Prompt: If I weren't allergic to sweating, I'd...
What came out of my head:
"If I weren't allergic to sweating, I'd be out here every day, strutting my stuff, walking this off, getting back to where I belong." Hannah puffed as she spoke.
"And where's that," asked Mimi, Hannah's best friend.
Hannah focused on her pace and tried not to answer Mimi too quickly. Maybe she'll just forget she asked. But Hannah knew her friend, Naomi, whom she liked to call Mimi, too well and Mimi knew Hannah just as well. She kept in quick step with Hannah and waited for Hannah to reply.
"Whew," Hannah finally said. "I can't believe I let you talk me into this speed walking with you. And in this cold February air!"
"It's not exactly all that speedy. We're not even moving our arms like we should. It's really just a brisk walk. Not too bad, huh? And we'll warm up too!"
Hannah took a breath as she continued the real conversation. "With David."
Mimi understood. "You've been thinking about this," Mimi said, half asking, half assuming. Hannah had married Steve after only a year together. It was Hannah meeting Steve, dating Steve, moving in with Steve and saying yes to a proposal all in one year's time. Mimi was certainly the type to tell her to slow down but at the same time, they were both well into their 30's, in solid careers, relatively stable financially, what could Mimi really say? It would have been cool - except for David.
"Hannah, are things not ok with Steve?"
"Steve is fine. He's OK. He works hard, you know? He saves his money. He wants to build our home. Talks about kids. But..."
"Cherished," Mimi repeated.
"You know, he's not the most romantic guy in the world. He doesn't open my door for me. He doesn't kiss me in the morning."
"Before or after you brush your teeth," Mimi joked. Hannah looked over and rolled her eyes as she blew out another breath of air.
"And David was all that," Mimi said, sarcastically.
"He was," said Hannah.
"And you don't think you're romanticizing him in the least?"
"What? No! He was sweet. He was good to me. If he and I had worked out..." Hannah stopped in her tracks, wiping the sweat off her forehead before letting out another huge sigh and looking Mimi in the eye. "Steven might not have made it."
Mimi looked down the street as she considered her words. "David left, Hannah. Remember? He wasn't ready for a relationship or whatever his problem was and he was too wishy washy. I mean how many times do you need to have him stepping in and out of your life like some stray cat?"
"I know," Hannah said, slightly defensive. "But that was 5 years ago. We were in our 20s when all that went down."
"You've been talking to him," Naomi asked, suddenly realizing this can't be out of the blue.
"He regrets letting me go." Hannah quickly turned her gaze and started to walk again. "He's got a great job in Las Vegas right now. Working with the mayor. He likes it but he sees the messy lives of the people around him, on that strip, you know? And it's made him think about his priorities."
Mimi was silent.
"Steven doesn't even care about my dreams, Mimi!"
"He cares. He's just not as emotional about this stuff."
"Yeah well, David always cared," Hannah said. "That's why I'm meeting him."
What?" It was Mimi's turn to stop suddenly. "Meeting him where? When?"
Hannah looked at Mimi with excitement shining in her eyes. "March 8th," she replied. "Steven's going on a business trip and he's leaving on Friday, the 6th. David is going to be in town really late on that Saturday night. He wants me to meet him at 2 a.m. at the diner we used to go to for Sunday morning breakfast."
"2 in the morning? Is he nuts? Are you? I can't let you go out by yourself like that, girl!"
"I can handle myself, Mimi. I'm a big girl."
"No, Naomi." Hannah began to walk again. She had made up her mind.
March came in like a lion, bringing snow and ice to once again clog up the roads. The groundhog hadn't seen his shadow after all and it seemed like Spring would never come. Mimi woke up the very late on the 7th. She had hung out late with Hannah the previous night. It was a Saturday so she wasn't going to spring out of bed like she did every day for work. No, she would lay there and think a bit about her day. She flipped on the TV. Seeing the names of shows pass her by on the guide, a commercial showing a ticking clock caught her attention. "Don't forget to Spring ahead at 2 a.m." a chipper voice reminded her.
"Wait a minute. It's daylight savings time? Already?" Mimi suddenly felt as if she had the answer but didn't know the question. "Hannah. She's meeting David. At 2. Why 2?" She flipped over to grab her cell phone. She called Hannah but the voice mail picked up after only 1 ring. "Shoot!" She quickly re-pressed the send key, looking to switch over to Hannah's home number. Still no reply. She looked at the clock. "It's 12. Wow, 12! Even she has got to be up by now. I wonder if David came in early." Mimi's mouth twisted into a sneer at the thought of him. "David."
Mimi called around to all of Hannah's usual haunts to no avail. Not knowing what to do, she drove by Hannah's house. No car was in the driveway. "Dang it." Mimi remembered some errands she needed to do in some of the same areas Hannah frequented like the mall and the local grocery store. The hours passed but still no call, no sign of Hannah.
Mimi tried to forget by returning home, plopping back on her bed, and looking for a movie to take her mind of her friend and her soon-to-be past tense marriage. "If it's what she wants, I guess." Exhausted, Mimi laid back and soon drifted off to the lullaby of her thoughts.
When she woke again it was already near midnight. "Oh man!" Mimi sat up momentarily confused. Her eyes adjusted to the darkness of her room and the brightness of the TV that continued to play. She saw the clock. "She's got to be home by now," she said to herself as she felt around her bed for her phone. No voice mails, no missed calls, no texts. Mimi speed dialed Hannah. Voice mail answered yet again.
"Come on, woman. Don't make me go out after you." It was already going on 12:30. Too early to catch Hannah at the diner. Mimi's phone sang out, but it wasn't Hannah's ringtone. It was Mimi's little sister Sasha, who was away at college. She was known for making phone calls at odd times, like when she was a little buzzed at a frat party. That's when all the emotional baggage would be thrown open and Mimi would have to be the one to pack it again. It was 1:30 by the time Sasha was ready to release Mimi and Mimi ran out to her car as soon as her sister was gone.
"Two," she asked herself as she fumbled with car keys. "What is it about that time?"
The diner was a good 20 minutes away, 3 towns over. It was late enough for her to make good time, she hoped. Mimi watched her clock as she shifted through the light traffic. She sped off the exit and waited impatiently as red lights taunted her and slowed her progress. It was 1:55 by the time she reached the diner. She drove around the lot looking for Hannah's car and spotted it near the handicapped parking on the side of the diner.
Mimi looked at her watch, tapping it's face as she looked carefully in the windows for signs of Hannah. The watch was reading 1:57 and Mimi could not clearly see where her friend was inside the diner. She walked in the diner's foyer, peeking through the inner glass door. She saw the familiar long brown waves. Hannah was at the counter - alone. "1:58," Mimi said, stepping back into the shadows of the foyer to wait for David. She looked out the windows expectantly. She looked in on Hannah who was looking around discreetly but with clear eagerness. Each time the door swung open, Mimi retreated back into her corner spot. But it was not David. "1:59."
A pair of young women walked in laughing. "Oh man, it's time to Spring ahead! At 2, you set the clocks to 3!"
"Two," Mimi repeated. Then she stepped out of the shadows and went in to sit next to her friend.
Hannah drew in a breath when she saw Mimi standing next to her but she was not surprised. Mimi sat on the other side of her so they could both watch the door, but Hannah had already come to realize what had happened.
The young women had been seated at a table behind the friends. Still talking about the time, one of the women gasped as she watched the waitress set the time on the diner clock. "Look at that! At 2, we spring ahead to 3. It's as if time went from 1:59 to 3 a.m. and 2 got lost in the shuffle!"
"Oh yeah! How weird," her friend exclaimed.
Mimi smiled a sad smile at Hannah as she quietly sat next to her friend and waited for a time that would never arrive.
What's this about, Monica?
You don't know? Why, it's my own March Madness!
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