Lance had done student reviews at uni. Denise thought treading the boards again might be a good antidote to the stress of his practice.

At his first rehearsal he nailed the lead in a romantic romp, which vexed some of the regulars. He’d play opposite Emmaline Tomlinson, a full-figured woman with a comely smile.

Rehearsal was a revelation. Emmaline’s kiss in the final scene was as round, full and luscious as she was. Denise, he’d come to accept, was a pecker. He hadn’t married her for her kiss.

Emmaline suggested an extra rehearsal. Her place would be perfect—her husband was away.

He hadn’t been in such a state since his teenage years. The waft of perfume as she opened her door didn’t help.

But Emmaline played it straight from the script. No improvisation. Just a cup of tea before he left. And a kiss at the door for good luck.

Long after the season finished Lance imagined Emmaline’s soft, breath-stealing lips whenever Denise kissed him. He imagined them late at night, too, while his wife snored beside him.

 

(this is an edited version of the story A stage for Lance, published on this day, 2010. See about small stories about love)

 

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