A fresh start. It seems everything is in order: the sun is shining, the current is flowing, the connection is holding, and I am awake. 🙂
Here’s a condensed version of one of my short stories in the collection Love Is All Around.
Roger was ecstatic.
Walking briskly toward the park he frequented, he could not help but paint an almost permanent smile on his bearded face. His emotional bliss was brought about by the prospect of acquiring a girlfriend for the first time in his life.
Sally gave him the hint, that most important word to present him with hope: maybe.
There was a long, long list of female names he stashed somewhere to remind him of his heartaches, his forays to courtship that had gone sour before they even started. He was not the type to attract outright the female species: he was effeminate with a muscular built.
– 0 –
Strollers passed him by with most of emotions and degrees of surprise. One homeless male distinctly uttered the word ‘crazy’ behind his back.
“She loves me, she loves me not, she loves me, she loves me not, …”
The petals of assorted flowers were scattered around him: they were the victims of his whim, his faith to the old thought handed down through generations of lovers.
He could not pick it correctly. Every time, his performance ended with ‘she loves me not’ and he would repeat the process again.
Two teenagers lingered for a while, an arm’s length distance from his sitting position, observing him like he was a specimen inside an imaginary cage in a zoo. They whispered to each other, giggling quietly lest he could be offended.
A biker, rested from his early-morning round, parked behind where the teens stood, joining the onlookers. From his curled lips, a mocking grin formed.
More spectators milled around: oddities were hard to come by, especially in a public place.
– 0 –
PO1 Granada was not amused by his superior’s antics. A neophyte and a ‘girl’ (the same word spat out with a smirk), she was stationed in the national park to patrol the grounds. Without a partner to converse with, she looked like an ordinary woman in uniform. It was a joke.
Often, she would be accosted by strangers, thinking all along that she was in some kind of a masquerade, a hanger-on of Halloween, costumed all year round.
“Back off,” she warned. “This is a real gun.”
Reciting the same dialogue over and over again made her feel less confident. People did not show her the respect she deserved.
When she saw the crowd, she abruptly banished her distressing thoughts, recovering immediately to perform her sworn duty to preserve the peace and uphold the law.
“Thank heavens!” she sighed. “Something.”
– 0 –
“She loves me, she loves me not, she loves me, …”
“You’re wasting your time!”
The loud comment hurt him a bit as if truth was a realization he had to surrender to. The heckler summed up the conclusion of most of those around.
“Let me be!” he shouted. “Go on! Leave!”
– 0 –
(to be concluded)