By Christine Emmert
“Didn’t I marry you once?” he demanded.
I put down my drink to look up to the souce of the question. It had been a long day. The bloody
mary tasted so good, but the question too was irresistible. Then I saw him. He was a mass of
wrinkles and grey hair swirling over his face, around his ears. His look, his slouch, and even his smell
gave me no clue.
“If that’s your pickup line, it’s terrible, I said, dismissively.
He sat down at the table.
“It was a long time ago. You’ve changed too,” he shrugged. “Took me a minute to recognize you.”
Something in my bristled. I had married twice, one happy and one not, but my features were still
clear, my face washed and open to life, my smell drenched in the lavender that my therapist assured me
would calm me down.
“What’s your name?” I demanded, determined to yield nothing of myself. My remembrance of my
first huband tried to wedge into the face in front of me.
“You know my name.” He refused to yield more.
“As you must know mine,” I parried.
“I do,” he nodded. His voice was flat, not even showing me what he wanted from this encounter.
“Well, if I did marry you it was so many years ago. No point in “Auld Lang Syne”.”
He was squinting now, his body language less aggressive.
“I thought a drink…” he said slowly. “We parted badly.”
My first husband had slammed me against the wall and stormed out.
“I think you need glasses,” My voice sounded cool .
“Okay. I can take a hint.” He moved away, back to the bar and was lost in the crowd demanding a final round before happy hour gave out.
I rose, paying the bill to my passing waiter, and went to the door to hail a taxi.
On impulse I looked back. He had disappeared completely, even as a memory.
On the airplane I ordered another bloody mary, sitting next to a man more handsome and groomed
than the man in the bar. Smiling I turned to him, raised my glass in salute, and asked, “Didn’t I marry you once?”
Christine is an actress, writer, director and educator who writes across the genres. Her novel, The Nun’s Dragon, is presently out on Amazon. She has had work published throughout the English speaking world. Presently she tours with her two plays written for the outreach Program of the National Park Service at Hopewell Furnace. Her blog can be accessed at christineemmert.wordpress.com.