The Season of Lights
His hair was the first thing she noticed. It made him look like a cartoon character, those curly yellow locks springing out in all directions. Yet who was she to judge? She’d been submitting to a four-hour spiral perm for her own blond tresses for years. In terms of hair, they would have made a perfect match.
His flirtation embarrassed her in the beginning. She ignored his calls from the lift where he was hanging Christmas lights. He was one of a dozen temporary workers hired to string lights through the zoo. She was the penguin keeper. Others working in the birdhouse teased her about it. Told her he was “cute”.
After a bit of time, she noticed his face, realized her co-workers were on to something. She began to say “Hi.” Quick conversations followed, smiles exchanged. She’d look for the lift on the way to lunch. He’d duck into the audience to watch her during penguin feeding time.
One cold December eve, he invited her to “make the rounds” with him as he walked through the zoo, checking lights. Someone asked him if she was his girlfriend. She laughed too loud at this and regretted the strident caw of her voice. He said someone else was his girlfriend, and she regretted this more. It felt like a betrayal. What was she doing here? Why had he asked her to come?
Yet the flirtation continued and one day he met her outside the birdhouse with a small, green sprig in his hand. Mistletoe, he claimed. Then he leaped at the tall set of wooden doors to the birdhouse and it caught somehow, wedged tight into the carvings there. She held his eyes as long as she dared, but there was no kiss.
Soon after, the season of lights was done, the workers released. She’d look up at the sprig still stuck above the door and wonder if she should have tried harder to make something happen.
Today's hop is brought to you by Arlee Bird at Tossing it Out and Guilie Castilol-Oriard at A Quiet Laughter, and co-hosted by Elizabeth Seckman, Yolanda Renee, Denise Covey, and Alex J. Cavanaugh. It is also the Question of the Month for Michael D'Agostino at A Life Examined. What love have you lost and/or found? Was it a person or a hobby or a pet?