Tavaris and Ophelia

The life and times of a most unusual young couple. Tavaris is a conservative young journalist, while Ophelia is an explosive, aspiring artist.

                A slow, steady patter began on the windowpane. The arrhythmic pounding matched perfectly with the uneven keystrokes, an impromptu song of tap-tak-tak-tap. Save for the soft noises, all else was still, as it always was without the female presence. The natural light was fading, and the lamplight seemed to grow ever brighter.

                By the time the sun had set, rain was cascading down the windowpanes in thin sheets. It was one of these ever-moving rivers that distorted the headlights in so such a fashion to catch his attention. He looked up to see her steel gray vehicle pulling into their parking stall. His fingers paused for a few moments, and he leaned over to peer down into the lot, to catch a glimpse of her. When the door didn’t open, he supposed that she was waiting for the rain to stop, and sat back down.

                As if on cue, a vacuum turned on in the apartment above, and a dog started barking in the residence next door. He reluctantly tapped out a few more words before retiring for the evening. He pushed away from the desk and stepped into the kitchen to start dinner.

                A key jingled. The door rattled open. Tavaris looked up to greet her, but his words failed him.

                “I’m sorry,” she said simply.

                “Oh, Ophelia…”

                In her arms was a large cardboard box, covered by her fur-rimmed jacket and held together with painters’ tape. She was soaking wet, a dark circle of water forming a drape around her. Her twin-tails were horrendously messy, as if she’d redone them several times while they were still wet, and as they dried they began to frizz. Her boot-tops were sagging with moisture, as if she’d been standing in a deep puddle, or wading through a rainwater river. But the most remarkably strange part about the whole picture was her puffy face. Her eyelids had swelled to the point of almost closing, and her nose ran without relent.

                A soft mewing escaped from her large bundle.

                Tavaris couldn’t help but to bury his face in his hands, disbelieving. She was allergic to cats. After a few moments, he rubbed his brow with a sigh and reached out for her, flapping his hands.

                “Come on, let’s get the antihistamine drops,” he sighed.

                She nodded, and then looked back down at her box, “they looked so skinny.”

                “They?” Tavaris sighed.

                She pulled off her jacket to reveal an entire litter of kittens. He blinked down at them, once more not understanding how she could pull off surprising him every evening. Eight kittens, each of them packing their own deadly dose of dander.

                “I’m going to bring them to the society tomorrow, they’re closed already.”

                “You had to bring them,” Tavaris sighed, putting his hands on his hips.

                Ophelia smiled, “of course I did!”

                “I know,” he spoke. “I know.”

                With that said, he relieved her of her box and pushed her towards the bedroom. The apartment building was suddenly bustling with activity. It was as if somehow, unconsciously, Ophelia’s return meant the return of all and any merry-making. If Tavaris was certain of anything in his life, it was that with Ophelia, it was never boring.

The End

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