LOVE IS A DRUG.
We’re early for the show. The lobby contains very few patrons and a huge expanse of lurid purple and blue carpeting. X-It pays, takes my hand, and leads me to the center of the lobby. All I think about is the touch of his fingers on mine.
“Stand here. Close your eyes, and hold out your hands,” he says.
I do as he asks. I am being showered with paper. No, not paper, I realize as I open my eyes.
Dazzling golden leaves rain out of his messenger’s bag. Feather-light, fresh and spicy, the leaves keep coming down. Upon my head. Into my palms. Onto the purple-blue carpet, where they stick in perfect chromic contrast.
X-It’s eyes glitter. “Happy Fall, J.J.!”
He’s magical. He is everything I ever wanted to be. I move to throw my arms about him, but he holds out his bag and shakes it, making sure all the leaves are out.
I take a step back.
We walk home after the film. X-It veers away from me, drawn to a newsstand by the image of Karisma smiling from several magazine covers at once.
“She’s so perfect,” he says.
I grit my teeth, yet straighten my spine in an effort to measure up.
“And here’s Brooke Shields in her Calvins. Incredible. Who do you think is more beautiful?”
I think Brooke looks like a gilded giraffe-child, but that doesn’t prevent me from envying every inch of Miss Shields. I want to scream at X-It, “Look at me! I’m beautiful! And I’m just your size!”
But I say, “I don’t know. We don’t have a mannequin head of Brooke, just Karisma. So it’s hard to say.”
“I think Brooke is perfect,” he says. “But if she was a mannequin, just think of all the Prismacolor pencils you’d go through doing her eyebrows.”
So he was listening when I told him how a mannequin’s eyebrows are drawn.
“Thousands,” I say.
I collapse against the brick wall in a fit of giggles. He joins me. Our heads arc close together. X-It’s face swims before me, isolated by the electric and bracing October night. His breath brushes my cheek. Our lips circle each other more than once.And never manage to connect.
A dedicated writer for over a decade, she produces and publishes her YA fantasy and literary titles under her personal imprint, Paper Grove Publishing. Find out more at: www.Jane-George.com