Friday, March 2, 2018

It’s too late for us, don’t you agree?



Scores of men lined up. Each one in turn presented his printed Programme to her, asking for an autograph.
One said, “Natasha Horowitz, I just love your music.”
“I’ll never forget your name, as long as I live,” said another.
And another one said, “You remind me of my girl, back home.”
Joining the line I had no idea, at first, if she caught sight of me. Natasha gave a nod here, a word there to her fans, asked each one of them for his name, scribbled a short greeting, and signed it for him. Then, as I drew nearer, she took a step back and exchanged a quick look with Mrs. Babcock. 
With a flash in her eyes Natasha asked, under her breath, “Did you tell him where to find me?”
“Who, me?” said the woman.
Turning away from her she said, this time out loud, “I suppose the whereabouts of a performer are no secret, so what took you so long?” 
Astonished at her remark I looked at those who stood ahead of me and those who stood behind. Then I asked, “Who, me?” 
“No, not you,” said one. “Me! Me! How about me?”
And another one asked, “Who, him?”
And a third one chimed in, “That guy, you mean?”
To which Natasha said, “I do.”
And to me she said, “It’s too late for us, Lenny, don’t you agree?”
And I asked, as if I had no idea why she would resist me, “Late for what?”
“For love to start all over again.”
“You’re wrong, Natashinka.”
“Am I?”
“I’m here just in time, to ask you one thing.”
“Which is what?” 
I handed her the Programme, which I had just snatched from the next person in line, and said, “Will you sign your name for me?”
She asked, “What name shall I sign?”
“Natasha,” I said, “Kaminsky.”
“You know that’s not my name.”
“Not yet. But soon, it will be.”
I knelt before her, opening my arms, my heart. 
“Please, do it, Natasha,” I said. “It’ll be a great honor for me.”
Then I dug the gold locket out of my pocket, and offered it to her. She opened it, uttering a cry of amazement.
“Oh! It’s you, it’s me,” she breathed. “And look, there’s no tear.”
“Well,” said Mrs. Babcock. “D’you like him?”
And Natasha said, in a soft tone, “I do.” 
And I said, in a tone that was even softer, “I love you, sweetheart, and I always will.”
In a heartbeat she bent over, heat surging between us, and before I could utter another word, kissed me long and full on my lips. 

Lenny in Dancing with Air


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"The writing of this intense story of love and heartbreak is what makes it a classic. You'll go through the wringer with this one, but you'll never forget it."
 ~J.A. Schneider, author

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