Love Stories 4: A Scorching Summer Evening
A friend challenged me to write a story a day for seven days, on love. I’m going to post one a day.
At six fifty five precisely, he crossed the street.
“Do you have it?”
The old black man stared at him incredulously. “Do I have it?”
“Yes,” he replied, “do you have it?”
“Of course I have it,” the old man continued to stare, “but why should I give it to you?”
“She is suffering. Without it, she will die.”
“And why is that any problem of mine?”
“It’s not. It’s my problem. It’s my only problem. All else in my entire existence is subsumed, discarded, irrelevant to the overwhelming obsessional focus this problem has brought to the very essence of my being.”
He took a breath.
“I must have it.”
“And why should I give it to you?” the old man repeated.
“It is all I want. For the rest of my natural born life I shall never ask for another thing, if I can but have my way this once. It is the only thing in this world that has any meaning left for me.”
“Is it worth your soul?” the old man examined him, curiously.
He looked up, pleadingly into his eyes. “She means everything to me. Please.”
“Very well,” the old man decided with finality, “you have convinced me.”
He handed him the ice cream.
“That’ll be two thirty five, please.”