Ambage Write-off Story -- Theme: Change
Ambage write-off fiction romance SO CORNY
Metamorphosis applied to butterflies, so why not humans?
Susanne Reyes, after all, had positively blossomed since John Wainwright had last seen her. She had been fourteen, he fifteen. That was seven years ago now, but teenage Susanne’s short, messy hair, braces, and haphazard juxtaposition of pimples with freckles had been ingrained in John’s mind ever since his family had moved from Arkansas to Colorado after many tearful farewells — as far as John had known, that was Susanne.
He had probably still loved her then.
In July of 1989, the Reyes had phoned the Wainwrights suggesting a reunion. John, at home for the summer, had readily agreed. He was told Susanne had also been eager. The thought had stirred his heart for the first time in the past half-decade, for high school and a university had been neither whimsical nor particularly enjoyable.
Meeting the Reyes in their summer home on the beach of southern California had been brightened by the ray of sunlight that was Susanne. She had stood on the front porch of the house, waving as the Wainwright’s stuffy taxi had pulled up, and had been the first to shake John’s parents’ hands when they approached.
If he had loved her then, he only loved her the more now.
She had only grown three inches since her last meeting with John, and her eyes and smile were the same as ever, but this time no silver gleams hid her teeth, and her skin, curling into dimples on her cheeks, was smooth.
Susanne and John had embraced readily. John could have sworn his parents had shared a look, but he had ignored them partially out of spite and partially out of apathy. What did their thoughts matter?
When sleeping arrangements had been discussed, and John was told of his room on the opposite end of the hall from Susanne’s, his mom had looked to Susanne’s with a smile in her eyes, twitching her lips. He had sighed and retired to his bedroom without further comment.
August 14, 1989. Half a month to win Susanne’s heart.
* * *
One day passed.
The beach house was deserted in favor of the shore. The sand still held some warmth from the day’s radiance; a small fire burned several meters from the water, and as the parents exchanged gossip, John excused himself and sat on a log some distance away. Twenty-two and he still felt not like an adult. What was wrong with him?
“They can talk — can’t they?”
Susanne sounded hesitant. John moved aside instinctively, and she claimed upon the log the spot he had just vacated.
“Indeed,” said John.
“It makes you wonder why we haven’t gained that skill, right?”
John grinned, lapsing from his gentlemanly attitude. “Yes, I’ve always wondered why my parents’ motor-mouths weren’t passed onto me.”
“You don’t need one, you know.”
As Susanne’s voice dipped, John’s did, too, if only to make her feel more comfortable. “Neither do you.”
A pair of fireflies hovered above their heads for a moment before darting back inland. The wind was cool on John’s skin, and apparently Susanne’s, for she gathered herself together and slid against John’s side. He let her.
They sat like that till the fire died down and the parents ceased talking.