6IXTY contains minute-long short stories, written to satisfy an internal itch. Fleeting thoughts shared for easy, simple consumption.

Panache

Mark entered the dinner party alone. Bonnie’s posture changed when she saw him. Her back straightened. Her shoulders lifted. Her chest pushed forward. She was at attention.

It had been years since she’d seen him. Since their fling.

Bonnie was hosting what was supposed to be a couples-only dinner party. After their fling, they became friends and both eventually married. But then Mark divorced. That was years ago and she’d barely seen him since.

Nostalgia can be powerful.

She didn’t remember inviting him though, but Mark’s always been invited, at least back when he was married. He hadn’t attended one of these parties in about five years.

Mark walked confidently into the room with determined strides. Advancing toward the posh formal dining room.

Everyone was already seated.

Mark had drifted from the group over the years. Since his divorce, it was inevitable. But really, these weren’t divorcee-friendly events when having to be in the company of multiple married couples: Weekend getaways to Catalina? Pass. Hiking in Calabasas? No thank you. Shopping at the Commons? How dull. A mani-pedi at the Four Seasons? OK, Mark would like, maybe throw in a massage too.

He made excuses and slowly the invites stopped.

Mark’s aforementioned strides brought him to the table. Standing behind his seat, he smiled and said, “Hi guys. Been a long time. I’ve missed you guys!” He meant that too, surprised at his own revelation.

Bonnie could not look away. She mouthed the words “I missed you too” but didn’t have the resolve to say it outloud.

She was still looking at Mark. It looked like he had been working out. He looked leaner. Was it the jacket? It looked tailored. And it looked as though he had been in the sun, gotten some color. She was spellbound.

Mark took a seat and unfastened the top button from his light grey, slim fit Italian knit blazer. He sat at the opposite end of the table from Bonnie. He smirked at Bonnie playfully, raising his empty Swarovski wine glass to her slightly in acknowledgement of her. He ran his fingers through his short salt and pepper hair.

Bonnie hadn’t looked away, licking her lips and took a drink of her Chateau. She was held in thought.

Bonnie excused herself to the bathroom. Mark watched her stand up and walk towards the hall. Bonnie felt his soft brown eyes on her. Mark looked at the shape of her. Bonnie’s crimson one-shoulder peplum cocktail dress was gripped to her shape. She all of a sudden felt flushed.

Bonnie looked back at the table to see Mark abruptly get out of his seat, following her as nonchalantly as his excitement could allow. She smiled to herself and her mind wandered into memories of her many nights with Mark.

Rob, Bonnie’s husband, sat with his head down, eyes stuck to his phone. He was completely clueless, mindlessly tapping and swiping at some childish video game.

Mark already had Bonnie pinned against the bathroom wall. He hiked her dress up and the once-familiar feel of her warm hips was breathtaking.

“I’ve needed this,” Bonnie said, still looking at him.

She wrapped her legs around him, pulling him in deeper.

Giving