Woman in a Chair

David Ridgeway

'Robe violette et Anemones' by Henri Matisse


She was hard for me not to notice.

When your daily routine is truly routine. Same places; same times. You become used to and numbly aware of everything. Any flash of color is noticed.

So when she first appeared, I noticed. The way she looked to the side as she walked. The sound her shoes made on the tile...louder, softly louder as she approached. And her scent, not musky but slightly tangy...like an orange, as she passed.

And it went from there. Same places; same times...routine as she appeared here and there in new surroundings. Sometimes, we were in the same room but more often, we weren't. When I wasn't in the room with her, I'd think of her sometimes and try to recall the sound of her voice.

I'd heard her voice before. Lyrical and clear. It seemed as though I'd heard her voice before I'd noticed her the very first time.

Then, she rested. I cannot describe the scene. She walked to a chair, turned slightly and lifted her hands; then as her knees bent she seemed to float downward as the chair rose to catch her. Her right elbow to the back of the armrest as her left hand draped over her and her wedding ring glowed.

And she smiled as another man approached.

David Ridgeway, 45, lives in North Carolina with his wife and three children.You can e-mail him at dridge4161@aol.com.