You’re hoping he can be objective, overlook that zinfandel kiss you shared last year. You were tipsy and the cool night smelled of jasmine. He silked his jacket over your shoulders. Now, his office is stale with cigarette smoke infused with potent cologne. You anticipate his questions, mulling memorized answers. But suddenly he’s beside you, on you, reaching beneath your blouse, clamping ravenous lips on yours. You feel you’re choking—on his tongue, Versace, on bewilderment. You try to resist but he grabs, pulls, pinches. You scream. Disbelief clouds his face as if to say Didn’t we have an understanding?
Kathryn Silver-Hajo is a 2023 Pushcart Prize, Best Small Fictions, and Best American Food Writing nominee. Her story, “The Sweet Softness of Dates” was selected for the Wigleaf Top 50 2023 Longlist. Kathryn’s debut flash collection “Wolfsong” was published in 2023 and her novel, “Roots of the Banyan Tree” is forthcoming in the fall. Kathryn lives in Providence with her husband and curly-tailed pup, Kaya. Learn more at: kathrynsilverhajo.com; facebook.com/kathryn.silverhajo; twitter.com/KSilverHajo; and instagram.com/kathrynsilverhajo.