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Turn Around, Frank. Look at Me.



The prompt was a nighttime photo of a rainy cross-town street in Manhattan.

11:20 on a warm spring night. A passing shower on Bleeker Street and the promise of a long, lonely weekend in May. God Almighty, did Holly ever have the blues! She never had them as bad as this before.

But Frank turned out to be just like all the others. Taking her for granted that way -- and the last four weeks they were like fencers -- lunging, thrusting. Each of them wanting desperately to hurt the other, until finally, here on this rainy cross-town street she reached up and touched his face, (that face that meant so much to her) and said, "We better not see each other any more, Frank."

She hoped he would argue, ask her to forgive him, "I know I've been selfish, Holly -- please forgive me." But no, he just straightened up, settled his hat down a little firmer and walked away. She watched him go, thinking maybe he'd turn around and look at her -- he wouldn't have to come running back, that would be too much to hope for. But if he had only turned around to look at her. In her heart she told herself if he did that one little thing, she would once again run to him - as she had so many times before.

Then she lost sight of him in the crowd. The shiny raincoats, the black umbrellas swallowed him up and hid him from her. God Almighty, did she ever have the blues.

Piano, bass, drums and a girl singer. "Here's the "Alouettes," just in from Ottawa after a smash engagement at the Royal Vic." Good thing no one ever looked closely into that "smash" engagement, or Frank's heroin conviction for that matter. Not that it would have made any real difference down here in the Village, but they get antsy when it's the piano player - especially the piano player. The piano holds it all together.

What would he do now? Out here in these wet streets? Somebody will come up to him and give him the eye and a two finger kiss. Frank's eyes will light up and whatever the price is, he'll pay.

Oh Frank, Frank, if only you had turned around to look at me.

The End

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