The Old Vicky

By L. Vancil
Copyright 1998  All rights reserved

"You remember the old vicky on the hill?" she asked.  She was gazing into some memory that I could not capture.  My memories get a little slicker each day, sliding away on the warm sun. "You know, that old monstrosity with the three story tower in front."
"Four." I said,  remembering its hippie colors.
"Yeah, had this little set of windows right on top.  Wasn't enough space up there to swing a cat."  I said. 
"Yeah, that's right."  her memory sparked in her eyes. "They showed me the view up there once."  She smiled, remembering.
The old jealousy burned its way through my heart.  "He."  I said.
Her face turned in my direction.  A different light flickered in the corners of her blue-gray eyes.
"You old fraud."  she accused. "You're still jealous.  After all these years.  After we've been together most of our lives you are still..."
"No."  I cut her off.  I wanted to think about something else.
"Are too, you old fraud!"  She said smiling the hurt away.  Slowly another thought crossed her face.
"How did you know?"
"Don't pull that with me, Mr. Meeks."  She said using her teacher voice.
"Pull what, Mrs. Meeks?" I asked innocently.
"You said the place was too small to swing a cat.  How'd you know?"
I looked at her and considered. Should I admit my sin -- my one dalliance in more than fifty years of being married to the same woman?  Did I know her well enough?  Lately I had been thinking a lot of confessions.  You do when you get this close to the end.  Every morning is a surprise.
Every day a birthday present.  Lately, my preoccupation was with the confessions I felt welling up inside and here was another.  I can't play poker with her she reads my face like an open book.  Too late I realized she was studying me more closely than the hand work she carried with her everywhere.
"Well?"  She said.
"They took me up there once." I confessed.
"She." she said smiling.  The kindness on her face couldn't be mistaken.
"You knew?"  My sin-- my closely guarded memory, my terror of her hurt.
She nodded.
"I knew.  But, I knew who you would come home to.  I knew I loved you enough.  I knew you loved me enough."
I couldn't believe it.  She knew, from the first.  All those years.  The feeling of her forgiveness lifted my confession.
"You are not as bad or as secretive as you imagine, no, not by a damn sight.  But you are Mine Mr. Meeks.  Warts and all.  And after all these years I love the warts as much as I love you."
My mouth was hanging open.  "Now, close your mouth and be quiet.  I want to watch the sunset."
I sat back in my chair.  The feeling in my chest must have been one of the stains on this old soul being washed away.  I love that woman.

Copyright L E Vancil, 1998  All rights reserved

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