Writers Tricks of the Trade Volume 7, Issue 4 Winter 2018 - Page 15

R EUNION A S HORT S TORY BY K EITH B ETTINGER It was his twentieth anniversary high school reunion and he really didn’t want to go. His wife had other ideas, they were going. He couldn’t understand why, after all she was two years younger and went to a different high school. Like so many other people he had seen during his life, time had taken a toll on the person he used to be. No longer was he slim. No more did flowing hair cover his entire head. No longer did he drive a car made for speed and ro- mantic interludes in darkened hideaways. Now he drove a mini-van filled with ice cream wrappers, soft drink bottles and video games. The remembrances that high school brought back had nothing to do with what life had deposited on his doorstep. He knew he wouldn’t trade his wife and kids for anything, but, this was not how he or his classmates thought his life was going to turn out. He had another reason for not wanting to attend the reunion. The few high school friends he stayed in touch with told him his old high school flame; the one he couldn’t live without while attending high school, was going to attend the reunion. She was divorced again and the rumor was she had an interest in rekin- dling a particular old romance. He had no desire to see the person who broke his heart while he was away at college. His wife had different thoughts. She wanted him to face his ghosts. They were at the reunion in the hotel ballroom, mingling and making small talk with his old friends. He heard his name called out in loud voice, a voice from the past, but a voice that sounded as if it could have belonged to a young Lauren Bacall in movies made years ago. As she approached she was as beautiful as ever in her tight green dress, with her long red hair glowing, green eyes spar- kling and cleavage beckoning. She threw her arms around him and gave him a kiss on the lips that reminded him of evenings long ago in the back seat of his car. He turned crimson with embarrassment as she abruptly said “excuse us” to his friends and ushered him past his wife. She led him to the dance floor to dance the same slow number that had played at their senior prom. When the dance was over she gave him a hug that lasted too long and was too close and left nothing to the imagination. When they walked off the dance floor, he quickly took his wife’s arm and silently went back to the table to be with their friends. Neither one mentioned what had just taken place. W RITERS ’ T RICKS OF THE T RADE P AGE 7 W INTER 2018