by Wayne Scheer
Jack squinted at the clock behind the bed until he could make out the numbers -- 6:47. He tried rolling over and going back to sleep, but gradually remembered the clandestine adventure he had planned for this morning. He could feel the anticipation in the pit of his stomach.
His back ached with the constant, dull pain he had become accustomed to in the mornings, but today he paid it no attention. Careful not to wake his wife, he rolled out of bed and grabbed his glasses. Standing, he stretched his arms upward, feeling his joints snap into place. He touched his toes, still proud that he could do so without bending his knees. He dressed and slipped out of the room while his wife snored softly.
His plan for this morning didn't involve the woman who had slept trustingly beside him for the past forty-three years.
Jack opened the back door slowly, so the hinges wouldn't squeak, and slipped out. His heart pounded, as if it had decided to stop playing backup and perform a solo. After all these years, he and Bonnie did most things together and kept few secrets. But this was something he had to keep from her.
It had been raining recently, and Jack inhaled the fresh, clean air. The crispness of the morning only increased his excitement.
He almost trotted out back, knowing what awaited him.
The first tomatoes of the season would be ripe! Before the rain, the tomatoes had begun turning orange. As he expected they were now bright red, looking like giant cherries.
He carefully twisted one off the vine. Round and firm, he marveled at its surprising weight and the sensuality of its smooth skin. Raising it to his nose, its familiar scent reminded him of past summers. He opened his mouth and tasted its sweet and pungent moistness.
Juice dripped from his lips. His body shivered. His muscles tightened and relaxed as he experienced the exquisite delight of the first tomato of the season.
After regaining his composure, he pulled the remaining ripe tomatoes from the vine.
He'd share the others. But the first tomato was his. He knew his action would seem petty to non-gardeners, and silly to his wife, so he'd keep it his little secret.
Wayne Scheer has locked himself in a room with his computer and turtle since his retirement. (Wayne's, not the turtle's) To keep from going back to work, he's published hundreds of short stories, essays and poems, including, Revealing Moments, a collection of twenty-four flash stories, available at http://www.pearnoir.com/thumbscrews.htm. He's been nominated for four Pushcart Prizes and a Best of the Net. Wayne lives in Atlanta with his wife .. Contact Wayne..
--Wayne Scheer's "Revealing Moments":,
available as a free download at