"Reality" A Work of Fiction


It's early, the slight coolness of the morning hasn't yet faded, the harsh southern sun still waiting it's turn to steal the last bit of pleasure from the breeze. She sighs, silently pleading with God to let this moment linger on. Breathing deeply she inhales the combined scent of fabric softener and the faded aroma of spiced aftershave from the night before.

She feels safe here.

The slow, rhythmic squeak of the metal chain holding the garden swing and feeling his heart beating against her cheek, lulls her mind into another place. Gently rocking her, consoling her. His fingers dance lightly across her shoulder, keeping pace with the motion of the swing. She feels his body shift as he touches his mouth to her forehead in a quiet kiss, the delicate air of the morning drifting across the moisture left on her skin, a smile forming on her lips. She snuggles closer, letting her fingers move over his chest, outlining the pocket of his light blue t-shirt.

She hears something off in the distance, beyond the quiet dripping of the fountain ahead of them. Birds are quarreling on the other side of the garden, the Catawba leaves rustle as a squirrel balances himself on it's limbs.. but there's something else...

"Mahala."

She hears her name but it seems so far away. She tries to ignore it, refusing to allow anything to interrupt this moment.

"Mahala."

The voice becomes more urgent, familiar.

She squeezes her eyes shut, trying to block it out, trying to smell the aftershave, to hear the swing..

"MAHALA!!!"

Her eyes open suddenly and for just a very brief moment, she's not sure what's happened. The soft, blue t-shirt is replaced by the rough, burgundy upholstery of her sofa. The rhythmic sound of the garden swing chain is really just her squeaky, off balance washer entering the spin cycle..

"Just a second.." she answers as reality comes crashing in.

She sits still, for just a moment, brushing away the tear sliding slowly down her cheek, making sure she remembers every last detail, how safe she felt, how loved.. before tending to those other matters that just can't wait.

Maybe he'll be back.