Fiction

The Outbuilding

By: James Bates

Maggie and I were relaxing watching television. Finally, I couldn’t contain myself any longer and made a big point of clearing my throat as a prelude to what I felt I had to say. In response, she casually glanced at me and I took it as my chance.

             “You know, Mags, I noticed you posted some old photos on facebook today. I can’t believe you put up that old building.”

            “That cool outbuilding on my parent’s farm? Why?”

            “Well, you know…” I stammered, now, for some reason suddenly at a loss for words, not to mention embarrassed . It obviously hadn’t meant the same thing to her as it did to me.

            “No, Matt, I don’t know. What is it?” She asked just before she got distracted and started fiddling with her phone. A text had come in.

            “Well,” I ventured, “Don’t you remember? That night after we’d gone to the movie? We’d been dating for a couple of months. You suggested we go for a drive and we ended up out there. On the back forty of your parent’s farm?” I watched my wife, searching for signs of recognition. There were none. She was concentrating on reading her message. Finally, exasperated, I spit it out, “Geez, Maggie. It’s where we first made love.”

            She set the phone aside and looked up. “Oh yeah, that,” she said and grinned. “Don’t worry, sweetheart, you weren’t so bad.” She was joking, I think, as she patted me on the arm and then turned back to her phone, completely losing interest and changing the subject. “I just got a text from Mom. She and Dad want us to come visit this weekend. The fall colors are gorgeous, she says.” She took my hand, “It’d be fun. We’ve got nothing pressing planned. It’s only a couple of hours drive.”

            “Still, about that photo…” I wasn’t ready to give up on this, what was in my mind anyway, an historic event.

            She seemed completely disinterested, but then again maybe not. She snuggled up next to me and toyed with a button and my shirt. “After we chat with my mom and dad for a while and get caught up maybe you and I could take a little drive. Go and check out that old outbuilding you’re so keen on.”

            Was that a provocative smile she gave me? I think it was. Hmm. My imagination began running wild.

            “Really? You sure?” I ventured, pretty much ready to go right now.  

            “Absolutely,” she winked, squeezing my arm. “It’ll be fun. Take a little drive down memory lane so to speak.”

            I reached for her and hugged her. “That’d be great,” I said, breathing in the scent of her hair, imagining us together out in the country. Alone.

             Maggie kissed me quick and stood up, already texting her Mom that we were coming. I watched as she headed toward the kitchen, thinking what a great weekend it could be; time alone in the country and the wide open spaces. Checking out that old outbuilding again. Kind of romantic. My heart was already beating rapidly.

            Then she turned her head and smiled at me over her shoulder, “As long as you don’t mind if I bring my camera. I might get some really good pictures.”

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