Late

Mrs. Leavensworth fussed over her outfit.

She wasn’t sure whether to wear the red dress with the red heels, or the blue dress with black. He’d always liked both. She needed to look perfect, for today was a big day. But she didn’t want to be late.

There was no hope for the grey in her hair, but she could at least put it in that same old style. He’d always loved that look. She had to make it just so.

She applied her makeup. He’d always said she didn’t need so much, and she’d always put on just as much, which had always made him laugh. She needed that perfect balance. But she didn’t want to be late.

The sapphire necklace and matching earrings, or the diamond set from their anniversary? She knew he probably wouldn’t mind either way, but she would. She had to look her best.

Mrs. Leavensworth had just finished when the doorbell rang. She debated taking her favorite purse along, but decided that it hardly mattered, really. She made sure to take the ring from the mantle, though. She hadn’t worn it in so long. It felt good. She took her coat from the hook and opened the door.

She smiled at the cab driver, and he at her. He motioned toward his spotless yellow cab waiting outside. She nodded at him and closed the door.

Mrs. Leavensworth ducked into the back of the cab, and the driver shut the door. “You know where to go, I assume?” The cab driver nodded at her in the rear view mirror. “Good man,” she replied. “Hurry, if you can. I don’t want to be late.”

She glanced at her watch and frowned. She didn’t know how long the drive would take, but it was getting terribly close to time. She’d always hated her own tardiness, and he’d always laughed about it. But today was different. She tapped her foot anxiously, and bit her lip in that way that had always made him smile.

Mrs. Leavensworth was both frustrated and elated when the cab stopped. She glanced down at her watch again. Late, of course. Oh well, there was nothing to be done for it now. The thought of seeing him overpowered her worry over the time. She thanked the cab driver as she stepped out of the car. He gave her a small nod and a smile.

She hurried up the white marble stairs. She regained her composure as she reached the top. Late or not, she wanted to look calm and collected for him. Against her own desires she walked slowly, patiently, into the building. She followed the long hallway to its end.

Mrs. Leavensworth saw him standing there.

He wore that same old suit, with the same ragged seams. She’d secretly hated the thing, but he looked so endearing in it. He was idly smoothing his hair back, what little was left. He held a rose in his right hand. The other hand wore a ring that matched hers. He stood by a pair of towering wooden doors. Two doormen stood beside, waiting. Beside him stood a large grey stone. Upon it read: HENRY LEAVENSWORTH. CPL US MARINE CORPS. KOREA. OCT 10 1929. MAR 12 2005.

Mrs. Leavensworth laughed excitedly.

“I’m sorry I’m late.”

He grinned and shrugged. “You were late on our first date, too.”

“You chose that outfit, did you?” She cocked her eyebrow at him, hardly concealing a grin. “You wore that on our first date.”

He smiled back. “Yes, I did. You look lovely, dear.”

“Thank you. I hope you didn’t wait long, love,” she replied.

He smiled again. “Not long at all, darling. I would have waited forever.”

She took her place at his side. A stone stood by her feet, upon which read: MARY LEAVENSWORTH. DEVOTED WIFE. DEVOTED MOTHER. DEC 14 1935. MAY 09 2010.

“Even so. I should have come sooner. I wanted to.” Tears welled in her eyes.

He nodded. “I know, love. But you still had things to do. It’s alright.”

“But-”

“Hush, darling,” he said, touching his finger to her lips.

She nodded, trying to blink back her tears.

“I missed you so much,” he said, wiping them from her cheeks. His eyes were damp as well.

“I missed you, too.”

He took her hand in his. “Are you ready, darling?” The doormen pushed open the doors.

“Yes,” she said with a smile.

Mr. and Mrs. Leavensworth passed through the wide doorway, and beyond.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

You may use these HTML tags and attributes: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <strike> <strong>