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weekly to employ as a prop. I no longer felt so free to poke and roam about the house. My rational voice kicked in again: C’mon, the place looks nice, your father seems happy. Cynthia is healthy—she can take care of him, save you some worry and trips home. I was pretty convincing until my eyes drifted toward the mantelpiece. My parent’s wedding photo was gone! It had, in fact, been singled out and removed from its spot among several other framed family photos. I felt as if my Mother’s grave had been desecrated. I heard voices and approaching footsteps. Clutching the magazine to my lap and pressing my feet to the floor to steady myself, I hoped to appear nonchalant. As the front door opened I observed my father sling his arm around Cynthia to escort her inside, a simple gesture he had never afforded my mother. “Surprise!” I chirped in feigned good will. Standing and setting the magazine aside, I explained, “I arrived early.” Self-conscious and guilty, I quickly added, “Well, that was silly. I guess you saw my car. Anyway, I hope you don’t mind I let myself in?” “Of course not,” Dad reassured, smiling broadly. “You’re always welcome home. I’m just sorry we weren’t here to greet you.” I shrugged and forced a return smile. Dad gently supported Cynthia’s arm as he guided her toward me. She was wearing pale blue linen slacks, navy pumps and a modest white blouse. Her hair was splotchy blonde-covering-gray, teased underneath for body—a style favored by the aging beauty parlor set. (Thankfully she was not disheveled-looking from their very public romantic antics.) Dad’s face lit up as he looked toward Cynthia and proclaimed, “This is Cynthia, the best thing life has doled out to me in a very long time.” - 38 -

The Fine Line Issue 3  

The Fine Line presents its third compilation of art, fiction and poetry by contributors Francis Raven, Michael Young, Dorothee Lang, Raj Sha...

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