Trophies (Flash Fiction)

Susanne was dazzling. Her long brown hair was held up in a beautiful bun and kept in place by a white flower carved from ivory. A column of diamonds hung from her ears. A necklace of white gold dangled another diamond in the valley of her ample cleavage. Her black gown was made from the finest silks and tailored perfectly to fit her every curve. Bob smiled as she approached him. He held out his arm, and she grasped it with her left hand that seemed burdened by the diamond on her finger. “Come, my dear,” he said. She gave Bob a soft kiss on the cheek with her red lips and they made their way into the crowd.

They wove their way from circle to chatty circle inside the grand ballroom. The room was aglow from the soft light of a magnificent chandelier and filled with the mild murmurs of important conversation. Bob made his introductions, and Susanne had her hand kissed several times. She smiled. She laughed. She was positively radiant. More than once, Bob caught glances from the other men as they walked off to meet more of the guests in attendance. Bob beamed with pride.

The final cluster of people met for the evening was tightly knit. Bob wedged his way in with confidence. It was the mayor, a pudgy little man with a pot belly and a severe case of premature balding. His wife, Bob’s ex, stood quietly behind him.

“Good evening, Brian,” Bob said. “I trust you’re enjoying yourself.”

Brian coughed on his unlit cigar. His eyes bulged at the sight of Susanne. “Yes,” he said, clearing this throat, “a magnificent time. Quite pleasant.”

“Catherine,” Bob said with a nod. He pulled Susanne close and felt her bosom press against his arm. Catherine did not smile or respond. Bob took his trophy and turned. They exited the ballroom and Bob just smiled and smiled.

They waited while their car was brought around. The night was cool and still. Stars lightly dotted the clear sky. “Did you enjoy yourself?” he asked.

“I suppose,” said Susanne. She rubbed her hands at her elbows.

“What’s wrong?” Bob asked. The car came around. It was a 1967 Bentley. Bob opened the door for her.

“I don’t know,” she said. “It was nice meeting everyone, but you didn’t let me answer a single question.”

Bob snapped his head back. “Why on Earth would I want you to do something like that?”

Susanne sat in the car with one leg hanging out. She looked up, stunned. “Isn’t that why you married me?”

Bob knelt down slowly and smiled. He gently touched her leg and guided it inside of the car, closed the door, and walked to the driving side while shaking his head.

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