She had been crossing Elm Street at this intersection for over sixty years, sixty long years; heck even before the street had trees, even before it was paved or there were traffic signals. Lani marveled at the change, the area and what was once a small sleepy town.

She stopped at the corner and read the placard before she pushed the button, then she waited for the light to change. “Now let me see, I need tomatoes, cukes, green onions, some liver for Chester and a little sipping whiskey.” Lani never made lists and she did not expect to start, her mind was good.

Just then the light changed and she looked to make sure the cars had stopped before she stepped off the sidewalk to cross the street. All at once a man stepped in beside her, took her hand and they crossed the street together. She was not taken aback when she felt the hand for everyone around town knew Miz Lani and they would often assist her.

They had to rush because as they reached the center of the street the light turned to “Don’t Walk.” The hand held hers and they maintained the same pace. When they got to the curb, Lani turned to thank the man; but uh, ahhhh . . . . . . who was this man? She did not recognize him.

“Morning Lani Sue, you still look as lovely as the first time we crossed this intersection together,” a deep bass voice said.

She looked up, looked up to see who this man was. She squinted because the sun was behind his head. Quickly, she looked down and saw polished black shoes, a quality suit, light blue shirt, blue and red striped power tie and a full salt and pepper beard with a pair of large black horn rimmed glasses, and no hat.

The man looked down. “Don’t remember me do you, don’t remember your first lover?”

Lani stepped back turned to block the sun and so she could see the whole man. He was about six-six, over a foot taller than she, a man with small brown eyes which had a special twinkle in them and a big friendly smile. “No, the hand feels familiar and the voice has a familiar resonance to it, but the body I do not recognize,” she said.

“Lets go to Groggins and get a cherry chocolate shake and put a bag of peanuts in it,” he said as he leaned over and lightly kissed her cheek. “You are still are wearing that Venusain Lilac and it smells as good as it did back then.”

Lani stepped back, looked again and bawled, “Todd! Todd Schlitzler, my Todd. You came back, you came back hopefully to me.”

They kissed and went into the Diner for coffee. They had a lot to talk about.

~ Tom ( ~
© May 2004



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