March Madness Flash Fiction: LOVE IMAGINED by Summer Wier
TODAY’S BREW: Dunkin’s mediumcoconuthotcoffeelightnosugar (all one word, as ordered)
Summer Wier is the most delightfully sweet, caring, and joyous person I’ve ever had the pleasure of knowing and working with. And yet, she still likes me. Even better, she writes with the beauty of modern fairy tales, and she’s pretty.
by Summer Wier
I wonder if I’ve ever been in love. Not the kind of love I feel for my mom and dad, but the kind Barbie sings about in all of her fancy princess movies. The servants and people of the town join in, singing and dancing. Even the animals seem to know when that special magic is in the air.
Maybe being in love makes you want to sing all the time. I like to sing and dance anyway, so it’s been harder for me to tell. And animals don’t even talk in real life, so they can’t be trusted with matters of the heart.
There are lots of kids at school who have boyfriends and girlfriends. I’m not sure that sort of thing qualifies as love, because there’s nothing romantic about holding dirty, sweaty hands and sharing mac and cheese at lunch—nothing to sing about anyway. And kids my age break up a lot, swapping girlfriends and boyfriends like hockey cards. There’s nothing happily ever after about that.
A lot of songs say love is never wanting to be apart from someone. But if Justin Bieber can’t keep a girlfriend on that merit, I’m not sure what chance the rest of us have. I could imagine something close to that though, always thinking about someone.
It’s hard for me to think about anything besides the boy with the brown and yellow hair.
Last summer, my family went to our annual neighborhood bar-b-que. Everyone brings food, we set up games in the yard, and I play with my friends all day. This year, the old man across the street had his grandkids visiting. I hadn’t seen them much because they did a lot of touristy things while they were here, but someone invited them to our party, and they came.
Nobody introduced us, so I didn’t even catch his name. But as we traveled down opposite sides of the picnic table, our eyes met when he offered to put ketchup on my burger. His hair was brown and yellow, just like mine, and our eyes matched the color of a cornflower crayon. He had more freckles than me, but that made him even cuter. I definitely wanted ketchup. He looked like someone I could share mac and cheese with.
I hoped fate would tie us together in the three-legged race or match us together in the stick pull. Although his older brother was eager to join in our games and competitions, the boy with the brown and yellow hair sat quietly by himself. The day wore on, and he never budged. Normally I would run all over the street, playing tag and circling through the activities, but instead I stayed near that tree, hoping to catch his eye or have a reason to talk to him.
But my chance never came.
The sun dipped lower in the sky, and I knew it was already past my bedtime. It was time to clean up, and one by one families started to go home. Including the boy with the brown and yellow hair.
It’s been a year since that day, and for some reason I can’t seem to get the boy out of my mind. My mom had snapped a picture of him as she made the rounds with her camera. I had her print it out, and I keep it on my dresser.
Sometimes I dream that he’s a prince and I’m a princess, but not like in one of those Barbie stories. Besides, if an evil duke or crazy butterfly fairy ever tried to take me prisoner, I wouldn’t wait around to be rescued. It’s lucky I know karate, because I would ki-ya! them both and run for the hills.
I also imagine he’s my boyfriend and that he thinks about me too. On our first date he would take me to McDonald’s, and he wouldn’t care if I ate all of his fries. In my mind, that’s real love right there.
Even though my mom says I can’t be in love with someone I haven’t really met, I wonder if this warm, fluttery feeling could be love. It’s different from the excitement of Christmas morning or the whoosh of a rollercoaster, but I see how it could make people want to sing. Mom says there are lots of different ways to love people, and someday I’ll understand what it means to be in love. I’m not very patient, but I believe her.
Until then, I’ll hold this feeling in my heart, my own magical gift from him. And maybe, just maybe, my someday will include the boy with the brown and yellow hair.
Summer Wier is an MBA toting accountant, undercover writer, and all around jack-of-all-trades. Link is her debut novel and the first in The Shadow of Light series. She has short stories appearing in Fairly Twisted Tales For A Horribly Ever After and co-authors the Splinter web serial. Summer is the Marketing Director and a member of the acquisitions team at REUTS Publications. When she’s not digging through spreadsheets or playing mom, you can find her reading/writing, cooking, or dreaming of the mountains in Montana.
Connect with Summer on Twitter @summerwier or visit her website at http://www.summerwier.com.