In the Blink of an Eye
This story was previously published in Boston Literary Magazine.
She asks you to pass the salt, but you do more than that, you touch her hand with romantic intentions. She smiles at you and in your mind you are driven to leap across the table and kiss her on the lips. After dinner, in the living room, you touch her hair. It’s soft and bouncy and you want more. Later, on the porch, you ask her if she would ever date a white boy. She giggles nervously and says yes. You feel glad and reach for her hand. She gives it to you with a smile that says, you can kiss me now. So you lean forward to kiss her, but before you can reach her lips, a voice grabs you and pulls you back, hard. Stop. You can’t kiss her. She’s black. Your friends will call you a nigger lover; a traitor to your race. But your heart knows the truth. She’s beautiful and funny. She likes cartoons and football and butter pecan ice-cream. So you kill the voice forever and kiss her. When you open your eyes, she is smiling and you feel perfectly happy.
Author Bio: Janet recently published in Cadenza Magazine, Boston Literary Magazine, The Rambler, The Arabesques Review, and 971 MENU. Upcoming publications include Mississippi Crow, Nano Fiction, Bateau Press, and Mud Luscious.