The Crosswalk

The Crosswalk

A Chapter by Cherrie Palmer

 


--Sara Michaels--


The man grows closer with each step. His wide brim Stetson swept low, shadowing his features, not that I need to see his face. My attention is drawn to the brown flannel shirt accented in turquoise, and you are in it. Yes, I see you in the lovely shirt with the pearl snaps. Memories wrapped in the teal and silver Christmas paper that the shirt rested in; still rests in. My nervous habit commences. Left thumb tracing over our symbol of love unending.

 

Today's rain no longer stings my face, as the chosen memory stings, my heart instead. Yes, my soul cries out for me to stop this insanity. I know I should, but I will not, I cannot. My very breath feeds your memory, forcing my eyes to bring the impossible into focus. The man and I end up at the crosswalk, where I brush against his arm to touch the corduroy patch on the elbow as he passes. Rain hides my shame as bitter tears mingle with the evening shower. Undoubtedly, the man notices what transpired, as he came to a full stop, and pushes back his hat. His grey eyes broke the spell asking me why. I tuck away your memory and hurry away.

 

 

--Thad Powers--

 

I hate the city. I hate spending my entire Saturday here, scurrying around in the rain like a wet rat, in search of cheese, or in my case, a retaining pin for my AR. The late November storm caught me without my slicker. With my hat pulled tight, I shift into a trot. I beeline to Foschini's for a slice of heaven with a beer. A great spot to out-wait the bad weather. Even under the sheet of rain, the smell of the brick oven guides me.

 

That is when I saw her. I slow my stride so the vision will last longer. I redefine my definition of, ‘a slice of heaven’ to be a slender brunet, with a hint of curves. Grace, draped in burgundy, moved toward me. The matching dress, heels, and little handbag polished off with a clear raincoat. Sleek, silky hair frame her angel's face; refined elegance sprang to my mind.

 

On deeper exam, I could see her eyes looking right thru me, her expression dampens my mood. We intersect at the crosswalk. What happens next shocks me. I come to a complete stop as she touches my arm. My heart races with anticipation. At that moment, I want nothing more than to know her name. I push back my hat for a better look. Her dazed expression told me so much. Those green eyes wet with grief held no answers for me. I wait for her response, but instead, she took off in a flash, leaving me to wonder.

 

                                            

 

--Reach--

 

As Thad stood there, the moment soaked in. He had been alone for three years, and this connection captivated him. He did not believe in love at first sight, but he could not deny this feeling. He turned to watch her go.


"I didn't know women could move that fast in heels," he said. He forced out a small cough, as his throat tightened with each step she took. Then, came his second shock of the day, when he took out after her.


On the other hand, Sarah could see the door to her work and quickened her pace to reach it. Her poor mind screaming, 'You are a fool, a total wacko, what kind of therapist are you?' She bit her lip, fighting back the sobs that her emotions demanded.

 

She made it to the awing, pulled at her rain bonnet that somehow had slipped into a knot. She drew in a long slow breath, holding it four seconds, then released. After the third time of doing this, Sara could feel her heart slow, and her fingers steady. With composure regained, she removed the hood of her rain gear and gave it a shake before placing it in her pocket.


She smiled, as the familiar chime of the dangling bell sang out, and she stepped into her sanctuary. With the doorknob still in hand, Thad's hand covered her own. A warm flush washed over her, settling in her cheeks. Partly because of embracement, but that was only a small part of it, which in turn crested her ears aglow. For once, she was grateful she’d left hair down.


"Ma'am, I'm not sure what just happened, but I want to apologize if I somehow frightened you."


She opened her mouth to speak, but no words would come. Again, she drew in a breath, then released it. "I should be the one to apologize."

"I'd settle for your name." His smile set her at ease, and with no time to analyze, she answered his simple request. "I'm Sara, Sara Michaels."


"Well, Sara, Sara Michaels," he said in such a playful tone. "I'm Thad, Thad Powers; I'd like to buy you a cup of coffee." Inwardly he rolled his eyes. It was too late to be clever. He did not want the moment of silence to become awkward; so, he kept talking. "How about it, Sara, is your life so full of friends you don't have room for one more?"


"I, um, have to go to work."


It was then he noticed the door read, 'Reach,' and under it said, 'Victory is a phone call away,' followed by, ‘800 REACH OUT.'


Sara crossed the threshold into her office. The small step landed her into a warmly lit sitting area, painted a dark mushroom, with hunter green curtains, and a rich maple hardwood floor, that showcased a matching maple desk, and an over-stuffed leather chair. The desk faces two grey wingback chairs. The familiar ding signaled the closing of the door, but not this conversation. She knew he would still be standing there behind her.


"What kind of place is this?" He asked.


"It's a hotline for those on the edge. Saturday evenings are my shift."


"Alright, how about this instead? Around the corner stands my all-time favorite pizza joint. How about I pick up a pizza and bring it back here, and you can save the world, eat the best pizza ever, and I get a chance to talk with you in between calls. That is if I won't get you in trouble."


"I love Foschini's. The Margherita is my favorite," she said.


"And, the boss?" He asks. There was another delay, but this time he did not fill the gap. He let her think it out; after all, it was just pizza.

 

"I'm married!” she blurted out." Then, sighed, "Well, I mean I'm widowed," she said, screaming at herself once more for sounding so pathetic.

 

"That gives us plenty to talk about then. I'll be back in a flash," Thad said, as he raised his eyebrows in question.


Sara nodded her head, and Thad was gone. Smart man, she thought, leaving out of here before she could change her mind.



© 2020 Cherrie Palmer


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Reviews

Dear Cherrie. You have been writing up a storm. I liked the set-up of the story. Create good characters and good storyline. You brought me into the story and I wanted to know and read more. A amazing opening chapter my dear friend.
Coyote

Posted 1 Day Ago


Cherrie Palmer

1 Day Ago

Thank you so much. I loved the notion of internal dialogue starting each chapter. I wasn't sure I.. read more
Coyote Poetry

1 Day Ago

The dialogue is amazing dear Cherrie. I liked the set-up. Easy to grasp and understand. You are welc.. read more
This is the height of creativity practice! You've always presented the best examples for other cafe-goers -- how to play with art & hone our expertise at the same time. You've come up with great exercises over the years, but this one blows my socks off, cuz I never would've thought to do this. Now you've got me thinking . . . you get everybody thinking! Your writing is the best I've seen it lately, you're hot as a pistol (((HUGS))) Fondly, Margie

Posted 1 Month Ago


Cherrie Palmer

1 Month Ago

I loved the notion of each chapter starting with internal dialog. Then switching to a 3rd person PO.. read more
Ach, he'll be back, but what am I telling you for, you know it 😉
Then again, wouldn't it be terrible if he got knocked down, robbed and shot, abducted by pizza addict aliens?
No, I think there's going to be an adventure for them both coming up and who knows, maybe more than pizza. Possibly cookies and soda 😉
Will we ever find out? Guess we better tune in to the next instalment to find out.
But if hose pizza aliens get him, give her my number. 😊

Posted 1 Month Ago


Cherrie Palmer

1 Month Ago

This would be a intro to mystery. But, I think I will keep it simple story of a new beginning. Even.. read more
dear Cherrie... I am not a reader of Novels; however,
you seem to cast a spell.... of a realistic tale laden with
feelings and kindness. People do need to communicate,
and you do reflect on the human condition. truly, Pat

Posted 1 Month Ago


Well, goodness-ME, Cherrie 🤭

What an excellent and interesting beginning to this ♂♀ double-dipper romantic mystique.
How creative of you to peak our interest with a two-gender perspective that draws us so fully into your characters' moments.
This is one to turn into a very interesting sequel, I'm thinking.
With but a few techy touchups, this one will be virtually perfect. Lemme know if you're interested and we'll hammer it out on messenger.

Love your style, your unique imagination, and the impending stirrings dancing in this hopeful, romantic tale. ⁓ Richard 🍃

This review was written for a previous version of this writing

Posted 1 Month Ago


Cherrie Palmer

1 Month Ago

I am glad you like how this is coming together. I imagine I have made two more changes since your re.. read more

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Added on November 28, 2020
Last Updated on November 29, 2020


Author

Cherrie Palmer
Cherrie Palmer

Oakland, AR



About
I am a published poet and love poetry. My husband and I live near the White River, and love trout fishing. I find my surroundings a great inspiration to me. I also have two books on Amazon Kindle: O.. more..

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