Sleight of Heart


This week’s writing prompts for The Mutant 750 Challenge are the image below and word rendezvous.

noun – a meeting at an agreed time and place, typically between two people.

He said it could quite possibly be the most important text he’d ever sent (to her), and would she like to meet him at The Gilded Grasshopper for an early dinner.

Hell, yeah, she would!

With her wild heart pounding, Renée texted back saying she would be there at 6:00.

What could it be? They did business together occasionally, but this was a Sunday. And it’s so out of the blue. Leonard is not the spontaneous sort. He said it was important…What if…?

And Renée allowed herself to hope that maybe, just maybe Leonard had changed his mind. Maybe he realized there really was something there!

“Holy crap,” she mumbled. “What am I gonna wear?”

The news came on and the weatherman was calling for snow that evening. Renée paused to listen, but then tuned it out. She’d ride a ten-speed bike through a blizzard for Leonard. Meteorologists were wrong 50% of the time, anyway.

She made sure she arrived at The Gilded Grasshopper early enough to down a couple glasses of wine before Leonard showed up. She told herself she wanted some time to think; what she really did was allow her imagination to run away with itself.  It was true, anything could happen that evening. By the time she was half-way through her second glass of wine, Renée was up for pretty much anything it could throw at her.

She glanced up as he walked through the door. He was as beautiful as ever.  How she adored that man! When Leonard saw her, he smiled that killer smile that made Renée melt like fatback in a cast iron skillet.

He rested his chin on the ball of his left hand, and gazed dreamily into her eyes. Heart racing and stomach somersaulting, Renée savored every nanosecond of his attention.  While wondering what would happen next, Renée gazed right back into his baby blues. She felt like crying, but didn’t know why. These potential tears were neither sad nor happy, just tears.

“You really are gorgeous, Renée. “ Leonard sighed. “You know that, don’t you?”

“All I know is what you tell me.”

Just then, a waiter appeared and reached to light the candle at their table.

“My name Chin. I am your server this evening. I can start you with appetizer and a drink for you, sir?”

Leonard glanced at Renée’s empty wine glass. “Another for the lady and a glass of red for me, please.

“What about appetizer? Lady look hungry!” Chin joked.

Renée blushed. Although svelte and slinky now, at one time she tipped the scales at 211 lbs. References to hunger and weight still fail to amuse her.

“Hell, yes!” Renée blurted. “Lady starving. Bring Lady Happy Family appetizer and gentleman miso soup!”

“Okay, ma’am,” Chin mumbled and slunk away, bemused. Americans were so weird.

“You remembered I like miso.” Leonard smiled, ignoring Renée’s outburst.

“I remember everything. So! Tell me. What’s this little rendezvous about?

“Oh, right.” He cleared his throat. I’ve been doing some thinking over the past few weeks—



Renée’s heart began to soar. This dream really was going to come true. Leonard loved her. She’d known it in her heart and now his heart knew it too!

Chin arrived with their wine and soup, and served them without making eye contact. Renée took a sip of her Chardonnay.

“About me? What about me?” Her green eyes sparkled with anticipation.

“Well, you see, The Firm has taken on a new partner, Peter Marrano is his name. He’s bright, attractive and funny as hell—“

“What’s that got to do with me?”

“Hopefully everything!”

“I don’t understand…” but she was afraid she did.

“If you’re interested, I‘d like to introduce the two of you. He’s alone and new to the city, and you’re…”

What, Leonard? I’m what?

“Uhh.  You’re umm, I mean you’re, well you know…You’re…”

Renée gathered up her purse and slid out of the booth.

“Thanks anyway.” She smiled sweetly and smoothed the wrinkles from her skirt.

“Wait! Please don’t go. I—“

“No reason to stay.” She finished off her wine in one gulp and set the glass gently on the table. She looked Leonard in the eye and whispered, “Alone. That’s what I am, Leonard. Alone.”

With that, Renée bent over the table and blew out the candle that Chin had lit, and left.


While waiting for her old Buick to warm up, Renée watched Leonard through the restaurant window. He was eating his miso soup and picking at the Happy Family appetizer like nothing happened.

As she pulled out of the parking lot, it began to snow.

The weatherman had been right, after all.




“Lit Match” by thesmallwonder via Deviant At


  1. My gosh, that was crushing. She really built herself up for something that never happened. In fact he was callously trying to pass her on to another guy. That’s a kick in the teeth. And then it starts to snow. Seems he’s not a good one for her anyway. He wouldn’t appreciate her.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Ugh! Getting yourself built up for something you desperately want rarely works out well, and when that crushing blow hits it is excruciating. I can so relate to Reneé. Poor thing–not because of the guy, but because of that feeling of loneliness. Feeling lonely can lead you to do and hope for things that we know aren’t right. Wonderful story!

    Liked by 1 person

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