Sitting at the small, round table, he rested his smiling face against the palm of his hand. A smoldering cigarette between his fingers, curved ash ploom atop it. He hadn't noticed the burning sensation as a bit of glowing red flower again fell on the photo album. He hastily brushed away the ash while still gazing at the pictures. Without missing a glance, he clumsily found the glass ashtray and put out the smoke and left it to die amongst the pile of smelly stubs. His fingers yellow.
Shaking his head and slightly laughing, he shook with a chill from the afternoon breeze. Bunching his sweater to his chest, he fumbled for a fresh smoke from his pocket.
He looked up while lighting the cigarette in his lips; smoke about his face.
“You know baby, I cant believe we did it. So many years of heartache and yelling and fighting and, and...” He was giggling now as he lightly shook his hand at her, the other throwing the match on the ground, smoke clearing. "You ....you always knew. Always knew it would come true....always knew it.” His animation dying down to a whisper, gazing again at the photo album as he turned another page. His smiling, aged face again resuming its post against his palm, fresh smoke in place.
Whispering. “You always knew,…always knew baby. We did it....you and I.” Taking a drag off of his cigarette, he smiled and shook his head softly giggling again. “Nope, never gave up...never gave up, no siree. You and me all these years.” He turned another page as his giggle became even softer. Those eyes…those eyes that saw right through him. There they were as the first day he saw them so many years before. He again looked up to where she sat across the table from him.
“Those eyes of yours always knew didn't they baby? They always knew.” Becoming quiet he just sat. They stared at each other. She said nothing. He said nothing. A tear rolled down his cheek....then another and another. He lowered his head, dropped the cigarette slowly on the table. Smoke rolling in front of her as he cried uncontrollably. Hiding his face with an arm, his other reached up in anguish. Silent sobs. No air. No comfort. She just looked at him....with those eyes. Exhausted he lay slumped on the table whispering. The ever greying sky overhead. “You knew...you knew my love, you always knew.” He started crying with renewed pain.
Behind him, the nurse walked out into the courtyard and softly addressed him.
“Mr. Camp... are you okay?” She gently put a hand on his shoulder as he looked up at her, squinting through white sky and tears. “What?....what?”
“Mr. Camp, its time for your medication. We should go back inside now okay?”
“Oh, oh yes, of course. It's getting cold too isn't it?” He bundled his sweater closer to his chest.
She nodded softly. “Mm Hm. Yes....yes it is. Come now....your beds waiting”.
“Okay….alright.” He started to get up, but stopped suddenly. “...but what about, what about her? Can she come with me? Please?”
Walking over to the other side of the table, the nurse smiled quietly at him as she picked up the framed portrait of his lady love from many years earlier. Most beautiful she was. A striking redhead. Eyes that could see through your soul. She had sat with him every afternoon for the last 20 years in the infirmary courtyard. His constant companion.
“Yes, of course, she can come with you.”
He smiled back at the nurse through tired and wet eyes.
It started to rain......