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The Only One For Me

by Jeremiah Tolbert

An elderly couple lay on their stomachs in the grass of a hillside under a starry sky. The air is warm and moist, not like it is these days; dry and brittle like old glass. The wife sighs in contentment and they press against one another in a sideways embrace.

"Jessica left James yesterday," she says.

"James always was a jerk," he mumbles. A firefly bobs past overhead. "Anyway, why?"

"He was using the machine to cheat on her," she says. "With her."

He chuckles. She slides an inch away from him.

"You wouldn't ever do something like that, would you?"

He laughs louder. She swats him gently.

"No, no. It's a damn fool thing to do. I can't see the attraction of it, to be honest."

"Why not? A younger me, prettier..."

He thinks for a moment. "Pretty might have mattered to me back then, and sure, I'll look at a finely shaped woman at any age, but if pretty was all I cared about, we wouldn't have lasted ten years, let alone thirty."

"Thirty-one," she corrected.

"Ah, right. Sure, I could travel back to meet you before, and you might even be willing, but... to be honest, my dear, you were terrible in bed then."

"So were you!"

"Exactly. That was before you learned how to do that thing with your tongue, and..."

"I see the point. Now shh. Here we come."

A small blue convertible pulls onto the shoulder of the road below the hill and parks. The top is down. A much younger version of the couple tumble out of the vehicle, laughing, chasing one another. Minutes pass, and the younger couple spread a blanket in the grass.

"My, but you were handsome then," she whispers from their hiding spot on the hill.

He nods. "And energetic too," he says and presses record on the video camera.

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