One Reply to “7.25.2013 Journal Prompt”

  1. They used to meet here, back when things were easy. They dashed through the winter rains and caught a bus to Markham and 8th, then found their booth in a cafĂ©. Leon liked the fish and salad combo, Celia dug into the Shepherd’s pie. Every Thursday it was lunch here and then back to their respective jobs. He was a doctor’s office help, taking classes at university and hopping for med school. Celia? She danced then. Strong back and legs and a gift of grace landed her a scholarship. Such big talk they shared, bigger plans. They parted ways the summer of eight-two. He got married a journalist within the year and he invited her. She didn’t attend. She heard they ended up in New Zealand, finally. He may have been a doctor, but she suspected he let his wife work harder. He’d always wanted to loaf by the sea.

    On a night when the moon was so clear she could imagine living there, Celia had a vision. It left her unmoored, then sent her to back to church. From there it was as though things were meant to be. She had found a way back to life and the life was part solitude and part service. It was the service part that filled her. The solitude pared her down but it also brought life into sharper focus, what mattered and what did not. She awakened in the mornings with a vivid need to give back what she found by accident the night the moon hung low.

    Still, when they visit this part of the city, Celia wonders sometimes if it was the wrong turn in the road, the moon watching, her visionary moment gone mad, the church that finally brought her to her senses and the work that now claimed her. She felt Leon’s presence like a happy laugh in the street. Only once did she start when she thought she saw his face at the bus window. It haunted her all day and into the evening as she tried to pray. It was as she lay half-sleeping that she mused it could have been his son and this cheered her. Yet, likely not. Leon had left for New Zealand thirty years ago. She had stayed and made a life out of other wonders. The past was something that lingered only if you let it. She turned over and, softly snoring, moved on.

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