Romance Fiction posted March 13, 2019

This work has reached the exceptional level
Two online friends meet in person

The Meeting

by Catmusings

Henry didn't want to meet his online friend Sara in person today. Why did she have to suggest the meeting? And why did he agree?

The toast he had just eaten stuck in his throat. He clutched his stomach and wanted to throw up. Maybe he could cancel and say he was sick.

Henry and Sara shared similar interests in literature and classical music. They were both 30 years old and they liked dogs, though Henry wasn't allowed to have one in his apartment building. Sara had a Black Lab named Fred and would tell Henry all about his antics.

Henry looked out of his apartment window at the snowflakes falling.

"Come on, snow," he urged. "Start a blizzard and then I won't have to go!"

Abruptly the snowflakes ended and the sun came out. There was no escaping now.

Sara lived with her mother. Henry felt like he lived with his mother since she called practically every five minutes to check on him.

"Why don't you ever go out and have some fun? You're turning into such a recluse, Henry. Whatever happened to that nice girl, Jenna?"

"She broke up with me, Mom."

Jenna couldn't handle how everything changed after the fire. She couldn't handle how Henry had changed. What if Sara couldn't handle it either?

The fire had destroyed his woodworking shop. All his tools and livelihood disappeared in an instant. He was lucky to get out alive.

At ten to two, Henry arrived at the busy coffee shop and claimed a seat.
He ordered a coffee from a girl with spiky blue hair.

"What happened to you?" she asked.

"I got burned in a fire," he replied.

"I'm sorry to hear that," she replied. He hated people pitying him almost as much as them avoiding him once they'd seen his disfigured face.

Sara said that she would put a carnation on the table to identify herself. He looked around, but she hadn't arrived yet.

In the din of talking and whirring coffee machines, a blind woman with a white cane struggled to make her way through the crowded room. She ordered a latte and a couple who were leaving offered her their table near the window.

Her long auburn hair stood out against her teal green winter coat. She wore no makeup, but she didn't need any. Hers was a natural beauty. She was like a pale, delicate princess with the sunlight streaming in the window, bathing her in a golden glow.

After she sat down, she rummaged around in a plastic bag and pulled out a pink carnation that she placed on the table.

Sara was blind! Henry's stomach clenched and he couldn't breathe.
She twirled the stem of the carnation in her hand and tapped her foot while waiting. Waiting for him.

For a moment, Henry couldn't budge. Finally he took a deep breath and approached her.


"Is that you, Henry?" She turned towards his voice.


"Sit down, please," she said and he pulled a chair over, scraping it against the floor.

An uncomfortable silence hung between them.

"I'm sorry I didn't tell you I was blind. I thought if I did, you wouldn't come," Sara said.

"I almost didn't," Henry admitted.


"My face."

"What do you mean?"

Henry took Sara's hand and touched it to his leathery cheek.

She ran her fingertips over the burn scars. The cool caress of her fingers soothed him like a massage.

Tears came to Sara's sightless green eyes. "How terrible. You've suffered so much."

"I'm better than I was." Henry coughed and cleared his throat. "How did you become blind?"

"My mother had German Measles when she was pregnant with me. Let's take a walk. It's too noisy here," Sara suggested.

They left the coffee shop with their coffees and Sara holding onto Henry's arm.

"I can smell spring coming," Sara said breathing deeply, her face upturned to the sun. "I love the feeling of the warm sunshine on my face."

"All I smell is the exhaust fumes," Henry said, but he loved watching her enjoying herself.

They walked down the street laughing and talking, picking up where they left off from their online banter. Only this was even better since it was real life.

"Spring is a time for new beginnings," Sara said. "So what do you say?"

"About what?"

"You and I as a couple?"

"I like the sound of that," Henry said. Sara kissed his scarred cheek and he hugged her close.

Unexpected Romance writing prompt entry
Writing Prompt
The topic for this contest is: Unexpected Romance. For poetry or prose. The story brings two people together, two people who don't necessarily realize that they belong together but the audience is rooting for them.
Pays one point and 2 member cents.

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