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19 October 2006 @ 10:36 pm
Theatrical Muse: Week 147: Question 147  
Name: Dr. Sid Hammerback

Fandom: CSI: New York

Word Count: 711

Write about a memory of summer.

His arm wrapped around the young girl, the teenage boy already looked old. They were the same age, but she always had a youthful look about her, whether it was the way her hair fell down her neck, brushing her shoulders slightly, or her brilliant smile. He seemed, already, wise beyond his current years, chest bare to the early afternoon summer sun, beach style shorts covering a thing lower body, hair short and coiffed, rising over the top of his head like a small wave. He was staring into the future, into life ahead, but she saved him, pulled him back with a kiss, wet mouth across his lips, slandering his far off look into a final oblivion.

It was hot, but water poured from a fire hydrant which a local fireman had opened up and put a sprinkler cap on, spraying into the air like so many summer moments already passed, and those yet to come. Bikes were lined up against a length of fence railing near someone’s house, ready to ride down to a deli to get ice-cream, or to a pool, to have a proper swim. Children dashed across the street every which way, dashing out of the way if a lookout, jaunty up on a concrete post, armed with binoculars, called a warning. Most of them were meant to be elsewhere, visiting grandparents or doing household chores, but it was so hot that all sense evaporated and slowly dripped into euphoric playtime. Sid and Marianne stood there, side by side, one arm wrapped around each other, watching it all.

The girl’s stomach muscles rippled, expanding and contracting as she breathed in and out, her eyes peacefully kept on the myriad scene before them. The shared silence of the pair broke suddenly when she smiled, grinning and breaking away from his grasp and dashing before him, still holding one hand and tugging him along with her into the spray of water. He smiled too and they danced in the falling droplets, scrabbling in play, her voice shrill and squeaking when he tickled her, finding her lips again, those so recently departed, and pecking them carefully, gently, as if they could ever break if he was too rough. Her hair, red and vibrant, darkened under the water and stock to her face and then they were off again, running, darting, playing, living.

There were pictures taken that day. Someone had snatched their father’s Polaroid camera and was offering shots for two dollars a person, four for two, eight if you wanted two pictures. Sid and Marianne put together the money for two shots, carefully adding together spare change and ice cream money, and the handful of coins they had for a bus ride to central park. The two photographs that were taken that day looked almost identical. In the first, they were standing together, him a head or so taller than her, their faces grinning, the frill of her polka dotted bikini ticking her skin. In the second one, he had moved suddenly, wrapped her into a hug, squeezing her tight, the side of his face resting against the top of her head ever so slightly. They looked, in imperfection, an ideal set of people, happy, matched and enjoying what was left of the day, the disappearing sun, a fleeting set of ideals, a soon to fly sense of ruthless youth.

When he looked at them years later, Sid traced her face with a finger hovering over the decades old photographs, the shots that had been taken before children, before lifetime careers, before work opportunities, before university, before buying their own home, before crashing planes had haunted his sight and destroyed his life. Before she had been wrenched away from him, they had paired eight dollars to get two photographs taken, they had forsaken their trip to the park, had arrived home and wet, but they had had, had always had, in that brief moment, an everlasting reminder of their summer memory. Faded as it was now, preserved as it was, under plastic, in an album, it was still there for him to look at. A reminder that his wife had lived, and that while she had, and even when, now, that she wasn’t, that she had been brilliant.
Current Mood: nostalgicnostalgic
Current Music: It Won't Be Long - The Beatles