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The Lovers

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The lovers meet in secluded places. Tonight, it is the little cafe on the Rue de La ____. They hide their fears from each other, just as they hide their faces from passers-by. They are so very discreet.

The warm wind reminds them of the passage of time, and they stand as one person. He leaves a tip. Glancing about, they melt into the crowd, only to meet once more at the street. A nod, a smile, and then he hails a cab. He holds the door for her, then closes it. He overpays the driver, turns abruptly and walks off into the twilight.

She is a diva, with the voice of an angel. She is known worldwide, as is her husband the conductor. It is not her husband she will be with tonight, however. Her lover is attractive, in an odd sort of way. But her attraction to him is not based on appearances.

The cab pulls out, and turns right at the first corner. They pass two intersections, then turn right again. In the middle of the block is a little hotel, once stylish, now quaint. It is frequented nowadays by tradesman and visitors to the city. The cab pulls up to the curb, and the driver gets out and opens her door. She feels his awe for her fame, and the discomfort it brings him. He will not accept her tip. She watches as he climbs into his cab and drives off into the evening. She throws a silk shawl over her head, turns and enters the hotel.

He will have arrived before her, and arranged for the room. They are each known within the hotel. While it is obvious that they are not married, no one who sees them could possibly think that important. They are the epitome of romance.

Room 212, always the same room. If it is not available, they have agreed to not meet for that night, despite their passions. It is part of th...

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...sliding in its channel. He imagines her stepping out and floating through the lobby and out the front door, into oblivion. Why has he done this? The question nags him; he cannot answer. Wiping his eyes with his damp handkerchief, he straightens himself up and enters the lobby in her wake. She is gone; he restrains himself from running after her, afraid of what he would do if they met. Swallowing his feelings, he strides through the door, ignoring the magic and mystery that they have woven in and around the hotel. He stands on the curb, looking first to his right, then to his left. In the early morning light, no one else is visible. He hears traffic, but the sound is muted by the heavy mist. Raising his collar, he walks off into the wind, the rain blending with his tears, the noise of the wind absorbing his sobs.

It is done; it is over. He is alone once more.
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