“For christ’s sake.” I shrugged my irritation away. “Let’s try it again.”
Moody sat on the cold sidewalk, the denuded flower stalk in one hand, swabbing his damp eyes with the other.
“She doesn’t love me!”
I handed him another daisy, yellow and fresh-snipped from the decorative hedge behind us.
“Like this.” I held up my own daisy, slightly damp with–no, not dew, not here, but water from the sprinklers. I pulled a petal from the flower.
“She loves me.”
I pulled out another petal.
“She adores me.”
“She thinks the world of me.” Pluck. “She’s never known anyone as smart as me.” Pluck. “She loves me.” Pluck. “She knows that I love her.” Pluck. “I love her.” Pluck. “She loves me.”
A drift of petals decorated my left shoe. I kicked them away.
“You see,” I told him, my friend, the newly-hopeful Moody, “love is what you make it.”
Jude-Marie Green writes science fiction and lives in Los Angeles; these two facts may be related. She is associate editor for Noctem Aeternus (pdf horror magazine) and for Abyss & Apex (online speculative fiction magazine), and has sold fiction to Say, Ideomancer, Abyss & Apex, and Aoife’s Kiss, with recent stories in the anthologies Visual Journeys, Sporty Spec, and Legends of the Mountain State. She reads voraciously, watches movies indiscriminately, and will hug you at the most convenient excuse.