Creative Nonfiction

“Here—” He pulled a card out of his wallet. “Take this.”

The front was a picture of him, smiling and without a thought, I smiled back.

“Goodnight!” He called, walking backward away from my front door as he grinned like an idiot.

I smiled back and laughed. “Goodnight!”

“Oh—” he called. “Check the back.”

Flipping the card over, I could see that on the back were clearly written ten little numbers—his phone number.

“So you don’t forget me!” He smiled, then dashed away.

I could never forget it. And I never will. How can I—we had a hundred things in common.

I know, because we made a list.

At the top of the list was “Both like lists.” Not too far down was “Same allergies” because we were in awe that we were allergic to the same medications. Number 10 was “3 sibling families.” Farther down the pencil-scrawled list, you could find the words “Scottish heritage” and the vague word “Music.” We would have written “Human” on the list just because we were so happy to both be everything the other person was. Everything seemed perfect and even looking back now, many years past, I can’t disagree with it.

It was perfect.

They always say that love comes when you aren’t expecting it and generally I don’t think that’s true, but the night I met him it was. It was by chance that we sat together and it was by chance my hand fit perfectly in his and it was by chance that time after time we were brought back together. After I met him, I began to expect love a little more every day, and love came through.

One night I was walking alone across my quiet college campus and his steps fell in perfectly with mine. We walked and we walked and we walked. I don’t know what we talked about. Knowing me and knowing then, our conversation probably revolved around classes and work and families and before I knew it, we had walked for hours.

He walked me back to my dorm and at the door, he reached into his wallet.

“Here—take this.”

It was a small business card and on the front was a picture of him, professional and handsome, with the most natural smile I’ve ever seen.

“I write,” he continued, putting his wallet away. “My website is on there. Look it up—maybe you’ll find something you like.”

As he walked away, he turned as though he had forgotten something.

“Oh—” he called. “Check the back.”

Flipping it over, right underneath the name of his website, was his phone number, printed in small, perfect type.

I floated to my room, holding the card to my chest. His little picture was propped up on my nightstand where he became the first thing I’d see in the morning, the last thing I’d look at at night.

Falling in love with him was the easiest thing in the world.

When it was raining, he’d leave his umbrella for me at the door and walk back to work without one. When I was sick, he’d buy all the gluten-free food he could find and leave it at my door. When I was in the store and couldn’t get reception and had to buy us tea without his input, I’d buy the Earl Grey, and later he’d say “I meant to buy Earl Grey tea for us today because I was just craving it.” And I'd pull it out of my bag and the way he looked at me—I never wanted to be looked at by any other man in any other moment. I always wanted just that look—like I was magic.

We would write together, sing together, laugh together—boy, did we laugh together.

I didn’t save many pictures of us together. One doesn’t tend to take pictures of their own home as you never imagine it not being there and that’s what he was to me. He was my home, my steady thing. I never thought I’d need pictures of him; I always just thought I’d look across the couch and see him there.

Now, I have one picture of us together and an empty couch, and sometimes, when I’m feeling homesick, I look back on that day.

We were at a wedding. It was a Saturday and at the last minute, I let it slip that I didn’t want to go to this wedding alone. That’s all it took. He bought himself a new shirt and a new tie and a new vest and he ran a wet comb through his hair and when I saw him, there was that feeling again. He looked at me and I looked at him—and magic.

During the reception, my sister pulled us away into a side room of the chapel.

“I want to get your picture,” she stated simply. “You’re matching.”

In surprise, we looked at each other—and we laughed. The picture turned out beautifully. The exact moment we realized that my dress matched his brand-new tie, that by some chance, on this date we did not have planned twenty-four hours prior, we were perfect—and we laughed.

After the wedding, we stayed and stacked chairs and wrapped candles and swept floors. He didn’t know the bride or the groom or the bride’s parents that were crying in the side hall. He didn’t know the cousins that told him “knock-knock” jokes or the wedding planner that had him rearrange the cast iron sconces at the front of the chapel. He didn’t know any of those people, but he knew me and he told his own terrible, lame jokes to the cousins and he hugged the bride’s mom and he told the wedding planner that everything was beautiful and as I watched him be a good man, I knew I was going to love him for forever.

That night, after I slipped out of my heels and he loosened his tie, we ate pizza and talked about the wedding and the guests and the jokes and he said, “I think we’ve spent enough time together.”

In 24 hours' time, he would be dropping me at the front door of my dorm again, but this time there was no laughing, no pulling out the wallet, no promises to not forget.

There was never an explanation or apology or redaction. There was only a picture of us at a wedding and a business card, with his number on the back.

July 21, 2021 14:07

You must sign up or log in to submit a comment.


21:38 Jul 28, 2021

***SPOILER ALERT*** Oh! I did not see the ending coming. It was devastating! Looking forward to reading more of your stories!


Brittany Weaver
02:10 Aug 03, 2021

Thank you so much Mariana! I hope to add happier stories in the future!


Show 0 replies
Show 1 reply
RBE | Illustrated Short Stories | 2024-06

Bring your short stories to life

Fuse character, story, and conflict with tools in Reedsy Studio. 100% free.