Saturday, August 29, 2009

Alte Liebe (Old Love)

Responding to a prompt via
Weave a story around a 60 year old photograph:

He walked down the quiet hallway, cradling the ancient wooden box in his arms with the utmost of care. After seating himself on the edge of the bed, he ran his hands over the brittle wood, pausing to encircle each notch with his finger before unfastening the latch. It opened with a faint creak, breath bated in anticipation. With a shaky hand he lifted the old photograph out from its storing place and gently blew away the dust which had gathered with the passing years. The old man's heart quickened as the memories began to flood back to him.

Smiling up at him from the portrait was a beautiful woman with auburn hair, falling in curly tangles around her shoulders, eyes bright with youth. Her nose was wrinkled with laughter and her cheeks were flushed as she stood outdoors in an open garden. Her arm was outstretched, showing proudly the tiny golden band with a glimmer of a diamond on her left ring finger.

The man closed his eyes and remembered. The scent of the breeze blowing through her hair, she always smelled of lavender and soap. He remembered the feeling of the soft grass on his trousers as he knelt before her. The racing of his heart as he struggled with the pocket of his jacket, and the surprise on her face as he displayed the ring. He opened his eyes and stood from the bed, turning to gaze out the window, listening to the light drizzle of the falling rain. The man felt a drop of wetness on his finger, and reached down to wipe away the tear which had fallen onto the beloved photo, before placing it gently back into the old keepsake box.

He crossed the room to his dresser, and put the box on top of it, propping the lid open so the picture would remain on display. He dressed slowly, fastening the buttons on his pressed white shirt with the difficulty that comes with old age and exhaustion. As he made his way down the stairs, he slipped the black suit jacket over each arm and over his shoulders. Grabbing the umbrella from the closet, he opened the door to the house they had shared for 60 years.

The black town car was waiting for him in the driveway. He opened the umbrella and stepped out into the drizzle, forcing back tears that threatened to out pour the rain. As the car made its way through the winding hills, he closed his eyes again and smiled. A lifetime of laughter, kisses, and scents of lavender and soap played in his mind. His aching heart was comforted by only one thought;
Goodbyes are temporary when love is strong.
Author's Note: I'm terrible at ending things.
Listen to: Alte Liebe by Brahms, one of my favorite German pieces in my repertoire. I couldn't find it online to add to my playlist (below), but it'll be worth the download, I promise! One of my favorite recordings is by Sarah Connolly, you can purchase it using Napster:

1 comment:

Peggy said...

Vanessa this is good...VERY have quite a talent for writing. Keep it up dear niece!!

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