CLOSED FOR PERSONAL REASONS • by Karen Jury

The sign had been clearly placed last night and now as he shut the door with a loud bang, he checked to be sure it was secure and then hurried to his car.  Michael felt his heart beat accelerate and his hand trembled slightly in the excitement of the moment.  “Would she remember?” was all he could think about.  He recalled the last time he had seen her.  She had been somewhat bashful, but appreciative of the delicious food he had prepared for her.  Oh, he knew what she liked and just how to prepare it.  He had watched as she ate hesitantly at first, then eagerly.  Had it been a lack of trust?  He had hoped not.

Later after the meal was over, she became playful and very friendly.  He had been taken by surprise when she approached him meaningfully.  She had been quite the flirt that day expressively batting her eyes at him.  Some would have thought it a bit forward, but she had a way of making it seem just right.  Some of the other guys had come around, but she never really gave them the attention that she gave him.  She always seemed drawn to only him.

The day he left had been torture.  However, the new job opportunity was too tempting and would only be temporary.  Between packing and making all the arrangements, he hadn’t had enough time to really explain all of this to her. The day had been breezy as they finally stood outside on that last day.  He watched the shadows dip and sway across them as he told himself and her all his deepest feelings and promised to return soon to be with her once more.  Then he had gone, feeling doubtful that she really understood, but assuring himself that he would come back soon and that she would remember.  It was one of her most enduring qualities, her amazing memory.

He had tried to keep in touch, but things were busy and the others who knew her were not reliable in responding to his queries.  Oh, yes, there had been other females, some almost as interesting as she was, but none to match her majestic beauty.  So of course, he never really forgot her and often looked at the pictures he had of her.  One was of her alone, but the one he liked best was the one of them looking into each other’s eyes as his hand caressed the side of her head.

All these memories pulsed through his head as he approached the building where she lived.  The parking area seemed busy, and he was forced to park a distance away from her building.  He hurried along feeling the sun bright overhead and hearing the voices of others headed toward the building which echoed his happiness.  The place hadn’t changed much, and he knew exactly where he would find her.

Just around the corner now!  He rushed toward the building, quickening his pace in time to the beating of his heart, and there she was just as he remembered her, as if time had stood still.  He held his breath as he approached and YES!  She remembered him – there she was trodding towards him, nodding her head and finally raising her trunk, trumpeting in gladness at their reunion.


Karen Jury teaches English at Highland Community College in Highland, Kansas. Her courses include Composition I and II as well as literature and creative writing. She has a Master’s Degree from Fort Hays State University. Although she has never been published, she enjoys writing poetry and stories for friends and family as well as with her students.


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