You can also hear me read this story on: Episode #27 of R.B. Wood’s “The Word Count” podcast.
The prompt for this podcast is “Mistaken identity at the pub…”
* * * *
Kim initially cast a wide net by chatting with nearly a dozen men who responded to her ad. After just two weeks, the field had narrowed to one. His name was Richard. He offered to send his picture early in the relationship. She preferred not to see it, said it wouldn’t change her mind about him.
After weeks of phone chat and texting, she thought he finally understood. “Looks are unimportant to me,” Kim said. “I like you. Let’s not complicate it with physical appearances until we are ready to meet.”
They connected on every level of likes and dislikes, but more importantly, they shared the same family values. He wanted to have children, maybe two or three. He had no clue what she looked like either, yet his willingness to continue their relationship revealed an important character trait in her eyes—he wasn’t fickle.
“I’d be a good provider,” Richard said in one of his emails. “You wouldn’t need to work, unless of course, you wanted to. I guess I’m old-fashioned that way.”
“I like that you’re old-fashioned,” Kim wrote back. “That’s how it was with my parents, and they were happily married for over fifty years.”
Conversation flowed smoothly between them, an effortless union. Following a three-month courtship, they finally agreed to meet at a pub downtown. Kim had dreamt about walking in to the bar, scanning the crowd and seeing a man in a dark suit, a red rose on his lapel to identify him. He’d spot her too, smile, and know she was the one. She’d saunter over and look into his blue, green, or brown eyes. He’d hold her face in his hands and say, “I’ve waited for you all my life, Kim.”
Yes, that was how she envisioned it would happen, but it never did.
On the eve before they were to meet, Kim received an email from Richard, devoid of a subject line. Had he changed his mind? She opened the email in a panic only to stare at a headshot of a male model’s face—large, brown eyes, an aquiline nose, curvaceous lips, all framed by a strong jaw line and flawless skin. Beneath the photograph were two lines:
“Taken last year in San Diego. I can’t wait to see you, Richard.”
I can’t wait to see you. I can’t wait to see you … The line echoed in Kim’s mind. She had thought Richard was different than other men, that looks were not all that important to him. Obviously, she was mistaken.
She shuffled to the bathroom, her heart heavier with each step. The mirror on the medicine cabinet reflected a thirty-year-old woman whose face was perfectly proportioned. “Women would die to have such beautiful eyes as yours,” her mother had said to her all her life.
Kim grabbed a bottle and several large cotton balls from a nearby shelf. She unscrewed the cap and pressed the absorbent fibers to the opening, soaking the cotton balls in clear liquid. She stared at her perfect blue eyes and swabbed her right cheek, wiping away a layer of foundation and blush. She did the same for the other cheek, aware that tears now blurred her vision as she uncovered the hemangioma. No matter how much make-up she applied, she could not conceal the reddish-purple birthmark that blanketed the left side of her face.
Following a good cry, Kim returned to her computer and fired off a note to Richard.
* * *
Richard had hoped that by sending his picture to Kim, she’d be even more excited to meet him. His handsome face had always attracted women.
After receiving Kim’s terse rejection, he realized he’d made a big mistake, though he couldn’t understand why she never wanted to hear from him again. He turned off his computer and sat for a moment with his head in his hands. Muscle fatigue plagued his weary body. He pushed himself to his feet and reached for his cane. A bout of polio as a child had left him with an atrophied right leg. As he hobbled to the bedroom, a heavy sigh escaped his lips. He wondered if he’d ever find a woman who would love him, in spite of his imperfection.
If you enjoyed this story and would like to read a collection of erotic flash fiction and poetry, pick up my ebook Hot Flash, which includes two non-erotic stories too.
Click on the cover and LOOK INSIDE to read a sample.
Available at Amazon:
There is a Kindle App for just about any electronic device (Click here to get one).