by LJ Frank
It was after midnight. Neither of us could sleep. We looked into each other’s eyes. We both noticed it. But, what was it? We decided to get out of bed and slowly walked out onto the patio after pouring some red wine into two-goblets. The goblets along with some utensils came with the sturdy, old stone house we were renting. Standing next to each other, partially naked, we sipped our wine gazing up at the clear night sky as a waxing gibbous moon rose over the placid lake spread out before us. The moon appeared to linger above the distant tree lined shore. Its light shimmered across the surface of the waters. And the surrounding woods were quiet except for an occasional rustling sound. There was no movement of air except for our breaths.
Carla turned to me and whispered, “It seems our life is made up of provocative shadows like the fleeting showers of moonlight. I’m finding the interludes that surround our impassioned rendezvous’ are without real meaning. They feel existential…and I wait impatiently for the next caressing moment we have with each other…and away from those who know us in the city…though not knowing we are here together. There are moments my heart feels like it will burst from the anxiety…knowing where you are and where I am during day and the night…and the desire to lay naked in each other’s arms.”
“I know. I know. Please believe me. God help us. I try to imagine the grace of an invisible god allowing us to be with each other….nonsense…it becomes a matter of transcending the seemingly endless days …and that we will find ourselves in each other’s arms again…and I know we must treat our moments together as if they were our last.”
We set our goblets down on a nearby wood table. Our hands touched and our bodies wet from desire pressed against each other. Our lips embraced. The struggle, the dreams, the trusting, and planning seemed worth the reward of being in each other’s presence.
We stopped kissing for a moment when Carla asked, “Did you see the black and white photographs on the dresser in the bedroom?”
I nodded. “Where did they come from? They gave me an odd feeling. But…?”
“Did you notice one of the photos was of a couple…they were both naked from the waist up….and…”
“And the woman had a birthmark on her right breast just above her nipple in the same location as the strikingly similar looking birthmark on your chest in the same exact location.”
“Did you look closely at the photo? There were two wine goblets on the patio’s wood table…in the same location we placed our goblets just moments ago.”
“Good grief. Fortuity…? I don’t know.”
“Joe, did you look at the back of the photo?”
“The names on the back were listed as Josephine & Carl, a self-portrait. Underneath…it read, The moonlit morning of ….it was the same day as today but….the year was 1899.”