It amazed me that he stood there before me. What kind of joke was this, anyway? I had finally found myself moving on. Slowly. Surely. Taking baby steps each day. And now this?
I heard myself laugh out loud. He looked over at me. Was that concern? Puzzlement? Confusion? What, exactly? Damned if I knew.
Only a week before I couldn't stop thinking about him. After all these months there it was. A reminder. A huge reminder.
I had been cleaning up, or trying to. Getting myself ready for winter, which had seemingly kick-started the day before. I stood there and pulled shorts and T-shirts from my dresser drawers. Instead of moving slowly, carefully, I tore through the piles of clothing, tossing things left and right. Made my way to my closet, digging through the racks, shelves, whatever I came across.
Onto the bed, the floor, hanging from the doorknob. Wherever there was space, I used it. And then - there it was. I picked up my fluffy blue bathrobe and started to laugh. It was so soft, so cozy. And then I remembered.
I sat down on my bed, my body unsteady. Before I knew it I was laughing so hard tears streamed down my face. My memory never failed me, she wouldn't now. Even when I wanted her to.
I drifted back to that morning. The doorbell rang. I was in the shower, he was in bed. Barely decent. He needed to answer it. For some reason. Maybe he knew who it was? He had to get the door. I don't really remember why.
What to do, where were his clothes? He grabbed this robe and threw it on. I had heard him mumbling as the water rained down over my head, my face. My mind a blank as the hot stream pelted my neck and shoulders. I relaxed. Breathed heavily. I could have stayed in there all day. Maybe I should have.
By the time I stepped out, dripping, sopping, completely soaked ... he stood there before me, box in hand, my fluffy and soft blue robe tied around him.
I stifled a chuckle. "Who was it?" I asked him. He held up the box. "What's in the box?" I continued. He shrugged. "Wha--" He placed it down gently, shuffled it over to the side with his bare foot. He touched my cheek. I held my breath, backed up a little. Looked up at him. Reaching for me. I pulled back, slowly. Hesitantly. My resistance was not real. It never was. I exhaled. "We have to get going," I told him, turning away from him.
"Sssh." A whisper. Barely audible. His hands on my shoulders. My towel falling to the floor.
Sometimes the warmth of his touch amazed me. His hands, the strength of his grasp was too much for my heart to take, too much for my body not to respond to. He dropped my robe, and before we knew it we were face to face. He smelled like morning.
I shook my head. No need to live in those memories. No need to pain myself that way. Remember the good times. Why bother, right? He was gone now.
Only then - he wasn't. He stood here. In my living room. In front of me. No way out.
I turned, tried to focus. Looked over at him. "Huh?"
"You're shivering." I half-nodded, unaware of my body's betrayal. "Are you cold? Maybe you should put this on?"
There, in his hand, up above his head ... my fluffy and soft blue robe.
I heard myself sigh. Loudly.
Write a piece - 600 word limit - about finding a forgotten item of clothing in the back of a drawer or closet. Let us know how the item was found, what it is, and why it's so meaningful to you or your character.
The Red Dress Club.