Fiction Romance Christmas

       Karie Blake sat in the diner in the center of town looking out at the snow that was beginning to fall. It had started to stick to the ground creating a white fluffy powder, creating a very beautiful scene. She loved the snow, they way it looked, the way it felt under her feet, and most importantly making snow ice cream. She smiled as she remembered when she was a child, how her mom would have her go outside and place a large white bowl on the porch to catch the snow for the ice cream.

It had been a long week and she was exhausted but looking forward to being off for the New Year’s Eve holiday and the following week. You would have thought that the few days off at Christmas would have been enough time off, but it wasn’t. She needed a real vacation. She was ready to get out of the city and the snow and head to someplace tropical. The sun, waves, beach, and complete change of atmosphere was just what the doctor ordered!

            When the waitress showed up with her lunch, she noticed a painting on the back wall that she had never seen before and she ate here a few times a week. 

            “Sally, where did that painting come from that is hanging over there?” Karie asked as she pointed across the room.

            “It’s from a local artist. I can’t remember his name. He’s a friend of Bill the owners of the diner. I can ask him for you,” Sally replied.

            “If you don’t mind and it’s not a bother, please. There is something really familiar with it. I am not sure if it is the painting itself, or style of the artist,” Karie responded.

            “It’s not a problem. Give me a few minutes and I will find out for you,” Sally said as she walked back towards the kitchen.

            What is it about that painting that looks so familiar? Why can I not stop looking at it? Have I been there before? Karie had so many questions running through her head about that painting. She couldn’t stop looking at it.

            She started eating her turkey club and chips when a man walked through the front door and headed towards the kitchen. There was something as familiar about the way he walked and his features as there was the painting that she couldn’t stop thinking about.

            Wait, it is impossible! It can’t be! About that time Sally walks back to the table and says, “Karie, you are just in luck. The artist you painted that painting you asked about, just walked in! I can go tell him that he has an admirer and have him come introduce himself!”

            “By chance do you know if his name is Mike James, do you? The last guy that walked in, looked like Mike,” Karie asked.

            “Honestly, I think so, but I am not 100% sure what his name is! I can still go ask if you want me too,” said Sally.

            “I am not sure now. I mean if it is Mike, I am not sure if I am someone he would want to see,” Karie said in a very low uncertain tone.

            “Well just let me know. How is your sandwich? Do you need anything else?” Sally asked.

            “Not right now, Sally. Everything is great as usual,” Karie replied.

            As she sat there eating in silence and reading through some emails on her phone, she noticed a pair of brown boots walking up to her table. She knew it wasn’t Sally. Her stomach went into knots as she began to slowly lift up her head. And there he was. Mike James. Mike used to be her best friend until junior year of high school. She never understood why he stopped speaking to her, but here they were eight years later, staring at each other. She wasn’t sure if she should speak first or not. Luckily for her, he spoke first.

            “I wasn’t sure if that was you at first Karie. But when I asked Sally, she told me your name and that you had been admiring my painting for the last forty-five minutes and asking who the artist was. It’s been a long time,” Mike said.

            “Hey Mike. There was something so familiar about that painting and I couldn’t and still can’t quite put my finger on it. But it makes more since now knowing that it is one of yours. How have you been? It has been a long time. Please sit down,” Karie said as she pointed towards the chair in front of her. “This is long overdue, but I immediately thought about never knowing why you stopped speaking to me junior year. What did I do?”

            “Well, you were always the one to be blunt and straight to the point. I see nothing has changed. Honestly, I was a pissed off teenager who had fallen in love with his best friend, that dumped him to go to prom with the star quarterback, Chris Parks,” Mike said.

            “Mike, really? First, we were going as friends. Second, I never knew you felt anything for me other than friendship. Third, I had the biggest crush on you, but you never seemed like you would cross the line. The only reason I told Chris Parks yes, was because I didn’t want to fall any harder for you than I already had and going to prom with you, would have intensified what I felt. Please forgive me and let’s start over,” Karie responded with tears filling up in her eyes.

            “Wow, Karie. It seems like we are both idiots! Yes, let’s start over,” Mike said as he leaned over the table and whipped the tears from her eyes.

            They set in that diner and talked for hours. They taught about all of the highlights that had happened over the last eight years. At the end of their conversation Mike asked her out on their very first date, for dinner and she said yes. 

            It’s never too late. Love has no time barriers.

January 28, 2022 12:37

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