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"The Question" by Virginia Foley

Brian is handsome under moonlight: black shirt, grey jacket and peppered hair. My husband and Brian’s wife have stepped away from the table on a patio where we are dining. The jazz band is taking a break. Fragrant thyme pokes up between the flagstones under our feet; waiters top up our champagne. I love Brian, I always have, we’ve shared so much of the past. Fifteen years ago, he and I were both alone, he recently widowed and I newly divorced. Friends told me to be careful. I didn’t understand. He was my sister’s husband. Hers. Not mine. Yet still, a question I’d wanted to ask so many times over the years hung between us like a tangled web. I blurt it out. “Do you think you and I could have been a couple?” My late sister’s husband stares at me, his magnetic green eyes penetrating mine. He says nothing and, like leaking balloons, my words dissolve into the thyme. I’m none the wiser.

Virginia Foley writes in Stratford, Ontario, Canada. Her work has been featured in Dorothy Parker’s Ashes, Read650, Talking Writing, Roi Faineant, 5-minute lit, and Split Rock Review among others. Connect with her on her website:

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