It was always when Kevin's feet fell easily into the lift and fall of his morning run that his mind also fell into an easy routine. It always involved thinking about what business meetings he had to attend in the following week, the strategy sessions he had to arrange, before his mind would wander to his mother alone at his family home and then to fretting about needing to call Seb and Julie and Mark too.
That morning, when the sun was particularly high and his mind was in full swing, he suddenly thought of Andrea in that red dress. Her hair looked like a golden waterfall and her cheeks were a little red; her eyes green like apple juice. Her feet were smiling in the black heels he'd bought her that Christmas. "You did good," she'd said with a grin when she unwrapped them.
He could feel sweat on his forehead now, and he knew this run would be one that would motivate him throughout the day. It was only a little sweat, and mostly because of the sun, but it was satisfying. His hands were enjoying the heat and with time, he knew his t-shirt would be damp with ambition. Ambition to forget.
Then the thought of Molly entered his mind. For a second Kevin shut his eyes hard, but the image wouldn't budge. Sweet in a light blue tea dress, a white cardigan and orange fingernails, she smiled nicely at Kevin as she put his coffee on his desk and giggled with embarrassment as the coffee spilt over the edge. "Hey, don't worry about that," Kevin said, trying not to seem rude while being flustered and ignoring the smile creeping on his lips while she smiled a gorgeous smile back at him.
He isolated his thoughts for a moment with a sip of water. He cursed himself briefly, but then ignored where his mind was heading.
Weak; helpless; alone.
He didn't even know who he was applying these thoughts to. It could have been to either of them.
Molly had worked late the evening before. She oozed ambition and yearned for confidence, but her eyes gave her away. But there was something else there. Something gorgeously hard-working, and sweet too. Whenever she looked at him, her eyes felt like sun rays on a Saturday afternoon; pleasant and far from overbearing and unwelcome.
He hated himself for that a little.
His feet weren't moving as swiftly and evenly as Kevin was used to. He frowned and before he knew it, he tripped, and had bloody hands. Frustrated, Kevin rolled his eyes and headed home.
Pushing forward the hospital room door, Kevin's heart began to race faster; palms sweaty; throat in need of water. There in front of him lay Andrea, attached unwillingly to pieces of machinery; attached to a heart-wrenching truth that nagged violently at Kevin's heart, night and day.
Kevin pulls out the flowers from behind his back. "We always thought red roses were generic, didn't we? For the books and the movies and the songs." Kevin let a single tear roll down his cheek. "This isn't a movie sweetheart."
Red Dresses & Red Roses,
The Girl in the Moonlight.