TITLE: The Brevity of Roses
GENRE: Women's Fiction
No one else dined alone. Meredith sat at her usual corner table by the window, watching heavy-laden clouds slide in low over the town and wishing she had waited until tomorrow to spray her roses for mites. Sighing, she turned back to her scallops Provençal, but within seconds, a murmur to her left caused her to glance up again. The sound had come from the three younger women across the room staring wide-eyed toward the restaurant entrance. She followed their gaze. They watched a man—a darkly handsome, exotic man—as the host led him through the dining room.
The shock of recognition nearly choked her.
His face angled away from her, but she could tell. It had to be Ravi. As he took his seat at a nearby table, she lowered her gaze and seized her wine glass, draining it to give her heart time to find its normal rhythm. A mixture of joy and fear and memory jumbled her thinking. Should she speak to him? No; let him make the first move. Should she try to leave now before he noticed her? No; he knows where I live. She was the only reason he would come to this town. But why would he come here, now, after all these years?
When he looked at her now, what would he see? She tucked a stray lock of hair behind one ear and smoothed her neckline. If only she were wearing something in salmon. Ravi had loved her dressed in that color; it brought out the blue in her eyes, he said.