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Mortimer and Myrtle: An Absurd Love Story

An older married couple trying to recognize each other in their living room

Note: This is a little experimental story.

Mortimer was seated on a small sofa in the living room, when Myrtle came in from the kitchen and sat on the sofa next to him. She wore a blue floral dress and a pearl necklace. Her gray hair was tied in a bun. Mortimer wore a blue, pin stripped suit with a gray tie. His white hair was parted in the middle and neatly combed. He was reading the newspaper and had one leg folded over the other.

After a moment he said, “Well, hello there. I haven’t seen you in here before. Are you new here?”

“No, I’m not new. I’ve been here on this sofa many times before, however, I’m not sure whether I’ve seen you here before, but you do look somewhat familiar.”

“I don’t know. I have a good memory for faces, but I don’t recall seeing you here before. Do you come here frequently?”

“As a matter of fact, I do come here frequently. Sitting on this sofa in this living room is one of my favorite places.”

“That’s interesting. This living room is one of my favorite places, too,” Mortimer said. “Now that I think of it, you do look somewhat familiar. Yes, I believe I have seen you before, but I cannot recall when or where. “He coughed slightly, clearing his throat, “When was the last time you were in this living room?”

“Why, I believe I was here last night after dinner. In fact, I sat here on this very sofa. Yes, last night after dinner.” Myrtle added, shaking her head emphasizing her answer.

Mortimer had a puzzled expression on his face as he looked at her. “That’s strange,” he said. “I sat on this sofa last night after dinner, too, but I don’t recall seeing you.”

“I don’t recall seeing you either.”

Mortimer sat silently for a moment, “I am trying to remember where I’ve seen you before. Now it will be bothering me. I can’t stand it when I’ve seen a familiar face and can’t seem to recall where we’ve met.”

“I’m the same way,” she said. “When I see a familiar face I want to know where we might have met.”

Mortimer leaned back on the sofa and rubbed his hands, “What is your name?” he asked.

“My name is Myrtle. What’s yours? Perhaps if I hear your name, it will ring a bell, so to speak.”

“My name is Mortimer Redgrave.”

“Hmmm, Mortimer Redgrave, that name sounds very familiar, but I can’t quite place from where we might have known each other.”

“Where are you from, Myrtle? Perhaps that will help us remember. I’m from St. Louis, Missouri.”

“My, my, isn’t that utterly extraordinary. I’m from St. Louis, Missouri, also. Perhaps, that is where we met.”

“That is extraordinary, utterly extraordinary! But I don’t recall ever meeting you in St. Louis. Well, let me see. How long have you lived in Blue Hill, Maine?”

“Well, let me see. I moved to Blue Hill in the spring of 1975. Yes, that’s it. I moved here in the spring of 1975.”

“You did. My, my, isn’t that extraordinary? I, too, moved here from St. Louis in the spring of 1975.”

“You did. That is extraordinary, utterly extraordinary. I can’t believe we haven’t met before today.”

“That does seem strange. We both moved to Blue Hill from St. Louis in the spring of 1975. I, too, can’t believe we haven’t met. But you do look familiar. It is indeed utterly baffling and extraordinary that we can’t recall having met.”

“Yes, I agree. It is utterly baffling and extraordinary that we can’t recall having met. I think, however, if we keep trying we will recall where we have met.”

Mortimer and Myrtle didn’t say a word for a moment. They looked at each other, trying hard to remember.

Finally, Myrtle asked, “Would you like some tea?”

“Yes, I believe I would. I could go for a cup of tea.”

“What kind would you like?”

“English Breakfast, please, that’s my favorite.”

“English Breakfast,” Myrtle repeated. “Why that’s my favorite too. Isn’t that utterly extraordinary?”

“Yes, yes, that is utterly extraordinary. Both of us are from St. Louis, Missouri. Both of us moved to Blue Hill in 1975, and both of us consider English Breakfast tea our favorite tea. That is utterly extraordinary.”

“Yes, it certainly is,” Myrtle agreed. “Now, I’ll get the tea. It won’t take very long,” she said and left the living room.

While Myrtle was gone, Mortimer went over to a small statue on the book shelf and touched it. He then turned and looked around the room then went back to the sofa, walked behind it and ran his fingers over the back. “This is such a nice room, so cozy. I enjoy coming here every day.”

After a few more minutes, Myrtle came into the room with a tray and two cups of tea. “Well, here’s the tea. Do you like lemon? You look like a man who would like lemon in his tea.”

“As a matter of fact, I do love lemon in my tea.”

He picked up his cup and took a sip. Myrtle placed the tray on the table in front of the sofa and picked up her cup of tea. Both decided to sit down on the sofa at the same time. Both took sips of their tea then looked at each other.

“Well, how is the tea?” Myrtle asked.

“Just fine, thank you,” Mortimer responded. “How is your tea?”

“Mine is fine, too, thank you. I love English Breakfast.”

“I do, too. It’s brisk,” Mortimer said.

“Yes, I think so, too, brisk. That’s it, brisk.”

Mortimer and Myrtle sat stiffly on the sofa sipping their tea. Both lifted their cups to their lips. “Ahhhhh, that’s delicious,” he said, putting his cup down on the coffee table.

Myrtle took her final sip and said, “Ahhhhhh,” placing her cup on the coffee table next to Mortimer’s.

After a moment, Myrtle turned to Mortimer, “I’m still trying to recall where we’ve met. Now let me ask you something and I hope you won’t think it’s too personal.”

“Go right ahead. I won’t think it’s too personal.”

“Are you married?”

“Yes, I am married to a wonderful woman. Are you married?”

“Yes, I am happily married to a wonderful man and we have two wonderful children.”

“How nice, what are the names of your children?”

“We have a lovely little girl named Eunice and a handsome young boy named Eugene.”

“How extraordinary, I have two children, also and what is utterly extraordinary is I have a lovely girl named Eunice and a handsome young boy named Eugene.”

Myrtle’s mouth was wide open and she clasped both hands to her heart, “Now isn’t that utterly extraordinary. Imagine that. We both have children named Eunice and Eugene.”

“That is extraordinary. Would you mind if I asked where you live?”

“Oh course not. I wouldn’t mind at all telling you where I live.”

“Perhaps that will help us remember where we might have met.”

“Yes, that’s an excellent idea. I live at 199 Hartwell Lane.”

“You do, 199 Hartwell Lane. Why that is utterly extraordinary.”

“It is. Why?”

“I, too live at 199 Harwell Lane.”

“You do, my, my. That is utterly extraordinary. We both live in the same house. And we both have children named Eunice and Eugene.”

“Perhaps, that is why you look familiar to me.”

“Yes, it’s possible we have met in this very house. I believe that is where we might have met. Isn’t that extraordinary?”

“You might be right. I think it is in this very room where we might have met.”

“Now I recognize you. I believe we are married to each other.”

“That’s it. That’s why you look so familiar. I think you’re right. We are married to each other, how extraordinary!”

“Yes, this is utterly extraordinary,” Myrtle said, taking Mortimer’s hand and they both stood up and hugged each other.

This story is protected by International Copyright Law, by the author, all rights reserved. If found posted anywhere other than with this note attached, it has been posted without my permission.

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