Fictography #7 – The Valentine Postcard

Paris, France. Photo Credit: Mary Werzinsky Best
Paris, France. Photo Credit: Mary Werzinsky Best

/FICTOGRAPHY/ def. — The intersection of photography (submitted by readers) and fiction (written by me!).

This week’s selected photograph comes from Mary Werzinsky Best. Mary and I have known each other for a few years, and she is the sister of one of my former colleagues and a dear friend, Chrissie Werzinsky. Both of these lovely ladies were big supporters of Beneath the Mimosa Tree, and I can’t tell you what that meant to me. Mary was a huge help today in getting the photo I needed for today’s Fictography post. I put out a notice on Facebook requesting a photograph of a street in Paris, and within minutes, Mary sent me four beautiful shots from a trip she took to the City of Love. Additionally, at the bottom of the piece, you’ll see a photograph taken from a dear, old friend of mine I grew up with, John Etgen. John’s photograph is taken at night looking down the river to the Eiffel Tower. Thanks for helping me out, Mary and John.
If this piece feels a little familiar, it may be. It’s something I worked on a while ago, but tweaked it for today’s post.
Happy Valentine’s Day to those who have felt love—and heartbreak—in their lives. And here’s to hope when all feels lost.
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Fictography #7 — The Postcard

ValentineCardEmily rolled over in her bed, the glare of the sun creeping through the sheer drapery that hung from the tall ceilings. As she stirred, she’d almost forgotten where she was for a moment, then she heard the movement of cars down below, a honk here and there, as the sounds of a sleepy city came to life. She stretched. She had just succeeded at sleeping through the night for the first time in a week.

She stepped out of bed feeling unusually peaceful despite what she’d been through over the last month. She’d been lucky to find this flat—small as it were—but she was here. And tomorrow she would begin her new position she’d acquired through her friend and former colleague from home who’d been a French transplant for three years now.

The postcard had arrived yesterday, the day before Valentine’s Day. It was still sitting on the diminutive table next to the telephone that looked as if it’d been there since the 1970s. There was a hint of mustiness to the place, and she’d tried desperately to give it a new scent with candles she’d picked up at the local florist in addition to air fresheners. She had cracked the window a bit to let the crisp air take over as well. He was on his way to see her, whether she approved of it or not.

She’d read it once, its edges slightly worn from its travels through the mail. She knew what it said and had no need to read it again. He would be here in the afternoon, and she was debating as to whether or not she would open the door or conveniently not be at home. She wasn’t a game player, but at this point in their relationship, she felt no need to answer to anyone.

Paris, France. Photo Credit: Mary Werzinsky Best.
Paris, France. Photo Credit: Mary Werzinsky Best.

She poured herself a cup of coffee. The coffee maker had been her first purchase when she moved in. She was admittedly addicted and relied on two good strong cups each morning to get her going. She looked around and admired the place. She loved the fact that the flat was fully furnished and that she only needed to buy the necessities: her own sheets, two pillows, towels, picture frames for her black and white photographs, and the wreath for the front door.

She could see the postcard from the two-seater table that butted up next to the kitchen counter. She was tempted to read it again. His words. His writing, there on the page, his thoughts. Where did they go wrong? How could it have come to this? All it would have taken was an apology and she wouldn’t even be here; she’d be back in London. He still had six months left on his contract with his job. He would have finished up that job, and then they’d have moved in together, wherever that would have been. They had talked of spending time in America. They had dreamed of being in Paris. Together. The City of Love. The Eiffel Tower.

She had walked the streets last night and seen it lighting up the night sky. She’d felt happy. One apology. One heartfelt, meaningful apology. She would have been able to let it all go. She would have been able to move on. They could have been happy.

Her coffee cup was empty. She walked to the window, opened the drapery as wide as it could go, and looked down the busy street. People were hustling about now, the sidewalk stretched out. She could see the sidewalk stretch until the street made a little curve, and it was out of sight.

Perhaps he would walk up that very street later. He would ring her bell.

And maybe, just maybe, he’d be armed with an apology worth waiting for.

Eiffel Tower. Photo Credit: John Etgen.
Eiffel Tower. Photo Credit: John Etgen.

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