Waiting for Lily Christianson

I didn’t sleep that night. Instead I relived and replayed my date with Lily Christianson over and over in my mind, each time better than the last. I may have been asleep and dreaming, I don’t know, but if I was, she was with me the entire time.

When I saw us in my mind’s eye I saw an imperfect pairing, though everyone fell short of perfect when measured to her. My smile was crooked compared to hers. The glint in my eyes didn’t sparkle as it did in hers. Each step I took wasn’t measured as hers were, wasn’t so thoughtlessly elegant and refined.

But she still spent the day with me, had a date with me.

And now, with the sun spilling through the window of my third-floor apartment, I realize that I’m not sure how to see her again. I hadn’t asked for a number, and I only knew which street her apartment block was on, but not the actual building itself.

With a sigh I make for the shower, rubbing my eyes all the while. My clothes drop off easy enough, heavily creased and wrinkled from staying on all night.

A quick twist, a slow sputter, and then I’m engulfed in a warm torrent, a spring rain.


I remember when she had walked by the café clothed in white, her umbrella a glowing halo over her head. I had sat there, inside, watching her as she passed and as raindrops passed over her. And as quickly as she had entered the window frame she left it, left me to wait anxiously for her to flash by once more.

She always did.

That’s it, I suddenly realize.

I rush from the shower, rinsing the soapy mess from my hair and body. I barely bother to dry off before I’m wrapped in clothes once more, aiming for the door and the café.

But as my hand moves to grasp the doorknob I hear a staccato tap tap tap from the other side. Eye pressed to the peephole, I see Midge.

My back straightens suddenly, a bolt of fear striking me plumb.

Of course, I open the door to greet her: “Midge! What a surprise!”

“Yes Declan, it is,” she says coolly, before adding, “Did you just step out of the shower? Your hair’s–”

“–wet, I know, and yes, I did.” My words spill from my mouth. I know what question is coming next. “I’m actually just on my way out, so…”

“To meet Lily, right?” she asks flippantly, and then chuckles before saying, “I appreciate the lengths you go to, uhm, research this novel, Declan, but I need you to produce! Guzzling coffee and staring out windows won’t sell a book, no?”

Why is she always right?

“Funny you should say that, Midge,” I sigh.

“Which part?”

“Uhm, both, actually.”

She raises an eyebrow. I respond by fishing a hand into my pocket and producing a small flash drive, handing it over to her.

“That’s everything I have so far, okay?” I smile. “Now, I’m off to the usual spot to see what else I can come up with.”

Midge laughs again, and I share in it.

“Alright, Declan. Thanks.”

“No, thank you, Midge, for hounding me constantly.”

A final laugh and we exchange our goodbyes, Midge going to her office, and I to the café. I smile the whole way there, knowing whole-heartedly that I will find her there, waiting for me as I’ve been waiting for her.

The End

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