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by Rebekah Orton

Once upon a time…


No, no, don’t drop me! Your fingers are so warm.


Oh, that feels good. Scroll down again.


Your hands smell good, too.


Don’t put me down. I haven’t been held in such a long time.

That makes me sound desperate, doesn’t it?

I’m not. I hardly even knew I was lonely until you came with those warm hands and you kept scrolling.


I’m so embarrassed. I’m usually much more composed. Normally I’d be whispering Once upon a time and Boy meets girl and Happily ever after. But something about you is different.


Wait! I’ll be good: Once upon a time, a boy met a girl…


Do we have to go through this charade? I can barely concentrate.

You do know how good your hands smell, don’t you?


No! Really! I apologize. I’ll be good. You’re just such a good listener. Usually people show up and they’re all about THEME and GRAMMAR and WORD CHOICE, if they even read at all. But you…I don’t feel all that pressure. I feel like I can be myself with you. I feel like I can stop worrying about commas and just relax.


We don’t have to chatter. We can just sit here in silence







But that’s not why you came, is it?

I understand that. I’m a story and you’re a reader and there are boundaries. You don’t want to change me. I respect that.

I’ll be who you want: who you fell in love with at first glance.

I like you.

And I feel like I can trust you to read to the end, even if we take things slow.

Let’s start this whole thing again.

Once upon a time…

Rebekah Orton has been published in New Verse News, Gone Lawn, and Brain, Child. She currently writes between school drop off and pick up in Arlington, Virginia, and prefers paper books to electronic ones.

Lead image: “Two Pairs of Lips” (via Flickr user Image Catalog)

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