Sunday, November 21, 2010

This Little Thing

(This was originally meant to be a much, much longer story about two young expectant parents going home for the holiday. I may still write a story about that, but I liked this as a short, sweet little slice of flash fiction. Boy on train with his pregnant girlfriend, thinking back to the first moment he met her. )

“She has a tail, y'know? Right now.”

Abby looks up from the baby book, and smiles at Charlie. The freckled little smile of yours that Charlie fell for 7 months earlier.

“Ab, why do you keep saying her? What if it's a boy?” Charlie asks her.

“I've just got a feeling. Plus, now we can name her after my grandmother, Marie.”


“Non-negotiable, Charlie.”

Abby turns her attention back to the book, while Charlies looks out the train's window. Snowy Pennsylvania whizzes by, en route to Connecticut. Charlie had never met Abby's family, but heard good things. Regardless, he was nervous. It's always a nervous thing, meeting the parents. But meeting the parents and telling them they're now grandparents? Scary. Very scary.

Charlie feels Abby's hand grab his own, her soft skin warming him. Charlie thinks back to that first day. The first time he had ever seen Abby.

Charlie had been in Borders bookstore, looking at dog training books. His new dog, a hyperactive Akita Shepherd named Bentley, kept peeing all over the apartment. Charlie hit his last nerve when he came home to find his Magnetic Fields record covered in piss. Charlie scowled at the dog, and yelled at him. Bentley just turned his head ton the side, and gave Charlie a dumbfounded look. That's when Charlie knew he needed help.

There are over a thousand different kinds of methods to training a dog, from the mundane(treats and positive reinforcement) to the outlandish(enabling the help of a pet psychic to determine why Bentley was peeing). Four books, four methods later, Bentley was still peeing all over Charlie's apartment.

It was on his fourth trip to the dogcare aisle, that he saw her. Dirty blond hair, blue eyes, adorable freckles. She was wearing tight jeans and a brown shirt, and she was kneeled down looking at dog training books of her own. Charlie noticed the book she was looking at, and laughed. She looks over at Charlie, and gives him a perplexed look.

“The book”, he says walking over to her,”It didn't help me at all. I mean, honestly, none of these books have helped.”

“No?”,She stand up, “I just got this basset hound. Cute girl, but she just won't stop barking! I haven't gotten any beauty sleep lately, can you tell?”

“Can't say that I do, no.”

“You're nice to say that. Total liar, but nice.”

“Must be why I'm such a good lobbyist, right?”

“You're a lobbyist?” Her mouth drops at the very idea.

“No, no, but I would be a damn good one, huh?”

“you had me going there. Though I'm pretty sure a lobbyist dresses better than jeans, flip-flops, and a Baltimore Beer Week t-shirt.”

“It's wash day. My Armani is at the dry cleaner.” Charlie says to her, making Abby bust out giggling in an incredibly embarrassing, yet cute, manner. At least, that's how Charlie saw it.

“Oh, oh, wow. That's bad. That was a lot of giggles.” She says, her face going red.

“Yeah, that maxed out the giggle quota.”

“I'm going to go ahead and walk away, now that I've made myself look foolish and a mess. Best to leave now before I do something even more embarrassing, like schploiken myself.”

“Schploiken?” Charlie asks, confused.

“Very glad you didn't get that.” Abby says, shaking her head . She looks up at Charlies.

“Well, Mr. Lobbyist, it was...”

“Charlie. My names Charlie.” Charlie says, interrupting her.

“Abby.” She says softly.

“Would you like to grab a cup of coffee, Abby?” Charlie asks.

“I would love to.” She says, smiling.

Charlie nods his head toward the door, and they walk through the book aisles.

“Hey Abby, what's schploiken?”

“Oh, oh we're not at that level yet, sorry.”

(If this looks funny, still trying to figure out formatting. -K)

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