Defying Gravity
by Dexter Johnson


The door closes quiet. He pauses, facing the door, and gives its raised panel a light caress. Turning, he walks down the stairs and onto the sidewalk.

Not what I’d dreamed of, he thinks, seeing her as he had left her: silent and staring, lips parted slightly and quite possibly frowning, but he couldn’t be sure. Certainly she wasn’t smiling. “I’ll call later,” he’d said, but she remained silent, sitting taut, her hand gripping the box, keeping it safely shut, the question covered.

The sunlight is bright. He blinks. Just then he hears her voice at the balcony – god from on-high, pronouncing a doom: “Hey, catch.”

He glances up and sees the dark pit of the little box, a celestial black hole falling from the sky. The arc of the toss is right at him, but he feels that it's he that’s moving. And it is all too fast.

He reflexively catches the box. His hand closes on it and he feels the feathery touch of an edge of torn paper.

He looks down, puzzled. He flips open the lid. A paper scrap lies where the ring would be. There is a single word: Yes!