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May 03

Sights Unseen

© Chrispoliquin | Dreamstime Stock Photos

© Chrispoliquin | Dreamstime Stock Photos

Our white Camry pulls up to the curb, and Maggie helps me out of the car. I take her arm so she can lead me up the walkway. She tells me there are two stairs leading up to the porch and warns me of the broken brick on the bottom step. She rings the doorbell.

Candace opens the door and greets us profusely.

“Maggie, Dan, I’m so happy you could make it,” she says. I hear smacks in the air as she and Maggie exchange kisses on the cheek. She ushers us inside.

Candace invited us and a few friends over for a small dinner party to celebrate her most recent reno. She presses a martini in my hand, and Maggie steers me towards a chair in the living room.

“It looks fantastic,” Maggie says. Her comment sparks a round of consent.

“I know, you’ve really outdone yourself this time, Candace.”

“It is gorgeous; you always have such impeccable taste.”

I hide a smirk. I have been…blessed, you could say, with something I ironically call true sight. I can see the truth behind the words that people say.

I know that the room must look hideous. Knowing Candace’s love of the ornate, I can imagine that I am sitting in a gaudy palace. I run my hands over the arms of the chair I am sitting in. Sure enough, I feel elaborate scrolls carved into the wood and thick velvet.

“Dinner’s ready,” Candace trills, and Maggie appears at my side to lead me to the dining room. She takes her place to my right. The guy to my left introduces himself.

“Malcolm Singleton, and this is my wife, Tammi.”

I hear a brief “hello” from the seat next to him.

“Tammi and Candace go to the same yoga class. This is our first party. Quite the hostess, isn’t she?”

“She sure is,” I say.

There’s an awkward pause, one I’m used to, the pause that says “What do I say to a blind man?” I ask Malcolm what he does for a living.

I can almost feel him puff his chest out.

“I work for Baker & McKenzie,” he says. “Not quite a partner yet, but I’m Baker’s right hand man. It’s only a matter of time.”

Ah, the poor guy. I see that he’s nothing more than an administrative assistant, a glorified secretary. He fetches coffee and picks up the guy’s dry cleaning.

“That’s great,” I say. “I’m sure that promotion is right around the corner.”

Maggie comes to my rescue, asks Malcolm if he’s ever tried yoga with Tammi, and he turns his attention to her. I’m able to finish eating in peace. I love lively conversation as long as I don’t have to participate.

The evening drags for me, but Maggie is enjoying herself. Finally, it is time to leave. Candace walks us to the door, and I hear more smacking sounds as she and Maggie exchange kisses on the cheek.

“Thank you so much for coming. I can’t imagine having one of these parties without you.” She hates having to invite us because she knows I’m a lousy guest.

“Our pleasure,” Maggie says. “We’ll have to return the favor and have you over sometime. Maybe in a couple of weeks?”

“Wonderful, just give me a call.” She dreads the invitation, hates the idea of spending an evening alone with us.

Maggie leads me down the walkway, back to our white Camry. I kiss her before I get into the car.

“I love you,” I say.

“I love you, too.”

Candace won’t have to worry about coming to dinner. Maggie will never make that phone call, never extend the invitation.

I see she’s leaving me tomorrow.

* * *

Today’s prompt comes from Friday Flash’s Senseless Challenge. Each Friday in May is dedicated to one of the five senses. Today’s sense was (hopefully obvious) Sight.

 

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  1. Chuck Allen

    Great job with the prompt! I love the way he has learned to see beyond the words.

  2. Shelli Proffitt Howells

    Thank you, Chuck!

  3. Helen Howell

    They say when you loose one sense you become more attuned in another way – its seems he could see through her regardless of what she said.
    Very nice story and as Chuck said great use of the prompt.

  4. John Pender

    Opening paragraph kind of reminds me of an old house I know.

  5. John Wiswell

    A bummer that they won't really connect, even if they can be lulled into enjoying a space together.

  6. Shelli Proffitt Howells

    Thank you, Helen, and I do think that's true.

  7. Shelli Proffitt Howells

    Thanks, John, and good to see you again!

  8. Shelli Proffitt Howells

    Thank you for coming by and your comments!

  9. Laura Besley

    Really loved this, Shelli, especially the totally unexpected ending. Could just imagine the room of people, all trying to make more of themselves than they were. What a shame that it had a sad ending…

  1. The #FridayFlash Report – Vol 4 Number 49 | Friday Flash

    […] Sights Unseen by Shelli Proffitt Howells ~ @shellihowells ~ Between 500 and 1000 words ~ Literary […]

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