Myra usually gardened in the early morning hours before the white heat of the day erupted, but today she stayed out until the blazing afternoon sun was overhead. Kneeling on a knee-pad in her backyard, sweat dripped off her forehead and down her temples. She stabbed the ground with a spade as though expecting resistance, but it sunk into the soft earth to her knuckles.
Glancing at her next-door neighbor’s house, she noticed Bruce’s downstairs curtains were open, but he hadn’t picked up the newspaper. As soon as he came out, she’d catch his attention before he went back in. With a cloth she wiped the spade, applied a tissue to her damp face and put on lipstick.
Today she planned to unmask the alluring side of herself, the part that had long been buried beneath the image of the benevolent, unmarried, next-door-neighbor for all these years. Lately, Bruce was more receptive. He’d given her subtle signals like leaving thank you notes whenever she babysat, Johnny, his six-year old. She saw that those notes had become progressively more intimate, at first addressing her by name and then using dear friend. He’d even given her a box of chocolates the other day. What could be more caring? He knew she adored candy. Continue reading “MYRA’S GARDEN”