Elisabeth Rose

'It's her legs, you know,' said the American woman at the next table, to her friend. 'They go right up to her knees.'
       I couldn't help but listen. Their conversation was more interesting than yours. I knew what you were saying. I didn't need to listen. You were breaking up with me but were taking so long and being so polite I wanted to scream, 'Get on with it. Get it over.'
        I glanced out the window. You'd chosen a picturesque place to terminate our summer holiday amour. The ultimate, fairytale, mountain village right below the fairytale Neuschwanstein Castle. Bavaria. Blue summer skies, pine trees tall and dark, Wiener schnitzel, cherries and strudel and beer.
       But this wasn't a fairytale. This was real. Grim not Grimm.
       An elderly man and his wife stopped across the street and stared up and over our building at the view. Maybe they could see the tallest towers of the castle. I wasn't sure. I couldn't see what they saw. He took out a camera and she crossed to our side and posed, self conscious, smiling.
       'Don't you agree?' you said. I nodded.
The man indicated right. She edged right. Stop. He peered into the camera. Back. She moved back. He peered again. Someone walked past. He stopped. She moved. He called something. A car went by. He raised the camera. She waited. He waved left.
       'I think it's best,' you said.
       He knelt carefully on his small hold-all. Peered again. Rose creakily. She called. He waved. Handed the camera to a passerby. Crossed the street to his wife. 
       'I'm so glad you feel the same,' you said. 'I'm sorry.'
       Two matching smiles. Arms entwined.
       'I'll take care of the bill,' you said and stood up. We were leaving. No. You were leaving. I stayed. Drank more beer. When I looked out the window again they'd gone. So had you.
       I left too. I walked across the street and looked up and back to see what they had seen.
       No view-nothing. A blank wall.
       I looked and I laughed. Then I walked away and I danced a few steps as I went.

Copyright Elisabeth Rose