For One Moment of Ecstasy
The Wednesday Before
It happened when she saw the dress.
It was a giddy sequined thing a woman like her would never wear, being sold at a ridiculously low price.
Most of the men were away. They were fighting to save the world, leaving the too old, too young, too inferior behind.
Her Harry had joined the Army in 1939, was wounded during a training exercise and Honorably Discharged.
He was under forty, she was no beauty.
He had asked her to marry him and she consented. The Wedding would be this Saturday.
She told her family she was going to Church and left home in the afternoon.
She wore that giddy dress dress under her tattered coat. with a scarf over her hair and her 'wedding' heels hidden in her bag.
As she entered the USO she took off her scarf, checked her coat, slipped on her heels.
For the next few hours she would be the carefree, uncloistered woman she had never been.
Entering the Room
She had taken a few bold steps into the large festooned room when she saw him. For that second he was everything she had imagined.
And he saw her, and maybe, for that second, she was desirable..
He said his name was Rhett she said hers was Scarlet, and they began to dance, laughing in the knowledge that they were lying, and it was perfectly alright.
They danced, they drank, his hands on her body were exciting; she loved how it felt to be in his arms, to be held in the arms of a man who desired her.
He led her from the dance floor, They had a drink, he said something about 'privacy' and they slipped away to be alone....
She grabbed her ratty coat, keeping it folded in her arms, the pretty lining gleaming in the street lights as they got into a cab.
He put his arm around her, moving her closer.
They went to a motel.
It all happened that night.
Later, as he was putting her into a taxi, she kissed him, knowing this the last true kiss of her life.
As the taxi drove her to her destination, she pinned up her hair, covered it, and when the cab stopped, she pulled on her coat, and ran into the Church.
On her knees, she thanked the Lord for this one moment of ectasy.