by Andrea Lena DiMaggio

Non so dove trovarti
Non so come cercarti
Ma sento una voce che
Nel vento parla di te
Quest' anima senza cuore
Aspetta te

Annabella stood with her arms folded as she leaned against the edge of the shower. She stared at the ordered chaos on the large sink counter; various and sundry cosmetics seemingly taking over what had once been a very generous space. The home had other bathrooms, of course, but the master bath was a tenacious reminder of the commitment the two had for each other even as things had changed. She looked into the mirror, gauging how much she had changed as well.

“I’ve got to stop by the doctor’s on the way home from work.” A voice came from the hallway. She nodded as if she was face-to-face with the speaker. Tones and even cadence might have changed, but the voice always seemed to indicate a desire to please. That extra effort of detail; made not for the sake of information so much as for the need to defer. Annabella nodded again; almost absentmindedly and half-smiling at the irony.

“Since you’ll be working late, maybe we can eat out?”

She sighed and shook her head. Favorite places and treasured rendezvous had been replaced by nice if somewhat less-threatening locales made even safer as places unfamiliar to friends and family. As one climbed out of shame and guilt, it was almost as if the other was in danger of sinking into the same muddy pit of confusion.

“No!” She breathed a deep sigh before resolution and commitment grabbed her rudely if necessary in reminder.

“That sounds just fine,” she said as she grabbed a brush from the pile of personal care products that threatened to jump into the sink like some odd pool party. She pulled the brush through a little tangle above her left ear before her hair gave way in cooperation. As she finished brushing, she felt a presence followed quickly by a grab around the waist.

“I love you,’ the voice spoke; still deep and throaty after so many years but segued into their own version of Lauren Bacall, even to the trembling nervous chin pressed down against the chest. Annabella turned and faced the voice. The same smiling eyes stared into hers; love that never would depart no matter whatever else had been lost or gained. She sighed and smiled a weak smile; a supreme effort on her part that was becoming only a bit easier day-by-day as she had decided long ago that love was more important than anything. So what if others found things different enough to be wrong; for her it was just right.

“I love you, too,” she said.

While her words still felt odd, they also felt comfortable; a choice to do more than merely make do with circumstances and choices and decisions removed from her control entirely. What was it that someone once said? We can only control how we face things that come to us? She controlled her own heart, in a way. While it still felt unfamiliar and even as it banged hard into what she had always held dear or thought she knew, she was determined to embrace at least those things before her as gifts, no matter how they seemed or felt.

She stepped closer, standing almost tiptoe to deliver a kiss; not romantic in the truest sense, but oddly romantic nonetheless in the innocence of both hearts. Like two teenagers; second-childhood sweethearts as it were; she embraced the change as much as anyone would in learning about love for the very first time.

“Pick you up at seven?”

“I…” She paused and smiled. In the recent past she might have been very nervous; reluctant in fact. But today was a new day; twenty-four hours removed from yesterday’s remaining doubts followed instead by her willingness to embrace what life had chosen to give her.

“I’ll be in the lobby with Pete and Rina,” she said, pointing to the book peeking out of the purse that sat on the sink next to the cosmetic detritus. An odd comfort to realize that mysteries weren’t only relegated to real life.

"And let's go to Mario's for a change?" She said it with a lilt that charmed the dread from them both, recalling a long-abandoned if less safe place to enjoy. If they were going out, they'd go out all the way.

“Okay.” A nervous if resolute response, followed by another quick kiss and then silence other than the creak of the front door. Annabella smiled to herself with a shrug and a laugh-like sigh. Her mother had told her once that it was never a good thing with two women in the house; a caution against any prolonged cohabitation with a then-as-unidentified mother-in-law. Never in a million years would she have imagined being married to another woman; especially considering how that other woman had started out as her childhood boyfriend. She smiled. It was still taking a bit of energy and time to get used to. So what; She had all the time in the world.

I don't know where to find you
I don't know how to reach you
I hear your voice in the wind
I feel you under my skin
Within my heart and my soul
I wait for you

Tomaso Albinoni, Rick Allison,
Lara Fabian, Dave Pickell
as performed by Lara Fabian

If you liked this post, you can leave a comment and/or a kudos!
Click the Thumbs Up! button below to leave the author a kudos:
67 users have voted.

And please, remember to comment, too! Thanks. 
This story is 924 words long.