Her Boyfriend


Steve was brushing the crackers off the night stand onto the floor when the front door opened and three little sisters of no Stevian relation just walked right into Steve’s house, smiles and all. They didn’t seem to notice the distinctly rumpled quality of his topless pajamas.
Steve decided they were selling cookies. Steve decided they were cute little sisterly representatives of in-process female accomplishment and Steve did, in fact, have no more cookies. But then, maybe, Steve didn’t need any more cookies.
Steve didn’t ask them to knock. He figured it was too late and he figured right. “Hey, little sisters,” Steve said. “We’re not sisters. We’re not even little,” said one of the sisters. “Do you have any cookies?” Steve asked.
The littlest sister reached into her backpack and pulled out a mushy fig Newton like a wilted frog that might spring to life at any moment. “These aren’t for giving away, but I want you to have one,” she said, blushing.
And with that the biggest sister said, “She wants to be your girlfriend.” And the middle sister said, “You’ve got something white in your beard.” To which Steve said, “I’m getting older now.” And the same sister said, “No, I mean crumbs. Like you’ve been eating something and it crumbled on the way to your mouth.” “I bet you’ve got crumbs in your underwear,” said the littlest sister. “She wants to look,” teased the biggest sister. Steve made a face. It was surprised and it was excited and it was uncertain and it seemed too honest and it was more than a little frightened. “At your thing,” said the same sister. The same face again, trying to pull itself apart. “We’re going outside now and you show her your thing and we won’t let anybody else come in,” said the same sister matter-of-factly. Steve thought about what to say. He thought about his lover and he thought about his ex-lovers and nothing had prepared him for this. He thought about the authorities and he thought about what the girls might say to them if he made them mad. He couldn’t move. He was alone with the littlest sister. She was reaching for the elastic band on the front of his pajama bottoms and he couldn’t move. She began to touch him.
Then he moved. He brushed the crumbs from his beard.
The sister knew what to do and he was afraid to stop her. Then he was afraid not to, but it was already too late.
Then it was later and he was somewhere else and he wasn’t sure how much he remembered and the little sister was gone.
Then he was just afraid. He wondered if maybe he hadn’t really imagined it after all. Then he wondered if he could believe that. And then he believed that and he wondered if it ever might happen and then he thought it would be so much more wonderful than anything he had been imagining if it did.

Rich Ives is the author of Tunneling to the Moon: A Psychological Gardener’s Book of Days currently being published in serial @ Silenced Press everyday in 2014 and forthcoming in paperback. Begin from the beginning, catch up, read daily. Just refer to the Burrow Guide.