His eyes were half closed as he watched the clothes spin through their first wash cycle. He hated coming to the laundromat but it was one of those necessities from which there was no escape, a twice weekly trip to hell. He didn't mind doing the laundry, but there were only two laundromats in this town and a person had the choice of going to the one with the rusting machines where half of them didn't work and you ended up losing your money in them or the one with the carpet that was so dirty you couldn't tell what color it had originally been. That place always smelled like urine so he went to the other one most of the time, which was where he now sat and where a little girl was bugging him while her mother smoked a cigarette and yelled at her other kids. He just wanted to hurry up and get out of there, hoping there'd be a basketball game on tv when he got home. As he stared at his shoes hoping the girl would get the hint that he didn't want to talk to her he heard something, faintly. Through the noise of twenty machines spinning and squealing and three families of kids running and yelling he focused on the music coming from the speaker in the ceiling and a slight smile came to his face as he recognized the song, I Can't Fight This Feeling... REO Speedwagon. It was the song that played when he finally worked up the courage to ask Amy to dance with him, so long ago. She'd been so beautiful with her long hair and that twinkle in her eyes... he was sure that she could hear his heart hammering as he held her close to him that night. Wow, where did the time go, almost twenty years had passed. That song became their
song from then on, and whenever they sat at home or in the car and it came on the radio they looked at each other with a look that came straight from the heart. Those were the days. The little girl came back to him and showed him a toy she dug up from one of the baskets. He smiled and said it looked nice. Amy and he had wanted children but they made the mistake of waiting too long. The cancer had crept in and claimed his bride after just seven years. No child's footsteps would ever be heard running through the house, no pictures would hang on the walls, no dirty diapers would be washed. He looked over at the girl's mother stuffing four loads of wet clothes into the dryers along the wall, finished folding his clothes and headed out the door, giving the little girl a smile as he passed.