Less Than Love

Her smile quirks up tentatively around the edges.

She lets her hair cascade down her shoulder like a long, wavy, strawberry blonde waterfall.

Her nose crinkles slightly at the stench of sweat, but she lightly coughs to cover the defection.

His deep voice jolts her heart like a rattlesnake waiting to strike.

Is this love?


A joke escapes his upturned lips.

It’s bad, but she lets a small laugh escape her mouth- not too loud, not too soft.

She widens her eyes and bats her lashes, hoping her eyeliner hasn’t smudged.

He touches her shoulder and points at something in the distance.

She almost faints, the feather-like touch lingering on her shoulder.

Why is love such a mystery?


They walk down a garden path, the fresh scent of tulips and roses erasing his sweaty horror.

She turns her head to him but she’s eye level with his reeking, fly-dropping armpits.

The distraction sends her stumbling over a rock, but he catches her.

She gazes into his eyes and he smiles, a slow, sweet, enticing smile.

Then his breath crashes over her like a tidal wave.

Does love really smell this bad?


She stands upright, and the sudden, jarring ring of her phone breaks the serene garden silence.

He glances away and she answers, inexplicably thankful for the interruption.

Her mother screams through the tinny frequencies of her flip phone.

She hangs up with a sharp clack, exchanges hesitant words with him, and bolts.

Must infatuation be so fleeting?

The End

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