There is no explicit sex in this 'snapshot' in time. I wish to thank the people who helped contribute to and edit this story, per their wishes, they remain anonymous. This story is totally fictitious; any resemblance the characters might have to persons living or deceased is purely coincidental. No part of this story may be published at any other site without the express permission of the author. © January 18, 2008
He was doing his best to see past the crowd, trying to determine where it had come from. 'There it is again… that's got to be Renee's. After nine amazing years with her, I'd recognize her laughter anywhere.'
As his ears made an exerted effort to sort hers from the other sounds filtering across the room, he realized, 'It's been sooo long since I've heard her wonderful voice.'
Memories surfaced that hadn't been conjured up since that day and he pondered, 'What has it been, a couple of years? Yeah… that long.'
Suddenly, for the first time in ages, his heart came alive as his pulse danced in excitement at the thought of glimpsing someone he knew wouldn't be there. Filled with anticipation, he leaned from side to side as his vision searched, jumping from face to face, working its way through the mass of mingling bodies.
'Damn, where is she,' he wondered as his ears picked it up once more. 'There's no way I could ever forget that sexy tone,' he thought as his heart beat faster, 'it's like the rest of her… so feminine… so… all woman.'
'That's how I met her in the first place,' he recalled. 'I was at a friend's party, and the sweet sound of Renee's laughter drew me like a bee to honey.'
All at once he caught a flash of her from the rear and thought, 'It's her hair, the same perfect color, length, and as always, that beautiful shine.' While Charlie was straining to get a better look, a big gentleman stepped in front of him and he lost sight of her.
Slightly annoyed, Charlie mentally cursed, 'Come on asshole, keep it moving… NO Damn it, don't stop.' With teeth clinched, Charlie seethed in utter frustration as he stood staring at the broadest back he'd ever seen.
Leaning once more, Charlie rose up on tiptoe trying to peek over the large man's shoulders. Just as he was about to step around the 'mountain' now firmly planted between him and his desire, someone grabbed his arm.
A familiar voice said, "Charlie, long time, no see. How have you been, man?" Turning, he came face to face with Matt, an old friend and business associate, who he hadn't seen in quite a while.
'Nooo… not now,' Charlie's brain reeled in despair as he wondered, 'why does it always happen at the worst times? Shit,' he suddenly thought in exasperation as he heard her laughter again, 'I've got to get away from him.'
Instead, he courteously responded, "Matt, where have you been? We've missed you around the old campfires."
No sooner had Charlie uttered the words, than he realized they were a big mistake as Matt immediately began an endless prattle about his latest life and business dealings. Unable to escape the clueless friend in front, or see around the giant behind, Charlie felt trapped, caught between the proverbial 'rock and hard place.'
Every passing second became more excruciating for Charlie as he pretended to pay attention, but his ears were straining to hear her sound. 'I have to find her before she gets away,' he anguished while inwardly pacing the floor. 'I've got to find a way to shake Matt.'
"Are you okay?" His friend suddenly asked. "You look a little unsettled," Matt said, sounding slightly worried, and he was. Knowing Charlie had been through some rough times, he was very concerned.
"It's just been a long week, other than that, I'm fine," Charlie replied. Putting on the best voice of confidence he could muster, he added, "And a little surprised at running into you tonight."
Matt shot back, "Hell man, it's been so long, I figured you and the rest of the gang had forgotten all about me."
"Forget you, not likely," Charlie reminded him with a chuckle, "thanks to you, I met Renee. Remember, it was that New Year's Eve party at your place?"
Suddenly Matt lost his smile, and with a frown put his hand on Charlie's shoulder and said, "Sorry about that. If you ever need to talk about it, feel free to give me a call, anytime."
"Thanks," Charlie said, trying to sound sincere while thinking, 'no offense, but all I need at the moment, is for you to… just go away.'
"Say, your glass is looking a little empty, how about another round?" Matt asked. "I'll do the honors, what're you drinking?"
"Sure, bourbon on the rocks," Charlie anxiously replied, realizing he could shuck his friend, at least long enough to look for Renee.
As Matt headed for the bar, Charlie turned and did a side step around the big 'oaf' who had been standing behind him. Once he had a clear view, he paused to listen while he scanned the room.
Her laughter helped him to finally spot her. As before, she was standing on the other side with her back to him. In desperation, Charlie started making his way across the room. 'I have to get to her. If I lose her again…,' he truly felt, 'I will die.'
While he was pressing and squeezing between bodies, working his way in her direction, she turned to glance around the room. Now it was her eyes that were searching, going from face to face. She appeared to be looking for someone special.
'It is her,' he observed, 'I'm sure of it. She has the same soft eyes… and those beautiful lips, always curling up into that pert smile.' It almost seemed to Charlie that she was aware of him and his effort to get to her.
He thought, 'I'll know for sure the moment she sees me.' Then their eyes finally met and time stood still for Charlie. When she continued to smile, he froze in place.
She nodded to him and his breath came in short gasps as his heart pulsed with emotional high. But, then… her eyes moved on… coming to rest on another man working his way through the crowd towards her. Both their faces lit up as they spotted each other. Her eyes danced the way Charlie always remembered.
Rage flashed through him, 'Why is she giving that guy my special smile? The one she always reserved for me.'
Frozen in time, he watched them come together with a loving hug and kiss. All at once the anger flushed from Charlie's body. Sadness and pain begin to fill the void left behind as he realized, 'Of course… that's why.'
The obvious happiness the couple shared caused the corners of Charlie's mouth to suddenly curl into a tight smile. He couldn't stop his eyes from misting as he thought, 'Enjoy her, love her, but most of all, appreciate her. You'll never know how much she means, until you've lost her.'
With a deep sigh, his mind paused as the overwhelming illusion lifted and he faced the reality of what he already knew. 'It's not her. It can't be. I will never see her again. We buried my precious Renee two years ago… after the car wreck.'
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