Girl: We Are Best Friends, Right?
Boy: Yes, Of Course.
Girl: So Be Honest With Me, Who Do You Like?
Boy: No One. I Love Someone.
Girl: Oh, She Must Be Very Lucky..
Boy: Definitely. I've Loved Her,
Ever Since I Met Her.
Girl: Really? Well, Since We're Best Friends,
I Wanna Meet Her. Go Call Her.
Boy: Oh Okay.
Boy Takes Out His Phone,Dials Her number And Phones Her...
Girl: Wait, Hold On I Think I'm Getting A Call.
Answers The Phone
Boy: I Love You......
I don’t know what it was I first noticed about her. Dressed plainly enough, she wore simple, form-fitting jeans and a flannel shirt with a green and black checkered pattern. Perhaps it was the clarity of her person, the unembellished form of a woman unconcerned with drab conformity. No, wait; it was nothing so high-concept as that, who am I kidding? I know what it was:her legs.
They were only revealed below the knees, her jeans rolled up just to that sensual spot that lives, too often undiscovered, just behind the bend. There was an elegance to their shape, a smoothness that wound all the way up to her ample, perfect hips. She wasn’t one of those stick-figure girls—no, she had meat on her bones, this one; just enough.
Her hair cascaded in an elegantly sculpted mess, framing her face on both sides with a reddish-brown color that perfectly lit up the hazel in her gleaming, thoughtful eyes. Her nose, a slender wedge that traced a path from her eyes to her lips—oh, her magnificent lips!—was a perfect piece of human sculpture, gracefully twitching and flaring in concert with her startlingly full lips.
Let me tell you about her lips. They wore expressions of every flavor, switching cleanly from one to the next in an orgy of fluidity. Motion and feeling danced together ‘twixt the succulent frame of her mouth, and I could not but admire. When first I saw, they sat pursed in rapt attention, her eyes narrowed in agreement as she listened intently to a short story being read by its author. At its conclusion, her lips shifted into a tender smile, beautiful and ardent, the soft pink flesh alight with gentle warmth, her eyes flashing with intelligence and passion as her expressive lips carved out a delighted and thoughtful critique from the living, pulsing air that surrounded her. To hell with the author and his damned story; this is a reading of her lips.
I ramble, I know. Whatever it was that happened then, I don’t know, not clearly. As a younger man I’d have thought, when she caught me noticing her and smiled, holding my gaze with that rare fierceness only a strong-willed woman can wield, that we’d made a connection, some subtext established, impassioned thoughts exchanged across the distance, carried by the power of a gaze.
But that’s a younger man’s hope, something I stopped chasing long ago. No, I’m content to admire those beautiful legs, eyes and lips from just across the way, and to consider the possibilities of a mind so sharp as hers. From here, everything looks just about perfect. How can it get any better than that?
A BEAUTIFUL ROMANCE
by Carmen Marden, Campbell, New York
He left a single red rose on my windshield. He wasn’t allowed to send me flowers at work, since my husband had died only six months before. When the time was right, he sent me flowers on my birthday, Valentine’s Day, and eventually every anniversary. The guys at work told him he made them look bad. They were joking, but he wasn’t. He kept sending me flowers. He made me breakfast in bed. But most importantly, he invited my daughter and her three children to move in with us after she split from her then-husband. What’s more romantic than that?
This Isn’t the Sort of Thing That Happens to Someone Like You
Jon McGregor (2012)
The best short stories should haunt you for days and weeks. The stories in McGregor’s collection have stayed with me for months on end. They are linked by a unity of place – the fenlands of Norfolk and Cambridge – and by precise, elegant prose that elevates everyday occurrences into small, perfectly rendered pieces of art. As Maggie O’Farrell put it in her Guardian review: “The stories wrap themselves around the wholly disconcerting premise that catastrophes can rear up in anyone’s life without warning.”
DESTINY AT THE DENTIST
by Kathleen Curran, Canyon Country, California
Having just cemented a new bridge, my dental-assistant mother said to her patient, “Your girlfriend’s going to love your new teeth.” He replied, “I’m between girlfriends right now.” She said, “Don’t go anywhere. I have two daughters, Kathy and Vicky. Let me get their pictures from my wallet.” Dan was still reclined in the dental chair with his bib on and wasn’t going anywhere. Rushing back, she showed him her daughters’ photos, saying, “Here is our phone number. Give Kathy a call—she’s the older one.” He called, and we’ve been happily married for 39 years. Thanks, Mom!
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