Wednesday, February 8, 2017

The Umteenth Valentines Day (Story by blogger and author, David Russell)

Hello Grafted In Readers,

For Valentines Day which is February 14, I would like to feature a flash fiction story I composed titled, The Umteenth Valentines Day. Do Barry and Belinda love by letting each live their life, or do they love by doing what the market specialists advise?

Any comments, please leave them after you read this.
The Umteenth Valentines Day
David Russell
Barry put his coffee cup in the sink, put on his winter jacket, stepped out into the big winter chill and began to scrape the overnight ice off the front of his Ford Torus. He thought,
"I'm tired of these damned cold February mornings. The car barely starts. I always have to scrape the windows. On and on and on. Sheesh, when will it end?"

These thoughts were not new to Barry. They rumbled like a train through his head on schedule every winter. They started after the first of the year, and traveled like a train with 175 cars going at a cautious rate of speed until the last one passed on the track. Every year he felt like the driver sitting motionless while eyes view the passing train cars and noting the endless trail of them. The only consolation is to day-dream about someone you wish were there.

Then, the numbing radio ads:

"Buy your honey a Pajama-gram."

"Buy your sweetie a Vermont Teddy Bear."

"Buy your lover a weekend at the Motel-6. We'll leave the light on for you."
"Buy your honey a divorce," he said one morning in retaliation.

February 12 rolled around, and Barry was clueless as to what he would do for the Umteenth Valentines Day. He and Belinda had been lovers for 16 years. They had two adolescent children that added to the momentum of daily life. One was in volleyball and the other was in gymnastics.

He went to work, and filed the accounts that were on his desk leftover from the previous day. Late in the afternoon, he received a phone call from Rene who managed the Badinage, a cozy, modest-priced restaurant that had a sing-along piano-bar in its confines.

"Barry, we're in a pickle. Bernard cannot play tomorrow night. Would you fill in? Will buy you and Belinda dinner and drinks?"

Barry felt like he had been rescued from a sinking ship and whisked on to a lifeboat. He could feel the air of salvation.

"Sure, what time?"

"How about from 6:00 until 9:30?"

"Got it, will be there."

"Thanks Barry. I knew I could count on you!"

Barry and Rene knew each other from university chorus when they attended Central Michigan University in Mt. Pleasant. They now lived in Lansing, the state capitol. Rene managed the Badinage restaurant, which attracted young professionals and divorcees looking for new beginnings. Often, patrons would sing solos that portrayed what might be going on in their private life. Over time regulars became friends and a sort of social therapy group loosely formed. Barry would occasionally fill in for Bernard, their regular piano man. He envied his position but more the patrons.

"Belinda, this Valentines Day you get to be my groupie. We're going to the Badinage for dinner, drinks and piano-bar entertainment."

"Oh joy. I would rather stay home and watch Jeopardy."

"You don't want to be with your husband, the star of Lansing?"

"I"ll wait up for you."

So, the Umteenth Valentines Day included Barry and Belinda eating breakfast together, separating for work, and then watching the 11:00 news together when he arrived home after playing at the Badinage and having a club sandwich with Rene and the staff.

"You know Belinda, love might just sometimes be letting each other live life the way each is meant to live it. Happy Valentines Day."
"Happy Valentines Day to you, Barry." They embraced and she tweaked the hair on his chest for a while, which he liked before they married. He gave her a body massage while some music by J. S. Bach played in the background on the CD player. Then, in private intimacy, they laid side-by-side like spoons and found contentment in just being together, drifting off to their sleep abode.

Mellow Rock
David Russell

1 comment:

Brices Mice said...

Aww...that was really sweet. Sometimes it just doesn't have to be material, just personal...nicely done.

Linda B.