Balloon Animals

Cindy Bradley was a 68-year-old woman who did not look a day over fifty-five. She attributed her youthful appearance to mud masks, yoga, and herbal teas. Cindy was Aunt Mary’s best friend, and Brooklyn had always looked up to her. In fact, before Kent came into the picture, she always thought Cindy was the woman she would become.

Cindy was twice divorced and once widowed. She lived in a small cottage in the woods where she kept a cannabis garden, painted, and cared for chickens. She had long, beautiful silver hair and always wore bohemian skirts.


As Brooklyn grabbed the steak from the butcher, Cindy gave her the side eye.

“Seems like an awful lot of trouble to go through for a man you haven’t seen in weeks.”

Brooklyn giggled, “It was neither of our faults, Aunt Cindy. I had to go back to Maryland to finalize a few things, and Kent’s workload just keeps getting heavier.”

“Yeah, but Mary said he overlooks things sometimes. Like the time he was traveling and didn’t check in with you all day, and you spent the entire day worrying. No wonder he calls himself an idiot.”

“Hey!” Brooklyn defended, “He’s not an idiot. He’s just clueless sometimes. And I’ve never said I need him to reach out more, so I don’t expect him to read my mind. Besides, I know how he is, and I know he loves me. I don’t sweat the small stuff.”

“Well, I am glad you live closer now, even if you did move here for a man.” Cindy wrapped an arm around her shoulder as they made their way through Broad Street Market, catching up with Aunt Mary who was looking at the freshly cut flowers.

Brooklyn immediately rushed to the table with the birds of paradise plants and floral clippings.

“Don’t tell me those are for Kent, too?” Cindy inquired.

Brooklyn smiled, “Yes. They’re his favorite, and I am not sure he has ever received flowers.”

“Uncle Bob likes roses. I think I’ll bring him some,” Aunt Mary smiled. “Our little hopeless romantic has inspired me.” She kissed her niece’s temple.

After purchasing the flowers, Brooklyn turned and noticed the cheese shop.

“I want to go sample the cheeses,” she grinned widely.

“Now, that’s the kind of romance I’m looking for,” Cindy commented as she grabbed Brooklyn’s arm.

“While you ladies are picking out cheese, I am going to go get that lotion for Bob’s….” Aunt Mary paused as she tried to recall the word. “What do you call the useless piece of skin attached to a penis?”

“A Man?” Cindy replied without missing a beat.

Brooklyn doubled over in laughter, and her laugh was so contagious strangers passing by started laughing along with her.

After Kent parked his car, he noticed he had a missed message. He hadn’t looked at his phone all day. The text was from Brooklyn. Two simple emojis they sent to one another when they wanted to say, “I love you,” “I’m thinking of you,” or “Kisses.”

Kent couldn’t help the smile that crossed his face, and although he was only seconds from seeing her, he replied with their insignia.

Brooklyn was expecting Kent, so she checked her phone immediately when she heard the ping alerting her she had a message. She smiled as soon as she saw his name. He was her favorite notification.

As soon as she saw the text message, there was a knock at the door. “That was quick,” she said aloud.

She opened the door, and Kent held out a bouquet of lilies. Brooklyn immediately started giggling.

Kent looked around the flowers and raised a questioning eyebrow until he saw her. She was wearing a short, off-the-shoulder, floral dress and pink, thigh-high, heeled boots.

“You look ravishing.” He pulled her close and kissed her deeply.

She grabbed his hand and pulled him over to the dining room table. “I bought you flowers, too.”

Kent smiled, “We really do think so much alike.”

Brooklyn chuckled, and Kent could never get enough of the sound.

“I know you have had a rough couple of weeks, so I’m making all your favorites this weekend,” she smiled as she wrapped her arms around his neck.

“Getting to see you is gift enough, but I love your thoughtfulness. How did I get so lucky?” He bent down to kiss her.

“That’s not all,” she smiled at him. “I have a whole weekend of dates planned, but this ties into it.” She ran into the living room, grabbed the paper bag with handles, and handed it to him.

He opened the bag and found a balloon animal kit. It made him chuckle. One of the very first conversations they had was about how he could make balloon animals, and when she asked him what animals he could make, he responded with “Snake or eel.”

It made her laugh, and they have been bonded ever since.

“Now, I know you’re not big on reading instructions, but I think, in this case, it might be helpful,” she teased.

“Har, har,” he mocked laughter as he grabbed her sides and tickled her, making her squeal.

“I’ll set the table. Where are the plates?”

Brooklyn pointed to the cabinet he needed as she put the final touches on dinner but was distracted as she watched her boyfriend roll the sleeves of his dress shirt up to his elbows. She didn’t know exactly why she found that particular gesture so hot, but it drove her crazy. Kent’s sexy forearms did not help matters.

“So I know we’ve known each other for a while,” Brooklyn started before sipping her wine.

“This steak is delicious,” he complimented her.

“Thank you,” she smiled.

“So, yes, we’ve known each other for a while….” he reminded her of where she was.

“But I really want to get to know you, and now that we’re dating, you should know that I have a habit of asking random questions to get to know people on a deeper level.”

“I actually love that,” he responded. “Whatcha got for me?”

She had just taken a bite of baked potato, so she held up a finger to let him know she needed a minute.

“What do you consider the five most beautiful things on earth?”

“Couldn’t have started with something easy like what’s your favorite color?”

Brooklyn chuckled. “That doesn’t really tell me anything about you other than your favorite color. This question allows me to really get to know you. And it’s my favorite.”

“Do you mean generally speaking? Cause I could tell you five beautiful places I think you should see before you die, but if you mean in a general sense, then I’m going to need some time to think.”

“Yes, generally speaking, and take your time.”

They ate in silence for a minute or two while Kent composed his thoughts.

“Sunrises,” he began. “That time of day is quiet and still, and the sunrise brings a new day and opportunities. It reminds us to be thankful for the time we are given.”

Brooklyn nodded in agreement.

“Random kindness,” Kent continued. “Those moments when we witness strangers doing something good for someone else without the need or want for something in return. Like picking up a dropped wallet and handing it back to the person who dropped it. It reminds me that we all genuinely do care about one another.”

Brooklyn smiled. “This is the best answer to this question I have heard so far.”

“Music, because, well, music.”

“I completely understand,” she nodded emphatically.

“I figured as much.” He took a sip of iced green tea before continuing. “Language. I know it might seem strange, but I love language. It is our ability to express everything we know, see, hear, and touch. We can express anything from our belief in God to our favorite food. The power of words to move each other in different ways, for good or bad. It is the way we bond and connect. I find it beautiful.”

Brooklyn did not think it was possible, but she found herself falling even deeper in love with him.

“And you, because you are all of those things wrapped into one beautiful woman.”

Brooklyn blushed deeply, and Kent found her adorable. They chatted as they finished dinner, and Kent picked up the wine bottle to pour his girlfriend another glass.

She placed her hand on his forearm to stop him. “I  am baking us chocolate chip cookies, so I shouldn’t have a second glass.”

He sat the bottle down and looked her in the eye. “Will you have more than one cookie?”

“I shouldn’t.” She answered.

“Depriving yourself to show some self-discipline is something I am all for, but sweetheart, if you are depriving yourself because you don’t think you deserve it, or because you think one extra glass of wine when you barely drink it anyway, or an extra cookie when you rarely eat sweets is going to hinder the progress you have made, you are wrong. You deserve to indulge a little. Please, just relax and enjoy yourself. We’re going to burn off those calories all weekend anyway.” He winked at her.

Brooklyn swooned, which was easy to do with Kent. He had been making her swoon since his very first comment on one of her blog posts.

“You’re going to spoil me.”

“Get used to it.”

He cleaned up from dinner as she made the cookies. As soon as they were in the oven, he grabbed her and spun her around the kitchen. She could not wipe the smile from her face as they moved together.

“So, what’s the theme of the dates this weekend?” Kent inquired.

“We are reverting to our childhood,” she explained, “I recorded our favorite Looney Tunes episodes and picked up your favorite cereal. I also found some YouTube tutorials on making balloon animals, and I thought we could make corn soup with rivets.”

“So those are all my favorite things, what are your favorite things?”

She smiled, “I thought we’d play some things by ear, maybe picnic in the backyard and make shapes out of clouds or have a bonfire with s’mores?”

“Why not both?”

Brooklyn started to answer, but before she could utter a word, Kent continued.

“And if you tell me you shouldn’t have s’mores, I am going to smack you.” He playfully smacked her butt.

“Don’t tempt me with a good time,” she giggled as she raised her eyebrows up and down a couple of times.

They built a blanket fort in the living room, ate warm chocolate chip cookies with milk (Brooklyn had three cookies), and watched as much of The Goonies as they could until Kent and Brooklyn could not keep their hands off each other. She drove him crazy in her short dress, and he had been driving her crazy all day with his playfulness, sexual innuendos, and his black dress shirt that made her knees weak every time he wore it.

Kent could handle any stress work threw at him as long as he could fall in Brooklyn’s arms.

This entry was posted in Ficton, Love and tagged , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

5 Responses to Balloon Animals

  1. parkermccoy says:

    Balloons, steak and chocolate chip cookies always make for a great time. Great story!

    Liked by 1 person

  2. zfthrimej says:

    Sensing that the characters in your post would also enjoy “Something’s Gotta Give”. Good taste in movies.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Jeff says:

    Lovely!! And Kent seems to bear a striking resemblance to Jack Nicholson. Hahaha!

    Liked by 1 person

    • kristianw84 says:

      Thank you! Haha, I noticed that in that last picture too, but it was not intentional. There is a 22 year age gap between Kent and Brooklyn, and it is hard to find pictures.

      My muse for Kent does not look like either of the pictures I used to portray Kent, but he is closer to the first man in the black shirt. Incredibly handsome, looks younger than he actually is, and has a kind demeanor juxtaposed with a “Don’t mess with me,” walk.

      Liked by 1 person

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