A Breath of Fresh Air
Cloris and her friends were dancing, plucking oranges and thinking about love when Zep snuck up on her as if from left field. Her companions were so distracted with their frolicking they didn’t see him grabbing her waist as if he owned her; then turning all gentle and sweet when they noticed him.
Cloris knew he was the type who had to prove he could have any woman he wanted even if she was his brother Boris’ girlfriend. He loved the challenge; didn’t care how many hearts he broke in the process.
Everyone but Cloris was just happy to see Zep cheerful after months of the blues, wallowing in his seasonal affective disorder. He was a breath of fresh air, they said, made everything seem right with the world again.
After that, whenever Zep showed up, Cloris’ girlfriends acted all flirty and doe-eyed, made not-so subtle hints about how she should dump Boris for Zep. After all, they said, Boris and Cloris just sounded all wrong. And Cloris had to admit to herself that she was getting sick of Boris’ temper, how cold he could be at times. He was just the opposite of Zep—loved everything about winter and grew sullen and distant when the snows melted and tender buds began to emerge.
In contrast, Zep lavished attention on her, arms overflowing with heavenly-smelling hyacinth. He turned on the charm, wooing her patiently. The final blow was when Boris stormed off just because Cloris said how happy she was that winter was finally over. When Zep showed up to comfort her, she finally relented. “I knew,” Zep said with that upside-down smile of his, “my persistence would bear fruit eventually. As will you and I,” he added with a wink.
Cloris still wasn’t sure she could trust Zep, but with time she reconciled herself to occasionally sharing him with another girl or boy. After all, she knew she’d be the one soothing him and bringing him pomegranate juice when his S.A.D. got bad, that they’d always get through it together and rejoice in the bounty of their love.
Kathryn Silver-Hajo’s short fiction, poetry, and creative nonfiction appears, or is forthcoming, in Pithead Chapel, Atticus Review, Ruby Literary, SoFloPoJo, Fictive Dream, New York Times-Tiny Love Stories, New World Writing, Flash Boulevard, MacQueen’s Quinterly, Bending Genres, Cleaver Magazine, The Ekphrastic Review, and others. Read Kathryn’s work at www.kathrynsilverhajo.com and follow her on Twitter: https://twitter.com/KSilverHajo and Instagram: www.instagram.com/kathrynsilverhajo. Kathryn lives in Providence, Rhode Island with her husband and saucy, curly-tailed pup, Kaya. She mostly reads and writes, takes long walks, loves the ocean, blooms like an iris when the warm weather finally arrives, and has been known to throw the occasional rockin' party.
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