Silver Echoes

The vermouth weighed heavy in his hand.

"Honey, help me with my dress."

A cascade of silver teeth interlocked. His fingers grazed over the nape of her neck. Lingering for a moment, he pulled away and sat on the bed. She remained still, facing the adorned mirror.

"Am I beautiful?" She said.

"Yes, of course," he murmured, his gaze resting on a buoyed olive.


"Ava, I don't need to explain this, we're going to be late."

"They'll wait for me. Answer my question." The man slowly shifted himself on the bed. He stared into her reflection.

"I don't want to answer, it doesn't matter."

She chuckled, "Well of course it matters. That's why I'm asking. Please...entertain me." He grabbed a pillow and rested it behind his back, readjusting himself several times in silence.

"You always hesitate now." Her voice waned to a somber note. He thought for a moment and sighed.

"Your eyes. They're the first thing I noticed when I met you. Deep green, orbiting amber." He looked out the window for inspiration only to be met by darkness. "Like...sunrise through morning dew." She stayed silent for a moment, deep in thought. He regretted the careless analogy.

"Hmm, poetic." She offered. "I loved your voice. Deep and assured. Back then, you spoke with such confidence." She smiled in remembrance. "Oh, and when you first told me that you loved me, do you remember? In the café, after that big argument. I just knew you meant it; I could hear it in the cadence. You speak in black keys."

"Because I'm so sharp-witted?" He smiled coyly.

"Depends on the day, sometimes you fall a little flat."

He laughed, "Is that so?"

"It is." The vermouth had drained from his glass. He arose and walked toward the old oak cabinet. He rested the tumbler and reached for the bottle.

"Another? It's a big night for me."

"I know dear, but I'll need my energy."

"My music used to enliven you. You would stay up all night lying beside my piano when you were studying for the Bar."

"I remember."

"My melodies have aged with me. They feel slower now, more melancholic. Or maybe I just hear them that way." She tilted her head slightly. "Perhaps I can't blame you."

"Your compositions are still as lively as ever, Ava." He abandoned the empty glass atop the cabinet and retreated back to the bed. "I, however, am not."

"It's all that vermouth you drink." His brow furrowed under the flagrant unappreciation of his recent sacrifice.

"No it's—"

"You started drinking right after Sarah was born. All throughout college, law school, not a single drop. But a baby girl, well that warranted it in excess."

"Well, that's a bit of an exaggeration."

"Maybe I'm tired too." Her posture rounded as she drew in a long breath. She grabbed a nearby chair and seated herself. "Do you know why I insist on keeping that old piano downstairs?"

"The memories tied to it, I suppose. Playing it reminds you of moments we've shared," he answered.

"Yes and no." She felt the wrinkles in the satin of her dress. "When I feel a new chip on the keys or the same dampening pedal gets stuck, it reminds me that my piano is growing old with me. It comforts me to feel the tangibility of age, to see it through my fingertips. There's a gradual decline, yes, but it's a gentle slope." Her fingers mindlessly danced along the side of her chair.

"It's these small details I cherish with you. The smell of coffee on your breath. The way your hair tickles my face right as I awaken," she sighed. "I'm glad you still wear it long. Some things haven't changed."

"Some things..." He gently ran his hands through silver strands of brittle hair, reflecting on the texture of his youth.

"How many more years do you reckon we have?" She asked

"What?" He drew alarm at the question.

"Years together, how many?"

"How should I know?" She measured his response and clicked her tongue.

"Good. That's the answer I wanted. I heard somewhere once that if your partner confidently declares you both have many happy years ahead, they're either too naïve or too deceitful for it to be true."

"Where did you hear that?" He exclaimed.

"Honestly, I don't recall."

The man looked toward the mirror.

"Can I ask you something?" He said.


"Why do we even have it?—the mirror I mean. We spent so much on it at your insistence and there's no good reason for it. I could make do with the back of a polished spoon." She slowly extended her hand forward and traced the cracks in the ornate frame.

"Another thing to grow old with I suppose. It only takes one sense to appreciate art." He pondered her statement and raised himself from the bed.

"Do you want me to grab your white cane?"

"Only if you've recently lost function of your arm."

He chuckled, "I'll go get the car warmed up. Be back in a few." He walked toward the door and began to turn the knob.



"I should've gone with the other gown, the juniper would've complimented my eyes."