<3 by Rowan Chestnut

February 4th – June 7th 2010

 

You changed your relationship status from ‘it’s complicated’ to ‘single’ and I knew it was time to make my move. Long had I observed your failing romance, the scattering of posts that were once love sonnets disintegrating into crude cipher written from drunken stupor. He finally crossed the line and now you’re free for the taking.

I began my approach with condolences and eventually followed them up with the occasional exclamation of your beauty accompanied by a smiley face emoticon. I secured our first date at 4:36pm; it was a Saturday. I danced around the house with my cats clutched tightly to my chest.

 

June 21st 2010

 

We sit in an indie café on Fourth Street. It boasts a combination of exotic coffee and organic vegan food. I pretend to study the menu and secretly update my Twitter. You didn’t look that nervous when you came in, I hope that’s okay, I hope you understood my romantic intentions.

This place smells of cinnamon and aloe vera.

That waiter over there is trying to catch your eye so I have to keep you entertained. I scroll through my mental list of first date topics. I bring up the weather (an unusually cold winter), then university (biochemistry major). You laugh and twirl your hair and judging by everything I’ve seen on TV I’ve got the cat in the bag. The coffee arrives; you’re unimpressed and suggest we go back to your place.

 

January 14th 2012

 

I love the way your hair kind of dances around your shoulders when you laugh. We never had sex on our first date but we did play scrabble for five hours. There’s nothing on TV except Friends re-runs. You have your feet in my lap; they’re very cold and very pink. My body is sore after the fit-boxing class you dragged me along to. Ross and Rachael just had their first kiss and I wonder if when I propose should I put it on Youtube?

 

March 5th 2013

 

You have reached your destination.

No I haven’t.

You have reached your destination.

Fucking GPS. You lean over the bonnet with a map spread out in front of you. I give up on technology and admire how your skater skirt allows just the right amount of thigh. The sun is high in the sky; the sounds of the Kimberly surround us. I lean out of the car window and suggest we just celebrate our anniversary here. This receives a glare of warning followed by a cheeky grin.

 

October 4th 2015

 

The vase makes an almost perfect arc as it sails across the living room. It shatters on the wall behind me and I’m showered with glass. The radio is playing old ragtime blues and it makes the whole moment almost surreal. Your face is red, your hair is wild, you reach for a kitchen knife, shit. I run over to the dining table and grab a chair. I turn to face you and I feel like I’m trying to fend off a lion with a toothpick. Your scream runs in line with a clarinet falsetto and I wish I’d never eaten that last slice of pumpkin pie. “I’m sorry!” my voice is a pleading cry. “I’m so sorry! It will never happen again. Tell you what, how about doughnuts? Right now, I can go out and get doughnuts.” You stop. Thank Christ. The knife lowers and you run your other hand over your belly.

“We would like doughnuts.” You say. “I’ll let you live so you can bring us doughnuts.”

I lower the chair, grab my car keys and risk a peck on your cheek before I rush out the door.

 

March 5th 2070

 

“Remember whales?”

“What about them?”

“They were my favorite animal.”

“Really? Whales?”

“They were like the Zen masters of the ocean.”

My left knee is doing its thing again. I’m cold and I need to pee. We’re sitting in a park that is now home to a huge ugly Google monument. There are ducks flying overhead in a V formation. You lay a winkled hand on my knee and I take it in mine, we sit in companionable silence for a time. I look at your hair, short and grey and neat; your wrists, where flesh sinks to bone. I wonder how I was ever lucky enough to find you. We watch the sunset, with healthcare the way it is now we will probably see thousands more, but right now this one is special because I am here with you, together in time and space, the girl I met on Facebook.

2 thoughts on “<3 by Rowan Chestnut

  1. What a beautiful story! I had a smile on my face from beginning to end, curious the whole time how this would end. The 2015 part made me fear the worst, but she’s totally forgiven given the circumstances 🙂

    I loved it!

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