MYRA’S GARDEN

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”

Reunion

Copyright, Frances Metzman, Reunion, 2018

 

It had taken Toni two hours to put herself together for the reunion with Caroline and Lana, two women who had meant so much to her in the past.  Until a week ago she hadn’t seen or heard from either one of them for sixteen years.  At first, they had occasionally phoned then e-mailed, and after all communication stopped, they lost track of what everyone was up to.

Studying herself in the mirror, Toni hoped she gave the appearance of success, confidence and a woman who had arrived.  In the last year an urge to meet up with the old friends had become progressively stronger until Toni got their new e-mail addresses through old friends and made the arrangements.  They all decided to wait until they met to play catch-up.  She wanted to show her mentors how far she had come from being an administrative assistant, a euphemism for secretary, at Scarducci, Adden and Drugers. The law firm had hired her straight out of high school.  Caroline and Lana were newly graduated young lawyers at the same firm who, unlike Toni, had grown up privileged.

Although Caroline and Lana had treated her well, Toni felt that she didn’t measure up to them because she couldn’t afford to go to college.  She always felt on the rim of their friendship.  Despite having been invited to both their homes on a couple of occasions, in her perception, she never entered the inner circle of their lives.  Looking back, she knew that feeling opaque in their presence was because of her own insecurities. Yet, undeniably, knowing them had been a life-changing experience.  She could now present herself as a person of substance.

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Continue reading “Reunion”