October 25, 2013

Fiction Friday: Three Questions

My mother told me that when I meet someone I like, I have to ask them three questions:

1. What are you afraid of?
2. Do you like cats?
3. What do you do when it rains?

Of those three, she said the first one is the most important.
"They gotta be scared of something, baby. Everybody is. If they aren't afraid of anything, then they don't believe in anything, either."

So I met a boy on a Monday, right after art class. One look and my heart fell into my stomach like a trap door.

On our second date, I asked him what he's afraid of.
"Spiders, mostly. Being alone. Little children, like, the ones who just learned how to push a kid over on the playground. Oh and space. Holy shit, space," he said.
I asked him if he liked cats.
"I have three," he said.
I asked him what does he do when it rains and he said, "sleep, mostly. Sometimes I sit at the window and watch the rain droplets race. I make a shelter out of plastic in my backyard for all the stray animals, leave them food and a place to sleep."

He smiled like he knew, like his mom told him the same thing and he asked me back, “how about you?”

Then I said, "me? I’m scared of everything. Of the hole in the ozone layer, of the lady next door who never
smiles at her cat, and especially of all the secrets the government must be breaking, it’s back trying to keep from us. I love cats so much, you have no idea. I sleep when it rains. I want to tell everyone I love them. I want to find every stray animal and bring them home. And I want to see you everyday and draw silly stick figures of us. Because I like you."

He smiled again and brushed a leaf that fell on my hair. "I like you too," he said.

I never want to ask anyone else these questions ever again.

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