Let's Stay Together
Jennifer Pieroni

We owed our old friends, Cicily and Bob, an invite so they came for dinner.

Bob joined my husband at the grill to discuss the meat. I overheard my husband say he'd used a Polish sauce from a Polish deli. "Interesting," Bob said and then they went on to ask each other about sports.

Cicily and I spent all of our time sitting at the patio table exchanging compliments. I was starting to run out, and then the food came. We ate and drank outdoors. My cat chewed grass and puked it up by the herb garden. It was too dark for Cicily and Bob to notice. I don't think my husband noticed either. Nothing mattered except what moved within the glow of the citronella candle centerpiece.

When we were done, Cicily stood up to start to clear. I cleared too. Bob and my husband came in with us, but went to the living room. Cicily cleaned and I wrapped up the leftovers. The guys blasted Al Green as a joke.

"What's the title of that one?" Cicily asked. "I've heard it before."

"Let's Stay Together. It's in the lyrics."

Cicily finished and started to put things away. She went for the fridge but I stopped her, told her she cleaned so well. Cicily picked up the sponge like it was nothing and then she chatted again. I opened the freezer and put a puck of ice to my cheek.

Jennifer Pieroni is Editor in Chief of the literary journal Quick Fiction. She has work in the current issue of Hobart and forthcoming from Another Chicago Magazine and Bateau. An essay will appear in Rose Metal Press' Field Guide on Flash Fiction.

To link to this story directly: http://wigleaf.com/200809lets.htm

Photo detail on main page courtesy of Jill Doughtie.

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