If Only for a Moment
by gina below
The glass door pressed heavily against him as he used all of his waning strength to push it open. There was a time when youth and strength were a reality, but both were only a memory now. His southern upbringing and ingrained chivalry would not allow him to precede the exiting young woman, but it took everything he had to hold the door for her. The tremors in his arms embarrassed him and he tried to hide it behind a smile as she passed by him into the parking lot with a soft thank you. As the door closed behind him he took a deep breath and headed into the interior of the restaurant and with measured careful steps he made his way to an out of the way table to wait.
As he put his shaking frail hand on the back of the chair to pull it out, his eyes were drawn to the lone dark haired woman sitting in the back by the windows. As he glanced at her he caught her easy smile and returned it. He was not prepared for the memories her resemblance evoked. Her dark hair, her comfortable smile, her clean and simple beauty, and he was instantly in another time, another place. His left thumb automatically went to the gold band that still encircled his ring finger and he could almost smell her wonderful smell as the memories nearly overwhelmed him. There was a time when she waited for him as this woman waited for someone, with that smile that she saved only for him. In his memory she was here again, time was erased and they were together. He missed her, oh how he missed her.
But today he would let her sweet memory keep him company and he would pretend she was here waiting with him for that grandson of theirs, the one that looked so much like their own son. The unknown woman’s resemblance was strong enough to make the memory real, if only for a moment. He could easily recall an old conversation, hear her laugh at something he had said, watch her eyes light up with that mischievous sparkle, touch her hand under the table, and rest his hand in the small of her back as he held the door for her. He would inhale her scent and hold it close and she would be here and he wouldn’t have to miss her, if only for a moment.
“Grandpa” the familiar voice drew him from his memory and he looked into the eyes that were so much like their sons, so much like hers. “Are you ready to get something to eat” his grandson asked with the slightest bit of concern in his voice. “You bet” he replied as he slowly and feebly rose from his chair. He looked around just the briefest moment before he realized he actually sat here alone. He turned back to glance at the dark haired woman and her dark eyes caught his and she smiled. He smiled in return and nodded a thank you. She would never know the gift she had given him, her smile, his memories, if only for a moment.