I sat down on a wooden park bench, a box of donuts being carefully guarded next to me. I wasn’t about to take any chances. The animals that lived on these grounds were smarter than your average city dwellers. The second you’d turn your head, a pigeon would swoop in and steal your meal or a squirrel might put on his charm, getting a little too friendly until you caved in and shared a piece of bread. I, on the other hand, could smell their tricks from a mile away. They weren’t going to fool me.

I carefully selected a strawberry donut from the box and gobbled it down, barely chewing as I swallowed. It was a cool fall day, and the park was packed with action. I liked to come here from time to time and spend the afternoon observing the crowds walking back and forth. You can learn a lot about someone simply by the way they carry themselves. Their facial expressions, body language, what they were wearing, they all revealed hidden personality traits most never even realized. I was a master at deciphering them.

Take princess over there, for example. She was sitting next to the fountain, but not too close or her perfectly styled hair might get wet. Wrapped around her was a shiny pink jacket with a gold embroidered crown on the back, the word “princess” literally stitched below it. It was a pitiful attempt to portray her priority status among the other lowlifes passing by.

The stone structure was the centerpiece of the park where many people liked to sit and admire the beautiful view of the garden surrounding them. Amidst the bustling traffic was the perfect place for her to put on her act. She was puffing out her chest, making overly dramatic motions with her body as if posing for an invisible camera. Her eyes were darting around in hopeful determination, trying to catch anyone’s attention for even just a sliver of admiration and acknowledgement. What a pompous, arrogant bitch.

I contemplated the box of donuts, drool dripping from my mouth. With careful consideration, I selected the glazed one.

Two youngsters pootling by directed their attention to me sitting on the bench enjoying my treats. They stopped in their tracks and sprang toward me. The girl had a tiny pink bow right above her ear, the boy snot and other goop all over his face. I stared them down, not allowing them the satisfaction of overpowering me with cuteness. They had to learn to respect others sooner rather than later or they could get into some serious trouble down the road.

I growled at them, a warning not to get any closer. I know, I’ve turned a little grumpy in my years but these were immature brats, notorious for their overly enthusiastic curiosity and ability to get into things they shouldn’t be getting into. I couldn’t risk them getting too close to my box of donuts. I wasn’t too keen on sharing and I planned to hoard the whole dozen for myself.

A hand reached out and tugged them both backwards, halting any kind of encounter that may have occurred. The woman scowled at my inappropriateness and scurried on, taking her precious babies with her. In a way, though, I admired the little bundles of energy. The things I would do to be young again! To be able to frolic around without a care in the world, playing in the dirt and splashing in the water without anyone yelling at me. Now, I had responsibilities, a duty to uphold to my friends and family. I wasn’t an old sack of bones just yet, but as a mature adult certain things were expected of me and people didn’t like it when I decided not to obey the rules.

Another donut slipped down my throat. This time, a powdered one.

As I was licking the last of the sugar coating my lips, my eyes bulged out of their sockets and locked on a goddess strolling down the pathway leading from the fountain. She wasn’t your typical beauty. She didn’t have a slim, curvy body and long, thin legs or shiny luxurious hair. She didn’t decorate herself with unnecessary apparel to make her appear more important than she was. In fact, she was the complete opposite. Her tanned figure was a little more on the rounder side with disproportionate short, skinny legs. A worn out red leather choker circled her neck, a sign that she cared more about the emotional attachment to the objects she owned and not whether they were high end materials. She held her head up high, but not too high, conveying a certain confidence about her. On the surface she was a rebel with a badass attitude but deep down inside, she held a compassionate heart. I was in love, and she was coming this way.

I hopped off the bench, well aware that my donuts may no longer be there when I came back. But this opportunity was a once in a lifetime opportunity I couldn’t pass up.

Her piercing blue eyes threatened me as I approached with cautious steps. I admired her from a distance before she finally acknowledged me and I moved in.

“Oh, hello, there,” I greeted her casually, as if I definitely hadn’t been stalking her.

“Hi,” she responded guardedly, pulling away slightly.

“You’re…you’re beautiful.” Oh no, what have I done? I swore I wasn’t a creep!

“Uh, thanks.” She shied away, embarrassed by my compliment. Her brief threatening stare toward me was only to avoid conversation and interaction because she was bashful around others. But, come on. I was me. Everyone loved me. Unless I gave them a reason not to. I was a tad overprotective at times. My box of donuts being one example that came to mind.

“Would you like to maybe sit by the fountain with me? I have delicious treats we can share.” I was hoping she might forgo accepting food from a stranger, as I still wanted to keep all the donuts for myself, assuming they were still on the bench where I left them. But, if it bought me even five minutes with this beautiful specimen then I would willingly give one up. Just one, though.

She stuck up her snub nose at my offer and turned away from me, appearing as though she wasn’t flattered by my gallantry. She snuck a peek over her shoulder, and I beamed a smile at her hoping she’d change her mind.

“I can’t today. But…I could be persuaded another time. I’ve seen you here before.” So she had noticed me! That was good news. I couldn’t believe she actually knew I existed!

“Great! I look forward to it.” Excitement overcame me and I started to breathe a little erratically, but she didn’t seem to be put off by it. In fact, I noticed a bit of a twitch in her body movement as well.

“If you don’t mind, I’d like to—” A deep, harsh voice cut me off. I twirled around so my butt was shoved up against her face and she took that opportunity to take a whiff of my backside. Unfortunate for her, the sudden burst of annoyance led to a loud, deadly toot right where her nose was.

“Porky! Stop harassing the other dogs! I told you to stay put. You’re not allowed to be off leash here in the park.” Eli had been sitting next to me the whole time on the bench, too distracted by his phone to even notice I had left or was eating his entire box of donuts.

Damn that stupid Eli. I was totally onto something. I gave one last glance over to the attractive Frenchie being led away by her owner, her stubby little tail wagging in the breeze as she swung her hips from side to side. I never even got a chance to ask her name.

I turned and followed Eli back to the bench. At least she won’t forget my smell.

Categories: Short Stories

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