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Forgive and Forget: Episode 4 of 6

“The dessert is very good,” Frank takes a last bite of Sharon’s red velvet cake.

“Would you like another piece?” Sharon reaches for Frank’s empty plate.

“I would, but I need to stop with one,” Frank places his hand over his plate.

Sharon sits back in her seat at the dining room table and pushes her partially empty plate aside. Frank tries to sneak a peek at his cell to check the time.

“Let me top off your cup and let’s finish our conversation in the living room where it’s more comfortable,” Sharon says as she stands and fills Frank’s cup.

Sharon fills her cup and motions for Frank to follow her to the living room. Frank pauses thinking that it is getting late and he wonders if he should be going home. He cannot think of any good reason why he needs to get home. He follows her to the living room.

Sharon gestures for Frank to sit on the sofa. He obliges and she hands him his brimming cup of coffee carefully.  As he gingerly brings it to his lips to take a sip, Sharon eases down next to him.

Glancing over the brim of his cup, he watches Sharon gracefully descend to the couch. He recalls the first time he saw her. She wore a red and green plaid dress with a thin red belt around the waist. He admired her large blue eyes and her long blonde hair. They sat next to each other in Ms. Milton’s literature class.

“Frank, Frank, where’d you disappear to?”

“I’m sorry, I was trying to remember when we first met.”

“What did you come up with?”

“Literature class our freshman year, right?”

“Actually, we met at the auditorium probably about four or five years before that.”

Frank takes a long sip of coffee and journeys back into the memory banks and comes up empty.

“You don’t remember consoling a chubby little girl who was almost in tears because she drew a blank on the notes of  ‘Twinkle Twinkle Little Star.'”

“I remember standing in line waiting to go up on stage to play my song flute and talking to some girl from another school, yes. That was you?”

“I remember perfectly what you said,” Sharon puts her hand to her bosom.

“I’m sure it was full of wisdom. What were we, fourth graders?”

“You said just put your flute up to your mouth and wiggle your fingers. Just fake it.”

“That was probably the voice of experience speaking.”

“That’s pretty close to what you said next.”

“What did I say?”

“You said, ‘That’s what I do.'”

They laugh at their younger selves.

“I thought you always knew that was me,” Sharon kicks off her shoes and pulls her legs up under her.

Frank is amazed at how limber Sharon is for her age. He also admires how shapely and smooth her legs are.

Suddenly, as if an alarm went off, Sharon jumps to her feet.

“There’s something I’ve kept all these years that I found when unpacking the other day.”

Sharon dashes out of the living room, down a hallway to a room in the back of her house. She is gone for several minutes before returning again with a yellowed piece of paper in her hands.

She hands the paper to Frank who takes it and feigns interest in it. When he glances back at Sharon, he watches as the beaming smile on her face when she first presents it to him turns to a scowl.

“Open it and read it.”

Sharon’s tone suggests some frustration with Frank’s lack of interest, so he forces himself to begin to focus more intently on this ancient manuscript in his hand.

A closer examination shows this to be a carefully folded piece of lined notebook paper. Sharon sits back down on the sofa.

Frank recognizes the handwriting to be his own. At the top of the page in all capital letters are the words NO ONE CAN TOP YOU. He recalls the history attached to the poem that follows.

“You gave me that just before you asked me to go with you to the Winter Ball,”  Sharon sits down next to him, one hand on her bosom.

“Yes, and I remember you turned me down. I was so hurt and embarrassed. Some of my friends knew I was going to ask you.”

“I never told you this, but I wanted to say ‘yes’ so badly. I knew Dad wouldn’t let me go.”

“You never told me that part. The very next  semester, you went with Carl Jacobs to the prom.”

“Dad thought I stayed overnight with Beth Martin which wasn’t a lie. I just left the part out about going to the prom.”

“So, is that what your dad thought when you asked me to Sadie Hawkins Dance our junior year?”

“No, I didn’t have to. Dad just didn’t want us dating until we were sixteen. I turned sixteen the November before.”

Frank waves the paper under Sharon’s nose, “Why did you keep this thing all this time?”

“I thought it was beautiful. It is the first poem any one every wrote for me. I kept in my diary and I’ve kept all of my diaries and journals.”

Frank starts to say something more about the poem but swallows it back. He hands the sheet back to Sharon.

“It’s yours if you want to keep it,” Sharon states as she reaches for it.

Frank shakes his head and takes another sip of coffee. Sharon gingerly folds the memorabilia back the way she found it.

“Would you like another cup?” Sharon asks realizing Frank’s cup is empty.

“No, I must be going home, now. It’s late.”

Frank stands and offers his cup to Sharon. She suggests he lay the cup on a side table where she places hers.

“You’re welcome to stay here for the night.”

Sharon watches as the retired preacher blushes. She giggles within herself.

“There are three other bedrooms other than mine. You’d have your choice.”

“No, I don’t live that far. I’ve really enjoyed tonight.”

“So have I. Let’s do it again, soon.”

Frank nods and heads toward the front door. Frank stops just shy of opening the front door and turns to Sharon, “How about Sunday?”

“What about Sunday?” Sharon cautiously inquires.

“You said, ‘Let’s do it again, soon’ and I asked you if Sunday would work. What do you think?”

“Sunday evening? Sunday afternoon? When?” Sharon purposely avoids mentioning Sunday morning fearing Frank might be hinting at going to church with him.

“If the weather’s good, Sunday afternoon cookout at my house this time, what do you think?”

“What time?”

“Shortly after church.”

“Do I meet you at your house or you’ll pick me up?”

“I can pick you up on the way to church.”

“I’m not ready to go to church with you.”

“I’ll pick you up on my way back home from church, then. It’ll probably be around noon or a little after.”

“Just the two of us?”

“I’ll invite some of my friends from church and your brother, if that’s alright.”

“I think that sounds fine. Are you sure?”

Frank doesn’t hesitate, “I’ve never looked more forward to Sunday in a long while.”

Sharon nods approval. Frank smiles and pats her on the arm. Sharon’s feelings are mixed. She is hoping for more than a pat on the arm but she is excited that Frank wants her to meet his friends and he didn’t push her to attend church.

 

Categories: Author Confession

Douglas Knight

I write about what I'm thinking or what I've imagined in an effort to regain that childhood imagination and marry with my many years of real experiences. I'm getting better at it the more I write.I am a published author of two romantic intrigue novels.My books can be found at Amazon.com or if you want a personalized copy, by emailing me at douglasknight85@gmail.com.

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