Dale looked over the produce at the farmer’s market in town. She found fresh peaches and squeezed each one, smelled them, then selected the ripe ones.
As she was loading peaches into a plastic bag, there was a tap on her shoulder. She turned to see her son, Joe, panting, out of breath. She smiled at him.“I need to talk to you.” She cocked an eyebrow.
“How come Cliff has a picture of you in his wallet?”
“We were high school sweethearts.” She returned to packing up four peaches and moved on to examine the tomatoes. Joe grabbed her arm.
“No one keeps a picture of a girl in his wallet for twenty years if she was just a high school sweetheart.”
“Joe, there are things children don’t want or need to know about their parents…”
“I’m asking you straight out, why. I want an answer.” He planted his feet wide apart, his arms crossed. Dale studied his face. She sighed.
“We were in love. Due to a…mistake…we didn’t marry, but we should have.”
“Did you love him more than dad?”
He let her go.
“Don’t compare. It’s apples and oranges. I loved your father. We were very happy together, well suited.”
“But you loved Cliff, too, right? Just as much as dad?”
“Let it be, Joe. I chose your father and Cliff chose someone else.”
“He dumped you?”
“It’s not like that. It was a mistake, a lie. I don’t hold any hard feelings. Your dad swept me off my feet, we married. We were happy.”
“Do you still love Cliff?”
“Water under the bridge.” She turned away from her son to hide the tears in her eyes.
“He still loves you.”
She whipped around to face him. “What?”
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