Bill was nervous as he pulled into the parking lot of the Denny's Restaurant. Parking his rental car, he sat quietly for a few minutes thinking about the lady he was to meet here this evening. It had been twenty years since the last time they had seen one another, twenty long years. A lot had happened, starting with their friendship becoming broken and disbanded just a few weeks before high school graduation.
Elaine exited the freeway and rolled to a stop at the intersection. Ahead on the right was the Denny's Restaurant where she was to meet her high school boyfriend, the one she had not seen since that day twenty years in the past when they had gone their separate ways. Debating whether to keep her appointment, she traveled back to the last time she had seen Bill. Suddenly she was so nervous that she thought she would become ill, but there was no time left to decide, so she slowed and pulled into the parking lot.
The years had been hard for Bill as he worked to build a career. After a couple of years in college, he had served in the military for over a decade, and then left military life to start a civilian career. And he had married a few years ago, but then divorced two years later when his wife unexpectedly served him with papers. Within six months she had married the owner of the insurance agency where she had become an agent. Only later did Bill discover the truth, that she had been building her career in the boss's bed and that her marriage to Bill had been to cover the long-running affair from his wife. It didn't work.
Deception, rejection, and the associated hurts had prevented Bill from dating anyone, making the last few years of his life appear to waste away into nothing. He had buried himself in career and work, only breaking from his routine this week because of the twenty year high school reunion that he had decided to attend. Professionally and financially, he had been very successful; however, his personal life had paid the price.
As she sat in her car waiting for the courage to get out, Elaine began to think about how her life had been and how she had expected it to be. She had almost married a college boyfriend, but didn't because she knew that she did not love him. He was a real nice guy and had gone on to become lieutenant governor and get his picture on the front page of the newspaper, his much younger, arm candy wife by his side. After him, she had concentrated on her career, excelling in it, learning that time passes with or without your permission. Her most recent boyfriend had been over three years ago. On their last date, he made it plain that he had no intentions of ever marrying and that she was too much of a loner to suit him anyway. With that, he had said calmly, "Don't call me: I'll call you!" and had gotten up and left the restaurant, leaving her sitting alone at the dinner table.
Bill walked slowly, yet with determination, into the restaurant, looking around carefully to see if he recognized anyone, then stepped into the restroom.
Elaine entered the restaurant casually, yet obviously nervous, looking around to ascertain if Bill had arrived. Deciding to wait in the lobby for a few moments, she turned toward the large window overlooking the parking lot, unsure if she was doing the right thing.
They had spoken twice on the telephone in the last few days, the first time when Bill had called and asked if she were going to be at the class reunion, the second time when she had returned his voicemail message suggesting they meet for dinner the night before the reunion, if she were going to be in town. The calls were short and professional, mixed with an obvious anxiety.
Bill exited the restroom and stopped short when he saw the woman standing in the lobby, her face reflecting in the window. Something happened and he felt his heart jump as his emotions tried to overwhelm him. For a moment he couldn't speak as his eyes digested and analyzed the reflection in the window.
Elaine was staring out the window, deep in thought, yet not thinking about anything. A reflection of a man standing ten or so feet behind her suddenly caught her attention, and she stood as still as a deer caught in headlights. Something deep inside made her tremble as she turned to face the man she had not seen since high school.
Stepping toward her, he held out his hands to catch her hands, their eyes locking like radar on a target. She reached for him, however not to hold his hands. Her arms went around his neck as he wrapped her in an embrace, their eyes losing focus and closing as their lips met in a kiss fueled by the pent-up emotions of two decades.
Finally coming back to reality, they broke the kiss and looked around, embarrassed to realize that everyone in the restaurant was watching them, some smiling and some disapproving.
Exhaling noisily, they giggled, slightly embarrassed by their sudden behavior, and held one another as they walked toward the smiling young hostess who led them to a quiet corner of the restaurant.
Four hours passed as the couple shared stories, reminisced of times past, and hinted at their desires for the future. Finally, they gathered their things, having much earlier paid the check and generously tipped the waitress, and prepared to leave.
Standing beside Elaine's car, they kissed a kiss that continued almost forever, then stood there holding each other and softly talking, sharing occasional nips and hugs.
"Where are you staying?" Bill asked, his hands holding her waist, wanting to draw her closer.
"I have reservations at the Hilton," she replied quietly. "What about you?"
"I have a two-bedroom condo on the lake. It's really an investment property, but I find myself spending more weekends there than at my house in the city."
"I'd love to see it some time," she commented, a sly smile crossing her face as her eyes sparkled with passion.
"Well," Bill smiled and replied, "I would love to show it to you. In fact, if you would like, you are welcome to the guest room rather than a hotel room."
Elaine looked at him carefully for a moment, her face intent as if trying to read his mind.
"Only one string attached, Elaine."
"And what's that?" she asked, a look of concern on her face.
When he smiled, her concerns and fears melted. "That I get to spend as much time as possible with you, and that this weekend not is the end of our reunion."
"That's two strings."
"So I miscounted." He hesitated for a moment, and then asked, "Did I miscalculate this afternoon, too?"
She gave him an answer with her lips as she pressed them firmly to his lips and began to make love to his mouth, their tongues engaging in a wrestling match as their passions warmed.
Elaine followed Bill to the lakefront condo. It was a beautiful home with a private deck overlooking the lake, facing east toward the morning sun. They stood drinking coffee and watching the moon and stars shimmer, holding each other close, enjoying the quiet, the peace, and the tranquility.
The day finally began to catch up with them and they began to prepare for bed. After showers and dressing for bed, they met back in the living room where Bill turned on the gas logs and they sat on the couch and cuddled for a few minutes, still not wanting the day to end and the moments to slip away.
Yawning, Elaine shook her head and started to get up from the couch.
"I had better get to bed or I'll fall asleep right here on the couch," she said sleepily.
"Yeah, me, too," Bill replied. "It's just too comfortable and peaceful sitting here cuddled up with my high school sweetheart."
With a kiss goodnight, they parted, Bill to the master bedroom and Elaine to the guest room.
Coffee at Sunrise
The rising sun shone across the lake and thru the French doors of the deck into the master bedroom, warming the room and bringing the morning light, dispelling the darkness.
The dreams of nighttime, dreams of him and Elaine in high school and of the past evening began to fade as Bill slowly awoke from the deep slumber. But awaking from the slumber did not remove the warm soft presence or the aroma of the woman asleep with her head on his shoulder, her bare leg draped across his body, and her arms holding him close. Her shoulder length hair covered her face and lay across his bare chest, the moisture from her mouth dampening his chest, her slow, steady breathe drying it.
Wide awake, he hesitated to move lest he awaken Elaine; however, the light from the rising sun was already accomplishing it. She moaned, stretched, and wrapped her body tighter to Bill's body.
Raking her hair from her face, she looked up at him with a sly smile. "Good morning."
"And a good morning to you," he replied, leaning down to place a soft kiss on her lips.
"So when did you join me?"
Smiling sheepishly, she admitted, "I couldn't sleep because I was thinking about us, about when we were teenagers and dating, and about last night. I just didn't want to be alone with you so close." She hesitated for a moment, then added, "Plus, you said that sunrise from the deck was gorgeous, but the deck is off the master bedroom, and I wanted to see it with you, so, I, I, uh, well, I invited myself to your bed. Do you mind?"
Snuggling into the bed and drawing Elaine into a complete body embrace, he kissed her with all of the passion and love he could show. Finally breaking the kiss, he replied, "Any man would be more than happy to have a woman as beautiful as you sharing his bed."
.... There is more of this story ...