That Moment – A Short Story

It was in that moment when he entered their apartment, a one room flat with a tiny kitchen where they would make quesadillas and spinach salads, when he saw her reclining on the bed smoking and reading from a thin paperback novel, and she looked up at him and smiled a twisting, dangerous smile behind the swirling smoke, that he knew he loved her. The place was a mess with many books scattered about, empty wine and beer bottles stacked near overfilled ashtrays, dished piled and stained. A Clifford Brown CD was playing George’s Dilemma and was accompanied by the buzzing of the refrigerator. He stood still briefly and watched as she went back to reading. She was always reading. And smoking. And drinking. But then so was he. And he loved her. In that instant he felt it shake him. Loved the small twists and creases in her eyelids, the small dimples in the back of her earlobes. Her closed and loose sense of humor, her pseudo-Parisian style of clothes. He loved that she was more brilliant than he would ever be, yet stroked his ego out of compassion. The sunlight streamed through and lingered forbiddingly along her curved legs and tender lips. Other than the smile she did not pay him any mind, or give recognition to the fact he was home early, but simply resumed reading as he got a beer. It was in that moment, with her eyes leaking brilliant sexuality, the smell of the cheap beer assaulting his nostrils, her long thin fingers flipping a page, the subtle yet alluring movement of her head as she shifted her attention to the next, that he knew from the depths of his abused soul that he truly and passionately loved her. And he knew he had to leave.


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