favorite international business woman of the year was getting on.” Brushing off the dirt from his pants, he unsteadily rose to his feet, holding a hand out to the woman.
“I can get up on my own, thank you very much.” she said, swatting his hand aside.
“Sure thing, Bree,” Michael replied. “Hey, the guys are all at the pub. They’d love to see you!” His large stomach begin to grumble as he thought of the roast pork special they were serving tonight. “Besides, I’m hungry.”
Bree rolled her eyes and sighed. “Of course, you’re always hungry. Well, I guess we should get going then. We wouldn’t want them to run out of the pork special!” Straightening her hood and brushing off the last of the leaves from her coat, she proceeded forward towards the exit of the cemetery grounds. Michael following at her side.
“How’d you know I wanted pork?” he asked.
“It is Wednesday night, isn’t it?”
Michael shook his head in amazement. “You still have a tack sharp memory. Wish I was as smart as you.”
“Aw, don’t sell yourself short. Not just anyone could stick three tangerines in their mouth while drinking a pint of beer,” came the cheeky reply.
“Indeed. I almost choked when one of them burst!” Michael laughed at the memory.
“And then you practically threw up all over that poor waitress!”
“Ah yes, those were the days. After you, madam.” Michael opened the cemetery gate and stepped aside.
“How gentlemanly of you. Keep this up and you’ll make me start feeling guilty for all the things I say about you when you’re not around.”
“Um, what?” Michael blinked.
Beyond the cemetery gate stretched a much smoother and well-kept path than the broken cobblestones of the cemetery itself. This part of town had been manicured and polished by many generations of stonemasons and tree-keepers as they were called. Beauty and order were the pivots upon which Leetsdale turned. If your front garden wasn’t worthy of the cover of a magazine you were practically shunned at market. Walking along the white sidewalk, fireflies could be seen hovering here and there, trying to get the best view of the night lanterns which sat atop ornate wrought-iron fixtures. Their elegantly pointed tops stretching upwards as if reaching for the stars.
It was good to be back, Bree thought quietly to herself. Now if she could only find her damn sweater….