Sometimes a girl can wait so long

that love goes bony and cold. Take, for example, my Harry. Another Valentine’s gone. The usual chocolates and roses. I will eat them and smell them. They won’t be a ring.

I will practice saying I can’t go on. And then I will go on.

There was one time I made it as far as the bus. Destination: new life. I imagined me festive and free. Dancing careless. A bouquet of suitors around.

I stepped on the bus and the driver looked at me empty. I was a seat to be filled. That’s when I ran back to Harry. To chocolates and roses and a face that knew mine.

And that was enough for a while, but I’m itchy again. I am tired of being the potato that doesn’t quite bake.

But then, like always, I hear the music playing behind us. It’s an old Sinatra tune and I take Harry’s hand. If there’s music and I’m moving, it’s close enough to a dance.

Francine Witte’s latest books are Dressed All Wrong for This (Blue Light Press), The Way of the Wind (AdHoc fiction), and The Theory of Flesh (Kelsay Books). Her chapbook, The Cake, The Smoke, The Moon (flash fiction, published by ELJ) is now available. She lives in NYC.

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Every Day Fiction