The Breath of the Universe

Written with my Thursday group with prompts:  Mr. I Can’t, Oh shit, Rufus said, hallways, chocolate yes indeed

Matilda called Rufus Mr. I Can’t, Mr. Rain On My Parade, and Doctor No.  Not because he was a doctor, not because he was a Bond villain, but because he was Mr. Negativity himself, Mr. Dark Clouds Follow Me, Mr. Pity Party.

Rufus called Matilda the poet.  “Capital T, capital P,” he’d say sometimes, and then Matilda would squeal and say, “Teepee! Oh, shit!”  She made him smile despite his over-anxious attitude and when he smiled, she couldn’t help but fall in love.

They met in the hallway at the community college where she was learning to play the piccolo and the penny whistle, and he was studying to be a respiratory therapist.  It was an instant attraction because they both specialized in breath.  Matilda insisted they meet there after class—back in the hallway—where the cool delta breeze slid through from the south on summer evenings, and the hot blustery wind charged through from the north in autumn and spring.  But in winter it was cold and still.

One November afternoon, Matilda and Rufus held hands and listened.  “The air is dreaming,” Matilda said.  Rufus rolled his eyes.  He thought she didn’t see his cynical expression but she did.  She just chose to ignore it.  She was turning this way and that—to the north, to the south—because she liked it best when the air hit her full in the face, pushing her long hair back from her shoulders.

She closed her eyes. “I’m waiting to feel the air move,” she whispered.  Then Rufus leaned down and kissed her, and Matilda imagined that the breath of the universe was as sweet as chocolate, yes, indeed.

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