Sunlight twinkled on the drinking glass, shimmering on the dark wood table in the center of the visiting room. The dingy whiteness of the walls melted into the sterilized steel chairs, swallowing the table sets into the monotony of the room.
The patients of Sunny Oaks Asylum were quiet as always, seemingly waiting for their visitors as they did any other day. Dorothy waited in her chair, her small nose supporting the thin gold frames of her seeing glasses. Her body was clad in a house coat shaded a light blue and a pair of dark blue slippers warming her aging feet.
Crows feet did not frame her glossy blue eyes, but the skin sagged dutifully around her lids and cheeks, her arms withered into loose skin just as her legs had done so over the years. Other patients stayed in their wheelchairs obediently, the locks on their heads ranging from dark silver, to pure white, and to a variety of vibrant hues; regardless of hair color, gender and age, every patient sat and stared ahead aimlessly.
A clock down the hall chimed faintly. The broken chimes were winding down through the feeble attempts of staying on duty, but the nurses understood that the first few visitors would be arriving soon. The patients did not move when the silence was disturbed by the chiming clock.
Sure enough, the green swinging doors opened to the nurses wing and presented three silhouettes. As the bodies grew closer, the nurses could clearly identify the sturdy frame of an old man, a young girl, and a mother. The aging man’s face was bare of hair and his hair was still flowering from his crown, the brown locks combed and sprayed to perfection. He talked casually with the middle-aged mother, her taut skin youthful compared to his loose flesh. The young girl between them walked dutifully to the sign-in desk.
A nurse received them with a warm smile, her eyes glittering as it bounced between the members of the trio. “Well hello! Glad to see you all back today,” she sang to them, glad to talk to someone that didn’t actually work at Sunny Oaks.
“Hi Ms. Rosie,” the little girl squeaked as her mom signed the visitor’s sheet. Rosie O’Klaer smiled sweetly at the young girl and made small talk with her before the two girls made their way down the hall. Rosie waved at the pair as the old man picked the pen and scrawled his name on the sheet.
“Hello Mr. Lemon,” Rosie chirped as she began to click her nails on the keyboard of her computer. Mr. Lemon smiled softly at here, wagging his finger playfully at her.
“Now,” he laughed huskily, “what have I told you? Call me Sonny little Miss Rosie. I ain’t gonna tell you again.” The corner of his mouth curled upwards and gave a carbon copy of his trademarked lopsided grin. His playful grin turned mechanic as the playful glint was hushed in his eyes. “She been the same?” his tired voice sighed, the smallest trace of hope diminishing with every letter.
He asked the same question every week without a new answer, asking without hope. Sometimes, he would wonder about why he ever asked at all when all it did was leave him with a new mark axed into the side of his hollowed heart; after a few hours, or even a few days, of contemplating, Sonny couldn’t come up with a reason other than the fact that he cared about his wife. That dilemma never vanished throughout the years, but neither did the love for his wife.
Rosie smiled shyly, glad to hear him playing with her. Her smile faded when he brought up his wife, unable to grasp the love that he had for the woman. All she had to do was nod and he understood.
Sonny heaved a sigh and made his way to the den-like meeting area where all the patients had been gathered. He pulled a chair up next to Dorothy and looked out the window with her. His shaky fingers patted and rubbed the back of her hand, her withering arm stiff as the rest of her body.
He didn’t know if she was aware of his presence, but in his heart, he felt that the strong bond of their love would shake the chords of her heart awake. With that thought, Sonny contented himself with sitting next to his wife, watching the trees dance to their own tune. It was inevitable when he closed his eyes that he would think about how they had met.
The night they met was just beginning, a few rays of sun straggling over the horizon and tingeing the clouds a shy pink. Girls were dressed in pastels as their poodle skirts melted into matching pressed shirts, the saddle shoes tapping softly against the tiled floor of the soda shop. Boys and girls sipped on ice cream floats from clear glasses as the jukebox faintly presented itself in the corner of the room. Near the jukebox was a table of boys, none older than 19, the youngest of the group no younger than 17. Sonny sat on the outside of the booth, his teeth gleaming white as his smoothie sweat in front of him.
Sonny was laughing and joking with his boys as Elvis rocked in the background; any on-looker could see that the boys were a close-knit group. This was especially apparent to the girls sitting at the counter on the other side of the shop, but Sonny only had eyes for one girl.
Dorothy Walker was resting against the wall in her seat, laughing with a couple of her friends. She was fully aware of the sneaky glances and sly smirks when her eyes met his. For some time Sonny had been peaking at her, thinking that she wouldn’t notice his piercing stares. More often than not, she would catch his gaze.
When she first noticed that his attention was directed at her, Dorothy felt as if her privacy had been intruded upon, but as she caught more of his stares, she felt more expectant of them. Every time her eyes captured his, Dorothy felt a rush of exciting softness; she felt naturally comfortable with his eyes staring into her soul, silently screaming that he wanted her to be his. A blush would now creep up her neck as her face flushed white and make Sonny’s gorgeous smile grow wider. Sonny would often wink before pulling his attention away from her.
Electricity would shoot through her every time they shared a moment and she would feel the queasiness in her stomach as her heart raced against itself. Once she began to enjoy their secretive stares with each other, Dorothy could feel the electricity warming her blood and exciting her senses.
It was that night, after weeks of sharing these secretive moments—connecting with each other with stares that shook the marrow of their bones—that the two of them had first talked.
After spending a few hours at the soda shop, not letting their paths cross once, Dorothy slipped out the entrance and into the alley that headed to her home. Thoughts of Sonny’s strong arms and sharp features in his face were running through Dorothy’s head when a figure came out from behind the shop. Her heart stopped before she realized that the person in front of her was Sonny Lemon.
Her chest felt the sudden skip of her heart, her body offering itself to the strong scent of fresh pie and Old Spice. The scent made her weak in the knees and her head light, spinning as it reveled in the attractive smell.
Sonny gave his trademark lopsided smirk. “Hi Dorothy. Can I walk you home?” he asked her. “A pretty girl like you shouldn’t be walking alone.”
Dorothy would have huffed if it was anyone else who had said that to her; she could outrun anyone in the town and everyone knew that. She knew that he had a point, but she was still indignant about being put so low. When she realized that she needed to respond, she cleared her throat. “I’m fine on my own, Mr. Lemon. Thank you very much for your offer.” Her attempt at pushing past him failed as soon as his smile grew limp.
“Could I at least have the favor of being in your presence, then?” he whispered into her ear, his hand gently taking hers to his puckered lips. Dorothy swooned as Sonny stepped closer to her, completely aware that the palms of her hands were beginning to spot with nervous sweat.
His breath warmed her neck and jaw when he talked and Dorothy let herself enjoy the feel of his body so close to hers. Sonny let go of her hand and went to lift her chin with his finger. They looked into each other’s eyes as Dorothy felt her belly jump with excitement, her mound tingling uncontrollably.
She couldn’t tear her eyes away from him, even when his hand returned to the curve of her cheek. The blood rushed past her ears and muffled her hearing. At the moment, Dorothy was only aware of a few things: the touch of Sonny’s hand gently touching her cheek, his warm breath caressing her skin, and the closeness of his lips to hers.
Gasps came to her quietly as Sonny’s warm brown eyes slowly closing as he moved his mouth closer to hers. She was subtly aware of the rapid heaving of her chest and the heightened build up of the teasing kiss. Her lips pushed out slightly, her neck beginning to crane up to her teasing lover.
The heat from his lips kissed and teased at the air upon Dorothy’s lips, her heart accelerating at an unthinkable speed before she felt the cold absence where his mouth had leered. Haze disappeared from her vision as she realized that Sonny had pulled back with a lopsided grin. He was chuckling softly as he backpedaled. “Come on Dorth,” Sonny called out, pulling her towards him with a flip of his head.
Dorothy felt a cold breeze on her feet and the spot of sweat that had broken out on her body. She had been shocked into silence for the first time in her life but went to catch up with Sonny before he got too far.
A silence enveloped them as the clicks of their feet echoed off the gravel. Pebbles crunched under their saddle shoes as the crisp, summer air surrounded them. “That sure is a pretty shirt. Where’d you get it Dorth?” Sonny queried as his hands found their way into his pant pockets.
“Oh, do you really? I made it in Home Ec and I wasn’t sure if it was any good,” she fretted, nervously tugging at a lose piece of string on the hem. “I plan on making a coat next week.”
Sonny smiled at her ease with the topic and wanted to keep the comfortable aura about them as long as he could. “It looks swell Dorth! I’d bet my bottom dollar that your coat will be the talk of the town once you start wearing it regularly,” he complimented with a smile, the illumination of the street light barely shining on his model teeth.
Dorothy felt her heart swoop at the flash of his smile and compliment. As they made small talk, they were silently aware of the brief comment that they made: each brush of their hands against each other made the couple catch a hitch in their breath. Most often, Dorothy would find herself blushing at the most naughty and intimately pure thoughts that would cross her mind with every touch of his skin. It was almost as if the touch of his skin would spark the thoughts into existence and she would blush at the thought of letting his arm wrap around her waist.
They arrived to her house and perched upon the little picket fence. Silence fell between them again and Dorothy looked down at the dirt and gravel, thinking of something to say. “Well, thanks for walking with me Sonny. It was real nice of you,” she smiled at him, her perm bouncing as her head lifted. Sonny smiled at her and told her that it was his pleasure.
Later on that night, Sonny lay in his bed with the sheets thrown off his sweating body, a crumbled tissue still clutched in his hand. He threw the tissue away and closed his eyes. Thoughts of Dorothy filled his head: her soft hair, the smell of flour and sweets on her skin, how the light would make her eyes glitter, how she might look in her night clothes, how her hips might swivel as she bounced up and down or how she may sound when moaning his name.
Even thinking about Dorothy in a sinful way made a bad taste cover his tongue and his arms ache to hold her close to him. He fell asleep staring at the moon, yearning for Dorothy to be next to him bed. He couldn’t admit it to anyone else be he knew that he was made to marry her and make her a Lemon.
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<a href="http://www.lushstories.com/stories/love-stories/love-at-a-stand-still-part-1.aspx">Love at a Stand Still Part 1</a>