Alice Loves John / John Loves Alice
Alice looked nervously at the crystal clock ticking softly on the vanity. Twelve fifteen. Turning to the large circular mirror she leaned forward ever so slightly to better focus on the image reflecting back.
“One of the blessings of old age,” she thought, “is that one’s eyesight fades in timely fashion to the appearance of one’s wrinkles.”
Reaching out to her reflection she felt the thin layer of dust on fingertips.
“There was a time this would have upset me terribly,” Alice shook her head. She sighed daintily and continued to brush her fine hair gently off her forehead. “But that was then.”
The phone call had startled her that afternoon last week. Marybeth always called at three o’clock to see if she needed anything from the store for dinner. Alice suspected it was her daughter’s attempt at lessening the guilt she had about not visiting more often. This way, if Alice did ask her to pick-up a loaf of bread or some teabags, Marybeth could rush in, drop the items always with the excuse that ‘Howard and the kids were waiting dinner,’ and then be on her way. But the phone rang at two o’clock last week.
Alice reached for the violet crystal perfume bottle and gently applied a drop to her index finger then touched behind each ear closing her eyes as she smelled the at first strong, then drifting fragrance she had worn since her youth….