Adam Donatello and Nina Morales share an immediate and powerful attraction, and their future together seems assured. But love is difficult enough without adding complications – real or imagined – to the mix. Nina sees life as a thousand shades of gray, while Adam tends towards black-and-white. He wants to move fast; she needs time. Nina sees her past liaisons with women as immaterial to their relationship, while her disclosure drives Adam to a state of irrational jealousy. He doesn't know how he could compete with a woman; and his suspicions – which Nina views as hypocritical – lead them both to make decisions they may live to regret.
“Wow. You almost look like a grownup,” said Nina when we were leaving the apartment.
“Well there is a stain on your shirt.”
Nina pointed to a spot on my shirt and when I looked down she flicked my nose with her index finger. “Made you look.”
Nina was doubled over in laughter. It was the oldest trick in the book, but she had nailed it.
“Talk about being a grownup.” I tried to sound stern but it’s hard to do that through a smile.
“If you can’t have fun, life ain’t worth living,” said Nina. “That’s what I say.”
“Is that your philosophy of life, Ms. Morales?”
“It is indeed, Mr. Donatello. It is indeed.”
Another part of Nina’s life philosophy was to follow her own fashion sense. I would have expected Nina to adopt the all-black chic-chic style of her fellow artists, but she was not one to follow the pack. She tended towards sturdy classics in denim, leather, silk, and wool—mixing colors and textures like the mixed-media artist she was. That night, however, she surprised me. She wore a flaxen knee-length linen dress, slightly cinched at the waist, with a pair of wedge sandals. Her only accessory was a string of freshwater pearls.
We got to the restaurant before Mark and Chelsea and were ushered to a primo table towards the back of the main room where it was quieter. I had prepped Nina about Mark’s idiosyncrasies and nervousness about how Chelsea really felt about him.
“What did you tell him about me?” asked Nina.
“Not much to tell.” I chomped on a breadstick and spoke while I chewed. “Smart. Great ass. Decent rack. The usual.”
Nina shook her head. “You’ve got crumbs all over your shirt.”
I looked down as she moved her hand to wipe them away and up came the finger again to flick my nose.
“I love you, Nina,” I said. “I really do.”
Nina leaned across the table and gave me the softest kiss you can imagine.
Phil Fragasso sold his first article at the age of 16. Since then he has written and published a wide variety of books, articles and essays. After many years as a corporate marketer, he left to pursue endeavors that were more fulfilling personally and more contributory on a societal level. Today he focuses his time on writing and teaching.
Phil will be awarding a $25 Amazon or B/N GC to a randomly drawn winner via rafflecopter during the tour.