Mary Lynn Reed
THERE IS SEX and there is love and then there is the idea of love, the illusion, she says, as I twist spaghetti around my fork, trying not to splash sauce across the table. The restaurant is overwhelmingly white. Tablecloth, napkins, upholstery.
Women fall in love too easily, she says. Too fast.
Maybe it's not love.
It's not, she says, her eyes drifting toward the door. How could it be?
It's something, though.
Connection, she says. Chemistry.
The spaghetti goes round and round my fork as we make eye contact again, and she smiles.
Her eyes are green or hazel or some undefinable color I can't quite nail down. The light in the restaurant is dim. She leans way back against the booth bench, folds one leg under the other.
That doesn't look comfortable, I say.
Oh, but it is. Helps stretch out my back. It gets tight when I sit for too long.
Have we been here too long?
She takes a long sip of her wine.
Is there something else you'd like to do?
Something, she says.
There is something and there is the illusion of something.
Yes, she says, with a spark in her eye. Let's go.
Mary Lynn Reed's fiction has appeared in Mississippi Review, Colorado Review, The MacGuffin, Litro Magazine, Smokelong Quarterly, and the 2017 National Flash Fiction Day Anthology: Sleep is a Beautiful Color, among other places. She has an MFA in Creative Writing from The University of Maryland.