Summer Love

Posted: May 22, 2014 in Fiction, Surreal
Tags: , , , ,

This week’s Chuck Wendig challenge. Proof positive that there is something wrong with me? Or maybe I can, on occassion, embrace my inner surrealist. Still, I would love to know the story behind this photo, why they decided they needed it. Ah well. 




“I’m worried about you, Oliver,” Claire said, sipping from her coffee mug. “I really think you should get out more. Maybe, you know, see other people.” She broke eye contact as she said the last piece, voice trailing off.

Oliver scowled at his sister. He dropped his fork and pushed his plate of half-eaten eggs benedict across the table, all his appetite gone. The diner wasn’t terribly crowded. Most of the people were grabbing a bite to eat before work and the waitresses knew to keep a respectful distance.

“What would you know about it? I’m happy with Janice, happier than I ever was with Freda. After she left me for-”

Claire reached out, took Oliver by the hand. “I know, and what she did was terrible. I’m just worried Janice isn’t right for you. She’s just, well, different. She’s not your typical girl is what I’m saying.”

Oliver’s frown deepened, the lines in his forehead deepening. “So? Typical got me a loveless marriage of five years, a hell of a divorce, and an ulcer. What’s so great about typical?”

Claire sighed and picked at her fruit bowl.

“I wish you wouldn’t eat that in front me,” Oliver said.

Claire speared a piece of watermelon and popped it into her mouth, chewing slowly.


“Oliver, buddy! How are you?”

“Oh, hey James-”

“Yeah, yeah that’s great. Look, are you doing anything Friday night? I’ve got dinner and theatre reservations for four, but my cousin’s lousy boyfriend, Greg, did I ever tell you about Greg? Anyway, asshole went and dumped her. What do you say? It’ll be fun. Get you back in the game.” James leant over Oliver’s cubicle, cup of coffee clutched tight in one hand.

“James you know I’m seeing Janice now, right?”

“Seriously? Still? Look, nothing against her kind, but well, you don’t really think it’s going to work out between you two, do you? I’m doing you a favor here. My cousin’s pretty cute. Definitely better than-”

Oliver felt his left eye twitch. “Don’t even say it,” he growled.

James put up his free hand and backed away. “Hey, it’s none of my business who you want to date, but think about it, okay? How’s it going to end? It’ll be like Freda all over again. I’m trying to help.”

Oliver heard his teeth grinding as he turned his chair away from James, back to the spreadsheet on his monitor. “Claire put you up to this, didn’t she? Don’t think I don’t know you two still talk.”

“How- What? No, of course not. I mean-”

“Go away, James.”


Oliver’s cellphone rang. Glancing at the caller id, he groaned but answered it anyway.

“Hi Mom.”

“Oliver, Claire told me about the conversation she had with you at the diner.”


“Am I to understand you are still with this ‘Janice’ girl?”

“Mom, I’m thirty-three. I don’t need-”

“I don’t care how old you are, you are still my son. We were all heartbroken for you, what you went through with Freda. Your dad and I, and Claire too, we don’t want to see you hurt again.”

“Mom, Janice and I are in love. She cares for me, she really does.”

“Oliver, how can you believe that? What do the two of you have in common? I worry you two won’t last, and then it will be like Freda all over again.”

Oliver rolled his eyes, glad his mother couldn’t see him. “Mom, we’re happy. Why can’t everybody just accept that and move on? We’re not hurting anyone and Janice does love me. More than Freda ever did.”

“How can you be so sure?”

“For one, I know Janice’s never cheated on me.”

A long drawn out sigh from the other end was his answer. “Fine. Are you still coming for Sunday dinner?”

“I have it on my calendar. We’ll be there around two?”

“We’ll see you then.”


Bone weary, Oliver pushed his key into the lock, turned it, pressed his shoulder against it to open it. The summer heat was making the door swell in the jamb, making it harder to open.

“I’m home,” he called out, hanging his coat on the rack. His shirt and pants followed. He slipped the white knit sweater over his head, the one Janice bought for him last weekend so they could match. He needed it given how high Janice needed to keep the air conditioning cranked. It reduced spoilage, according to her.

Janice came out of the kitchen, her ovoid head with its sexy green and white mottled stripes, wobbling slightly side to side.

He stretched his arms out, kissed her smooth surface.

Let the others doubt.

James was in love with his melon girl.


  1. epbeaumont says:

    “What were they thinking?” was certainly my reaction to most of these pictures…

    You took it and ran with it – magnificently!

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